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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r


directed by D.J. Caruso
USA 2007


Alfred Hitchcock’s movies have been re-made several times--done straight (A Perfect Murder from Dial M for Murder), as action (Mission: Impossible 2 from Notorious), indirectly (much of Brian De Palma’s output), nearly shot-for-shot (Gus Van Sant’s color Psycho), etc. Disturbia is Rear Window for teenyboppers, and boy, lemme tell ya, this is as lame as “re-imaginings” can get. Mind you, I’m not even a fan of Rear Window (much too long for my tastes), but Disturbia has no genuine thrills. Rather, it substitutes a lot of loud noises for psychological shocks, so you’re jolted artificially rather than subconsciously.

Perhaps the movie’s greatest weakness is the fact that the protagonist isn’t really physically helpless. Kale (Shia LaBeouf) is under house arrest with an ankle monitor; when he strays more than 100 yards from his house, an alarm alerts the police to pay him a visit. Other than that, Kale is free to do anything that his normal teenager’s body can do. Therefore, the movie fails to grip you with nervous anticipation the way that Rear Window did when the wheelchair-bound Jimmy Stewart is confronted by Raymond Burr.

Another tell-tale sign of the lack of suspense storytelling is the excessive emphasis on action in what’s supposed to be a suspense exercise. At the beginning of the movie, we’re shown a horrific automobile accident that looks like it belongs in the Final Destination franchise. Later set pieces rely on drivers suddenly slamming on their car brakes or people beating up on each other for minute after minute after minute...

Shia LaBeouf is a popular guy these days, having landed high-profile assignments in Michael Bay’s Transformers and the next Indiana Jones entry. Although I’ve seen him in only this movie, I have to say that I don’t get his appeal. Sarah Roemer is no Grace Kelly. David Morse plays the Raymond-Burr role, and he has seen better days.

Perhaps this is a case of “Wadda I know?” Disturbia grossed more than $75 million in the U.S. and Canada this year (2007) before the summer season started.

David McCoy


Theatrical Release: 13 April 2007

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DVD Review: Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to David McCoy for the Review!

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Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 104 min

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 8.10 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio DD 5.1 EX English, DD 5.1 EX French, DD 5.1 EX Spanish
Subtitles Optional English, French, Spanish
Features Release Information:
Studio: Paramount

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• audio commentary by D.J. Caruso, Shia LaBeouf, and Sarah Roemer
• 4 deleted scenes
• The Making of Disturbia
• Serial Pursuit Trivia Pop-up/Quiz
• Outtakes
• Don't Make Me Wait music video
• photo gallery
• theatrical trailer
• previews for other movies

DVD Release Date: 7 August 2007

Chapters 18





Despite its sunny California locations, the 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen image is a tad dim. Nevertheless, the movie was given a robust 8.10 Mbps bit rate, and it shows. This is a very sharp, smooth standard-definition transfer with natural-looking colors. The video looks to be generally free of edge enhancement. When upconverted, the picture looks exceptional (better than even some HD-DVDs).

As I noted in my movie review, the sound design tries to scare viewers where the director and the writers couldn’t come up with a decent fright. Thus, the DD 5.1 EX English track is one of those technically efficient products that does a good job of spreading music and sound effects across your room in a wide expanse. Obviously, this sort of production has a front-biased mix, but the surrounds are frequently jumpy.


You can also watch the movie with DD 5.1 EX French and DD 5.1 EX Spanish dubs. Optional English, French, and Spanish subtitles as well as optional English closed captions support the audio.

Upon loading, the disc plays previews for other Paramount offerings.

Director D.J. Caruso, Shia LaBeouf, and Sarah Roemer contributed an audio commentary filled with the expected back-slapping and “I love you” comments. Four deleted scenes mostly expand Carrie Anne-Moss’s role as Kale’s mother. “The Making of Disturbia” is the usual promotional featurette.

“Serial Pursuit Trivia Pop-up/Quiz” is a subtitle stream with random trivia about the movie, other movies, and how many muscles are involved in the act of kissing. There are a couple of name-dropping references to Steven Spielberg, one of the founders of DreamWorks. (See Capture 4.)

There are some mildly amusing Outtakes, the “Don’t Make Me Wait” music video, and a photo gallery. Finally (and surprisingly given Paramount’s usual practices), you get the theatrical trailer.

 - David McCoy


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Region 1 - NTSC


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