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Two strangers are ripped from their ordinary lives when they are "activated" as part or a high-tech assassination plot. Through blistering chases and shocking twists they try to escape – but where do you go when the enemy is everywhere?
For more about Eagle Eye and the Eagle Eye Blu-ray release, see Eagle Eye Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on December 27, 2008 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Michelle Monaghan, Rosario Dawson, Michael Chiklis, Anthony Mackie, Ethan Embry
Director: D.J. Caruso
» See full cast & crew
Eagle Eye Blu-ray Review
Keep your eye on this latest Blu-ray from DreamWorks.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, December 27, 2008
Sometimes, the very measures we put into place to safeguard our liberty become threats to liberty itself.
"Flashy" is the word of the day when it comes to describing the 2008 hit thriller starring the hottest young actor on the planet, Shia LaBeouf (Transformers). The film melds the current American political climate with groundbreaking technology into a well-played, fast-paced, slickly-edited and directed film that plays on the perceived dangers of Big Brother and the post-9/11 world. The basic concept presented to audiences in Eagle Eye is nothing new; 1998's Enemy of the State, starring Will Smith and Gene Hackman and directed by Tony Scott, did it earlier and did it better. That's not to say that Eagle Eye is all unoriginal or second-rate. It's a fine picture, a crowd pleaser to be sure, and well worth the price of admission. It does everything well enough, including leaving audiences engaged for the length of the film and guessing until the plot begins to take shape in the third act. Ultimately, it's not all that memorable of a film either, but that's all right; it is what it is, it accomplishes all it sets out to do, and makes for a positive, if only fleeting, cinematic experience.
Jerry Shaw (LaBeouf) leads a dull existence, struggling to pay his rent and working a dead-end job at a copy and print store. That all changes when he learns that his twin brother, with whom he has had little contact, has passed away suddenly. A grief-stricken Jerry is soon thereafter thrown into a perilous series of events as he becomes the target of a determined law enforcement official (Billy Bob Thornton, Bad Santa) after Jerry suddenly becomes the holder of three-quarters of a million dollars, not to mention numerous high-tech gadgets and weapons, all implicating him in terrorist activities. A mysterious voice on the telephone leads him into and out of danger, and soon enough the voice partners him with Rachel (Michelle Monaghan, Gone Baby Gone), a mother whose son's life lies in her willingness to cooperate. As the pair elude the authorities and death, they begin to piece together the mystery behind the voice that seems to know everything, and become privy to a plot that may bring the country to its knees.
Eagle Eye's primary strength, aside from the fine performances, direction, and effects shots, is in its none-too-distinctive but ultimately appropriate look and feel. Director D.J. Caruso (Disturbia) creates a cold, steely, uncertain atmosphere that not only emphasizes the dangers and disorientation of the film, but it also manages to pull audiences into the film and allow them experience the thrills, tension, and confusion of the plot along with the actors themselves. Eagle Eye is another film with shaky, hyperactive visuals. The car chase sequence in chapter eight a fine example of the quick-paced, slickly-edited, and somewhat dizzying visuals the film employs. This sequence and the other action sequences are exciting to be sure, but they are also somewhat jittery and difficult to follow. Much of the rest of the film, even some mostly static shots, impress the senses with the feel of a hand-held camera. It's not as jerky or consistently in-motion as something like Cloverfield or The Kingdom, but the effect is noticeable and adds something of a more dangerous and immediate feel to the action.
Eagle Eye also features above average, but certainly not memorable, performances, from each of its lead actors. Shia LaBeouf brings a youthful exuberance yet at the same time decidedly steady and mature presence to his role. In the action sequences, he plays a confused, scared, but ultimately determined and heroic character well, but it is in his more emotionally charged scenes that he delivers his finest moments. An early scene featuring him in mourning over the loss of his twin brother stands out as particularly gripping. Certainly, conveying a sense of loss and grief to audiences for a character they do not even know seems one of the more challenging prospects and actor must face, yet the burgeoning superstar LaBeouf pulls it off marvelously. Never once do his emotions look forced; his conveyance of a man stricken with sudden grief and uncontrollable sadness and regret comes through with remarkable realism, and his actions certainly may move audiences, too. No doubt the actor dug deep for the scene, for his is as genuine a grief-stricken reaction as any in memory. Michelle Monaghan is also acceptable in her role that remains clouded in confusion longer than LaBeouf's; she clearly plays second fiddle to the leading man but brings her own emotions to the character, portraying a mother in fear for her son's life. Still, she doesn't quite capture the immediacy and danger of the situation as well as LaBeouf, but her performance is above average, particularly during the film's key sequences and climax. Finally, Billy Bob Thornton, one of the finest actors working today, delivers his usual high quality performance. His is a very generic character, a run-and-chase law enforcement official that manages to stay only a step behind his suspects. Nevertheless, he still manages to bring some life and vigor to an otherwise forgettable character.
