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Eagle Eye Print E-mail
Wednesday, 24 December 2008
Image"Eagle Eye" faired well at the box office, grossing $100 million in the U.S.  However, critics were very harsh on the film.  Audience members were much more forgiving.  I am stuck in the middle.  It definitely was not as bad as the critics make it out to be, but it just doesn't quite reach the blockbuster status given to it by moviegoers.

The movie stars Shia LaBeouf as Jerry Shaw, a college-aged kid that is sucked into the middle of a high-tech assassination plot.  By his side, also sucked into the plot is Rachel Holloman (Michelle Monaghan).  Believing that Jerry is part of a terrorist plot, FBI agent Thomas Morgan spends his time trying to track him and the girl down after they escape federal custody.

Jerry and Rachel are led around by someone, or something that is able to track their every moment and relay information via signs and cell phones to guide them.  Turns out it happens to be Aria (voiced by Julianne Moore), a neural network computer used by the government to gather possible threat data.  All of the dodges and twists are controlled by Aria, as she puts forth a hidden effort to pull off operation Guillotine, in which the entire succession of the executive branch of government are to be wiped out, allowing for an entire new government regime.  Everyone plays a part in her plan.  Jerry's biometrics are needed as they match his deceased twin brother, who tried to shut Aria down.  Rachel is needed in order to wear the explosive into the final sequence.  Rachel's son plays an instrument that is the detonator. The film is interesting but is seems to be nothing more than an "Enemy of the State" meets "2001: A Space Odyssey."  The film also drags on, running nearly two hours.  Many chase sequences seemed to be nothing more than gratuitous and expensive.

Executive producer Steven Spielberg stated that he did not want the film to come off as science fiction.  And despite many critics that call it science fiction, the film is very much a real possibility.  "2001: A Space Odyssey" is science fiction.  "Eagle Eye" is action/adventure.

To learn more about the film and Bill Warren's thoughts, read his theatrical review of the film here .

The video quality is great, but not stellar.  I expected more from such a new, high-budget film.  The biggest disappointment is that the image is very drab.  While details and textures are present, they are still lacking intensity.  Many sequences actually appear soft.  Colors are also subdued, enhancing the drab feeling.  Black levels are deep, but sometimes lead to minor crushing in the deep black shadows.  Shadow delineation is alright, but not incredible.  Often times the costumes and objects jump from black to lit, with no gradation.  There is a minor layer of film grain, which leads me to believe that there was no heavy digital noise reduction applied to the image.  There are no compression or motion artifacts, nor is there any noticeable edge enhancement.

The audio is presented in Dolby TrueHD 5.1.  The soundtrack is surely a blockbuster, and contains a great number of kick butt audio sequences.  However, it lacks in the finer details.  For the most parts there is no real dynamic range.  The film remains in the louder volume level most of the time.  The dialogue is clean and audible for the most part.  However, there are several times in which the audio drops to a volume that lacks in clarity.  The surround channels are constantly engaged, as expected.  And while there are several discrete effects nicely balanced in the rears, there are numerous instances of clunky panning.  The LFE channel is a bit weak for such an action packed blockbuster.  However, it rocks during many of the action sequences.  The first scene in which Jerry and Rachel are in a car chase with the police is pretty spectacular.  The overall soundtrack lacks that spacious and clarity quality that the high-end audio tracks have.

The Blu-ray disc contains an okay package of special features.  However, it lacks any type of commentary track, audio or video.  First, there is about 5 minutes of deleted scenes, as well as an alternate ending.  None of the scenes add much to the film, but the alternate ending is interesting.  "Asymmetrical Warfare: The Making of 'Eagle'" is a typical making of featurette with some cast and crew interviews.  "'Eagle Eye' On Location: Washington, D.C." is a brief look at the capital of the United Stated.  "Is My Cell Phone Spying on Me?" takes a look at the country's reliance on technology.  "Shall We Play a Game?" is an interview between director D.J. Caruso and his mentor John Badham.  "Road Trip: On Location with the Cast and Crew" is a continuation of the previous location featurette.  Lastly, there is a gag reel, photo gallery, and theatrical trailer.

"Eagle Eye" is definitely a summer blockbuster.  There is not much depth to the film, but it is certainly entertaining.  The video and audio quality are more than adequate.  If you want to find some audio demo material, check this disc out.

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