Friday, September 19, 2008

Mooshki - Movie Review - Lakeview Terrace


Before getting to the movie, I have to say that this was a very interesting theater experience. There was more security than I’ve ever seen at any preview screening. At least 6 security guards, including one 6'2" 350lb bouncer-type guy, two with metal detectors, and all very serious and doing thorough searches. I couldn’t figure out why they were so unusually concerned with piracy for this movie, then I realized they were probably worried about violence stemming from the interracial theme. The crowd I saw it with was mixed race, and as far as I could tell everyone was just having fun watching the movie - I don’t think there was anything serious enough about it to incite strong emotions. Anyway...

Lakeview Terrace tries to be both a thriller and a commentary on race and class issues, and does an okay but not great job with both. It raised some interesting questions, but never really went anywhere with them. I think the fact that there were some good moments lifted my expectations and then I was disappointed that it didn’t live up to them. If it had been a straight-up thriller it would have been forgettable, but perhaps a more satisfying movie-going experience. Samuel L. Jackson’s character and performance were a lot more subtle and varied than I expected from the preview. Patrick Wilson and Kerry Washington were good as the feuding neighbors, but their characters weren’t very well developed, and I had trouble feeling any empathy for the guy. For the most part the supporting cast was wasted, except for Regine Nehy, who plays Jackson’s daughter - she was the most real character in the film for me, and her relationship with her father was the most complex and emotionally affecting. And I swear they called up Justin Chambers and said “as long as you’re already playing Alex Karev, you wanna come do him for a few minutes in our movie? I guess I’d recommend it if you’re a Samuel L. Jackson fan, as he’s always fun to watch, but otherwise it’s nothing special.

9 comments:

Mooshki said...

Aw, thanks for posting this. :)

Mooshki said...

I forgot to mention in the review, the movie spliced in some neat news footage of the LA wildfires. (Burn, Hollywood, Burn. :))

West End Girl said...

Oooh congrats Mooshki :D

Not my kind of film but the experience sounds interesting!

libby said...

Hey Mooshki! I was hoping that the interracial angle was a non-issue in the plot? I am a Liberal dork, but I always want to see mixed couples without it being a plot point.

Sam Jackson is a steadily working Black actor (which is not all that easy), who unfortunately continues to have one-note scripts offered to him. He IS really good and really subtle, but he hardly gets those offers (kind of a "Pulp Fiction" 20-year hangover).
I'm glad you mentioned the nuances in his performance. Mooshki. I like his acting a lot.

Mooshki said...

Bad news, Libby, it's basically the entire plot. Some of it is done well, but a lot of it is cliched crap.

I was really impressed that SLJ committed so fully to this part and did such a great job. I agree 100% that he deserves better roles, but the problem is he is just so damned awesome playing "Samuel M*th*rf*ck!ng Jackson." :)

Sylvia said...

Not my type of movie to go see.

not a famous adrian said...

go Mooshki!
Thanks for the review!

DNfromMN said...

thanks for the review Mooshki. But you forgot an important point: how often is Patrick Wilson nearly naked? This will greatly affect my possibility of watching this flick. :)

Mooshki said...

DN, half a strip tease before he and wifey go for some swimming pool loving, and when the security lights come on next door, he hops out of bed and has trouble choosing between a couple of flimsy items of wifey's clothing to cover his parts. So I guess the answer is "not as often as he should've been, but enough to get your blood pumpin' faster."