January 3, 2018

I feel like the world needs a John Cusack/Samuel L. Jackson buddy/road trip movie right now. Now, more than ever, we need the joy that those two can bring us. (“I want these motherfucking snakes out of my motherfucking earnest romantic comedy!” or something to that effect?)

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That’s why it’s so irritating that this film quietly slipped onto Premium Cable. I remember reading about that the film would be made, then nothing. No theatrical release, at least that I noticed. All of the reviews I saw online point to the film being released in the summer of 2016, but I didn’t notice it then either. It was likely VOD, which I ignore, because I’m a cheap bastard.

Usually, shitty treatment like that is an indicator of an extra-shitty film. Cell isn’t a great film, but it’s far from shitty. In fact, it starts out really great, with a powerfully chaotic intro scene that leaves one a bit breathless. Or maybe I just felt that way because I had a raging cold when I watched it – hard to tell. In any case, the film soon hit a brick wall and became a struggle to watch. By the end of the film, I simply didn’t care what happened to John Cusack…and the ending was so vague, I’m really not sure what DID happen to him. I’ve formulated four distinct scenarios, but I’m not sure about any of them. I don’t require that a film exactly follow its source material (see The Mist), but why edit together 4 different things that don’t make sense?

1408 is on my watch list now – several people have told me it’s SO much better, plus Cusack and Jackson again.

When I originally read Stephen King’s book several years ago, it had gripped me in a way he hadn’t managed to in years. It wasn’t an overly original concept, especially keeping in mind The Stand, but it was prescient enough to allegorize how our pre-iPhone society might become even more zombified. King had the foresight to hint about where our society was heading, not knowing that reality would turn out so much worse. Our president tweets out insanity every morning while he takes a shit. Yes, it’s so much worse than Stephen King could even imagine.

…And the moral of the story? Never, ever, EVER build a cell tower on top of an old Indian burial ground.

Year – 2016
Rating – R
Runtime – 98 minutes
Genre – Stephen King Adaptation
Director(s) – Tod Williams
Writer(s) – Stephen King, Adam Alleca
Actor(s) – John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson, Isabelle Fuhrman, Stacy Keach, Owen Teague
BOB Rating – Two BOBs
Favorite Quote –