YouTube – Eagle Eye – (They Are Always Watching….)

 

The film begins with the armed forces getting a lead on a suspected terrorist. As the man is a recluse, getting a positive ID proves difficult, and the DOD‘s computer system recommends that the mission be aborted. From continued aerial surveillance of the area, the suspect is apparently attending a funeral but the possibility that it is a facade makes those present all nervous – the system continues to recommend abort. The Secretary of Defense (Michael Chiklis) agrees with the abort recommendation, but the President orders the mission be carried out anyway. This turns into a political backlash when all those killed turn out to be civilians, and retaliatory bombings are carried out in response.

The scene abruptly shifts to the life of Jerry Shaw (Shia LaBeouf), a Stanford University drop out who not only lacks any real direction in his life, but also faces great financial difficulty. He gets a phone call from his parents telling him that his twin brother, Ethan, is dead. Following the funeral, Jerry gets a $1,000 check from his dad. When Jerry tries to deposit the check and withdraw some money from the ATM, he is surprised to see that he has $751,000 in his account. When he returns home he finds his apartment filled with a large amount of weapons, explosives, and forged documents. He receives a phone call from an unknown woman, who explains that the FBI are about to apprehend him in thirty seconds and that he must escape. Not believing her, he is caught by the FBI, led by Agent Thomas Morgan (Billy Bob Thornton) and Air Force Office of Special Investigations Special Agent Zoe Perez (Rosario Dawson). The unknown woman arranges Jerry’s escape and has him join up with single mother Rachel Holloman (Michelle Monaghan). Holloman is being coerced into helping by the woman, who threatens to kill her son, Sam, a trumpet player on his way to Washington, D.C. from Chicago for a band recital.

The woman helps the pair to avoid the police and FBI units, demonstrating the ability to remotely control virtually any networked device, such as traffic lights, cell phones, and even automated cranes. While Jerry and Rachel follow her instructions, the woman has a crystal explosive made into a necklace and its sound-based trigger placed inside Sam’s trumpet. Jerry and Rachel are led to Washington, D.C. through various means. Along the way, they are introduced to the woman, who is actually a top secret super-computer called ARIA tasked with gathering intelligence from all over the world. ARIA, the overtaken computer, can control virtually anything electronic to that end. In light of the mistake made by the President at the beginning of the film, ARIA has decided that the executive branch is a threat to the public good and must be eliminated. ARIA plans to destroy the President’s Cabinet, and calls this Operation Guillotine. It has decided to leave the Secretary of Defense, who agreed with its recommendation to abort, as the successor to the presidency. She does not reveal this to Jerry or Rachel, merely explaining that she is trying to help the people of the United States.

At the Pentagon, where ARIA is housed, Agent Perez discovers that Ethan worked as a technician for the computer and locked it down to prevent ARIA from carrying out her plan. Perez warns the Secretary of Defense and they discuss the situation in a sealed room to prevent ARIA from hearing their conversation. Jerry and Rachel arrive at the Pentagon and are led to the super computer, where ARIA forces Jerry to impersonate Ethan and use an override code allowing her to go ahead with the plan. She then instructs Rachel to eliminate Jerry to prevent the lock from being reinstated, but Rachel cannot bring herself to do it. Rachel is led out of the building by ARIA while Jerry is caught by Agent Morgan. Having been warned by Agent Perez, Morgan believes Jerry’s story and takes him to the United States Capitol. On their way, however, ARIA sends an MQ-9 Reaper UCAV after them. Agent Morgan sacrifices himself to destroy the craft and save Jerry.

Meanwhile, Agent Perez returns to the super computer and is successful in destroying it, but not before ARIA uploads roughly a fifth of its memory to another location. Rachel is given the explosive necklace and sent to watch the President’s speech. Sam’s class, whose recital has been moved from the Kennedy Center to the Capitol for the President’s State of the Union Address, begins to play. The trigger that will set off the explosive necklace is set to activate when Sam plays a high F on his trumpet corresponding to the word "free" in the last verse of the U.S. national anthem. Jerry successfully infiltrates the vicinity and fires Morgan’s pistol into the air, stopping the performance and emptying the room, but provoking a Secret Service agent to shoot him in the shoulder.

In the aftermath of the chaos ARIA caused, the Secretary of Defense urges that another super computer should not be built. Ethan posthumously receives the Medal of Honor while Jerry, injured but alive and well, receives the Congressional Gold Medal. The film ends with Jerry attending Sam’s birthday party. Jerry gives Sam Rockband the video game and Sam and his friends go off and play it. Rachel thanks him for attending and kisses him on the cheek. She then tells Jerry that she is glad that he is there. After a second of silence, Jerry tells her, "Me too," and the film ends.

