Wednesday, October 8, 2008

"Lakeview Terrace" - spoiler movie review

Living next door to a police officer can be a good thing, but as "Lakeview Terrace" shows, it can also be a very bad thing.

Overall, I liked the film a lot. I was surprised that it was only PG-13, but then, there's not that much overt violence, and there's one suggested sex scene, and there are two f-bombs dropped in rapid succession. It's mostly a psychological thriller.

The film reminded me some of "Pacific Heights".

There's a part of me that can empathize with Abel Turner, and being subjected to crap as a police officer can certainly screw up your life. But he seems to have been on that road anyway. He's very strict with his two kids, and the third anniversary of his wife's death makes him still wonder where she was going with her boss when their car was hit head-on and they were killed. It's rare to see a case this overt where a black man has issues with white men, but in this case, it's really about the interracial pairing of the new neighbors.

I get that Chris and Lisa are excited about having a home and want to "christen" the pool, but they can't be dumb enough not to know that since the neighbors' houses are two-stories tall, they'd be able to see directly in the pool, and their loud giggling with all the lights turned on certainly wasn't going to hide anything.

And I know that Chris didn't want a baby at that time, but how cold was he when Lisa told him she was pregnant?

I loved Abel's line to Chris about listening to hip-hop music all night long, but in the morning, he's still going to be white.

OK, so when Lisa sees the intruder that Abel set up, why didn't the guy just keep running? What was Lisa going to do? She wasn't going to chase him, and she didn't have a gun or anything. If he'd just run down the stairs and out the back, he would have gotten away before anyone else could get there. What did he think he was going to get Lisa to be able to do by trying to talk to her or shut her up?

And as for Chris, you knew that he was goading Abel at the end, to get him to pull out the gun he had in his back. But apparently, Chris is too slow to react, since he did get shot by Abel before the cops shot Abel? I mean, he was the one who knew what he was doing. Wouldn't you think that as soon as he saw Abel flinch, he'd duck? Yeah, Abel's a cop and probably faster, but still, it didn't seem like Chris tried to get out of the way of the bullet at all.

Samuel Jackson was terrific in this film. He was great at being able to turn his expression on a dime, and that scene with him at the neighbors' housewarming party was just amazing. Although, I have to say, that one lady was pretty rude to make comments on an aside right in front of him.

There were some nice cameos of people I recognized - Ron Glass from "Barney Miller" fame as Lisa's father, Robert Pine from "CHiPs" as a police captain, and Eva LaRue from "All My Children" and "CSI: Miami" as another police officer.

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