Eagle Eye (2008) [Blu-ray]
|Genre(s): Action / Mystery / Thriller|
|DreamWorks || PG13 - 117 minutes - $39.99 || December 27, 2008|
|Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2008-12-21|
Writer(s): Dan McDermott (story), John Glenn & Travis Adam Wright and Hillary Seitz & Dan McDermott (screenplay)
Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Michelle Monaghan, Billy Bob Thornton, Rosario Dawson, Michael Chiklis, Anthony Mackie, Ethan Embry
Theatrical Release Date: September 26, 2008
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Eagle Eye is the latest action/suspense/supercomputer-takes-over-the-world film from Steven Spielberg (serving as Executive Producer), stars protégé Shia LaBeouf in their fourth film (Disturbia, Transformers, Indiana Jones 4) together.
Eagle Eye (a combination of WarGames, 2001: A Space Odyssey and Minority Report) finds LaBeouf playing Jerry Shaw, an underachiever whose twin brother, the bright light in the Shaw family, was recently killed in a car accident. After he discovers his bank account has been flushed with $750k, he comes to his small, crappy apartment and finds a stash of illegal weapons, classified documents and bomb-making material. He then receives a phone call from Julianne Moore suggesting he leaves the premises before the Feds break down the door and he’s arrested as a suspected terrorist.
Well, Jerry did not take her advice and he is taken to the FBI Field Office where Agent Thomas Morgan (Billy Bob Thornton) explains that Jerry is in a lot of trouble. After the supercomputer, we later find out is named Aria, pulls a few electronic strings, she plans a risky escape by plunging a high-rise crane into the side of the building and, via a scroll reader, tells Jerry to jump! Which he does, slamming onto a metal roof and down onto tracks in front of an oncoming train. It’s a good thing Aria didn’t put him in danger given she needs him to perform a few tasks...
Meanwhile, Aria “recruits” another civilian to run errands by threatening her son’s life. Rachel (Michelle Monaghan) just sent her son on a train to Washington D.C. where he and his classmates are to perform and the Kennedy Center. Rachel’s first task is to pick up Jerry, who is fleeing from the authorities. Together they travel cross country from Chicago to Indiana to... well, I think you can guess the final destination. How they get there is kind of funny, though.
I’m all for mindless, incoherent movies (I even liked Swordfish for crying out loud... a movie that had a bus flying through L.A.’s skies); movies that you MUST maintain a suspension of disbelief to even sit through the entire thing. Yet Eagle Eye had so many ridiculous situations and turning points that were too hard to ignore and chalk up as a mindless action flick.
And it’s not that this film doesn’t have one iota of entertainment value going for it. In fact, despite my criticisms, some of the action sequences were pretty fun, but by the end of the movie rather than building to a suspenseful conclusion, director D.J. Caruso (who did a great job with Disturbia) and the four writers leads us to a laughable finale that is both ridiculous and the typical Hollywood ending (of course, both of those mostly go hand in hand anyway).
There’s no one really at fault with the cast. Even though his performance in the lame/needless Indiana Jones sequel wasn’t anything to get excited over, I think Shia LaBeouf is a good actor who could develop into a great action hero one day and even get some award recognition someday (not unlike Tom Cruise). However, LaBeouf wanders through just as dazed and confused by the plot like the rest of us.
The rest of the cast also do their due diligence, God bless ‘em. Michelle Monaghan is as beautiful as ever while Billy Bob Thornton gets nothing to go on as the man hunting down Jerry while uncovering the Almighty Aria’s mass conspiracy with the help of Rosario Dawson’s Air Force lesion. Sadly, the equally talented Dawson has even less to do. And finally Michael Chiklis gets the thankless part of the Secretary of Defense to figures into this whole plot somehow. Also look for the Ethan Embry as an FBI agent and the angel voice of Julianne Moore as the surveyor of world doom playing the voice of Aria.
Eagle Eye is not one of the worst movies I have ever seen. It’s not even close to the bottom-dwellers of 2008, but it is certainly one of the most idiotic films I’ve comes across in a long while. At the same time, it’s also not a complete waste of time for some of the action sequences and the replay value on it is higher than some movies of this caliber.
All features are presented in HD, but I have to wonder when DreamWorks will get fully invested in BD-Live. Even though it’s nothing special, yet, having the option would’ve opened the doors to commentaries in the future.
Deleted Scenes (4:39; HD) – A few insignificant extended/alternate/deleted scenes have been included for your viewing pleasure. There’s also a really dumb extended ending...
Asymmetrical Warfare: The Making of Eagle Eye (25:32; HD) takes the viewer through the process of filming Eagle Eye from casting (only for a couple minutes, thankfully) to the origins, set design and special/visual effects. For something I thought would a typical ‘making-of’, this wasn’t half bad.
Eagle Eye On Location: Washington D.C. (5:58; HD) – This featurette goes over the cast and crew filming in D.C. and filming at (and under) the Library of Congress and the Pentagon.
Is My Cell Phone Spying on Me? (9:14; HD) goes over the advancement of technology and how much society relies on them and how much control Big Brother has on our everyday lives.
Shall We Play a Game? (9:28; HD) is a cool one-on-one interview with WarGames director, John Badham and Eagle Eye director D.J. Caruso, the two of them worked together when Caruso was the second unit director on Point of No Return, Another Stakeout and Nick of Time. This is probably one of the more interesting features and it’s just two guys talking...
Road Trip: On Location with the Cast and Crew (3:05; HD) is another featurette going over the filming locations and has more behind-the-scenes footage. Much of the info presented in the ‘making-of’ is repeated here.
Last is a funny Gag Reel (7:00; HD), a Photo Gallery and the Theatrical Trailer (2:35; HD).
.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.
Eagle Eye is presented in its OAR of 2.35 and it looks very good in 1080p high-def. This isn’t a phenomenal HD transfer but I thought the colors were spot on and it wasn’t overly sharpened. Black levels seemed nice and I didn’t notice much in the way of edge-enhancement.
DreamWorks presents the movie with a good Dolby TrueHD mix, a strong track for the numerous action sequences but still a nice level for those dialogue scenes. This isn’t particularly an incredible audio experience but it should be more than satisfactory for the home theater audience.
Eagle Eye is not the worst movie I’ve seen; not the worst of 2008 or even the decade, but it is one of the most ridiculous and inane plots I’ve witnessed. No matter how good a cast, no matter how well directed, it all comes down to a story that goes from dumb to completely laughable by the end.
The Blu-ray release is a slight upgrade from the DVD release if only that all the features are on one disc (plus it’s only a few bucks more). The video and audio both are very good and while they may not be demo worthy, they are solid transfers. I may not have enjoyed Eagle Eye as some, but if it were my choice, go for the BD version, it’s worth it even without exclusives.