THE first time I saw a closed circuit security camera (are they even called that anymore?) was at a local currency exchange in my neighborhood. It was this imposing metal contraption that hung down from the corner of the ceiling, looking like a dragonfly created by Picasso. I was too young to have a checking account, so I was at the exchange to get a money order for a purchase. While the man behind the thick paned window at the counter was typing up my money order, I was constantly glancing at the security camera. I knew it had to be something visual because of the lens in front; but with those wires attached to the sides, I had to wonder who was watching me. When the man returned to the window he must have noticed my curiosity because he started to tell me all about it in this ever so proud way. TIMES have certainly changed, haven’t they? Except for restrooms and locker rooms, I think security cameras are everywhere, in all kinds of different places. I am all for cameras being at public transportation locales, from airports to neighborhood train stations. Even covering highways or major thoroughfares, I do not have a problem with it. As I walk through a grocery store I can understand why cameras are installed all across the ceiling in those brown glass dome things; they actually look like chocolate gumdrops. Management would want to be on the lookout for any theft taking place. However, when I walk down the hallway of a movie theater I wonder if someone is actually watching me go to my seat. I guess with the tragedy that has taken place in theaters and clubs, security cameras are a must now. I would think after a while all of us will just become numb to the idea we are being watched wherever we go. However I have to tell you, watching this crime thriller was such a creepy experience for me because I am afraid this might be actually happening now. THERE was something about Amy, played by Ana Claudia Talancon (Fast Food Nation, Tear this Heart Out); that made Doug, played by Colin Hanks (The House Bunny, Orange County), want to watch her all the time. This drama that also starred Jordana Spiro (Trespass, Must Love Dogs) as Jen and Jonathon Trent (Burlesque, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen) as Matt, definitely had a way of pulling the viewer into the story. I quickly was uncomfortable by what was taking place; not because of any type of gore or torture (there wasn’t any) but because I, who am already paranoid about big brother watching me, was startled by what was taking place. I really believed stuff like this could be taking place all around us. The story was somewhat predictable; however, with Ana and Colin being convincing in their roles I did not mind this issue. I thought the way this film was shot added to the intensity level; it forced the viewer to be closer into the action. Overall, I felt the concept of the story was the main attraction for watching this DVD. The reason I say this is because there really was not anything new brought in for this type of story; however, for me sitting at home without people or security cameras all around I did shut my computer down once the film was over.
2 1/3 stars — DVD
There was only one set of grandparents by the time I was born. My grandfather was a quiet, religious man who would always play checkers with me whenever I asked him. When I think about my grandmother; I remember watching her cook or bake, barely using any measuring cups or spoons. Some of you will think this is an odd memory, but I cannot think of one time where I saw my grandmother sitting on a sofa. She would always sit in a chair, letting anyone who wanted to relax to take the couch. The two of them were everything one would want in a grandparent. They never yelled or disciplined any of their grandchildren; the closest they came would be to stare at one of us with a short shake of their head. Compared to 86 year old Irving Zisman, played by Johnny Knoxville (The Last Stand, The Ringer) in this comedy, my grandparents were living in a coma. When Irving’s daughter was sentenced to prison; it was up to him to drive his 8 year old grandson Billy, played by Jackson Nicoll (The Fighter, Arthur), cross country to be with his father. Along the way Irving exposed his grandson to people and places that were never mentioned in any child rearing manuals. If you dislike practical jokes, chances are you will not like this film that sprung out of the Jackass film franchise. After the first Jackass film, I thought the rest went quickly downhill. The thing I liked about this crazy movie was the fact it had a story outline and it stayed with it. Johnny was impressive in his ability to stay in character, never laughing at the wild scenes he created along with the other writers. I thought Jackson did a wonderful job with the way he used his sad eyes and face of resignation at the right times. There were some scenes that were so outrageous I could not help but wonder if the innocent bystanders actually knew what was going on. Having seen the trailers for some time now, I was worried they showed the best parts of the movie. They did take a little of the surprise away from me, but most of the scenes still had a little extra oomph to offer in this funny film. I actually laughed out loud during several episodes. Almost every family has one relative who is considered the crazy or wild one. It is all relative though when you stack them up against Irving Zisman.
2 3/4 stars