January 14 - 20, 2004 • Vol. 25 - No. 02

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White Noise
—Sometimes it’s Wiser NOT to
Fool with the Unknown

by The Blonde and The Maven
Film Columnists

The supernatural thriller White Noise is directed by first-time filmmaker Geoffrey Sax, previously known for his work in British television. White Noise stars Michael Keaton (First Daughter and Multiplicity) as Jonathan Rivers, an accomplished architect whose life is thrown into an emotional tailspin by the mysterious disappearance and subsequent death of his second wife (mmmm, a likely story). His wife Anna, briefly played by Chandra West (The Salton Sea) is a best-selling writer and is completely devoted to her husband, and she is a few weeks pregnant. Anna vanishes after trying to fix her flat tire on the side of the road, next to a river. Jonathan desperately mourns Anna's death and cannot find any way to deal with his great loss. At this point, Raymond Price enters, played by Ian McNeice (Bridget Jones' Diary), who explains to Jonathan that his recently deceased wife has contacted him. (Been there done that)! Rivers brusquely dismisses this seemingly crazy man; however, after he receives two telephone calls from his wife’s cell phone, Jonathan does a complete turnaround and decides to listen to Raymond Price after all. (Good move)! At Raymond's home, he meets Sarah Tate, played by Deborah Kara Unger (Thirteen) and the two of them become students of EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon). In reality, this theory was first advanced by Thomas Edison in 1928. Raymond teaches them that the dead send out constant messages to us using modern technology. (Do dot do dot!) The “White Noise” of sound and images from radio and T V sets can be recorded and studied via a process known as video or photographic instrumental trans-communications to detect such transmissions. Jonathan becomes completely obsessed with the study of EVP. Some of the voices coming through are not friendly and the movie enters the spooky stage at this time. Do some of those voices belong to those who are about to die? Go check it out and see!

The Blonde: White Noise was like Ghost and Somewhere in Time meets The Ring, and The Outer Limits meets Dragonfly, and Frequency meets The Sixth Sense meets The Others meets What Lies Beneath, all meeting up with John Edwards and the Physic Detective. First of all, why, when they kill off someone's wife in the movies, is she always pregnant? This film reminds us to BEWARE of only understanding HALF of a message—something I already knew from my children answering the telephone and never remembering to give me the whole story! Maven, I thought you said that we were seeing a film called White Boys?

The Maven: Ya know, maybe you should wear your BLONDE hair behind your ears instead of around your face. It might help! Okay, about White Noise… I was scared a few times and eagerly awaiting a few more scares. I even jumped a couple of times until I figured out that it was YOUR foot on the seat tickling me! It was YOUR foot, wasn't it?

The Blonde: No, maybe it was the White BOYS you said we were seeing! My ears are fine, thank you very much!  

The Maven: Niall Johnson started out writing an interesting story about White Noise but somewhere he deviated from his original theme of EVP and ventured into a story about a serial killer being influenced by “White Noise,” I think! I mean that is where he went…RIGHT?

The Blonde: I don't know where he went! This film ALMOST worked. Unfortunately, it seemed to miss the mark for me. It ironically had so much potential but failed in my eyes to come up with the goods. The concept was there, but the storyline didn't deliver. I NEVER jumped, but then again, nobody was tickling me. By the way Jonathan and Anna's home on the lake was beautiful. Where was that? I would love to move there!

The Maven: I wish you would!

The Blonde: OUCH…OUCH…OUCH! And no you don't! You would miss me terribly.

The Maven: MMMMM? I felt that there should have been more explanation from the Raymond Price character about the possibility of other voices coming through the EVP. You know, those almost dead people that might not die if rescued but might be dead sort of voices?
The Blonde: What the heck are you trying to say? I didn't understand a word of your last comment and I AM the BLONDE!

The Maven: Yeah, I have some confusion that has nothing to do with a senior moment. Don't say it!

The Blonde: In my world, they are referred to as Blonde Clusters! You're not THAT old!

The Maven: I TOLD YOU NOT TO SAY IT! Moving right along, Michael Keaton deserved a part that was written better than this. He's always so believable in every role he takes on and this was no different. However, his character could have used more definition.

The Blonde: He not only deserved a better written part, but a better MOVIE to be in! I agree with you about Keaton, though, he is truly a talented actor with the gift of always being REAL. By the by, speaking of Ron Howard, his new movie coming out soon, Cinderella Man, looks fabulous.

The Maven:  Are you listening to the voices on EVP, because I never mentioned Ron Howard?

The Blonde: Oh, maybe it was one of those “White Boys”!

The Maven: If you don't try to make too much sense of the film, it's actually quite good. There are tense moments, mystery, heroism, and love. What more do you need from a movie? If you say sex and romance, I will spill your popcorn!

The Blonde:  No, I was actually going to say A GOOD STORY!  

The Maven: I recommend this movie as long as you know that you WILL look at your radio and T.V differently after seeing it. Don't leave it off station too long and, whatever you do, don't try to figure out what is being said. I rate the film a B- for being able to keep me interested.                                                 

The Blonde: Oh come on, National Geographic keeps you interested. You rate this film a B-…a B-? Are you kidding me? As I was so looking forward to seeing this movie, I found myself completely let down! White Noise certainly could have used less white or more noise… Readers, you can absolutely MISS THIS ONE! I rate it a D for disappointing. I suggest that you eat a LOT of freshly popped crunchy WHITE POPCORN and make your own noise! I'm going to watch John Edwards…

P.S.: Moviegoers, for a real quality night at the movies, go see Phantom of the Opera. THIS is a musical experience that is beautifully filmed. It follows the Broadway hit closely, but has some dialogue which better explains what the live stage show left out. Although the two leads voices are not in the league of Sarah Brightman and Michael Crawford, it does work. The performance by Minnie Driver steals the show.

P.S.: For an AMAZING, FUN, COMEDY…run as fast as you can to see Meet the Fockers! We haven't laughed this much in years. It was twice as good as Meet the Parents. What can we say, how can you go wrong with Barbara…she's like BUTTA!

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