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A gunman ties up an actor and locks him in his dressing room just before a performance. He also puts a bomb with a 90-minute timer next to the actor. Then, he goes to a room above an LA plaza and draws a bead on the actor's lover, international arms dealer, Liberty Wallace. Calling himself "Joe," he calls her cell phone, demonstrates that a rifle is pointed at her, and tells her to cuff herself to a hot-dog cart nearby (the cuffs are there). Over the next 90 minutes, the story unfolds: as a result of his daughter's death, he wants a public debate on the Second Amendment. As Liberty begins to bond with Joe on the phone, he gets some truths from her - and his revenge. Written by
Joe's computer occasionally displays images of Liberty taken by a camera he has set up somewhere, presumably in his sniper's nest. But almost every shot from this camera is panning or tracking, and most are also obviously from a much lower angle than Joe's position. Some are actually looking up at Liberty from below. See more »
Liberty Stands Still, even though it wields considerable talent due to having starts such as Linda Fiorentino and Wesley Snipes, is one of those kinds of projects that happens too frequently in Hollywood. The storyline is a blatant ripoff of the plot of the movie Phone Booth. It is very common, given the lack of secrecy and discretion in Tinseltown, and the necessity of promoting and publicizing scripts, for there to be competing projects with the same or very similar plots. The plot for Phone Booth had been much publicized, especially since Will Smith was originally pegged to star in the movie. Even with Smith not making the movie, and Colin Farrell becoming the lead, the plot was novel and well known enough for someone to write something very, very similar.
Both movies involve a lead character who spends nearly the entire film stuck on the telephone as a prisoner to a sniper who threatens to shoot the lead if they move. In Phone Booth, Farrell plays a PR guy who is as cuddly as a piranha. His caller is obviously seeking revenge against him personally. In Liberty Stands Still, Fiorentino plays Liberty, the wife of a notorious arms dealer. Her tormentor, played by Snipes, is seeking revenge for the loss of a child killed by one of Liberty's husbands' guns.
The only major differences are 1) we see Snipes throughout the movie, while Kiefer Sutherland, who plays the corresponding character in Phone Booth, is unseen, and 2) Snipes is using Fiorentino's character to get back at her husband, not seeking revenge against her personally.
Phone Booth is a much better movie, although on its own, Liberty Stands Still has some merit. But if you have to choose, see Phone Booth first or only.
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