“Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Popcorn Interlude # 174: Disturbia

Is the world ready for a teen take on Rear Window? Placed under house arrest for decking his teacher, Kale (Shia LaBeouf, right, with Carrie-Ann Moss) spends his summer spying on his neighbours – first the gorgeous newcomer to his neighbourhood, Ashley (Sarah Roemer), then the creepy guy next door (David Morse), who may or may not be a serial killer. An inventive remake, Disturbia owes a huge debt to LaBeouf’s sparky performance – fresh-faced he may be, but LaBeouf (Transformers, A Guide To Recognising Your Saints) has a natural style free of affectations that suggests he’s a serious prospect for the future. Director DJ Caruso (a veteran helmer of TV’s The Shield) ratchets up the tension gradually, leaving plenty of time for the romance between Kale and Ashley to blossom, and even if the final third recycles overly familiar slasher-horror tropes, this is still a cut above the usual teen fare. ****- Michael McGowan

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