The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Monday, April 16, 2007 - 5A
Meyers a natural king
on bloody 'Tudors'
It looks like an installation in the Whitney.
Sstar is born? Shia LaBeouf carries
A ? modest techie thriller
By Nora Feldhusen ( Daily Arts Writer
talking gets a new, boy- "The
ish face in "Disturbia," in bilita
Shia LeBeouf but o
("Holes") to th
actually gets clock
the girl after S i the f
relating to her At Quality16 it. Al
the minute pean
details of her and Showcase dippi
daily schedule. Paramount (whit
"That's either audit
the creepi- delic:
est thing I've ever heard," she way
responds, "or the sweetest." the n
A quality make-out session desc
LeBeouf may not blow you husba
away with his romantic ges- wife-
tures, but in "Distrubia," you'll porn
enjoy watching him on screen as mate
a recluse teenager turned neigh- upon
borhood hero. Mors
The film follows Kale er liv
(LaBeouf), who, after a devastat- Kale'
ingcar wreck, flys off the handle day
and turns his anger against the redh
world and Spanish teachers. Kale
His mother (Carrie-Ann Moss, his b
fARTS IN BRIEF
Willis and Berry:
Whose idea was
At Quality 16 and Showcase
Halle Berry plus Bruce Willis
plus steamy Internet chat rooms
should add up to a thriller that's
at least guiltily entertaining, but
"Perfect Stranger" wastes its
established Hollywood players on
a middling mystery that's neither
believable nor rousing.
Rowena (Berry, "Monster's
Ball") is a ghostwriter journalist
whose latest project - to expose
a corrupt senator - gets buried by
men with the power to shut people
up. Frustrated, Rowena switches
investigative gears after a child- e
hood friend mysteriously pops
back up in her life only to be mur- a
dered shortly thereafter.
Rowena quickly finds her sus-
pect in advertising mogul Har-
rison Hill (Willis, "Sin City"), the
married man who had been car-
rying on quite the affair with her
suspiciously deceased friend. To
pursue Harrison, Rowena must
enter the apparently danger-
ous world of online chat rooms,
being suspicious that his pattern
of internet seduction played a
role in the murder. After team-
ing with a conveniently at-hand
tech geek (Giovanni Ribisi, "Cold
Mountain"), she begins a course
of amateur espionage that quickly
escalates into standard thriller
Blame it on director James Foley
("Glengarry Glen Ross") or the
lackluster script, but the story's
complex mystery is far too dense
and ends up overly difficult to fol-
low. Willis and Berry lack the heat
to let the movie salvage some sex
appeal from its inanity, so we're
left following the hum-drum plot
mechanics of office life and inter-
net dating and awaiting the inevi-
table dramatic plot twist. Even in
its final thrust, "Perfect Stranger"
is really just going through the
Matrix") attempts to reha-
te her son by canceling his
es and Xbox subscriptions,
nce Kale becomes subject
ree months' house arrest for
ing his Spanish teacher in
ace, he really starts to lose
fter a few weeks of eating
ut butter out of the jar and
ng it into chocolate syrup
ch, despite the audience's
ble moans, is actually quite
ious), Kale finds a better
to use his time: spying on
neighbors in his quiet, non-
first it's the customary
rial until Kale stumbles
Richard Turner (David
se,"TheGreen Mile"). Turn-
es in the blue house next to
s, mows his lawn twice a
and wines, dines and kills
eads. Or at least that's what
suspects. He sets out with
best friend Ronnie (Aaron
Yoo, "Rocket Science") and new
neighborhood hottie Ashley
(Sarah Roemer, "The Grudge 2")
to prove his lofty accusations.
As Kale, LeBeouf exudes a
hint of his "Even Stevens" goofi-
ness, but he's almost all grown
up, and his energy alone makes
this mostly formulaic thriller
downright fun to watch. He
wisely cuts through the senti-
mental pretense surrounding
his role and focuses his perfor-
mance primarily on the plot at
Unfortunately, thrillers like
"Disturbia" tend to follow the
same story and avoid delving too
deeply into any of the characters
- including the suspected killer.
