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CASE STUDY

FACTS:

I’m here to tell you why this is a movie really worth watching, especially if you want that
geeky brain to feel a rush of cold water.

Imagine opening your ATM and you find out that you have $700,000.00 in your account.
Surprised, you take some of the money (which is A LOT) and then going back to your tiny little
shabby apartment only to be surprised by the packages inside your abode. You open them, and
you find you have some guns of different sizes, ammos and other military stuff, and then later
your mobile phone rings. “You have 15 seconds Jerry Shaw to leave the premises…” and
suddenly all those things that the voice is saying will be a total blur as you’d probably resort to
panic. Seconds later, the FBI crashes on your window and arrest you.

That’s probably the short intro to “Eagle Eye” starring Shia LaBeouf (I still see him as Even
Stevens). I can’t tell you the rest of the story because I don’t want to spoil you with the
experience but rest assured this is highly recommended especially if you want to be paranoid
with every form of technology. There’s an advices tells everyone that cell phones can be tracked
by the FBI just be merely turning it on. They can hear you through the phone’s microphone and
so the best thing to protect your privacy is to turn it off and remove the battery.

All I can say is the story is action-packed, witty, and the director is most probably a geek. The
tension in the story builds up as the thought provoking questions rush into you after the film: Is
freedom worth sacrificing for security? The limits of logic of the machines and the flaw of being
human when it comes to right and wrong is the meat of this cinematic experience. The scarier
part of this is that we’re nearer to this futuristic possibility than ever before.

I’m not encouraging you to be a Luddite, but the whole film makes sense, coupled with
breathtaking action packed scenes and paranoia.

My personal opinion is that the real danger lies in the fact that a system used for
eavesdrop may be harmful if not maintained and not used with care and rigorous supervision. We
import majority of our goods from there, we outsource technologies and let us all be realistic we
are greatly dependent on them.

The technology will take over a lot of the human jobs, if it didn’t already! It is slowly integrating
into our lifestyles, and it does that gradually, the day when we come to see the bigger picture the
damage may be irreversible!

Once Jerry Shaw (Shia LaBeouf) was onscreen, the tone took a definite change. I relaxed a little
as we got into Jerry’s life, and that became a landslide of change when he’s notified of his twin
brother’s death. In just a few short moments more, the game was in play. Jerry gets framed for
being a terrorist in a way that forcibly made you check disbelief at the door. The first incredible
thing, to me, was that he opened all the boxes containing weapons and military intelligence
information. After the first one, I would have been out the door. I wouldn’t have needed the
creepy voice on the phone.

Unfortunately, Jerry’s instincts are hampered by the script, which says that he’s supposed to
stand around there and get caught by Homeland Security. The second incredible thing to me is
that Jerry’s connection to his dead brother and the top secret project he was working on didn’t
immediately trigger a lot of red flags throughout the intelligence community.

LaBeouf really pulls off the character, though. Jerry felt real, a desperate slacker blindsided by
something far beyond his comprehension. Michelle Monaghan plays Rachel Holloman, a single
mother, who gets trapped in the same web of deceit and double-cross that has snared Jerry.

After the opening acts have played out, I started grooving on the movie. It feels very
Hitchcock an. I love movies with lots of action, layers, and duplicity that keep me guessing
throughout. Eagle Eye did precisely that.

I loved the escalating chase and the unknowable stakes involved. Billy Bob Thornton
plays Special Agent Tom Morgan and provides a lot of tough guy lines perfectly. He won me
over immediately and ratcheted up the suspense by being so good and so dogged at his pursuit.
Rosario Dawson portrays Air Force Office of Special Operations Special Agent Zoe Perez as his
counterpart in the USAF. Both of them have limited time onscreen, but they deliver solid
performances that keep the movie spinning like a top.

I had a blast during the movie, but a lot of it went through very familiar moves. There’s
nothing in Eagle Eye that hasn’t been seen before, but its solid entertainment and the kind of
story that I love watching. The special effects and stunt crews obviously had a great time putting
this movie together, because there didn’t seem to be anything that didn’t get wrecked, shot, or
“blowed up real good.”

One stumbling block, for me, was the final scene of the movie. It just felt like a Band-Aid,
something that Hollywood insisted on sticking in to hint at a romance. The story was tight
enough that it didn’t need the romance. The final scene in North by Northwest works because the
story lent itself to that subplot. This one just doesn’t work and felt false.

I forgive the movie its political overtones and undisguised President bashing because it was fun.
If you’re going to get irritated over either of those issues, I’d suggest passing this one up. But if
you want an actioner with heart, plenty of tech-paranoia, and solid characters doing what they’re
supposed to do, Eagle Eye is fun, fast-paced, and entertaining.
PROBLEM/ISSUES

Returning home to grieve after the shocking death of his overachieving twin brother, an
aimless slacker named Jerry (Shia LaBeouf) finds himself inexplicably linked to a notorious
terrorist cell and hotly pursued by federal authorities. With the nation’s law enforcement
agencies hunting them down, Jerry and single mother Rachel (Michelle Monaghan) — who’s
also been framed — must work around the clock to clear their names.

First of all let me focus on the negatives here. The plot is one of those big question raisers as to
“can this actually happen?” And the question to this is no, but that’s why we go to see films like
this. But there are a lot of problems with this plot mostly cause it gets more insane by the second
as it goes on. There is literally one scene where LaBeouf falls from a third story window, only to
crash and fall on a subway railroad track, but have the strength to get up out of the trains way.
Yeah, it’s very hard to believe anybody could actually do this in real-life.

