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The Lookout - drama/thriller DVD review
THE LOOKOUT rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America rating: 3 1/2 stars
Actors: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jeff Daniels, Matthew Goode, Isla Fisher, Carla Gugino
Director: Scott Frank   Studio: Miramax
DVD release: 14 August 2007   Runtime: 99 minutes (1 disc)
Format: Closed-captioned, Color, DVD-Video, NTSC
DVD Features: Subtitles (English, Spanish, French), Audio Tracks (English, Dolby Digital 5.1; French, Dolby Digital 5.1), Commentary by writer/director Scott Frank and director of photography Alar Kivilo, Making-of Featurette: Sequencing "The Lookout," Behind the Mind of Chris Pratt

Written and directed by Scott Frank (who also wrote the screenplays for Minority Report, Get Shorty, and Out of Sight), The Lookout stars Joseph Gordon Levitt as Chris Pratt, a superstar high school hockey player who has a tragic accident that disables him for life, leaving both emotional and physical scars.

This is where the movie opens up. Chris Pratt is driving his friends through the fields of Kansas. In an "exuberance of youth," moment Chris turns off the lights, and there are all smiles on all the passengers' faces - until Chris turns the headlights back on a fraction of a second before they plow into a combine. It's later that we know that he has been thrown ninety feet and his friends are dead.

The movie flashes forward. We now see Chris in a rehabilitation class trying to improve his cognitive abilities, but he's extremely frustrated. The once-star athlete has had major trauma to his frontal lobe and needs to write things down so he can remember them. Chris lives with a blind man named Lewis, portrayed by Jeff Daniels (Dumb and Dumber, Blood Work). He also has a menial job a janitor at a bank. Chris soon runs into Gary Spargo (Matthew Goode), who seems friendly but really isn't. Gary and his buddies have been surveiling the bank Chris works at because they want to rob it, and Gary manipulates Chris through his own inabilities and family issues to convince him that robbing the bank is a good idea. Chris goes along, but the movie doesn't end like you think it will.

Levitt gives a solid performance, as does Jeff Daniels. The pace lags at times, but the direction is solid and you aren't bludgeoned to death with shot after shot. The middle-of-nowhere feel in the dead of winter imparts a little of that Fargo feel. The movie pulls you in with the acting and personal interaction rather than special effects. This isn't a non-stop action movie filled with high-speed car chases and explosions; it is a drama/thriller with heart that moves you with dialogue and thought-provoking scenes. Highly recommended.
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reviewed by Bobby Blades
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