Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Boys in the Hood!

The Watch  (20th Century Fox, 2012)

Before the Camera:

Ben Stiller  (Empire of the Sun)
Vince Vaughn  (Domestic Disturbance)
Jonah Hill  (Accepted)
Richard Ayoade (TV's The IT Crowd)
Rosemary DeWitt  (Cinderella Man)
Will Forte  (Beerfest)
Erin Moriarty  (TV's One Life to Live)
Mel Rodriguez  (Little Miss Sunshine)
Doug Jones  (Hellboy)
Nicholas Braun  (Sky High)
R. Lee Ermey (Hexed!)

Behind the Camera:

Directed by Akiva Schaffer

Produced by Blondel Aidoo, Monica Levinson, Shawn Levy, Tom McNulty, and Billy Rosenberg

Written by Jared Stern, Seth Rogen, and Evan Goldberg

Evan Trautwig (Stiller) is your average suburban guy – he’s the manager at the local Costco; he heads up a “running club;” and he and his wife are working to start a family. When a Costco security guard is killed in the store, Trautwig seizes the moment to form a neighborhood watch group. At the recruiting meeting, only three men show up: Bob (Vaughn), who uses the watch to spy on his teenage daughter's dating; Franklin (Hill), a slightly unbalanced young man unable to join the police force due to various physical and mental issues; and Jamarcus (Ayoade), a recently divorced man. While Evan works diligently to make the watch effective; the others use it as an excuse to drink and party. But one night, while driving around, they accidentally hit something. When they investigate, they find weird pieces of tentacle clinging to Evan’s car and nearby, a strange metallic orb. After messing around with it, they discover that it fires a highly destructive particle beam weapon, and they deduce that it and the tentacle must be of alien origin. As evidence of the alien invasion mounts, will these four knuckleheads be able to convince anyone in authority in time - or will they have to man up and stop the aliens themselves?

Hill, Stiller, Ayoade, and Vaughn discover that "orbit" takes on a whole new meaning...

This movie locked in as a must see for me the minute I found out Richard Ayoade was in it. My wife and I discovered a British sitcom called The IT Crowd that he stars in – and we have become huge fans of his quirky character Moss. The initial previews didn’t highlight him at all – sticking to Stiller, Vaughn, and Hill as the stars. But finally they featured him – with the announcer having problems pronouncing his last name (it’s Eye-yo-ah-day, by the way). I also thought it was interesting that after a couple of spots set up the alien invasion angle – they completely shifted the advertising to the three (or four) stars – with no mention of anything otherwordly going on. Consequently, I think some audience members are being caught off guard by the movie – which is a full on sci-fi comedy in the vein of Evolution or Paul. It’s also pretty vulgar – another expected development when you see Seth Rogen’s name among the writers.

While it’s not breaking much in the way of new ground, I had a good time with the movie. The four leads play their usual characters – Stiller the befuddled reactor; Vaughn a motormouthed party animal; Hill the outsider with anger issues, and Ayoade the nerdish and socially awkward one. Within the framework of the rather routine script – it is obvious director Schaffer has let the four run wild with improv – resulting in some hilarious four way verbal give and takes – and even periodically showing a conversational tangent from one cracking up the others on screen. Vaughn takes off in a couple of directions that are fairly bewildering, but just the sheer weirdness of his thought process is funny. For me, this improvisational style, some surprisingly silly moments, and the R rated depths the movie sinks to made it work just fine. It’s also worth mentioning that despite the comedic tone there are moments of graphic violence in the movie – it’s not wall to wall gore – but kind of surprising nonetheless. All four stars have very funny moments, and there’s good support from the rest of the cast, with DeWitt as Stiller’s wife and Forte as a prissy town policeman standing out – as well as the always hilarious R. Lee Ermey in a small role.

If you’re a fan of any of the stars or like goofy sci fi comedies, and don’t mind salty language and body fluid jokes this is probably a safe bet for you. Others might want to steer clear of this one.

Let's Get Out of Here ?

I can't be sure of the time code - our screening was delayed for some minutes by a thunderstorm's power surge knocking the projector offline - but after Ben Stiller climbs up and lifts the orb, Vince Vaughn adds an F bomb to make sure everyone knows he wishes them all to be elsewhere.

Eye Candy ?

Both main ladies are cute and all - but neither is showcased in a way that gets them on the list.

Sorry, ladies.

Buddha Man's Capsule Review
Buddha Man says "Dripping with gooey humor,
The Watch is worth the watch."

Thank you, BM! Until next post, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!


  1. I want to see this solely for Richard Ayoade. I love the IT Crowd. He's also great in Garth Marenghi's Darkplace and The Mighty Boosh. He's looking like a kick ass director as well if his debut. ''Submarine'' is anything to go by.

    1. I would say for Ayoade alone this is worth a watch. I haven't seen Submarine yet but definitely plan to. Thanks for coming by!

  2. I hate Ben Stiller and I hate Jonah Hill. Guess who won't watch this? ;-)

    1. ME?

      No, wait, already saw it...

      Dang it! Can I get another hint?

  3. I didn't remember Stiller in Empire of the Sun. How cool he was in there! I remember first seeing him as the mob boss' punk kid in Next of Kin, one of my fave flicks from Patrick Swayze. It also had Liam Neeson and Bill Paxton.

    You know I do love a good salty comedy so this one sounds right up my alley. Can't wait to see it.

    1. I love adding those extra credit tidbits - usually going for the weirdest, the most obscure, or something that's been hashed around here at some point! I need to see Next of Kin again - it's got all those guys in it! That shot up around your neck of the woods, didn't it?

      I hope you like it! Don't expect too much - it's kind of routine, but the four leads carry it bodily along!