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"Disturbia" Blu-ray Review

Since Hollyweird has run out of original ideas and remade classic novels in updated forms (e.g. The Taming of the Shrew became 10 Things I Hate About You; Emma became Clueless); remade horror films that aren't that old (e.g. Friday the 13th, My Bloody Valentine, A Nightmare on Elm Street); along with endless sequels, reboots, cartoons, whatever, it was only a matter of time before classic movies from a half-century ago got the update treatment. Thus Alfred Hitchcock's 1954 thriller Rear Window (starring Jimmy Stewart, Grace Kelly, and Raymond Burr - Ironside!) becomes 2007's Disturbia (starring the kid from Transformers, the Asian guy from 21, and a cute girl who looks like a less-inflated Blake Lively w/0 the face mole).

Shia LeBeouf stars as a boy who, after his father is killed in a tragic auto accident, becomes a sullen, detached zombie who punches out his Spanish teacher. Confined to house arrest for three months on a tether which will summon the cops if he strays more than 100 feet from the base station. After his mom (Carrie-Anne Moss - Trinity's a mom?!?) yanks his Xbox Live and iTunes accounts, he entertains himself by spying on his neighbors, all of whom have nice big windows without curtains and one of which belongs to new neighbors, including hottie Sarah Roemer, who looks like this...

...and after catching Sam Witwicky and his pal, Aaron Yoo, watching her swim, actually joins in on their stakeout of a creepy neighbor (David Morse) who they suspect of being a serial killer. As usual, hijinks ensue.

The fundamental problem that Disturbia has is that it has a generally unappealing protagonist, a bunch of gaping plot holes and illogical missteps which cause the killer to be both supremely uncatchable and totally incompetent at basic murder-hiding, and it just marks time until the "thrilling conclusion." (Director D.J. Caruso and LaBeef reteamed on the substantially better Eagle Eye, though ironically that fell apart at the end after a strong start, the opposite of Disturbia.) There are sporadic moments between the kids that ring true, but they're sparse. Roemer is cute, but who isn't in Hollywood these days?

I hadn't seen this and my girlfriend said it wasn't anything much and she was correct. The Blu-ray's picture quality is sharp and colorful without many problems spotted - it is a good-looking, well-photographed and lit film - and the surround sound is OK, showing off most during the conclusion. The 15-minute making-of featurette is the usual mutual appreciation festival in which everyone loves everyone else's brilliance and blah-blah-woof-woof.

Score: 5/10. Catch it on cable.

I couldn't find an embeddable trailer, so you'll have to go here to see it.


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