Troubled by unfortunate event after unfortunate event The Watch sidesteps faux pas to come out on top as a consistently funny sci-fi comedy that doesn't let its high concept tangle up a bevy of one-liners. The script penned by Jared Stern Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg assumes you've seen a few movies before entering the theater (mainly any sci-fi movie made in the 1980s). "Summer movie logic" is the foundation for The Watch's ridiculous plot which finds four adult nincompoops teaming up to form a Neighborhood Watch trying to solve the murder of a local Costco employee and eventually pursuing a killer extraterrestrial. Instead of making sense of it all The Watch wisely focuses on its four leads: Ben Stiller Vince Vaughn Jonah Hill and The IT Crowd's Richard Ayoade — a quartet whose bro banter goes a long way in spicing up the dust-covered material. There's nothing revelatory to be found in The Watch but the cast's knack for improv a poetry of the profane makes the adventure worth…viewing.
Director Akiva Schaffer (Hot Rod) establishes his two-dimensional characters quickly and bluntly smashing together broad personality types like a Hadron Collider of cinematic comedy. Stiller's Evan is a micromanaging do-gooder who can't find time for his wife; Hill's Franklin is a mildly disturbed weapons enthusiast yearning to join the police; Ayoade is the quaint weirdo who joins the Watch to fill the void left by his divorce; Vince Vaughn is Vince Vaughn: a loud crass gent looking for a bit of male bonding. The ragtag team assembles to fight crime but they spend most of their time drinking beers in a minivan — an affair they dub "stakeouts." A perfect opportunity for banter.
For a movie about enforcing the law and alien invasions there's a surprising lack of action in The Watch. Long stretches of the film see the central players yapping back and forth about everything: Russian nesting dolls peeing in cans or the similar viscosities of alien goo and human excrement. Charisma goes a long way and Vaughn does much of the heavy lifting making up for lost time out of the spotlight (he's been virtually nonexistent since 2005's Wedding Crashers). The man spits out jokes like no other — the rest of the cast barely keeps up. Ayoade balances out Vaughn's bombardment with a tempered timed delivery that's uniquely British and rarely found on the American big screen. Even when nothing's happening in The Watch it's rarely boring.
The Watch is at its best when it goes a step further mixing the group in with outsiders and throwing them off their rhythm. Billy Crudup cuts loose as a creepy neighbor and its delightfully weird while the always-impressive Rosemarie DeWitt as Evan's wife Abby brings unexpected warmth to the couple's relationship. Sadly The Watch mishandles its greatest asset: the aliens. The film never finds a pitch perfect blend of comedy and science fiction (Ghostbusters or Galaxy Quest this is not); a few scenes where the two come together hint at the best possible scenario but more often than not The Watch avoids its sci-fi roots. A moment in which the guys haul a dead alien back to their man cave plays like an E.T.-inspired version of The Hangover credits. It's lewd and ridiculous but the rest of the film struggles to maintain that energy.
Stiller Vaughn Hill and Ayoade have all proved themselves able funnymen capable of taking weak and tired material up a notch which they're forced to do in every moment of The Watch. Schaffer can handle his talent but his direction isn't adding anything to the mix. By the third slow-motion-set-to-gangster-rap scene The Lonely Island member's obsession with non-cool-coolness is officially just an attempt at being cool (which is not all that funny). The Watch has a greater opportunity than most comedy blockbusters to go absolutely bonkers: it's rated R. But instead of taking its twist and running with it the movie plays it safe. In this case safe is non-stop jokes about the many facets of human reproduction.
“My dick is going to get so wet tonight ” declares Costa the foul-mouthed ringleader of a trio of sex-starved teens in the opening moments of Project X the new “found-footage” comedy from director Nima Nourizadeh and producer Todd Phillips (The Hangover). Believe it or not this qualifies as one of his more charming moments in the film. All of 17 but blessed with an obnoxiousness lesser men would take decades to cultivate Costa (Oliver Cooper) is the perfect mascot for a film that makes no bones of its mostly prurient intentions proffering what is essentially a succession of debaucherous montages intermingled with uneven attempts at comedy and held together by the slimmest pretense of a plot.
