Conclusion: Call of the Wild has several notable features, not the least of which is its still impressive location photography. Gable and Young make a very appealing star pair, and Oakie, while his typically ebullient hammy self, provides a bit of supporting color. Buck isn't the star here, but he has a couple of great scenes (including one in a bar that will probably cause a few laughs).
Conclusion: This 1935 filming of The Call of the Wild is no classic, but Fox treats it like one with this impressively sharp-looking Blu-ray. Fans of Clark Gable and Jack London should make an effort to see this at some point. Even if you enter with no appreciation for either the star or the author but a love of vintage Hollywood, you may very well enjoy this light, sporadically diverting adventure.
Excerpt: Though in every other respect an unremarkable Hollywood thriller, Brad Anderson's The Call is distinguished by one rather audacious aesthetic decision: Opting to shoot the film's many confined spaces using small, lightweight digital cameras like the 10lb Phantom Flex, Anderson and TV-trained DP Tom Yatsko lean hard on a kind of intrusive, deeply probing extreme close-up rarely seen in a mainstream film, as though the camera had simply been thrown into the action,...
Conclusion: 'The Call' is a solid film that works on almost every level. Berry and Breslin turn in amazing performances and the suspense is high throughout the entire film. If it wasn't for those final moments in the movie, this would have been a perfect film. That being said, the movie is still good, with a great audio and video presentation, along with some decent extras. Despite the ending almost ruining the entire film, this is worth a look.
Excerpt: I’ve been in the situation where I haven’t had to call 911 that often in my life. I see this as a good thing since, invariably; calling 911 isn’t ever a good thing. It’s like going to the doctor’s office where at best they tell you that everything’s fine. But it’s also good to know that there are people out there that do this job and in a city like Los Angeles, I’m sure that the job of a 911 operator is something that’s never-ending and must get real old real quick.
Conclusion: The Call isn't the world's most original movie, and it's really fairly predictable save for the turn it takes in the final moments, but the movie works on raw emotion and its simple yet hugely effective pitting of good versus evil. The film creates a tense dramatic current that never relents. It's very polished and smartly put together, helped tremendously by a few seamless performances from the leads.
Excerpt: If you've seen the trailer for The Call , you probably think you know what to expect, namely a predictable abduction thriller centering on Halle Berry's frantic but focused 911 operator. That's all I expected, but The Call scoffed at my predictable narrative presumption at every turn. This is a white-knuckled thriller that's more gruesome and graphic than most horror movies masquerading as a crime drama, and it will make you lose control.