The Watch

Release Date: July 27, 2012

We are all touching the same ball.

On the Big Board
Position Staff In Brief
30/169 Max Braden I laughed a couple times at the alien photo session and some of the throwaway lines, plus Crudup's ambiguously sexual character.

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On paper, The Watch is a funny movie premise with plenty of upside. The simple idea for a movie once entitled The Neighborhood Watch is that a group of concerned citizens attempt to safeguard their community. In forming the titular Neighborhood Watch, the local men are shocked to discover that the local threat is greater than anticipated. Aliens have infested the block. And I do not mean the kind that border patrols monitor.

This is a clever premise. And the cast of The Watch is topline. Vince Vaughn reunites with Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story co-star Ben Stiller. Also onboard is Moneyball scene stealer Jonah Hill as well as Richard Ayoade of The IT Crowd. Those are three of the most popular comedic actors in the world today, plus one whose big break could come with this project. Everything about The Watch seems solid.

Alas, the box office fates are fickle. In February of 2012, mere months prior to the release of The Neighborhood Watch, a real life member of a similar neighborhood watch program named George Zimmerman shot and killed an innocent young man named Trayvon Martin. Fox Studios was placed in an awkward situation since most of their marketing had been predicated upon a comical premise.

The real life tragedy forced the studio to rename the film with the shorter title of The Watch. The marketing has also transformed into a series of highlights of the supernatural aspect. Unfortunately, the damage already has been done. The Watch appears to be a largely abandoned title whose box office fortune is unlikely to be pleasant. (David Mumpower/BOP)

Vital statistics for The Watch
Main Cast Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn
Supporting Cast Jonah Hill, Richard Ayoade, Rosemarie DeWitt, Will Forte, Billy Crudup
Director Akiva Schaffer
Screenwriter Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, Jared Stern
Distributor 20th Century Fox
Official Site
Rating R
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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