Friday, April 13, 2007

Movies opening this week

Disturbia (Shia LaBeouf, Sarah Roemer, David Morse, Aaron Yoo, Carrie-Anne Moss, dir. D.J. Caruso)
Yes, this movie is a blatant rip-off of Rear Window, and it's silly that they don't credit it as such, but if you put that aside and think of this is a genuine remake, it's actually pretty good. It takes the basic premise of Rear Window but doesn't just modernize it - it really does make it relevant to the characters, who get time to develop as people, and it uses the device of the home-monitoring device to set up some ingenious suspense and drive the plot in clever and unexpected ways. It's also totally predictable and often cheesy, and turns into a dumb slasher movie in the last 20 minutes. But considering how bad it could easily have been and served essentially the same purpose, the movie is surprisingly watchable, with good performances (LaBeouf is good in almost everything he does, and probably about to become a big star with Transformers) and a nice slow build until the insanity at the end. It's not one to rush out and see, but if a friend suggests renting it in a few months, give it a chance. Wide release

Nomad (Kuno Becker, Jason Scott Lee, Jay Hernandez, Ayana Yesmagambetova, dir. Ivan Passer and Sergei Bodrov)
My review in Las Vegas Weekly
I don't think the review quite does justice to how unbelievably awful this movie is. I mean that literally - I actually could not believe that a bunch of movie executives (the Weinsteins, even) watched this movie and thought that it would be a good idea to dub it into English and give it a moderately wide American release (it opens in three theaters in Vegas this week). The dialogue is so horrendous, the plotting so scattershot that the only possible response is to hurl insults at the screen. This is the kind of movie they'd have on Mystery Science Theater 3000 where you'd wonder, "Where the hell did they find this thing?" And yet, here it is, at your local multiplex. Unbelievable. Opened limited Mar. 16; in Las Vegas this week

Perfect Stranger (Halle Berry, Bruce Willis, Giovanni Ribisi, dir. James Foley)
My review in Las Vegas Weekly
I don't think the review quite does justice to how unbelievably awful this movie is. Oh, wait, did I already say that? Well, this movie is just about as bad as Nomad - it got an extra half-star because at least the dialogue isn't dubbed, and I got a few chuckles out of the more especially ludicrous scenarios. An equally good candidate for MST3K treatment, though. Wide release

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