Author Topic: Observe and Report  (Read 1676 times)

Observe and Report
« on: October 01, 2009, 11:58:58 AM »
Sorry if it's come up in New Films but I thought it was worth a thread.

Watched it last night and my gut reaction was hating it, but it's stuck with me all day. I think it's aspiring to be Bad Santa, or possibly not a comedy at all but something like King of Comedy. Anyway, it's relentlessly bleak and demanding you find it distasteful. Everyone in it in horrible, but in a way that makes you wonder why you're wasting your time watching them rather than be interested. Seth Rogen is hopelessly miscast, he's so Seth Rogen-y throughout which I can see why would make for interesting stunt casting but just becomes confusing. His presence also makes for jarring Apatow-esque 'hey guys just riff and I'll keep shooting' bits, like the [spoiler]"fuck you"[/spoiler] scene.

But there were a few BIG laughs for me, [spoiler]the unexpected shooting at the end [/spoiler] and Anna Faris being remarkably hilarious [spoiler]proving that dribbling sick is umpteen times funnier than projectile vomit, see also the hateable "I Love You, Man" [/spoiler]

It's also infamous for a [spoiler]date-rape[/spoiler] scene - there's an interview with the director Jody Hill here

http://www.avclub.com/channels/observe-and-report/

where he comes across as a really-not-nice man and that scene was supposed to be even worse, with no punchline. Personally i wasn't offended by it, cause it was trying so hard to shock, like the totally pointless heroin bit, it felt like reading Sickipedia or some other 'hey I said rape' internet thing. Seth Rogen's character is also meant to be a bi-polar off his meds, which just makes it SAD rather than funny - there's a resonant scene where [spoiler] Ray Liotta's collegue hides in the cupboard so he can hear Ray tell Rogen he's not getting into the police academy, he pops out halfway through the conversation saying "I thought this would be funny but it's just sort of sad" [/spoiler] I can't decide if that's brilliant or just taking the piss out the audience who are thinking the exact same thing.

The ending I think is interesting because it's going for a King of Comedy, Taxi Driver "is it all in their head" feel, but is such a loyal rip off it loses it's point. [spoiler]the dowdy love interest suddenly gets a glamorous makeover, but then MENTIONS her new hairdo so it's not lost on the slower audience members, thanks for that [/spoiler]

But still, it's still churning round my head hours later. I know like, no one went to see this, thinking it was Paul Blart 2, but perhaps someone else has given it a go.

Re: Observe and Report
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2009, 02:19:21 PM »
I would like to see it (after all I did see Paul Blart) and will probably get it out when I see one for rent at whichever library I happen to be at at the time.

Re: Observe and Report
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2009, 02:30:58 PM »
I thought it was pretty good, if a little disjointed, though it did seem like the main part was written for a Danny McBride performance rather than Seth Rogen.

Re: Observe and Report
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2009, 02:57:26 PM »
I fucking loved it actually, I think it's a right dark horse of a film.

Re: Observe and Report
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2009, 03:26:55 PM »
I haven't seen it, but it sounds a bit like it's been Rogen's Cable Guy.

Re: Observe and Report
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2009, 03:33:34 PM »
I rather liked Cable Guy, it felt closest to what it would be like if that Jim Carrey character he always plays was real and getting right on your tits. This isn't that cartoonish, it's just a bit sad.


non capisco

  • Going through the motions like a champ.
Re: Observe and Report
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2009, 11:31:02 PM »
I thought it was pretty good, if a little disjointed, though it did seem like the main part was written for a Danny McBride performance rather than Seth Rogen.

That's probably because Jody Hill ever only writes the same central character over and over again and they've always previously been played by McBride.

I didn't really get on with Observe And Report at all, it seemed like it was trying far too hard to be this black-hearted fucked-up thing. It just ends up feeling very self-conscious and doesn't have the laughs to win you over. The one moment near the end when I thought "OK, fair enough, that was quite ballsy", [spoiler]when you think he's shot the flasher dead[/spoiler] it then pulls back from anyway, which annoyed me even more.

The one plus point is it reminded me what a good song 'It's Late' by Queen is.

Re: Observe and Report
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2009, 04:48:40 PM »
I finally got round to seeing this, and while I laughed hard and often enough to ensure I'm not putting this anywhere near the "Worst Comedy Films" thread, I don't really think it worked on the whole. I haven't seen The Foot Fist Way, but judging from this Jody Hill wanted to write a modern day King of Comedy (although his claims that he thought this was "the first comedy ever to influenced by Taxi Driver suggest he might not even have heard of it) but quite often his writing is only at the level of an above-average Happy Madison production (the "goofy twin" characters, a lot of the scenes with the alcoholic mum, most of the stuff involving Michael Peña and Patton Oswald's characters). It did manage to be genuinely disturbing and sad at times, but it never felt consistantly successful at illiciting any of the responses it aimed for.

Also I use to like Anna Faris and I still think she's quite talented, but she's getting more than a little annoying playing this constant stream of characters who are nasty, dumb, hyperactive and obnoxious simultaneously. She also seems to have had something wierd done to her lips, but it actually kind of suited the character.

I've got to admit I didn't pick up on the "it might be all in his head" thing for the last scene. I wonder if the "don't stop motherfucker!" in the [spoiler]date rape[/spoiler] scene was also supposed to have been in his head?

Re: Observe and Report
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2009, 06:58:07 PM »
I bought this in Borders today, for £7.20!  Thank you, closing down sale!