Lakeview Terrace (2008)

Genre(s): Drama / Thriller
Sony || PG13 - 110 minutes - $28.96 || January 27, 2009
Reviewer: Tyler Thomas || Posted On: 2009-01-28


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Neil LaBute
Writer(s): David Loughery (story), David Loughery and Howard Korder (screenplay)
Cast: Samuel L. Jackson, Patrick Wilson, Kerry Washington


Theatrical Release Date: September 19, 2008


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Feature Commentary
  • 3 Featurettes
  • Deleted Scenes


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.40)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1), Thai (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Chinese, Thai, Korean

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.::THE FILM::.

What could be safer than living next to a cop?

Living next to two cops, duh.

Abel Turner (Samuel L. Jackson) is your happy-go-lucky neighbor. Heís a cop with two children, Celia (Regine Nehy) and Marcus (Jaishon Fisher), and heís also a widower. He wakes up one day to a couple moving in next door to him, Chris (Patrick Wilson) and Lisa (Kerry Washington), and thatís when the trouble begins.

Chris and Lisa have troubles of their own however, as an interracial couple Lisaís father Harold (Ron Glass) despises Chris for reasons we find out later in the movie, and the two want to have a child. Well, Lisa does, but Chris doesnít, which comes into play later in the movie as well.

The trouble for the couple and Turner start when Chris is smoking in his car, a feat he told his wife he had given up, and Turner catches him. Rather than do a peaceful thing like talk to Chris about it, he decides to pull a gun on him and scare the living crap out of him. The two have a nice talk about it and Chris decides not to throw the cigarettes anymore in his yard. Did I mention that Abel is a tiny bit psychotic?

Also while sleeping, Chris and Lisa are woken up by the giant flood lights that Abel has above his house and prevents the two from sleeping. The neighbors donít really get along at all from day one, as itís fairly obvious to see. So Chris and Lisa decide to have a party and Abel brings over a book as a house warming gift. I wonít spoil the name of it for you, but itís rather hilarious.

Abel however goes psychotic, yet again; I did mention he was psychotic right, on the coupleís friends by acting like a complete jerk to them. He also ďaccidentallyĒ mentions to Lisa that Chris has been smoking, which ticks off both of them, and sets off a firestorm attack from Chris. Itís probably not a good idea to anger a cop who lives next door to you, as he finds out later that night.

His vehicle gets vandalized while they are sleeping, and Chris grabs a weapon and runs outside to see who did it, and all he sees is Abel staring back at him. The couple and the neighbor continue these antics for the rest of the film, but more serious overtones about race and the history of Abel come into play that do sort of ruin it. The ending is also a bitÖ ridiculous if thatís the right word.

Overall though, it is a decent film, but it becomes too serious at times and then too unintentionally funny at times. Jackson plays Abel well, as does the rest of the cast and their respective characters, but there is no connection between them. Plus the overlying factor of race is a bit too overplayed and obvious. I would have rather the film focused more on the fighting between neighbors rather than the whole black and white issue. It is in conclusion though a film that has top-notch acting, just not top-notch writing.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Commentary with Director Neil LaBute and Actress Kerry Washington: The track keeps up pace for the movie, and does reveal a ton of information about the cast and the direction of the film. It is a little disappointing though that Jackson doesnít have a track, but this one suffices to people who enjoyed the film.

Deleted Scenes (14 minutes): A collection of scenes that add a lot to the film, but as the commentary pointed out, some couldnít be included because of the PG-13 rating. Worth watching as they are entertaining.

Behind the Scenes Features (19 minutes): Three different features spread apart but can be played at the same time if you so choose. Itís a look at the film and interviews with the cast about their involvement. Itís a great look if you enjoyed the flick.

Finally, previews for various Sony movies can be found as well.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Sony has gone all out on the video for this one, and it shows. Colors are beautiful looking, flesh tones are just how they should look, and even though there are multiple scenes shown at night contrast isnít an issue. The background near the end of the movie is absolutely gorgeous in comparison to the rest of the film, but overall itís still a fine presentation. Thereís no real issues to report, good job Sony.

On the audio side, it does just as well. The Dolby Digital 5.1 track gets the point across, as dialogue booms and background noises can be heard to their upmost effect. There werenít any issues with having to turn up the volume at any point in the film, and the last few scenes sounded great. Itís not reference material by any means, but this is a track that is phenomenal for a mainly dialogue-centered flick.



.::OVERALL::.

Lakeview Terrace is a film that works, just not to the extent that I wanted it to. There are a few loose ends that donít really get tied up and the overtones to the movie are a bit too serious. On the plus side, the audio and video are great and the special features are big enough to appease people who purchase it. Itís recommend if you can enjoy the flick without thinking too much into it, otherwise a rental will serve you best. Invite your neighbors over to watch it, regardless.