DISTURBIA (2007) (***)

25 08 2007
Check Out the Trailer
Check Out the Trailer

This modern REAR WINDOW riff with high-tech gadgets is tightly written for two acts shying away from typical teen movie boo moments and illogical twists in exchange for old-fashioned thrills. Lead Shia LaBeouf (HOLES) has this entire film for himself and sets himself up to become a real star. He has an effortless charm that puts him in the ranks with Tom Hanks. Even when the movie begins to spell things out for the illiterate film viewer, we like LaBeouf’s character enough that we still care about what he cares about.

After a recent tragedy, 17-year-old Kale (LaBeouf) becomes a troubled young man, which leads to another violent outburst that lands him under house arrest. His mother Julie (Carrie-Anne Moss, THE MATRIX) cuts off his Xbox Live and iTunes, leaving him very bored confined in his house. So he starts spying on the neighbors, especially his pretty new neighbor Ashley (Sarah Roemer, THE GRUDGE 2) and the creepy Mr. Turner (David Morse, THE GREEN MILE). When signs start piling up that might link Turner to a recent murder, Kale, his best friend Ronnie (Aaron Yoo, ROCKET SCIENCE) and Julie begin to stake out the man, which becomes more and more dangerous at every turn.

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TALLADEGA NIGHTS: THE BALLAD OF RICKY BOBBY (2006) (**1/2)

25 08 2007
Check Out the Trailer
Check Out the Trailer

I haven’t loved any of Will Farrell’s film where he’s starred, but I have enjoyed everyone that I’ve seen. Ferrell is one of the funniest men working in films currently. He has great timing and delivery. That’s what makes TALLADEGA NIGHTS the most disappointing film he has made. A major part of the disappointment comes from the hints of greatest that lie everywhere, which are never carried out to their full potential rather replaced by lazy improv.

From a very young age, Ricky Bobby (Ferrell) wanted to “go fast.” When he gets his first shot on the NASCAR circuit, he makes a big impression. He, along with his best friend and teammate Cal Naughton Jr. (John C. Reilly, BOOGIE NIGHTS), quickly raises the ranks of pro racing. He gains the American Dream — fame, money, a hot wife. He becomes obsessed with being #1, due to his deadbeat father’s statement — If you ain’t first, you’re last. Then the dumb, cocky racer meets his toughest challenge — Jean Girard (Sacha Baron Cohen, BORAT), a gay, French, Formula One racer who Bobby’s team owner Larry Dennit Jr. (Greg Germann, TV’s ALLY MCBEAL) wants to make the next face of NASCAR. After a crash during his first race against Girard, Bobby fears racing again and soon loses everything in his life.

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