Oct 28, 2011

[Movies] Observe and Report (2009)

Believe it or not, but everything that I review on this blog tends to be something I've watched  or finished reading recently. While it's easy to just dig up old movies that I had seen ages ago for possible reviews but then that wouldn't be as fun as going through the process of watching the good stuff all over again. Thus the reviews that appear here are pretty much a reflection of our recent media consumption habits.

That does mean that here and there I run into a wall when I don't have anything to review. ever since I implemented my personal schedule for which reviews are published on which specific day of the weak, it results in me needing to make sure that I diversify the stuff we allot time for in order to get a good balance.

So this was one of those instances when I needed an older movie to review and my partner pulled one out almost at random from his download queue. Given everything else he had, this seemed decent enough mainly because my partner has a bit of a thing for certain aspects of Seth Rogen. When I say aspects, I mean that there are only certain movies where Seth seems to have greater appeal for my partner where in others it just doesn't work.

I think this was definitely a case of the latter.


Observe and Report is a 2009 comedy written and directed by Jody Hill. This was the first movie that he had both written and directed - and I think it shows.

Peña, Faris and RogenImage by flipnodedotcom via FlickrThe movie takes place mostly at the Forest Ridge Mall somewhere in the US. The patrons are being terrorized by a notorious flasher and thus far the mall security team, as led by Ronnie Barnhardt (Seth Rogen) have yet to be determine his identity or any other valuable clues that might lead to actually capturing the guy. Ronnie swears to capture him together with the help of the rest of his team - Charles (Jesse Plemons), Dennis (Michael Peña) and the Yuen twins (John and Mathew Yuan).

Outside of this, Ronnie has a bit of a thing for the cosmetics girl Brandi (Anna Faris) while getting a free cup of coffee every day from Nell (Collette Wolfe) over at the food court. The case of the flasher continues to escalate with more patrons and even Brandi falling victim to his visual assualts. This attracts the interests of the local police and the case is taken over by Detective Harrison (Ray Liotta). Naturally this feels like a personal affront to Ronnie given his limited domain of control and thus the movie unfolds.

I had a lot of issues for the movie. The direction felt awkward. The dialog was weird. The jokes were mostly ill-timed and often fell flat. Thus the movie did not flow well and more often than not it felt like things just weren't well thought out. And it's not like the movie didn't have the elements for success - they had a lot of decent character concepts but they were never given enough things to do or witty things to say. More often than not they just resorting to swearing a lot as if that was enough to convey comedy.

The plot was just, ugh. I felt no real affinity for the character. I'm not sure what him being bi-polar had to do with everything else other than to make him potentially unfit to become a police office. And Anna Faris was extra annoying compared to her other comedy pieces - not that I liked her in those movies either. Every time the movie seemed to be going somewhere or whenever the potential for comedy started to build and then POOF - it dies before it gets out of the hangar.

So this is a movie that I can't really recommend for any reason apart from you liking Seth Rogen or something. So sorry. But that's today's review. Observe and Report gets 1 overly long chase sequence with a pervert's privates hanging out.




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