Disturbia

Disturbia

Well, for this week’s movie my cousin Matt suggested I review “Police Academy 5.” Sorry, dude. I think my immediate reaction was, “Did they even make five of’em?” (I discovered they’ve made seven.) Instead, and I’m guessing to your immediate approval — I went to see, “Disturbia.”

After losing his father in a car accident that was pretty much his fault, Kale (Shia LeBeouf) understandably slips into a self-destructing downward spiral. His grades plummet and he wraps himself into an antisocial hoodie. When his no-nonsense Spanish teacher suggests that Kale’s father would be disappointed, Kale assaults him. This winds him on house arrest for the summer.

As his mother (Trinity herself, Carrie-Anne Moss) quite literally cuts off his leisure activities (Internet, I-Tunes and television), Kale is forced to watch the only show on: the 24-hour reality show called, His Neighborhood.

Eventually, Kale begins to suspect that his next-door neighbor, Mr. Turner (David Morse) is a killer. He also starts a pretty extensive surveillance of Mr. Turner thanks to the help of his best buddy (also read: comic relief) and a hottie (also read: romantic interest) that just moved in next door.

The premise is not new territory by any means. “Rear Window,” “The ‘Burbs” or “To Kill a Mockingbird” for that matter, are all classic examples of obsessing over a shut-in’s odd habits … and thinking the worst. So, given that — I was slightly disappointed that with “Disturbia,” nothing new was added to the mythos. But as limited as “Disturbia” made itself, it’s still very good.

The acting is quite decent. Shia LaBeouf. Might as well start getting use to that name, my friends. He’s a rising star, no doubt. Not only will he be in this summer’s, “Transformers” but rumor has it, he’s attached to the highly-anticipated, “Indiana Jones 4.” So, that should tell you something.

One more note on the acting: David Morse. He continues to impress. Whether he’s playing a crooked cop (Bjork’s “Dancer in the Dark”) or a good one (Stephen King’s “The Green Mile”), Morse always delivers an incredibly solid performance. Someday he’ll be getting a little gold statue … or rather, hopefully he will.

The DL: “Disturbia” is as textbook a Thriller as Thrillers get. I know that sounds like a dig, but really — it isn’t. It’s got all the necessary ingredients and they are all in the right place. There are spill-your-popcorn scares and genuinely intense moments. You invest in the hero and the scenario is not as far-fetched as it might at first seem. The heavy is cah-reepy and the payoff is a good one. All in all, it’s a nicely wrapped nail-biter.

To the Parents: “Disturbia” is rated PG-13 and I think that’s pretty appropriate.

Rating: If movies were “Police Academy” sequels, “Disturbia” would be “Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol.” There. Happy, Matt?

E-mail Patrick Vincent at fromthemoviemaven@hotmail.com.

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