The Watch (Out on DVD now…)
I can remember when this movie was due to come out, it was around the time of the Trevon Martin shooting and there was some thought that it might be insensitive for the movie makers to release the movie given how events unfolded in that very real situation. After having seen this movie, I can report to one and all that no one should have been the least offended by this movie, other than perhaps the movie goers who spent their hard earned money paying for a ticket to get into this monstrosity.
The movie centers on Ben Stiller’s character working at a Costco as a manager and the death of the store’s night watchman. Stiller, an over eager, over achiever in this movie spends the majority of the movie ignoring his wife and founding various clubs, events and you guessed it a neighborhood watch program rather than spend quality time with his wife. Rather than the community being shocked and outraged by the death of this night watchman, they’re apathetic and indifferent with Stiller’s character only able to recruit three people for his crusade. The movie takes a turn to the strange when it turns out that the killer is in fact an alien and that the alien is just one of many aliens bent on invading Earth and decimating it for our natural resources.
So let’s talk a little bit about this movie…Ben Still players the same character he plays in EVERY movie he’s ever been in, with the sole exception of ‘Next of Kin’, this neurotic over achieving character could be the twin brother of ‘Gaylord Focker’ from the meet the parents series. He brings nothing new to this performance that you haven’t seen in anything else he’s ever done. For that matter Vince Vaughn is in the same boat, the best work he ever did was 2001’s ‘Domestic Disturbance’ and in ‘The Watch’ we are treated to the same character he plays in every movie, an over-active pot smoking, alcohol drinking partying Wildman who just wants to have some fun. And while we’re on the topic of people playing the very same characters, let’s talk a little bit about Jonah Hill; this is the same character from every movie he has played in since he got a career from being in ‘Superbad’ and I would further argue that this is the character from ‘Superbad’ grown up and trying to find his way in the world.
So my strong advice would be to take your hard earned movie money and go spend it elsewhere on something better to watch, this movie was just plain awful and certainly nothing you haven’t seen out of these actors before.
0 Stars out of 5, put this on your ‘don’t watch’ list.
Red Lights (On Netflix and Amazon Prime now…)
Red Lights is one of those pleasant surprises that pop up every once in a while on whatever streaming video service you happen to be using. It has a wonderful cast (Cillian Murphy, Sigourney Weaver and Robert De Niro…) that pulls you into the movie, it is well filmed on a modest budget with a decent story and minimal computer effects.
The movie deals with a couple of parapsychologists (people who study the supernatural or ‘Ghostbusters’ to use a familiar term…) who go around debunking fake psychics. Robert De Niro plays a psychic who has been out of the limelight for years and who has come out of retirement. The movie centers around the battle between these two sets of characters with Cillian Murphy, who plays the assistant to Sigourney Weaver, caught square in the middle pushing her to go after De Niro and expose him.
The movie is fraught with tension and atmosphere and has a helluva story that keeps you engaged and interested, also it has a decent ending that made the whole trip worthwhile. In an age of spoilers and online synopsis I had somehow never heard of this movie before watching it and now I’m recommending it to everyone.
Don’t read anything about it, just sit down in a darkened room with your favorite snack on a cold rainy night and turn it on, you won’t regret it.
4 Stars out of 5, I predict you will like it!
Keith Kilburn and his wife, Dawn, live in Leesburg with two cats and dog named Godzilla. He’s written for Herorealm.com before they were bought out by corporate interests and has written a novel that he’s working on publishing. It’s rumored that he’s seen more movies than Blockbuster rents in a year and knows more about comic books than Stan Lee himself!