Main cast

  • Shia LaBeouf as Jerry Shaw/Ethan Shaw: a young slacker who is framed as a terrorist and vows to clear his name with the FBI’s help.
  • Michelle Monaghan as Rachel Holloman: a single mother who is also framed as a terrorist and vows to clear her name with her companions.
  • Rosario Dawson as Zoe Perez: a government agent who is tracking down the terrorist cell.[2]
  • Billy Bob Thornton as Thomas Morgan: the patriotic leader of a FBI team tracking down the cell.[3]
  • Ethan Embry as Toby Grant: Morgan’s companion whom he assists into tracking down the cell.[4]
  • Anthony Mackie as Major Bowman: A soldier assigned to monitor the super-computer.
  • Michael Chiklis as George Callister: The U.S. Secretary of Defense.
  • Cameron Boyce as Sam Holloman: Rachel’s Son
  • Julianne Moore as ARIA: The supercomputer whose machinations form the basis for the film’s events.

Production

Screenwriter Dan McDermott wrote the original script for Eagle Eye based on an original idea by Steven Spielberg. The studio DreamWorks then bought McDermott’s script and set up the project to potentially be directed by Spielberg. When the director became busy with Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, he dropped out of the project. Director D.J. Caruso, who directed the 1996 TV series High Incident under Spielberg’s executive production, replaced the director in helming Eagle Eye. However, Spielberg remains executive producer.[5] In June 2007, actor LaBeouf who was involved in Spielberg’s and Caruso’s 2007 film Disturbia and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, re-joined the director and executive producer to star as the lead in Eagle Eye. McDermott’s script was rewritten by screenwriters John Glenn, Travis Wright and Hillary Seitz in preparation for production.[6] Filming began on November 6, 2007 [7] and wrapped in February 2008.[8] The film’s visual effects are being created by Sony Pictures Imageworks.[9] On August 13, the film was rated PG-13 by the MPAA for intense sequences of action violence and language.

The story was originally conceived in 1996, Caruso said by the time the film came to fruition 12 years later, "the technology had finally caught up to the storytelling. … Everybody has a BlackBerry or an iPhone on their belt, and we think we’re constantly being tracked. It’s less science fiction than when Steven (Spielberg) conceived it." Caruso wanted to bring a gritty, 1970s-era sensibility to the film. Accordingly, a key chase scene in a high-tech package-processing hub on conveyor belts was shot without the use of computer-generated imagery. "It was like Chutes and Ladders for adults. It was pretty dangerous, and a lot of fun. While filming the scene, Monaghan suffered a welt after a cable brushed her neck and Caruso hit his head on a protruding bolt, requiring stitches.

Music

The music to Eagle Eye was written by composer Brian Tyler, who recorded the score with an 88-piece ensemble of the Hollywood Studio Symphony at the Sony Scoring Stage. The session was interrupted by the Chino Hills earthquake on July 29, 2008 – and a recording of the quake hitting the scoring stage is online. The score was released on iTunes on September 25, 2008 and followed by a CD release on September 30.

Promotion

The official movie website features an ARG type of gameplay system to promote the movie. The voice previewed behind the phone in multiple trailers contacts the player, placing them in unique experiences. This has been called the Eagle Eye Freefall Experience. While official cast listings do not list the name of the actress behind the mysterious voice featured in the film and trailers, Rosario Dawson confirmed at the Hollywood premiere that it belongs to Julianne Moore.

Critical reception

Eagle Eye received generally negative to mixed reviews from critics. As of October 1, 2008, the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 28% of critics gave the film positive reviews based on 118 reviews, with the consensus that the film "is a preposterously plotted thriller that borrows heavily from other superior films." Metacritic reported the film had an average score of 43 out of 100, based on 28 reviews — indicating mixed or average reviews.[14]

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave Eagle Eye a score of two stars out of four, saying: "The word preposterous is too moderate to describe Eagle Eye. This film contains not a single plausible moment after the opening sequence, and that’s borderline. It’s not an assault on intelligence. It’s an assault on consciousness." James Berardinelli of ReelViews gave the film one and a half stars out of four, saying: "This movie tests the viewing public’s tolerance for enduring crass stupidity when the payoff is a series of repetitive, ADD-infected chase scenes. Director D.J. Caruso does a moderately good job of hiding how incredibly dumb this screenplay is by keeping things moving at such a whirlwind pace that a lot more seems to be happening than actually is. In reality, the chase scenes don’t mean anything because they don’t advance the plot—it’s mice on a treadmill, running and running and not getting anywhere."  The Hollywood Reporter called it a "slick, silly techno thriller" and "Even those who surrender all disbelief at the door will be hard pressed not to smirk at some of wildly improbable plotting—"

