Walking out of The Watch, Saturday Night Live writer Akiva Schaffer’s garrulous but indistinctive sophomore directing effort, a young woman in front of me complained to her friend. “What do you even say about that?” he’d asked. “I have no idea,” she said. She only had to write up a list of the movie’s pros and cons, and even then she could think of but one item for the former column.
Man, tip your cap to the marketing crew at 20th Century Fox, which redirected one of 2012's most unfortunate current-events overlaps into a completely revised angle that it probably should have pursued in the first place. Behold: the new and improved teaser for The Watch, complete with introduction by star Vince Vaughn.
High five to Fox for pulling their bullet-ridden Neighborhood Watch marketing materials from Florida theaters this week following the February killing of Trayvon Martin. Trying to get as much distance as possible from the teaser's emphasis on grown men Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, and Richard Ayoade stalking and finger-shooting suburban kids is a good idea and a sensitive move -- not to mention a no-brainer necessity, PR-wise -- so the studio's forthcoming campaign will likely focus on the film's "broad alien-invasion comedy" elements. But even four months from now, will it be too soon for Neighborhood Watch to make fun escapism out of vigilante violence?
I keep eyeing the news of Jesse Eisenberg's dual role in Richard Ayoade's next movie The Double, based on Fyodor Dostoyevsky's novella, with excitement about people who aren't even involved with the project. If The Double, about "a Russian government clerk whose life unravels after what he believes is a literal facsimile of himself -- same appearance, same name, same hometown -- begins working in his office," is a hit, will it popularize the idea of other actors playing dual roles? And who would we want to see act against his/her own mirror image?