Eagle Eye Blu-ray, Video Quality
Eagle Eye sees all on Blu-ray through a 1080p, 2.40:1-framed transfer. This is a handsome transfer, with a high quality, lifelike look. Colors are natural in appearance in each of the various lighting schemes the film offers. Detail is high in every shot, and a small layer of grain maintains a cinematic look and feel to the film. Eagle Eye features a subtly dark appearance with a decidedly blue and gray tint that lends a cold, metallic look to the film. Skies are often overcast and many interior shots are not brightly lit, but no detail is lost due to the oftentimes less-than-ideal lighting conditions. A few select, bright daytime shots look fabulous, too, with colors standing out as a bit brighter and cleaner. The transfer is sharp and crisp, with no print anomalies to speak of. Blacks are deep and dark, while flesh tones are natural in appearance. Eagle Eye looks fantastic, even if much of the scenery and lighting schemes don't particularly lend themselves well to eye-popping high definition material.
Eagle Eye Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Eagle Eye features a high quality Dolby TrueHD 5.1 lossless soundtrack. Like the video, it's not the pinnacle of high definition, but is, instead, natural in presentation, an excellent quality in its own right. Much of the track, for example a train depot scene in chapter three, creates a realistic, pleasing atmosphere that places the viewers in the middle of each locale. The action segments truly deliver; Jerry's escape from custody in chapter seven features a bombardment of clear yet robust and exciting surround activity. This action pieces bring the film to vivid life, with deep bass, swirling activity around the soundstage, and impeccable fidelity and imaging that accompany the visuals to perfection. The track simply never misses an opportunity to fill the soundstage with a robust presence, but it never becomes too harsh or overbearing; the action is presented at just the right intensity and volume. Dialogue is sometimes a bit small, low in volume and occasionally the slightest bit muffled under the music, atmosphere, and effects. Nevertheless, Eagle Eye delivers the expected upper-echelon lossless soundtrack, another Dolby TrueHD winner from DreamWorks.
Eagle Eye Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
DreamWorks brings Eagle Eye to Blu-ray with a handful of supplements. Asymmetrical Warfare: The Making of 'Eagle Eye' (1080i, 25:32) is first. This is a basic behind-the-scenes piece that offers cast and crew interviews, clips from the film, and plenty of footage from the set. Information ranges from the origins of the story, the strengths the actors brought to the film, Steven Spielberg's influence on the film, the special effects, and more. Eagle Eye on Location: Washington, D.C. (1080i, 5:58) takes a closer look at shooting in the nation's capital. Is My Cell Phone Spying on Me? (1080i, 9:14) examines the role of technology and surveillance in modern society. Shall We Play a Game? (1080i, 9:22) features a chat between director D.J. Caruso and his mentor, director John Badham (Short Circuit). Road Trip (1080i, 3:05) examines the rigors of shooting in numerous locations. Concluding the supplements are four deleted scenes (1080p, 4:39), a 1080p photo gallery, a gag reel (1080p, 7:00), and the film's theatrical trailer (1080p, 2:35).
Eagle Eye Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Eagle Eye offers two hours of solid entertainment, the film engendering a sense of urgency and confusion in the audience through its smartly veiled plot that doesn't reveal itself too early, captured by D.J. Caruso's fine direction that engages the audience and allows them to experience the topsy-turvy world the film showcases. Also a positive is the film's satisfying series of medium-scale action sequences that keep the tempo and vitality of the story full steam ahead. The lead performers turn in above-average performances, with Shia LaBeouf and Billy Bob Thornton standing above the rest. Once again, DreamWorks delivers a high quality Blu-ray of a new release film. Eagle Eye features first-class audio and video presentations, supported by a hearty selection of bonus materials. For an entertaining Saturday night thriller that takes advantage of the Blu-ray format, look no further than Eagle Eye. Recommended.
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Eagle Eye Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Eagle Eye Announced for Blu-ray Release - November 25, 2008
Paramount Home Entertainment has announced that they will bring the Shia LaBeouf and Michelle Monaghan action film 'Eagle Eye' to Blu-ray on December 30th, day-and-date with the DVD release. The film, which was executive produced by Steven Spielberg, will feature ...
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