Josh Rosenblatt of The Austin Chronicle enjoyed the film, calling it "good, manic fun plus a heavy dose of political intrigue adding up to two hours of clamorous, mind-numbing nonsense." William Arnold of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer also gave Eagle Eye a positive review, remarking that it’s "engrossing as an intellectual puzzle" and "a solid thriller." Mark Bell of Film Threat said: "the film isn’t a complete waste of your time […] but don’t expect anything brilliant." Nathan Rabin The Onions A.V. Club called the film "achingly idiotic" and "the unintentional laugh riot of the year."[21] Neely Tucker of The Washington Post said that Eagle Eye is "sometimes entertaining" but "doesn’t have much to say.” Robert Koehler of Variety felt that the film’s "first 35 minutes sizzle" but "the story [becomes] near-parody in the final act."

[edit] Box office performance

In its opening weekend, Eagle Eye grossed $29.1 million in 3,510 theaters in the United States and Canada, ranking (for 1 week) #1 at the box office.[24] As of October 14, 2008, it has grossed $101.8 million worldwide — $72.5 million in the United States and Canada and $29.3 million in other territories.[1]

[edit] Mobile game

A Mobile game based on the movie was developed and published by Magmic Games. It was released for Blackberry, Windows Mobile, BREW and J2ME devices prior to the movies launch in early September.

[edit] "Aria" The Giant Computer From The Movie

The visual design (including the water below) of the computer from the movie came from the Super-Kamiokande,a neutrino observatory in the city of Hida, Gifu Prefecture, Japan. The observatory was designed to search for proton decay, study solar and atmospheric neutrinos, and keep watch for supernovas in the Milky Way Galaxy. Pictures of Super-K from Japanese website

References

  1. ^ a b c "Eagle Eye (2008)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved on 200810-16.
  2. ^ Michael Fleming (200708-13). "Rosario Dawson joining ‘Eagle Eye’", Variety. Retrieved on 2007-11-13.
  3. ^ Tatiana Siegel; Michael Fleming (200711-07). "Billy Bob Thornton spies ‘Eagle Eye’", Variety. Retrieved on 2007-11-13.
  4. ^ Clint Morris (200711-21). "Embry joins Eagle Eye", Moviehole. Retrieved on 2007-11-27.
  5. ^ Eagle Eye (2008) – Full cast and crew
  6. ^ Michael Fleming; Pamela McClintock (200706-25). "‘Disturbia’ duo set for ‘Eagle Eye’", Variety. Retrieved on 2007-11-13.
  7. ^ Nellie Andreeva; Borys Kit (200711-06). "For most part, the shows go on", The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved on 2007-11-13.
  8. ^ Carly Mayberry and Borys Kit (200801-08). "‘Eagle’ lands Chiklis in cabinet post", The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved on 2008-01-08.
  9. ^ Carolyn Giardina (200807-01). "G-Force’ is with Imageworks", The Hollywood Reporter, The Nielsen Company. Retrieved on 2008-07-01.
  10. ^ a b c Vary, Adam B. "Fall Movie Summer Preview, September: Eagle Eye." Entertainment Weekly, Iss. #1007/1008, August 22/29, 2008, pg.52.
  11. ^ Dan Goldwasser (200809-11). "Brian Tyler scores Eagle Eye", ScoringSessions.com. Retrieved on 2008-09-16.
  12. ^ "‘Eagle Eye’ Star Reveals Identity Of Movie’s Mayhem Causing Voic".
  13. ^ "Eagle Eye Movie Reviews, Pictures – Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved on 200810-01.
  14. ^ "Eagle Eye (2008): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved on 200809-27.
  15. ^ Eagle Eye review, Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times, September 25, 2008
  16. ^ Eagle Eye review, James Berardinelli, ReelViews, September 2008
  17. ^ Film Review: Eagle Eye, Michael Rechtshaffen, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, September 25 2008
  18. ^ Eagle Eye review, Josh Rosenblatt, Austin Chronicle, September 2008
  19. ^ Eagle Eye review, William Arnold, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, September 2008
  20. ^ Eagle Eye review, Mark Bell, Film Threat, September 2008
  21. ^ Eagle Eye review, Nathan Rabin, The Onion (A.V. Club), September 26th, 2008
  22. ^ Eagle Eye review, Neely Tucker, Washington Post, September 2008
  23. ^ OdessyEagle Eye review, Robert Koehler, Variety, September 2008
  24. ^ "Eagle Eye (2008) – Weekend Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved on 200810-04.
  25. ^ "Eagle Eye: The Game".
  26. ^ "Movie tie-in".

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