Caustic as he is Costa at least exhibits something of a recognizable personality; the same cannot be said of his two cohorts the tubby dweeb J.B. (Jonathan Daniel Brown) and the earnest blank Thomas (Thomas Mann). None of them seem to enjoy much in the way of popularity at their high school located in the fictional suburb of North Pasadena but Costa has a plan to fix that. On the occasion of his 17th birthday Thomas whose parents have conveniently departed for the weekend reluctantly agrees to host a party that Costa promises will be a “game-changer” for their lowly social status.
Hardly a game-changer is Project X’s script co-written by Matt Drake and Michael Bacall which mostly treads a predictable teen-comedy path. At its outset the party appears to be a bust. Soon however hordes of eager revelers descend upon Thomas’ house and the event swiftly devolves into a festival of wanton hedonism that would impress Charlie Sheen. The orgy of booze drugs and sex is captured by Nourizadeh in one impressively slick sequence after another set to a vibrant soundtrack.
To maintain the guise of an actual movie – and to occupy us between shots of topless beauties downing tequila and frolicking in the pool – Project X tosses in a few familiar tropes to push its story along: an unstable drug-dealer bent on revenge a buzzkilling neighbor seeking to end the night’s festivities prematurely a budding but hesitant attraction between Thomas and his childhood friend Kirby (Kirby Bliss Blanton). But the scenes are so hollow and contrived that you get the sense even the filmmakers don’t buy them and only added them to the film in a transparent ploy to forestall allegations of complete and utter vapidity. The efforts serve only to add a dash of the banal to the proceedings.
Project X’s natural forebears – R-rated teen comedies Superbad and American Pie – tempered their crudity and outrageousness with a surprising degree of depth and sincerity. Moreover they were actually funny. Project X is a shallow affair to be sure but a dearth of laughs is what ultimately dooms it. A belligerent little person who goes on a crotch-kicking spree after being tossed in an oven amounts to the film’s most sophisticated attempt at humor. More often it relies on recycled gags from previous films (including Phillips’ own library from Road Trip to The Hangover Part II) and Jackass-inspired mishaps.
The found-footage approach has proven to be a potent (if overused) tool in horror films but its utility in the service of comedy at least in the hands of Nourizadeh is limited. It mostly comes across as a needless gimmick good for marketing purposes but little else. Perhaps acknowledging as much Project X’s backup plan calls for an incessant raising of the stakes. As the once-innocuous gathering metastasizes into a fully-fledged riot one so dangerous that even the police dare not intervene the specter of parental disapproval gives way to the threat of incarceration and finally to the potential incineration of the entire neighborhood. The scale of the destruction is impressive – especially for such a (presumably) low-budget film – but like much of what precedes it almost entirely pointless.
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TNT has released a trailer for its new series, Dallas, a sequel of sorts to the classic drama that ran from 1978 to 1991. The upcoming show follows the original's antiheroes, brothers J.R. Ewing (Larry Hagman) and Bobby Ewing (Patrick Duffy), and their respective sons John Ross (Josh Henderson) and Christopher (Jesse Metcalfe). As money and oil continues to drive the already heavily fissured family apart, the primary focus will be on the younger Ewings, who are destined to tread the line of brotherly love and vicious, greed-induced enmity as their fathers did before them.
The trailer below offers snippets from the new series, as well as some words on reviving the spirit of the Ewing family from a few of the stars. Dallas also introduces new characters like Elena Ramos, played by Jordana Brewster (of the Fast and the Furious series), Rebecca Sutter(Julie Gonzalo), and Bobby's new wife Ann Ewing (Brenda Strong). Other returning Dallas vets include Linda Gray and Steve Kanaly.
Dallas will premiere in the summer of 2012.
Modern Family will return to ABC on Wednesday, September 21. The season won't kick off in the suburban confines of the Dunphy's house or Mitchell's and Cameron's condo. Instead, the entire family (Haley's boyfriend Dylan included) will be visiting a dude ranch. Clearly, this is a family that'll fit right in. Jay will surely be invested in the cowboy lifestyle, while an overzealous Phil attempts to prove his manliness. Cameron will likely overshadow Mitchell in masculinity (as usual), and we can bet that Haley will show little interest in anything going on. As for Manny...whatever he does, it'll be gold.
Check out the photos for an early glimpse of what's to come on the third season premiere of Modern Family.
Source: TVLine, Seat42F
The organizers of Michael Moore's Michigan film festival have ignored pleas from the distributors of Jesus Camp to withdraw the upcoming movie from the event, over fears the film would be tainted by Moore's anti-conservative views.
