Heroes of the East

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    The Watch (2012: Akiva Schaffer)

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    Masterofoneinchpunch

    Posts : 401
    Join date : 2011-02-16
    Location : Modesto, CA

    The Watch (2012: Akiva Schaffer)

    Post  Masterofoneinchpunch on Wed Aug 15, 2012 9:53 am

    [quote from previous review] “I do wonder if the funniest part of the upcoming The Watch will be when they shoot the alien over and over again as shown in the trailer.” Yes.

    100+ degree (Fahrenheit) days are great to escape the heat and/or work to spend in the theater (as long as the air conditioning is working). The only thing that can ruin it is the crowd and/or the movie. At first I was a little wary of a group of thuggish 20-somethings who were a bit too loud in their tales of fighting and other posturing palaver that was eventually drowned out by the trailers and the ongoing incoming crowd.* I seriously did not think the crowd was going to be ten people much less the plus-thirty crowd on a Thursday afternoon. It has been over a month since I have seen a Fandango commercial, I count my blessings every time, and the trailers were mostly benign so I was going into the movie in a rather good mood. I was hoping that Roger Ebert’s two-star review was not a correct summation of The Watch.

    Ben Stiller is Evan a childless suburbanite who runs a plethora of neighborhood clubs and is an outstanding employee of the local Costco. A coworker Antonio Guzman was brutally murdered and had his skin removed. This led to Stiller to create yet another club – The Neighborhood Watch (the original title of the film which was changed at the last minute because of the Treyvon Martin shooting, the theater that I go to still have some The Neighborhood Watch props) to find the murder and prevent other additional crimes. Far from a starting success it does attract a few malcontents in Bob (Vince Vaughn) a well to do parent who is looking for some male friends, a loner sociopath in Franklin (Jonah Hill) who could not make the police squad and Jamarcus (Richard Ayoade from The IT Crowd) a recent divorcee who is just looking for friends. I think Vaughn ends up being the funniest of the bunch with Hill close behind (my favorite comedic role of his so far is him in 21 Jump Street) while Ayoade is just bland and Stiller plays his character too straight and stiff, especially as the film goes on.

    But this group of social outliers is not taken seriously by the police, former drill sergeants or local teenagers. However, little did they know what they were getting into when they uncovered an alien plot to take over the world starting with their own little town. There are a couple of subplots with Stiller’s problem with child bearing (has sterility ever been funny in film) and Vaughn’s trouble with his daughter which gets to show the juxtaposition of Vince’s from fun friend to overbearing dad and back again.

    I tend to like Ben Stiller – especially when he is directing (Zoolander, Tropic Thunder). I liked Akiva Schaffer’s previous Hot Rod. Where did this film go wrong? I blamed Seth Rogan in my head as a joke while watching this unbeknownst that he co-wrote this. I should have realized that with the amount of penis jokes in the film that Rogan has his two hands on some aspect of this movie. I guess if there are script issues insert some more penis references. They were so overused that a flatulence joke now and then would have seemed like a breath of fresh air.

    The Watch felt like a PG-13 movie trapped in the body of an R-rated one. It is one of the films with a premise that felt forced into the realm of Judd Apatow and Todd Phillips without really knowing why or what to do with that material. How about gunshots to the aliens’ groins over and over? Not particularly funny the first time it was done, a lot less the hundredth time. The same goes for the aliens’ blood which resembles to them green spooge. How many times was that going to be milked?

    The movie was funny when it was absurd, which was one of the particular strengths of Schaffer’s Hot Rod (I loved the cool beans skit and the dancing Richardson), but not when male member naughty bits are discussed at length and yanked off and/or blown off of aliens. I think if it was up to Seth Rogan we would have seen full-monty aliens. When they have scenes such as blowing up everything from a cow to a barn with an alien device, Jonah has a particularly funny scene trying to impress his friends in front of his mother and when they drag a kid to the cops berating him as they do it, I found all of that funny. Along with the multiple shooting of the alien there are some good moments. However, they are all also all in the trailer.

    * Scariest looking crowd I have been apart of was the opening night for American Me (1992). It was sold out, packed with gang colors from different gangs (when gangs were a bigger issue in Modesto), but the night went without much mishap except for a few people flagged for smoking in the theater.

      Current date/time is Sun Sep 24, 2017 2:07 pm