Barack Obama, Round 2. Barack Obama: The Sequel. Barack Obama Returns, Redux, Reloaded, Revisited, Rises, Strikes Back, New and Improved, Electric Boogaloo, and Back in the Habit. The man has been reelected as President of the United States of America, which means we're all set to gear up for the follow-up to the blockbuster hit (albeit with mixed critical reception), Obama: First Term.
The pres has been through this whole shebang before. Having run our nation for the past four years, we've got to assume he knows the drill enough to kick off his second go at achieving world peace... or whatever the goal is here. Going to Mars? Building the world's tallest skyscraper? What's at the top of your list, Mr. President?
Even with one fifth a score under his belt, there's always room for advice. Obama would be wise to follow the sage words of people who've dealt with the position before. Not real presidents like Bill Clinton, the Bushes, and Jimmy Carter. What do they know? No, we're talkin' the real Oval Office heroes. The ones from movies!
Open your ears to the wisdom of your predecessors, Barry-O. These quick quips might be all you need to bring your nation to safety in a clean 90 minute story one day."Never let anybody on your plane." – President James Marshall (Harrison Ford in Air Force One)
"Presidents are like sharks. If we stop moving for even one second, we'll die. Walk and talk, walk and talk!" – President Jed Bartlett (Martin Sheen on The West Wing)
"Don't sweat any crisis too much. A construction team will inevitably solve all your problems." – the president from Armageddon (Stanley Anderson)
"It's very important that you always... ah, who cares. Everyone's going to forget about your presidency and go see the Michael Bay one instead, anyway." – President Beck (Morgan Freeman in Deep Impact)
"People are there for your amusement. Give them crossbows and watch what happens." – President Snow (Donald Sutherland in The Hunger Games)
"Instantly incarcerate or deport anyone who looks like you... unless you want to end up strapped to a hospital bed for the final year of your presidency." – President Bill Mitchell (Kevin Kline in Dave)
"Not every American voice counts... but Kevin Costner does." – President Andrew Boone (Kelsey Grammer in Swing Vote)
"Stock your cabinet with other characters played by the same actor who plays you. It works for greater harmony in decision making." – President Merkin Muffley (Peter Sellers in Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb)
"A good secret agent can make up for a staff of evil associates, and a none-too-loyal wife." – President David Palmer (Dennis Haysbert on 24)
"Kill those f***ing Cylons." – President Laura Roslin (Mary McDonnell on Battlestar Galactica)[Photo Credit: ]
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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.
UPDATE: No word yet on whether or not Abel will play Ian, but we do know -- per Deadline -- who has landed the other male-lead role, Jake: Max Irons, an up-and-coming young actor who was last seen in Red Riding Hood.
EARLIER: The kingdom of the young adult fiction genre might have a new contender for its throne. The name of this rising knight: Jake Abel.
He might not sound too familiar, but his reputation is on the rise. Abel has found his way into a collection of films of the young adult fiction nature: The Lovely Bones, I Am Number Four and the Percy Jackson & the Olympians movies. His next foray in this neighborhood might very well be as the star of Andrew Niccol's adaptation of the novel The Host, which is written by Twilight series author Stephanie Meyer.
The Host takes a look at a future society where spirits freely inhabit and then evacuate bodies of humans, without causing much of a stir. However, one of these alien spirits will become indefinitely attached to the body of a dying woman, bent on a mission to find a specific society of people.
Sure, the nature of the "young adult genre," and the source material coming from Meyer might be a bit polarizing. Though the Twilight series has its share of diehard fans, there are also those who are turned off by the franchise, and might be by any other film coming from a Meyer novel. However, for those, there is Andrew Niccol.
The director of the upcoming The Host is known for his cerebral winners. Niccol wrote and directed the classic sci-fi Gattaca, which is truly one of the greatest original dystopian films ever made, as well as the campy-but-interesting S1m0ne. Niccol also wrote The Truman Show and the story for Steven Spielberg's The Terminal. His most recent contribution is the Justin Timberlake starrer In Time.
So, this is really firing on all cylinders. For one the young adult genre, you have Abel and Meyer. For those who are hesitant about such films, you have Niccols. And for anyone who hates all of these things, you have alien spirits taking over dying people's bodies. If you have a problem with that, then there's no pleasing you.
Also starring in the film is Saoirse Ronan. Others in talks for Abel's role of a gradually reforming young thug include Dane DeHaan, Thomas McDonnell and Augustus Prew.