Who is Turner, and what's his
issue? Full of coincidences and
tense moments in which we are
supposed to be frightened of this
possible serial killer, "Disturbia"
never builds a convincing case
against the guy. Turner likes his
privacy - he certainly doesn't
appreciate Kale's spying - but is
THE RISE OF SHIA LABEOUF
* "Even Stevens"('99-03): The Disney
sitcom is mostlytypical fare, but LaBeouf
turned a few heads as a loud preteen.
" "Holes"('03): Disney threw LaBeouf
a bone withthis stellar Louis Sacharself-
adaptation. Killer lizards, gold, etc.
s "Project Greenlight" ('03): The result-
ing movie goes nowhere, but we got to
meet LaBeouf's mom. Aww. .
. "Charlie'sAngels: Full Throttle";"Con-
stantine";,"I, Robot" (03-05): Obligatory
* "A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints"
('06): Wait, this guy can act?
that really all that menacing?
That said, while "Disturbia"
certainly doesn't break the mold
of the typical thriller, it makes
up what it lacks in creativity in
letting LaBeouf do his thing.
Whether he's wooing a girl, pull-
ing pranks or playing vigilante
from his bedroom window, his
presence makes the cheap thrills
more than bearable.
By CAITLIN COWAN
Daily Arts Writer
A lady unlaces the front of her dress,
a crown lies still on
the throne and a body
lies motionless on a Ct
marble floor, to which
Jonathan Rhys Mey- The Tudors
ers intones is his gentle
British tenor: "You Sundays at
think you know a story, 10 p.m.
but you only know how Showtime
it ends. To get to the
heart of the story, you
have to go back to the beginning."
Welcome to "The Tudors."
A lush, bloodthirsty rendering of
Henry VIII's reign, "The Tudors" is
Showtime's answer to HBO's popular
period dramas ("Rome," "Deadwood,"
"Carnivale") with Meyers ("Match
Point") well-cast as King Henry VIII,
the most notorious in England's history.
Some critics have already dismissed
Meyers's "phoned-in" performance,
but the confident, sexy star does evil
remarkably well. While scheming and
ranting with his advisers, something
dark and malicious sparkles in his
eyes. He speaks forcefully, with a bit-
ing, self-important tone that makes
him a perfect fit for the role of a king
with an insatiable appetite for power,
prestige and sex.
The show's unchecked jolt of hyper
masculinity is undeniable. In just the
second episode, Henry challenges the
King of France to a wrestling match
after the latter claims that France
boasts Europe's best wrestlers - and
the two of them immediately strip to
Needless to say, if the real Henry
VIII had taken on the King of France,
it would have been more like a sumo
match than a hot-body contest. In
fact, this King Henry's pretty face and
ripped physique are the only obvious
problems with the show, since the real
monarch was a large man with facial
hair and a famously imposing belly -
nothing like the model-esque Meyers.
Doubtless the decisionto avoidstarring
a fat brute with a turkey leg was based
on the ultimate TV king: ratings.
But if you can forgive this and some
In "The Tudors," Meyers beheads
unfortunate women with dueflair.
of the other superficially miscast roles,
there are plenty of redeeming qualities.
In addition to the visual feast provided
by the show's gorgeous set design, rich
costuming and opulent jewelry, you
get to watch Mary Boleyn, sister of
the infamous Anne, go down on King
It might not be as saucy as non-fic-
tion orgy "Rome," but there's plenty
of sex in "The Tudors," and enough
intrigue to keep each episode moving
at its bloodiest
nicely. In the pilot, Henry wastes no
time impregnating one of the Queen's
ladies in waiting in his furious quest for
a male heir to the throne - a necessity
his barren wife could never provide.
After reading Machiavelli's "The
Prince," Henry remarks the author
asks an important question: whether it
is better for a king to be feared or loved.
In Meyers's case, evil is made more
palatable (and marketable) via great
abs and an overcharged sex drive. Let
the heads roll.
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