Is LaBeouf Enough? An Eagle Eye Perspective

Eagle Eye is not the type of film I usually see in the theater. However, I found myself with some time today and sought out movie suggestions from friends on both Facebook and Twitter. There appeared to be a tie between Eagle Eye and Vicky Christina Barcelona, and here is why I chose to see the former…

  1. It was far too early to absorb Woody Allen (11am)
  2. I am lazy; VCB is only playing at an indie theater 20 minutes away & the theater down the street was showing EE on 2 screens

I will start by stating that my primary complaint with the action/thriller genre tends to be the acting and cheesy dialogue. Thankfully, there was far more adventure than actual conversation in Eagle Eye. It was intense and suspenseful, with very little of the  relationship crap that every studio head feels necessary to interject (to address the female demographic).

Personally, I cringe at forced, failing chemistry between two leads in
any type of film; most of the time it is an unnecessary distraction
from the script, pace, plot, etc.
For what it’s worth, I never rooted for Mulder & Scully to get together, and am hoping that Fringe strays far from the romance angle. But I digress…

Perhaps the secret to successfully avoiding contrived courtships in typical ‘guy’ films is the inclusion of a female screenwriter. Eagle Eye was co-written by Hillary Seitz, who also scripted Christopher Nolan’s Insomnia and was responsible for uncredited rewrites on movies such as I, Robot and The Italian Job. I credit her for keeping the focus in Eagle Eye not on the coupling of the two leads, but rather on their mission at hand.

It is no secret that I LOATHED Transformers. And outside of Holes, I’ve never been a huge Shia LaBeouf fan. I’m still not entirely sold that he can hold a film, but with Eagle Eye, it’s safe to say that he’s making a better impression.

The jury is also still out for Michelle Monaghan. I enjoyed her in the underrated Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, but hope that she chooses a kick ass solo lead in the near future, a la Angelina Jolie.

Overall, Eagle Eye was what I like to call a ME Movie (mindless entertainment); you know what you’re in for and either buckle up or kick back for the ride. Conspiracy theorists may find the overall theme of the film more disturbing than entertaining, but if you’re able to suspend your disbelief for two hours…it was a pleasant surprise, worth the price of admission and one I recommend you experience in the theater.

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Paul Newman (1925-2008)

Paul Newman
January 26, 1925 – September 26, 2008

As you know, legendary actor and humanitarian Paul Newman passed. This is a tremendous loss to the entertainment industry, charitable organizations and fans alike.

Although I have not seen all of his films, these are the ones in which I remember him fondly (most of which were not considered ‘hits’)…

Absence of Malice [1981]
Directed by and co-starring Sydney Pollack, this is easily my favorite Newman film of all time. An intense newsroom thriller; his chemistry with Sallie Field is incredible. Newman received a Best Actor nod.

Harry & Son [1984]
I have no idea why this father-son drama touched me so much when I was younger, but I watched it every time it aired on cable. Co-starring Robby Benson.

The Hudsucker Proxy [1994]
An underrated Coen Brothers film. And the one where serious thespians Newman, Tim Robbins and Jennifer Jason Leigh were actually…damn funny.

Road to Perdition [2002]
I’m still not sure why this one wasn’t more successful at the box office.  Newman received a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his role in this dark tale of family loyalty. From director Sam Mendes, co-starring Tom Hanks and Daniel Craig.

Empire Falls [2005]
A very well produced HBO miniseries with a stellar cast (Newman & Woodward, Ed Harris, Helen Hunt, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robin Wright Penn and Aidan Quinn).  Newman received both an Emmy and a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor.

Of course he was more well known for and fantastic in Cool Hand Luke, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Sting, The Color of Money (for which he received his only Oscar – Best Actor) and Cars (as the voice of Doc).

But perhaps the most impressive characteristic of Paul Newman was his amazing generosity. Long before the days of well publicized celebrity adoptions and financial contributions to various causes, Newman created a very successful company (Newman’s Own) whose profits are donated entirely to charity. His philanthropy was unprecedented and his spirit will be missed.

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Can’t Touch This! Pushing Daisies, Season 2

What are you doing next Wednesday (October 1) night? That’s right, you’re tuning in for the season premiere of Pushing Daisies at 8pm PST on ABC.

New to the show or need a refresher? Here you go…

I absolutely love the visual style and spirit of this show, not to mention the hysterical one-two punch and unlikely comedy duo of Chi McBride and Kristin Chenoweth.

After you watch the Season 2 premiere, come back and let me know what you think!

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Been There, Heard That: Every Concert (An Alphabetical History)

Before I list out every artist I’ve ever seen live, here are those who top my Wish List:

  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Green Day
  • Liz Phair
  • Peter Gabriel
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • The Shins

I’m sure that there are a few I’m forgetting, and yes, some of these concerts are embarrassing in retrospect. Whatever. We were all young once.

  • Ani DiFranco
  • B52′s
  • Ben Harper
  • Catie Curtis
  • Collective Soul
  • Counting Crows
  • Crowded House
  • Depeche Mode
  • Duran Duran
  • Erasure
  • Fiona Apple
  • Guns n Roses
  • Hootie & the Blowfish
  • Indigo Girls
  • Ingrid Michaelson
  • kd lang
  • Kelly Clarkson
  • Kristin Hersh
  • Los Lobos
  • Lucinda Williams
  • Madonna
  • Matt Nathanson
  • Melissa Etheridge
  • Melissa Ferrick
  • Modest Mouse
  • The National
  • Neil Young
  • Paula Cole
  • Pearl Jam
  • Phil Collins
  • Pink
  • Pretenders
  • REM
  • Sarah McLachlan
  • Shawn Colvin
  • Sheryl Crow
  • Soundgarden
  • Sting
  • Suzanne Vega
  • Toad the Wet Sprocket
  • Tori Amos
  • Train
  • Tracy Chapman
  • Tristan Prettyman
  • U2

In case you’re wondering, there is absolutely no point to this post. As usual, I was just thinking about it and wanted to share.

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Ugly & Grey at the Office w/Dexter and my Brothers & Sisters

Yes I watched Heroes and really enjoyed it, but my enthusiasm is reserved for this next batch of season premieres (I’d seen the Heroes pilot at Comic-Con, and it was just as good).

Thursday, September 25




[Sidenote: I wrote about Callie & Hahn after the season finale, which clearly touched a nerve; the number of hits and emails were surprisingly high. I stand by my initial reaction and support of their relationship, even though that does not appear to be the popular consensus.]

Sunday, September 28



So in addition to the above programs, my TiVO Season Passes are set for:

  • Bones
  • Fringe
  • Heroes
  • House
  • Mad Men
  • Project Runway
  • Sons of Anarchy
  • True Blood

And there are MORE great shows that premiere in the coming weeks:

  • 30 Rock
  • Dirty Sexy Money
  • Life
  • Private Practice
  • Pushing Daisies
  • Samantha Who

This is my hobby and I have no life. It’s awesome.

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