Friday, December 12, 2008

Disturbia (2007) - Personal Opinion and Review

The plot:

Kale (Shia LaBeouf) is sentenced to 3 months of house arrest for punching his Spanish teacher. His parole officer recommends to use his time constructively, so for a while he destroys buildings in XBox Live game, but eventually boredom overwhelms him.

Fortunately, a hot 18 year old Ashley (Sarah Roemer) moved in to neighboring house. Soon, however, Kale finds evidence linking his next door neighbor Mr. Turner (David Morse) serial killer and enlists his friend Ronnie (Aaron Yoo) and Ashley to spy on him.

But their suspect is very clever, since their snooping didn’t go unnoticed. Sarah Roemer is cute.

The good:

This movie could have been a good PG-13 teenage TV flick. It’s got enough suspense to qualify as a thriller. It even has got a pool filled with dead bodies - for a moment you’d think this movie is directed by Spielberg.

Shia LaBeouf and Sarah Roemer looked like a compatible couple. Descent acting by the small crew - really looked like everybody was trying to do their best with poor material.

David Morse was great - he looked really scary and creepy - excellent murderer who enjoyed doing it.

The story is character-driven and most of the things characters do seem reasonable. Musical score by Geoff Zanelli was not bad - thrilling.

The bad:

Cheap teenage thriller. The plot is almost identical to Hitchkock’s Rear Window, but of course it was set in modern days (cameras, youtube, cellphones etc.) and sexed up (horny teens). No explanation why David Morse’s character was killing people.

It was also too neat that Kale found and linked all the evidence in newspaper and TV to his neighbor.

The scene where Kale is fly-fishing with his father seemed like a rip-off from that movie with Brad Pitt.. As River Runs Through It.

I haven’t seen Carrie-Anne Moss on film since The Matrix, and even here her role was episodic. She was fantastic in Memento and Matrix - I wish I could see her in a really dramatic role again.

Considering there were two writers, the screenplay sucks.

The summary:

This movie is a rip-off from Hitchcock’s Rear Window, designed for teenagers by the choice of the actors, the plot, the music and the gags. This is how classics are destroyed.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I am Cuba (1964) - Personal opinion and review

The good:

This movie is all poetry - from camera work and choice of lenses and angles, to beautiful music, expressive acting and ballet-like choreographed plasticism and gorgeous locations.

That a film is black and white makes sense for two reasons - Soviet studios seldom had enough money to buy color film - especially on expensive international projects, but it also amplifies life contrasts between rich and poor in the movie.

The bad:

Not only it’s made in the 60s after Castro’s revolution and on Soviet money, it is certainly not without propaganda and agenda.

But it’s by no means a movie for the sake of propaganda - it’s a movie showing desire of people for justice, freedom, independence and self-determination.

It’s too slow - almost as much as Andrei Tarkovski’s movies were.

The summary:

Although a child of its time, this movie is amazing. It’s a piece of art that should be studied in art schools and film institutes. Great performances and great music non-stop.

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