Sunday, July 29, 2012

Cinema Babble: 'Sup in Your Naybe

The Flick: The Watch

The Peeps: Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, Richard Ayoade, I swear there is Billy Crudup in there as 'Paul', Rosemary DeWitt, Will Forte, etc.

The Dealio: When Costco manager Evan (Stiller) discovers his night security guy has been murdered on site, he decides to organise a neighborhood watch to figure out who dunnit. In response to his very public plea for recruits, three men respond: gadget-crazy Bob (Vaughn), police department reject (for cause) Franklin (Hill) and newcomer to the area, Jamarcus (Ayoade). After only a few hours together, Bob has co-oped the entire watch, Franklin is armed to the teeth and Jamarcus is...well, hoping for a connection with a gorgeous, scared Asian housewife. Then, (and this is not a spoiler, since it features hugely in the trailers), something decidedly off-planet occurs and the men are convinced they have to save their beloved town from peril at the hands of, well, planet-decimating Aliens. What to do, what to do? Well, what do you think they elect to do? First of all, they begin to look at everybody with suspicion and calculation. Next, they decide to arm themselves. Lastly, they decide they need to come up with some sort of plan. Naturally.

The Grading Session: 3.79 pengies out of 5. What did you think you were going to get with Vaughn, Stiller and Hill front and center? Well, that's exactly what you get here. The music is  a pretty apt match for the spirit of the thing. The tale, while familiar, is about right for this part of the summer, hammocked neatly between 'think and rethink about it' movies and 'what the aitch is this dreck?' movies.  One more thing- and I know you have heard this from me before- but, if movie-makers are going to repeat themselves, I feel I also have free rein to do this as well, no? Why, oh why must we have the archetypal Aliens- replete with spiny appendages that renders every casual swipe deadly, with poly alloy endo-skeleton, dripping green blood and KY jelly? OK. True, this iteration does have one anomaly, upon which a major plot development hinges, but...really? This is as far as we have evolved, Aliens-wise since the original Sigourney Weaver vehicle?  Which is to say, scarcely at all? Can we work on this, peeps?

Lessons Learned: Sometimes the creepy neighbors /townspeople are just that. Although them being Aliens, as well, would certainly explain a lot-  like  the group visits to your front porch to announce that water from your sprinkler is falling on their lawn. (Folks, what about all that nasty rain? Does that not also...oh, never mind).Next this: isn't it the job of the neighborhood welcoming committee to report...suspicions about  newcomers? I am pretty sure it is not all about the muffin baskets. Those are simply  a ploy to lull us into complacency, before we reveal our true selves. Lastly this: for all the talk of off-planet Aliens, don't we also tend to look at our nearest and dearest as Aliens as well: don't understand the way they dress, talk, think, their music and their enthusiasms. And we definitely do not get how to communicate with them. Your mileage may differ.

Notable Quotable: Evan(fingering some green glop): Wait a minute! I've seen this before. I saw it near Antonio...' Franklin: 'Had he just won a Kids' Choice Award?'

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