(Supplemental material portions of this review are culled from Gino Sassani’s review of said film in the Blu-ray format, so enjoy or read elsewhere.)
I’ve always enjoyed Hitchcock’s Rear Window, and I’ve gotta say I was more than a little disgusted when I saw that it was going to be remade and modernized, with no less than Shia fricken’ LaBeouf in the main role. Oddly enough, LaBeouf carries the role pretty well.
What, you’ve never seen Rear Window before? OK, well in a nutshell on this modern take, Kale (LaBeouf) is living a nice life, until his Dad tragically dies in an accident. He’s still trying to cope months after the fact, and strikes a teacher as a result. He’s been quite the troublemaker in the past, and this latest incident comes with a cost – an ankle monitor for a house arrest sentence. While at home, he meets a new friend, a girl across the yard in Ashley (Sarah Roemer, <B>The Grudge 2</B>), but more importantly, he stumbles upon the life of Mr. Turner (David Morse, <B>The Green Mile</B>), who might be involved in some murders. It’s only natural that Kale has an interest to flush out more about Mr. Turner and what he does.The story itself is very similar to Rear Window, and performance wise, there’s not a lot to it; Roemer basically just looks pretty, Morse looks like Morse, in a minor surprise, Carrie Anne-Moss (The Matrix) is Kale’s Mom. But the story rises and falls with LaBeouf, and he puts a nice mix of nervous energy and charisma that makes you understand why has was cast to play with transforming robots, and why Steven Spielberg has him front and center in the latest Indiana Jones movie. It’s well worth the time.
Dolby Digital EX in a six channel mix that is surprisingly active for a film that mainly consists of Shia spying through binoculars. It’s quite the environmental soundmix, all things considered, and even has some low end fidelity to boot. It’s not necessarily reference quality, but it works.
1.85:1 that looks pretty sharp. The black levels are pretty solid for the most part and the image is clear as a bell. But I’ve been watching too many next gen titles lately and when I watch an SD version, I always feel like I’m slumming, you know?
There is a rather nice little audio commentary with Caruso, LaBeouf, and Roemer. If you hate cell phones, you might want to skip this one, as one of the participants actually answers his while giving the commentary.
- Deleted Scenes: The 4 added scenes don’t really bring anything necessary to the table. One scene does explain where Kale got Turner’s blueprints, but I think, as Caruso must have also thought, that we could’ve guessed.
- The Making Of Disturbia: This is typical interview clips with the participants and really doesn’t break any ground. It’s just under 15 minutes, so likely worth the little time it takes to see it.
- Bloopers: This is an extremely short outtake piece.
- Serial Pursuit Pop-Up Trivia/Quiz: A relatively new device in discs these days is the ability to read, or even view, interesting tidbits and informative little nuggets during the watching of the film. I tend to avoid these items because they take me out of the experience of the film itself, offering more distraction than anything probative. I checked a few of these out merely so that I could report on them but didnâ€™t find them worth the effort. Sometimes you can access these things on their own. If you can do that here, I was unable to locate how.
- Music Video: Exactly what it sounds like. This World Fair performs the song with the requisite film clips.
The disc is rounded out with a Photo Gallery of stills from the production.Â Closing ThoughtsÂ Disturbia makes for surprising and entertaining viewing. The performances arenâ€™t too shabby, and while it’s not necessarily a direct take on Rear Window, both that and this are pretty effective in their storytelling. Worth a rental at the very least, with an eye towards buying.