I saw the movie Lakeview Terrace yesterday, and I decided to merge it with the title of another movie, Fireproof, for my post title because Fireproof almost stole the show.
An action thriller starring Samuel L. Jackson, Lakeview Terrace is about a tough Los Angeles cop who does not like his new neighbors, seemingly because they are an interracial couple. He makes indirect threats, among other things, and the couple has trouble at first determining whether or not they’re making something of nothing. As the tension escalates however, it soon becomes clear that their neighbor is in fact mentally unstable, and as he comes closer and closer to cracking, the couple has no one to call for help because of the camaraderie between police officers known as the “blue wall of silence”. The movie was entertaining to watch; it wasn’t as good as I had hoped but just as good as I expected – one of those movies where they showed most of the good parts in the previews. It was very predictable yet also very good at establishing mood throughout. For instance, at times, the tension that was built in the movie – and the theater – was so thick you could have cut it with a knife. They did a nice job of setting the mood of the neighborhood also; a nice homey-like cul-de-sac, complete with barking dog nestled in the California hills gave it both a nice family feeling and also played up the isolation factor. I thought Samuel L. Jackson was really good in this movie – the way he delivered some of his lines was effective in subtly portraying his disdain for his neighbors. And the reason for his racial prejudices was surprising and an interesting addition to the plot. The movie did put the spotlight on many racial issues in a thought-provoking manner.
Overall, a very entertaining movie, even though some of the events that I think were meant to surprise the audience did not because the movie was predictable. The other criticisms I have with it are that none of the characters were likable – it was difficult to root for the couple who was being picked on by Jackson because they each had some serious character flaws. Also, it was not believable that an LA cop would have enough money to be able to afford the house where he resided – nestled in the hills outside of Los Angeles, the houses featured in the movie had spectactular views, gorgeous landscaping, and the neighbors had a beautiful in-ground pool. How the neighbor could afford what would probably be a multi-million dollar house as his “starter home” on a grocery store management position’s salary, I do not know. Hey, Jamiahsh, when you get your house in the hills of LA with your in-ground pool and luxury patio furniture, can we visit?
Another thing I found strange about Lakeview Terrace was the impending wildfire that threatened the neighborhood – I didn’t see the point in it. Maybe to further illustrate the isolation the couple felt as their neighbor tormented them? I don’t know, but it fits in well with the title of my post because of another movie that’s coming out called Fireproof. As we bought our tickets, the worker at the movie theater asked if we had heard of Fireproof and gave us a flier. We hadn’t heard a word about it, and she said that some church bought up all the vouchers they were selling for the movie. They weren’t going to get the movie if they didn’t sell enough vouchers, but apparently they sold well over what they expected. I was intrigued because I hadn’t heard of the movie before and wondered why it was getting so much underground buzz. Since we got home late last night and went right to bed, before I had a chance to look it up it was talked about on the Dr. Phil show this morning. Apparently it stars Kirk Cameron, and it’s about a firefighter who tries to save his marriage by doing a 40-day experiment called “The Love Dare”. Hmmm, I still don’t really get it, but I think it’s neat that it’s getting so much buzz without being a mainstream movie and showing previews and all that jazz. It’s supposed to be a really good movie, thought provoking and well-written, and that isn’t just coming from Kirk Cameron – it’s on imdb.com. Hopefully it will be at the theater for longer than its limited run so I can check it out. A bit of interesting trivia I found out about it – Kirk Cameron made a promise to Chelsea Noble, his wife of 17 years that he wouldn’t ever kiss another woman, on screen or off. So in the part of the movie where they needed a shot of him kissing his movie wife, his real wife was a stand-in so they could get the shot of the husband and wife kissing. I think it’s sweet, but some people used it as a reason to pick on Cameron saying he doesn’t understand acting… Oh, well, you can’t please everyone!