As anyone who pays even the slightest bit of attention to reality can tell you, things in this life have a tendency to repeat [consider the peppers I had for dinner tonight. Or don't]. Consider World War I, followed twenty or so years later by World War II [The Sequel]. More to the point, consider the two movie posters reproduced above. On the left, it's James Stewart and Grace Kelly, promoting the classic Alfred Hitchcock film Rear Window. On the right, Shia LaBeouf, in a poster for last year's Disturbia. Pretty similar, aren't they? Both include a man holding binoculars, and feature a black - and - red color scheme [although anyone who dares to compare Mr. Stewart and Mr. LaBeouf's acting talent will personally get bitch-slapped by me for being a wise-ass].
Anyway, in a new lawsuit playing to early critical acclaim, the owners of the original story ["Murder From A Fixed Viewpoint"] claim that, since Disturbia is such a precise copy of [oh, let's be nice and call it homage to] Rear Window, it, like the Hitchcock predecessor, should have paid royalties to use that story [as Alfred Hitchcock and James Stewart, who conceived the idea of making the movie, did].
What makes this all the more fascinating is the fact that Steven Spielberg was Executive Producer on Disturbia. One would think Spielberg, of all people, would know better. He must have seen this coming when major reviews in New York and Toronto noted the glaring similarities [while noting that, for all that, it was a reasonably well-made movie. But no Rear Window].
Anyway, I had an idea. In future, whenever a movie too closely copies another film, domestic or foreign, without openly admitting it, half the profits should go into research. After all, there are only supposed to be seven "plots". It's time for the creative people of the world to fill in the many gaps on the Periodic Table of Plots [or, at the very least, come up with an eighth plot!].
- Mike [humming She Blinded Me With Science] Riley
P.S.: I'm Michael Riley, and I do not approve this message.