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"Eagle Eye"

Directed by D.J. Caruso.
Written by John Glenn, Travis Wright, Hillary Seitz and Dan McDermott.
Starring Shia LaBeouf, Michelle Monaghan, Billy Bob Thornton and Michael Chiklis.
Release Year:  2008
Review Date:  10/7/08


There is something to be said for movie pedigree, and even though you don't have to read any reviews, sometimes it is fun to see who's going to be in a film and who worked on a film before going to see's amazing what the story can be!

First, the director.  Generally (GENERALLY), you can look at a director that has made more than three films and get a feel for what you'll get this time around.  The director of "Eagle Eye"--the new Shia LaBeouf action film--is D.J. Caruso.  Here's what he has made:

  • "The Salton Sea"--great film, starring Val Kilmer; nobody saw it, but its strongest feature is the lush nighttime photography of Los Angeles...and, of course, Kilmer, who is up and down but up in this one.  Unfortunately, he made three films after this, which is what we'll use to judge "Eagle Eye":

  • "Taking Lives", "Two for the Money" and "Disturbia."  Critics crushed all three of these films, and the only one I almost saw was "Two for the Money", which you may remember as that really bad-looking Al Pacino/Matthew McConaghey sports bookie "thriller."

Knowing this, I then checked out the writers for "Eagle Eye."  Generally (GENERALLY), if any film was written by more than two people, the script is not good because it went through at least one or two writers, then a rewrite, then possibly a third rewrite or more.  The more writers, the worse the film, and "Eagle Eye" has four credited writers.

So, the signs were already there for "Eagle Eye" to not be good...and then, the movie started.  Meg and I both agreed that the film was not good, but in the end, I thought this was total dogshit.  In an amazing twist, Caruso actually found a way to keep the normally charismatic LaBeouf mostly uninteresting, although he did earn one chuckle from our audience near the end of the film for a wise crack to no one in particular.  LaBeouf's main co-star in this adventure--detailing a pair's attempt to figure out why an unseen female is manipulating them into all sorts of nefarious actions--is Michelle Monaghan, a woman that seemingly does NOT have stardom written all over her yet she is continually cast in big-budget action adventures, like "The Bourne Supremacy", "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" and "M:I-3."  Maybe I didn't get the fucking memo, but are rail-thin white girls who appear to have exactly one facial expression in these days?

Not to give much away here, but once you figure out who the crazy woman on the phone is, the movie predictably falls (completely) apart; this idea has been done countless times before, which is okay, but why is the action here so bad?  The ideas here so stale?  Sure, the technology has changed, but really, why is the plot so ridiculous?  You will howl during the subway chase sequence, where crazy woman dials random people's cell phones to keep annoying Shia's character; yep, you'll wonder how it is even possible, and then you'll wonder why you decided this drivel was worth your time.  What a fucking clusterfuck!

Rating:  Hard Vice


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Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  This is the highest rating a movie can receive.  Reserved for movies that exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development, setting...or Salma Hayek.  Not necessarily in that order. 

"$X.XX Show":  This price changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently, it is the $9.50 Show.  While not technically perfect, this is a movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.  "Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca", but you'll have a great time watching.  The $9.50 Show won't win any Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see "Office Space"). 

"Matinee":  An average movie that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.  Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about yourself.  A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave the theater saying "That wasn't too, did you see that Lakers game last night?" 

"Rental":  This rating indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one."  Mostly forgettable, you couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the video store was out of copies of "Ronin."  If you can, see this movie for free.  This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a half stars." 

"Hard Vice":  This rating is the bottom of the barrel.  A movie that only six other human beings have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen.  A Shannon Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a movie.  Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or "Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!  (Warning:  strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard Vice"-rated movies.)

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All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/ except where noted
1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09