The Oscar-winning filmmaker is well-known for his negative views on President George W. Bush and his government thanks to mega-hit documentaries Bowling for Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11.
Moore is screening Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady's documentary Jesus Camp--about a summer camp for born-again Christian children--at his annual Traverse City Michigan Film Festival today and tomorrow.
However, distributors Magnolia Films, who acquired the North American rights to the movie last week, believe Moore's association with the movie would hurt audience figures among conservative audiences.
Magnolia Films president Eamonn Bowles says, "The reality of the world we live in today is that if Michael Moore endorses it, tens of millions will automatically reject it."
Jesus Camp producers gave the festival's organizers permission to screen the film weeks before their deal with Magnolia and a festival spokesman has confirmed the screenings will still take place.
Article Copyright Entertainment News Network All Rights Reserved.
Movie star Luke Wilson is begging the producers of his new movie, Dallas, to reconsider making the film in Florida--because he thinks his home state of Texas deserves another look.
Wilson, who will play Bobby Ewing opposite John Travolta and Jennifer Lopez in the movie adaptation of the hot 1980s soap series, admits he's disappointed that Dallas won't be filmed anywhere near the Texas city.
Texas officials went out of their way to present filmmakers with an attractive deal if they filmed in the state, but producers Michael Costigan and Peter Cramer have decided Florida is a better pick.
Wilson says, "The people of Dallas were proud of the series. You never heard people say, 'Well, Dallas isn't really like Dallas the TV show.' We loved it. I was a fan of the show growing up.
"I was just back home and they have a whole campaign: 'Shoot J.R. in Dallas.' They really want the movie shot in Dallas. I know the mayor has called the studio and they really want to get it done there.
"But apparently Texas doesn't have the tax break deals like Louisiana or Canada, but they're trying to bend the rules a little so we can film in Dallas."
Article Copyright World Entertainment News Network All Rights Reserved.
The forthcoming movie version of TV hit Dallas could be made in Florida, to the fury of officials in Texas, where the 1980s soap was set.
John Travolta, Brad Pitt, Matthew McConaughey and Catherine Zeta-Jones are among the rumored cast for the big budget update on the tales of the Ewing family.
But the Dallas itself looks set to be snubbed when shooting begins later in the year, because the city can't compete with financial incentives on offer to take the shoot elsewhere.
Florida state film commissioner Pail Sirmonds reveals his state has offered a 15 per cent refund on all money spent there up to $2 million--an offer that looks certain to tempt producers to the Sunshine state.
Sirmonds says, "We're not out to try to steal Dallas from Texas. They came to us. Also, the actor being cast in the lead, John Travolta, lives in Florida. And the person who designed or built (Dallas ranch) Southfork built a duplicate near Jacksonville (Florida)."
Dallas movie producer Michael Costigan confesses, "Honestly, Dallas was never high on the list, because it didn't seem like a feasible, economic place to do the movie."
But Dallas Film Commission head Janis Burkland says, "It will be a horrible black eye to the state if Dallas isn't made in Dallas."
Article Copyright World Entertainment News Network All Rights Reserved.
Kindly chemistry whiz Sherman (Eddie Murphy) has found the love of his life in cutie colleague Denise (Janet Jackson) who appreciates the heart of gold beneath his extra-large exterior. But the hero's happiness is threatened when his irrepressible alter-ego Buddy Love (Murphy) reappears with a scheme to wreak havoc with Sherman's newly discovered youth potion.
"The Klumps" displays Murphy's remarkable talent for submerging himself in diverse characters even more prominently than the original did. He impressively expands upon the four Klump family members he plays with the aid of Rick Baker's Oscar-winning prosthetic makeup effects -- especially his hilarious turn as sex-crazed Granny Klump. Larry Miller is amusingly caustic as the dean of Sherman's college while pop diva Jackson deserves credit simply for keeping a straight face opposite Murphy's various incarnations.
Peter Segal ("Tommy Boy") hands in a polished if not particularly inspired piece of broad comedy that achieves its primary purpose -- staying out of Murphy's way as he works his special magic. The filmmakers pay little attention to the brainless shamelessly mechanical plotline devoting nearly all their energy to fart and sex gags that if anything aim lower than the original film's. We're talking about a flick draws one of its biggest laughs from a character getting sodomized by a giant hamster. Baby that's nasty!