Thursday, November 01, 2007

More Movies: Eight Below and Disturbia

Since there's nothing on TV, we're slowly but surely getting through our Netflix queue. Our last two choices were both pretty good, but couldn't have been more different. One was the Disney movie Eight Below, about a research team and their dogs in Antarctica. The other was Disturbia, about a kid who is on house arrest and starts spying on all of his neighbors.

In Eight Below, Paul Walker stars as an expedition leader in Antarctica who loves his team of eight Huskies more than anything else in the world ("inspired by a true story"). I won't spoil what happens for you, but the movie centers mostly around the dogs. Which is a good thing, because Jason Biggs is one of the other human leads in the film, and his character is totally annoying. Go back to the pies, boy! Paul Walker was good, though. I still can't really picture him as anything other than "that guy from Varsity Blues with Dawson," but this movie helped inch me a bit further away from that perception. He remains easy on the eyes, so that was a plus (except for when he was all frostbitten, ouch). I had pretty low expectations for this flick since I thought it was for kids, but I actually really enjoyed it. There was beautiful scenery, a compelling story, lots of suspense, a little sadness, and of course, cool dogs! The "making of" feature on the DVD was interesting, too. Bottom line: I think most people would enjoy Eight Below.

I can't really say the same for Disturbia. Don't get me wrong, I thought it was really good, but it was scary as hell and I am not lying when I tell you that I spent 50% of the movie hiding under a blanket and asking my husband to tell me what was going on. I don't do well with scary movies, so if you are like me, you might want to skip this one. I'm not really sure since I didn't physically see any of the worst parts, but I don't think there was a lot of gore--it was more about suspense and psychological freakiness (it was only rated PG-13, which surprised me). For the parts of the movie that I did see (definitely all of the first half, and then on and off after that, even though I heard everything), I was loving me some Shia LaBoeuf. I declare him my new favorite actor! He was excellent in Holes, Transformers and this movie, and that's saying something, because it's not like any of those movies are Oscar caliber. I am even more excited for Indy 4 now, if that's even possible. Like I mentioned above, the premise of this movie is that a high-schooler (Shia) has to spend his three-month summer break under house arrest because he got in trouble in school. He has "issues" which are covered early in the story. His mom cuts off his gaming link and his iTunes (God forbid!), so he has to find ways to amuse himself all day. That leads to him spying on all of his neighbors and learning perhaps more than he should know about their lives. Eventually he starts suspecting that one of them is up to no good, but it's hard to tell if it's just his mind playing tricks on him because he's been couped up for so long (on top of his "issues"), or if there really is a bad guy living next door. If you liked being scared, then this is the movie for you. If you like being scared but don't like slasher movies/blood and guts, this is also probably the movie for you. But if you start worrying that things you see in movies could actually happen to you, then this is probably NOT the movie for you. I had to take an Ambien for the first time in months because I didn't think I'd be able to sleep since I was so freaked out. You have been warned!

Having said all that, I still enjoyed the film. I thought it was going to be really, really silly. Come on, what in the hell kind of name is "Disturbia?" Totally lame title. But the cast was excellent and they made the storyline believable. And Shia is a cutie. If you're a guy, fear not, you will most likely approve of the "girl next door" he befriends. There's something for everyone.

OK, time for me to go bust out the binoculars and check out the people across the street! I kid, I kid. My binoculars aren't that high-powered.

- e

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