Aug 052017
 

I am so sick of these found footage films and Phoenix Forgotten is one of the poorer outings, even when I went in with low of low expectations. Two-thirds of the movie is utterly dull and the finale hardly can make up for the lack of interest that came before, to go along with cardboard cutout characters.

 

 

Phoenix Forgotten
(2017)

Genre(s): Science Fiction, Suspense/Thriller
Fox | PG13 – 87 min. – $34.99 | August 1, 2017

Date Published: 08/05/2017 | Author: The Movieman

 


MOVIE INFO:
Directed by: Justin Barber
Writer(s): T.S. Nowlin and Justin Barber (written by)
Cast: Florence Hartigan, Chelsea Lopez, Justin Matthews, Luke Spencer Roberts
DISC INFO:
Features: Commentary, Featurettes, Theatrical Trailer
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: Blu-ray, DVD
Number of Discs: 2
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.78
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Disc Size: 28.0 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A

 

THE MOVIE — 1.25/5


Well, another year and another found footage film. This one takes the real life event of lights being seen over the apparently unexplained Phoenix skyline and weaving a story where, in 1997, three teenagers — Josh Bishop (LUKE SPENCER ROBERTS), Mark Abrams (JUSTIN MATTHEWS) and Ashley Foster (CHELSEA LOPEZ) — disappear. 20 years later, Josh’s sister, Sophie (FLORENCE HARTIDAN), attempts to uncover what happened to the trio, filming it all for a documentary. Of course.

Interspersed with footage from the tapes taken into evidence by the police, Sophie interviews those who knew them, she retraces the events with little success… until, and somehow, the last tape showing their fate is miraculously found.

The acting is, I guess, so-so considering the material gave them very little to work with and even less so with any character development aside from a lame, half-assed, love triangle between the missing trio, that goes nowhere outside of locals speculation foul play was involved.

Phoenix Forgotten is an 80 some-odd minute movie with maybe 15-20 minutes of actual plot. The vast majority, a solid 50-minutes, is an unadulterated snooze-fest seeing Sophie’s interview footage and even in the found footage, or flashback, portions, aren’t very exciting either. By the time we actually get to the end, it’s not nearly enough to make up for any of the faults early on, not to mention the style, beyond being found footage, is very reminiscent of The Blair Witch Project.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 2.0/5


This release comes with a standard slip cover. Inside is a DVD Copy and redemption code for the Digital HD copy.

Audio Commentary – Co-Writer/Director Justin Barber & Actors Florence Hartigan, Chelsea Lopez and Justin Matthews. With four participants, this is a fairly active track as they delve into the various filming locations and on the story.

Sophie’s Story (3:12; HD) is a short “interview” with Sophie Bishop as she goes on a quest to find the three teens.

Phoenix Found (7:16; HD) looks at how the project came together on the basis of the real life events of the lights in the sky. Includes interview footage with producer Ridley Scott amongst others.

Theatrical Trailer (2:02; HD)

 

VIDEO – 3.75/5


Fox remembers Phoenix Forgotten on Blu-ray and is presented in its original theatrical 1.78 widescreen aspect ratio, although the “found footage” flashbacks are 1.33, and a 1080p high-definition transfer. As with most of these types of movies, the quality varies from high quality, despite being shot with low level equipment, or artificially harsh adding in jumps, artifacts and pixilation. Taking all that into consideration, it’s an “ok” transfer but nothing more.

AUDIO – 4.0/5


The disc comes with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track which, for the majority of the film, is average as the first hour or so is almost completely dialogue driven with only the opening providing any sense of depth. Now, making up for this is the finale which does at least will give your sound system a decent workout, in particular the LFE channel turns on for that extra kick.

 

OVERALL – 2.0/5


Overall, I am so sick of these found footage films and Phoenix Forgotten is one of the poorer outings, even when I went in with low of low expectations. Two-thirds of the movie is utterly dull and the finale hardly can make up for the lack of interest that came before, to go along with cardboard cutout characters. This Blu-ray released by Fox is alright though the solo behind-the-scenes featurette is thin while the commentary is worth a listen.

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