‘Grindhouse’ and ‘Disturbia’ are surprise successes

Double-Feature: “Grindhouse”

4 out of 5 Stars

Showing “Planet Terror”

Directed by Robert Rodriguez

Starring Rose McGowan & Freddy Rodr?guez

and “Death Proof”

Directed by Quentin Tarantino

Starring Kurt Russell & Rosario Dawson

A tribute to the underground ’70s double-feature slasher flicks, “Grindhouse” is more than a film; it’s an experience. Complete with faux trailers and missing gag reels, this movie was like nothing I had ever seen . almost.

“Grindhouse” opens with the trailer “Machete,” which got the energy flowing for the first film, Rodriguez’s “Planet Terror.” This movie exploded off the screen. Rodriguez captured the essence of what these films were like and chucked it full-throttle at the audience. “Planet Terror” was all zombies, flesh, gore and grit – lacking absolutely nothing. The story was like a fast-paced thrill ride, and with the speed set on high, I couldn’t wait to see what Tarantino had in store. And then “Death Proof” started.

It was like a locomotive hitting a brick wall. My heart slowly stopped pounding, my knuckles regained color and I sat there thinking to myself, “This is it?” The story began with very Tarantino-like dialogue, but it lost its novelty soon after realizing 20 minutes had gone by and nothing had happened. Granted, there were the occasional “Oh shit!” moments but the spirit was lost. Overall, Rodriguez totally won my vote on this one and Tarantino just pissed me off.

– Alexis Mann, Correspondent


4 out of 5 Stars

Directed by D.J. Caruso

Starring Shia LaBeouf, Sarah Roemer,

Carrie-Anne Moss and David Morse

It’s no Hitchcock masterpiece, but “Disturbia” is definitely worth the nine bucks because of Shia LaBeouf’s performance. This unofficial modern remake of Hitchcock’s classic, “Rear Window,” introduces Kale (LaBeouf), a teenager who rebels after the trauma of witnessing his father’s death. He ends up receiving house arrest for three months for getting in a brawl with his teacher.

Without his video games, music and television, Kale’s voyeuristic side emerges as he begins watching his neighbors and building storylines around their lives, including a cheating husband, horny youngsters and a hot-bodied girl named Ashley (Sarah Roemer). Kale, Ashley and Kale’s grippingly senseless sidekick Ronnie (Aaron Yoo) begin to put the pieces together, realizing that something seems off about their neighbor, Mr. Turner (David Morse), who holds rather similar characteristics to a serial killer they saw on TV.

Despite its seemingly predictable ending, “Disturbia” is certainly going to kick-start LaBeouf’s cinematic career as he provides a solid performance throughout, even if we can never truly alienate him from his clean-cut goofy character from Disney’s “Even Stevens.” Regardless of your tolerance for modern thrillers or child actors “all grown up,” check out “Disturbia” – it promises to provoke more interest than some of the recent disappointments of Hollywood.

– Sharon Tharp, Copy Editor