Eagle Eye

Monday, September 29, 2008


When people fall in love with Shia LaBeouf, they just can’t get enough of him. Spielberg cast him in Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull and he executively produced LaBeouf’s summer blockbuster, Transformers. Now Disturbia director, D.J. Caruso, and star, LaBeouf, team up again for DreamWorks’ new thriller Eagle Eye. Once you go Shia, you can’t go back, but unfortunately for the both of them, Eagle Eye kind of sucked.

LaBeouf stars as a typical, unmotivated young slacker along side the beautiful Michelle Monaghan, who plays an average, over-worked single mother. Both characters are framed as terrorists, and in an attempt to run from a Big Brother-like villian, they cross paths and form an unlikely alliance as they also run from the government and those who framed them. Rosario Dawson and Billy Bob Thornton join the cast as a government agent and FBI Detective trailing the pair.

Shia is Hollywood's current, favorite juvenile delinquent, and I could care less. On screen, he's got a certain dorky, underdog charm that makes my heart melt with sympathetic adoration, and though this is a mediocre action packed, suspense thriller at best, he still exudes distinction and quality acting. But his comedic timing and good acting can't save this flick from a lame story and a thoroughly retarded ending. For a very long while, the movie was cheesy, but absolutely fun - as actions movies should be. The multiple chase scenes were intense and absolutely ridiculous, the mammoth explosions were completely blown out of proportion (a plus sign in this genre), and those great one-liners kept the tone upbeat and amusing. And then, they revealed who the terrorists were. But, no worries. It still made it to the 3 GOOMBA level. And then, Big Brother vaporized a guy by chasing him with a broken power line. Still okay. And then, Bill Bob gave Shia his FBI badge and gun just before [highlight to see] exploding himself (which involved a car and an airplane in a Washington DC tunnel) for the greater good. And so Eagle Eye's fate was sealed. A shaming moment in Hollywood history.

Eagle Eyes was a bad cocktail of The Terminator, Enemy of the State, and Die Hard, all of which are far better movies than the one in question. However, I do recommend this movie for the excellent chase scenes or for a Saturday night movie at home with friends.

LaBeouf is currently filming Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.

Movie Review by Jenn Bollish at 9:25 PM 0 comments  

Vantage Point

Saturday, September 20, 2008


I always wonder what it would be like to see through someone else's eyes. When I'm out driving, I sometimes look out my window at another driver and often ask myself, "What is he thinking about?" "Where is she going?" "Who are they?" The idea of seeing through a different perspective is fascinating, but trespassing on someone else's personal thoughts is only something that happens in books, and sometimes in movies.

Vantage Point takes this concept and films it in a Momento-inspired style. Looping through the same 23 minute period, the viewer is taken into the different perspectives of six characters who witness the same attempted presidential assassination. With each loop, more information on the plot unfolds, and the mystery behind the assault is revealed. The ensemble cast includes screen regulars, Forest Whitaker, Matthew Fox, Dennis Quaid, and Sigourney Weaver.

When the filmmakers pitched this idea to the executive producers, I'm sure it sounded innovative and amazingly creative. However, it yields complete frustration to the viewer. I found myself commenting on how "cool" and "cutting edge" it all seemed during the first 46 minutes - and then, it began to drag on, and on, and on, and on. It was exhausting living through the same 23 minutes six times, and then, only moving, what seemed like half a frame, toward the ending was brutally irritating. It's okay to leave a person in suspense, but not to the point where they'd rather turn the TV off than find out how it ends. This editing gimmick completely backfires.

Then, there are the characters. With the impossible stunt scenarios aside, Howard Lewis (Whitaker) and Tom Barnes' (Quaid) characters were thoroughly lame and unconvincing. An American tourist is not going to run after a terrorist in the middle of a Spanish city after he's just been blown up by a bomb - unless he happened to be Rambo. In that same respect, Barnes, a secret service agent, would not have acted as a vigilante, running through the streets all by his lonesome to find the terrorist regime who bombed the President of the United States. His chase scenes and professional demeanor were so far from reality that I can't even use the "movie magic" plea for him.

The positive things I have to say about this film (which are few) are: 1) it actually has a message, 2) it attempts creativity, and 3) it does produces some interest. However, even with these things said, I still suggest you watch this film from a different vantage point; with your back facing the TV.

Movie Review by Jenn Bollish at 10:45 PM 0 comments  

Definitely, Maybe

Friday, September 12, 2008


SYNOPSIS: Maya Hayes (Abigail Breslin) is in the middle of her parent's divorce. Her attempts to adjust aren't working, so after bargaining with her father, Will (Ryan Reynolds) agrees to tell the story of his past relationships to help cheer her up. To make it interesting, he changes their names and keeps mum on which woman is her mother. Rachel Weiss, Isla Fisher, Elizabeth Banks, and Kevin Kline also star.

The GOOM: Told as a story/stories within a story, Definitely, Maybe is bubblegum cute and filled with hopeful, comedic romance. Breslin is as adorable as ever, and each relationship gives us a better glimpse into Will's character. Though this movie isn't rocket science, I enjoyed watching Will stumble through each relationship and seeing him grow into relationship maturity.

The BA: What's sad is, you really don't want any of those three women to be Maya's mother. However, I pretty much called how it would all play out. Definitely, Maybe is predictable. Its also kind of shallow, but shallow in how High Fidelity is shallow (which may or may not be a bad thing. High Fidelity is a good movie). I found this made Will quite annoying. The only real thing going for him was his cheeky yet sweet daughter and the growth he achieves in the end.

Movie Review by Jenn Bollish at 10:48 PM 0 comments  

The Dark Knight

Monday, September 01, 2008


Pow! Bam! Wham! The sequel to the most recent Batman redo, The Dark Knight revisits our Caped Crusader as he gears up to fight Gotham's current villain, The Joker. In the same winning, realistic style as Begins, Knight manages to hold the audiences attention and wow the crowd with bad-ass flair.

Christian Bale reprises his roll as Bruce Wayne, Maggie Gyllenhaal fills in for the, then preggers, Katie Holmes, as Rachel Dawes, and the late Heath Ledger is The Joker. Two of Aaron Eckhart's faces also makes an appearance.

Here's the bad news - Christian Bale has a stupid Batman voice. More seriously, though, the story flow is quite misleading, which made for an anxious audience, and an anxious Jenn. I was watching what I thought was the final action scene in the film, only to find that it was only about half way through the flick. Then I had to go through the psychological toils of a whole nother action scene.

Here's the good news though - those toils are totally worth it. What an extravagant and fully loaded ending. And not only is the last scene emotionally charged and perfectly narrated, but Heath Ledger's performance was magnificent and comparable to Anthony Hopkins' performance in The Silence of the Lambs. Ledger was completely unrecognizable, and he put the socio in front of path. His subtle mannerism and creepy, sticky-dry voice transformed him into something mind-blowing on screen.

I also have to mention the CG feat on Two-Face's face. The impact of the reveal made me gasp out loud. I was expecting some burns and disfiguration; not what those animators shocked me with. That's some gruesome creativity right there.

Overall, what a fun and perfect end to the summer movie line up. We need more movies like this to stir up the box office numbers. Kapow!

Side note: I want Bruce Wayne's Lamborghini. I'd be so hot.

Movie Review by Jenn Bollish at 10:18 PM 0 comments