Last night, after we saw “Disturbia,” we found a freakishly large, freakishly lime green grasshopper katydid on the roof of our car. Here’s a close-up of the little, er, big guy. I didn’t realize that they came in that size. He was a cool critter, but I was a little, uh, disturbed.

Anyway, the movie was fun. Most of the remakes-for-teen-agers that have been released in the last few years have been really, really bad. You have to go back to “Cruel Intentions” for one that worked. And that one may have worked because it was so, so wrong and so, so campy. But “Disturbia” worked, more or less. And “Rear Window” is one of my favorite movies. Despite the utter sacrilege, I liked the update/rip-off/twist of

  1. setting it in suburbia, high school, and 2007 (instead of New York, early middle-age, and the mid-1950s)
  2. putting the protagonist under house arrest (instead of a cast and a wheelchair)
  3. having a wacky Asian friend (instead a sarcastic, sexless female friend)
  4. using all the modern, though still very limited, technologies for surveillance (instead of one telephoto lens)
  5. having the very cute, very charismatic Shia LaBeouf carry the movies (instead of, ya know, the great Jimmy Stewart)

Neverthess, there were some problems. Obviously. You don’t redo one of the greatest films ever made and get off scott free! (Unless, of course, you’re Tim Burton, and it’s “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” and your version is so, so, so much better, and anyone who thinks the creepy Gene Wilder version is “great” had too much sugar before they saw it. So there.) Yeah, so there were some problems, like

  1. the replacement of Grace Kelly with Sarah Roemer wasn’t quite so great (probably because Roemer only has a career because she looks like a teen-aged Gwyneth)
  2. the replacement of the very creepy Raymond Burr with the pretty creepy David Morse didn’t quite work (possibly because Morse’s hair was so bad)
  3. turning the wife killer into a serial killer made the situation less believable and therefore less scary (and it had “make the movie bloodier!” notes-from-a-studio-exec written all over it)
  4. allowing LaBeouf to be able to fight back instead of being truly trapped made the situation less tense and therefore less scary (and it had “give the thing more action!” notes-from-a-studio-exec written all over it)

Eh. Still, it was fun. And the several dozen teen-aged girls just loved it.

Oh, the previews were pretty good. In fact, one was just plain awesome. I can’t believe I’m saying this about a Michael Bay movie, but I cannot wait to see “Transformers” (which is another Shia LeBeouf film, and he’s been cast in the next Indian Jones film, so I guess he’s having a good year.) I also love the hilarious fanboy discourse about the movie. I love that some of them are refusing to see the movie because the Transformers aren’t going to transform the way the toys did in 1985. Well, if you’re going to go that route, why not demand that the Transformer not be able to transform unless an 8-year-old boy fumbles with its plastic parts for ten minutes. Fanboys can so, so strident.

Clearly, I’ve gone soft. It’s the suburbia. Disturbing, hunh?

(Even my prose has become cliched. Shit.)

5 responses to this post.

  1. LeeHouck says:

    OK. I have not seen Disturbia, but I have wondered something about it. Maybe you can help clear this up. I think, if you are under house arrest and you WITNESS A MURDER, the cops would forgive you if you left you tiny plot of land to tell someone about it. Am I naive?

    Does the movie account for this?

    The short answer is “Yes.” And you should see it because he’s soooo cute.–Ed.

  2. that’s a katydid, not a grasshopper!

    Thank God a copy editor reads this blog! —Ed.

  3. dave s says:

    i sincerely love your blog, but one tiny favour… please let us know when you’re gonna spoil a plot point. i’m headed to see ‘diturbia’ this week, but now i know that david morse’s wife is a/the killer… ugh.

    keep up the excellent blogging though.

    Oh, I’m sorry. I’m usually pretty careful not to reveal too much when I write about movies. I don’t think I said that Morse had a wife. He’s not married in the movie, so if you think his wife the killer, then you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you see the movie! —Ed.

  4. dave s says:

    in which an apology is issued:

    okay, so now i feel like the biggest dope in blogville. see, i’m a huge movie fanatic, so i tend to to skim any writing that might reveal more than i want to know about a flick before i see it. that’s how i read your post about ‘disturbia’, or, i should say, that’s how i MIS-read your post about ‘disturbia’. i even went back over it and misread it a second time before posting my first comment. no more early morning crack pipe for me! so.. sorry about that. i wholeheartedly promise to be a better reader in the future.

    by the way, i enjoyed ‘disturbia’.

  5. Lolo says:

    You need a spoiler alert banner. Also, your husband is so cute!

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