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Harry saw the first 25 minutes of DJ Caruso's EAGLE EYE with Shia and Michelle and Billy Bob!

Hey folks, Harry here... Now I know that Shia isn't beloved amongst you talkbackers and that his swinging with the monkeys will probably go down as one of the most loathed scenes in Lucasfilm history (can you name the rest?) - but folks - Shia is the star of a film coming this September that, from the look I had at the first 25 minutes... could be one helluva ride. Now - when we last checked in with DJ Caruso and Shia LaBeouf we were in a teenage suburban remake of REAR WINDOW - and while the film was nowhere near as awesome as Hitchcock, Stewart, Kelly and Burr's original... it was a surprisingly good remake that seemed to entertain a great many. But still, you could tell that the film had a modest budget - it was leisurely paced with a small amount of locations - it was just well made. As I went in to see the opening of EAGLE EYE - I really had no idea of what to expect. At the time, only that very first teaser trailer, which looked like a ripoff on the Matrix was out. It looked cool, but I wasn't sure if teasing us with something that made us think MATRIX Jr was the way to go. HOLY FUCK. The film starts off with an American - Remote Drone assassination of a Terrorist Leader in a far off land. Not real sure how that ties in with anything. It is a nice scene - constructed believably and the hit is a somber decision as there are collateral victims, but the target was too rich to not take out. Then we jump to stateside and are introduced to Shia's Jerry character - he's gambling with his co-workers - you've seen part of this scene in the second trailer. He's talking a friend into wagering all his money on a hand and after taking him to the cleaners we discover that Shia works a dead end job at a Copy Store. He ends up getting word that his twin brother has died and has to head out to his brother's funeral. There's immense tension between his dad (William Sadler) and him - the father always considering the other brother as the "good son" and there is bitterness galore. All of this is happening quickly, yet clearly. We also get introduced to Michelle Monaghan's Rachel. She's a single mom with a son that she's seeing off to a train to, what I believe will be Band Camp. She's hoping that his deadbeat dad will show up as promised, but you get the idea... this is a hard life for her. As Shia trains it back home, he's hard hit by the loss of his brother. This short scene is the best acting I've seen yet from Shia. It's also beautifully shot. In fact all of this is just gorgeous cinematography by Dariusz Wolski (SWEENEY TODD, the PIRATES movies, DARK CITY, THE CROW, you know THAT GUY). In fact it all seems to be natural lighting, picking up on reflections and existing light. LOVELY LIGHTING. When Shia gets back to his pad, which he owes rent on - he discovers his place filled with weaponry, ingredients for death on a massive scale. He opens boxes and gets paranoid as he does. Suddenly a cel phone rings and tells him he has 30 seconds to leave his apartment - he's frazzled and gets nabbed by "the man". Turns out that "the man" is Billy Bob Thornton. He begins interrogating Shia with his "good ol boy" routine. Another solid scene. Shia's scruffy look really works well for his character - gives him some much needed coarseness. His bank account is overflowing with cash, his apartment filled to the brim with illicit weaponry and various passports with his picture in place. Billy isn't letting him have it easy. He knows all about Shia's brother's military career - knows about Shia's globe-trotting wanderings. Billy leaves Shia to ponder his situation. This is where we get introduced to Rosario Dawson's character. She's working with Billy Bob on this case. Meanwhile - Michelle's character loads her son up on a train - gets pissed at her ex-husband who shows up on the platform at the last possible moment - and we end up with her at a club. This is right when things shift into a high gear of whiz bang that I wasn't aware was in DJ Caruso's bag of tricks. The next 10 minutes or so are like some hyper-bred cinematic combo of the best mayhem that Michael Bay has produced, but with the cinematic confidence of someone like Spielberg - and shot by Dariusz. You see the crane hit the building, you watch Shia's escape - he ends up in an elevated train. He wants nothing to do with the voice on the phone that's obviously trying to manipulate him... So when he takes the battery on the phone out - other people's phones begin feeding him messages, whoever is pushing his buttons, can push buttons to make trains speed up, slow down, locate him via - God Knows How - and will use strangers around him to harm him. He's told to go to a car at a certain location. Meanwhile - Michelle gets a call in the bar - telling her that her son is in danger. It's the same voice manipulating Shia. Television screens across the street and in the bar flash to images of her son on the train she put him on. They're telling her they'll derail his train if she doesn't do as she's told. She's told to get in a car and go to a location. She's driving the car that Shia must get in... They assume each other is the bad guy, till they realize they're both fucked by the person on the phone, that's on the onstar programmed car.... and soon - Billy Bob and a shitload of cops are after them. What follows is one of the greatest cinematic car chases I've ever seen - and I only got to see about half of it. Only the first 25 minutes was played, but at the end of that 25 minutes I had forgotten they had said I was only seeing 25 minutes. In fact, I was convinced I was watching the entire movie. When the lights went up, the words out of my mouth were... "That's not fucking fair! Play the rest!" Alas - that's not in the cards, yet. I'll have to wait till we bring DJ Caruso and EAGLE EYE to FANTASTIC FEST this September. Then I get to see the rest of this amazing looking film. Can it hold up? Was that scene where they blew their load and there was nothing more? Well, that's not what Quint tells me. Apparently there's a whole lot more. I will say this though. EAGLE EYE isn't some small budget B movie. It's a visceral A level thriller - still in that HITCHCOCK formula of films like THIRTY NINE STEPS and NORTH BY NORTHWEST - where average joes and janes get tied up in the nefarious dealings of powers beyond their understandings, but having to rise to the occasion. This is something that looks and feels special and I can not wait to check the whole thing out!

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