Throughout the whole beginning and first hour of the film you’re wondering, who is actually
doing all of this, and when they actually show you, you are still scratching your head. Like
honestly, you could have put a dog in a high-chair and it would have been more plausible than
what they had. The fact that this computer mind thingy, that actually quite resembles Hal 9000,
just saying. The stuff that has to do with this computer doesn’t really entertain as much mostly
due to the fact that the film doesn’t know what to say about it either. There is also a little
political message like there is a “big brother” and their always watching you, didn’t really ring a
huge bell for me since it just came off as stupid and unintelligent.

However, despite those negatives I still thoroughly enjoyed many other elements of the film.
Director D.J. Caruso uses a lot of action to keep this story moving forward but it doesn’t feel like
a Michael Bay film as it’s used by CGI or a computer, but it actually feels real, especially when
the car crashes x6 happen. Even despite the action, the best scenes I think, are just the quiet,
smooth scenes between LaBeouf and Monaghan, and actually bring a lot to the film.

I don’t care what people say about Shia LaBeouf being a pretty boy, but this boy can totally act.
He’s got a lot of skill to bring out all the emotions necessary to keep his character believable.
Michelle Monaghan is also great, and actually has a lot of great scenes where she is showing
emotion for her son that she is trying to find. The two despite the general appeal they have,
create this great chemistry together, and put a lot of heart into their scenes, as well as making you
believe what is happening, is real.

Various aspects of cyber terrorism have been featured in movies .The movie exposes an
unchanging one-man-hero plot; an unpredictably convoluted movie provides the viewers with a
massive number of special effects in order to tell a story of a terrorist plot against the President
of the United States.

This film comments on the terrorists’ ability to use technology and the Internet to
detonate bombs, communicate during the ‘operation’, create podcasts and send their threats to
into the cyberspace. Eagle Eye (2008) differs from the aforementioned films because its plot
depicts a non-human actor – a government-created artificial intelligence machine with a sexy
female voice, – who intends to assassinate the executive branch of the U.S. government. The
movie lacks a clear message, but certainly shows how an over-reliance on technology can
contribute to our vulnerability.

These movie share a few simple core ideas, humans can always out-do the computers, if
there are bad cyber guys, there always will be good cyber guys who help save the world,
infrastructure and military complex are two main targets of a cyber terrorist, and the government
is helpless, therefore a lonely hero has to step in. The government looses communication with its
sectors, the financial sector collapses, transportation system is down and special agents cannot
deal with such large-scale disaster.

Shia LeBeouf and Rachel Monaghan play two strangers, who become forcefully
acquainted by an artificial intelligence machine created by the U.S. government. The cyber
monster has the capacity to tap into every possible computer, cell phone, the Internet and
government databases. The machine (ARIIA) has concluded that the executive branch is a threat
and it betrayed the interests of the American people and, therefore, must be eliminated. If
anything, the film showed the acute palpability of the cyber attack. From the stop lights to
subway trains – the transportation system is hooked up to the computers (if not controlled, then it
is operated by computers). Therefore, the possibility of someone (or an Artificial Intelligence in
this case) hacking into the system could potentially cause major disruptions and loss of lives.
Therefore, Eagle Eye (2008) once again exposed the vulnerability of ‘being connected’ and
posed a question about the cyber capacity of terrorists.

SOLUTION:

Without spoiling too much the movie revolves around eliminating the chain of succession
in the US government down to just one in the chain who is acceptable to the movie’s villain. The
film never explains that is what is happening except to say “You will be the next president” at
one point. It would require some background to know what was going on. There is also a short
scene with a partial reading of the Preamble to the Constitution that is pretty cool in terms of
how it is animated. There are equally minor references to the Constitution’s discussion of power.

The movie, however, doesn’t do anything to teach what these things are. It does, however, at
least paint a picture of why we have a chain of succession and what the Constitution, taken to the
extreme, might mean.
RECOMMENDATION:

Eagle Eye, which came out this past summer, fell under the radar for most movie
watchers since it wasn’t cut out to meet the popular interests of the American people. It also must
be frowned upon by pro-government enthusiasts since it is a movie loaded with conflicts
surrounding civil government—America’s government system in particular. At the end of the
day, your average citizen wants to know “who are the good guys?” so he/she can join the good-
guy group to support them. This film demonstrates how, in reality, it’s not that simple. Is there
any single group that is honestly 100% that good guy? IS there a standard that we can support?

The cleverness of the film and its shear entertainment value keeps your attention most of way
wanting to know what’s going to happen next. But once the film is over, and the ‘good guys’ can
go home, the film leaves a great deal unanswered—questions for which it begs you to find
answers. It doesn’t offer possible solutions because the conflicts between different views of
patriotism are more conflicting and complex than time allows an answer for in a two-hour movie.
That being said, the movie is great! Getting people to think about these difficult issues is a good
thing. Hopefully, people watching the movie will use a great deal of discernment and consider
what is the right thing to do when any party, including civil government, is violating civil
government’s jurisdiction.

One remarkable quality to the American legal system the movie forgot to address was the
excellent checks and balances our legal system offers. The government’s multileveled branches,
both state and federal, offer greater opportunity to establish justice and sound civil authority.
Most people are aware that these safeguards built in by the authority of the constitution are
becoming less and less respected by civil magistrates. Indeed, if such checks in the system are
lost, we potentially set ourselves up for a terrible conflict such as what the movie Eagle Eye
illustrates.

It is no surprise to any of us that hackers would sooner or later intend to penetrate some of the
products offered by Google. Gmail was their target this time. In hopes to gather some political
intelligence – no surprise there either! The rumor that is going around is that the U.S.
government unintentionally helped the hackers.
EAGLE EYE

Submitted by: Submitted to:

Ms. Lalaine Joy Vispo Mrs. Elaine Bolambot

BS Computer Science - 411