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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Megan Voorhees
Megan Voorhees
Assistant News Editor

Hi! I’m Megan Voorhees and I’m the Assistant News Editor at The Northwind! I was first introduced to journalism my sophomore year of high school and I’ve been in love with the profession and writing...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Opinion — Its okay to outgrow your college friends
Opinion — It's okay to outgrow your college friends
Megan PoeApril 12, 2024

‘Disturbia’ wastes its actors’ abilities

When making a movie that’s completely devoid of any sort of original creative thought, it helps if it’s at least a competent thriller with a talented cast to anchor it. This is the lesson director D.J. Caruso (“Two For The Money”) I hope learned with his most recent cinematic offering, “Disturbia.”

High schooler Kale Brecht (Shia LaBeouf) is sentenced to 90 days house arrest after assaulting a teacher. To pass the time, he begins spying on his neighbors — peeping on their extramarital affairs, checking out the hot girl next door, and keeping an eye on the friendly neighborhood serial killer, Rob Turner (David Morse). Brecht enlists his friends to be his eyes on the outside to help reveal Turner’s murderous ways before his mom becomes the next victim.

The flick clearly exists as a testing ground for 20-year-old LaBeouf’s bankability as a leading man. He’s been popping up in supporting roles since breaking onto the scene eight years ago on the Disney Channel show “Even Stevens.” But with his lead role in the potential summer blockbuster “Transformers,” it was time to get his feet wet as a headliner.

LaBeouf has the talent, and his choices of cinematic showcases often belie the talent he has. I really want to see this kid explode onto the scene with something huge and powerful. I know he has it in him. But in a movie so simple, cheap and forgettable, it’s just a squandering of that talent. Don’t get me wrong; he’s good in the movie. But being good in this movie is like being the smartest kid in summer school.

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Speaking of squandered talent, notable character actors Morse (“16 Blocks”) and Matt Craven (NBC’s “Raines”) are certainly above this flick. Craven is criminally under used in his brief expositional scene as Brecht’s father. Morse portrays the domineering movie monster with a certain level of believability, but one could chalk that up to years of playing domineering villains. To be completely honest, I would have liked to see the two switch roles for this film. Craven can play a character who’s even creepier (it could be his uncanny resemblance to Robert “Freddy Krueger” Englund), and Morse tends to seem more at home playing the warm and fuzzy characters when he’s given a chance to.

This brings us to Caruso. He has a knack for making films that no one will remember in a few years. I remember them because I kind of have to. But “Two for the Money” and “Taking Lives,” his previous two major films, sank out of the public’s consciousness faster than the Titanic in the North Atlantic, despite the all star casts (Al Pacino and Matthew McConaughey in the former, Angelina Jolie and Ethan Hawke in the latter). It wouldn’t go so far as to call the guy a hack because he seems to genuinely want to make a quality flick. But this film could easily have been directed by a commercial or music video director looking to make his or her feature film debut, not a 10-year veteran in the field.

But despite its misuse of talent, it still manages to be an overall effective thriller. It’s well paced to provide the proper jumps as well as the appropriate laughs. And it never really gets too dull, which I suppose is a plus in a movie geared toward the teenage crowd.

Fortunately for the rest of the movie-going population, there are other films in theatres worth going to, and the summer season is just around the corner (literally about two weeks away) so the springtime dumping ground of sub-par offerings is almost behind us.

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