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Blood and Guts. No Urine

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In spite of my cavils, I urge you not to pass up Black Book, especially on a wide screen. It’s a marvelous movie-movie, with a new screen goddess. Van Houten has a soft, heart-shaped face on top of a body so naturally, ripely beautiful it has its own kind of truth.

Disturbia is a trim little psycho-next-door movie that strives to be a teenpic Rear Window for the Internet age. The young protagonist, Kale (Shia LaBeouf—a good name for a porn actor), doesn’t have a broken leg like James Stewart, but he’s geographically hobbled, sentenced to house arrest for punching out a teacher who nastily invoked his dead father. After his mom (Carrie-Anne Moss) disables the TV set (bitch), Kale begins to take in his surroundings—first the foxy blonde next door (Sarah Roemer), then the icy weirdo (David Morse) with the car that fits the description of one last seen around a woman who never came home. One way you know that D.J. Caruso is a resourceful director is that he scares you silly with a minimum of violence and a few smears of blood. His job was certainly made easier by Morse, whose glassy demeanor and high, soft rasp suggests horrors that not even Quentin Tarantino could imagine.

Grindhouse
Directed by Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez. Dimension Films. R.

Jack Smith and the Destruction of Atlantis
Directed by Mary Jordan. Tongue Press. NR.

Black Book
Directed by Paul Verhoeven. Sony Pictures Classics. R.

Disturbia
Directed by D.J. Caruso. Paramount Pictures. PG-13.

E-mail: filmcritic@newyorkmag.com.


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