'Watch' out for this bad flick

If you go to see "The Watch," well, that will be 100 minutes you'll never get back, stolen under the pretense that this movie is a comedy that will entertain. It isn't and it doesn't.

First, "The Watch" was originally titled "Neighborhood Watch." However, considering the killing of Trayvon Martin by local neighborhood watcher, George Zimmerman, the movie's name was changed. No matter, the film is still creepy terrible, the last act playing to our national gun fetish with the members of the watch crew (plus a wife) selecting their semi-automatics of choice, followed by that signature lock-and-load moment that conveys serious firepower (perfected by Sly Stallone). Now they're ready to take on the bad guys who are holed up in the local Costco.

But guns are not the only fetish foisted on the audience. This movie is a male-bonding Rorschach, proving that there isn't enough time or therapy to help writer Seth Rogen, who has made a career out of fixating on the male crotch, serial fantasy coupling and a hunt for semi-lucidity.

The watch crew — Evan (Ben Stiller), Bob (Vince Vaughn), Franklin (Jonah Hill), Jamarcus (Richard Ayoade) — is steeped in scatology, collectively suffer from arrested development and hang in big-guy Bob's man cave, worried way less about the killer on the loose than raising brewskis and digging how cool it is to have time with the guys (except for Evan, perpetually goal-oriented and righteously serious).

When they finally hit the streets on patrol, they discover that the baddies are not your local scruffy burglars/killers; rather, wait for it, they're ETs, hiding in the basement of Costco, preparing to take over Earth. Seriously.

So, just to be clear: This is a Glenview, Ohio, sci-fi movie? Really? One in which the ETs' brains (we're told) are located in their packages, so when shooting them, best to aim low. The shootout takes place during the final act, when our fab four vow to take back Costco and plant the watch flag for country and community while blowing up the big-box store in order to save it. Honest.

This mess requires more than a suspension of disbelief. It requires a willingness to remain seated for 100 minutes of pure Hollywood drivel. It goes from bad to really bad to worse. Everyone walks through the film and directly to the bank, none concerned with what a cynical betrayal movies of this dumbed-down ilk represent, sold as comedies when in reality they're shallow and vulgar and no one is laughing, just feeling a bit insulted. And there endeth the rant.

Ice Age: Continental Drift

The star of the "Ice Age" franchise will always be the small, squirrely, saber-toothed varmint called Scrat and his love affair with an elusive acorn. Without saying a word, this endearing accident waiting to happen steals every scene. His silence is golden.

In contrast, all the characters, from Sid the Sloth (John Leguizamo) to Manny the Mastodon to Diego the saber-toothed tiger (Denis Leary), talk endlessly. Especially motor-mouth Manny. Their lame chatter reaches for hip, pop culture syntax that is seriously annoying.

But no matter. Better to let the kids do the critiquing by buying tickets. And buy tickets they do, all eager to attend this never-ending, post-dinosaur, pre-caveman story.

In "Continental Drift," Manny and Diego and Sid become separated from the rest of the tribe when there's a massive tectonic shift (Scrat did it). Manny's wife, Ellie (Queen Latifah) and Peaches (Keke Palmer) are on land, and Manny and company are on an ice floe drifting out to sea. And thus begins an adventure, an ocean-going road trip for the trio.

Embedded in the movie are a bunch of life lessons regarding parenting a teen (Peaches is a hormone-driven youngster) and stuff like, "Be careful what you wish for." Of course, Manny and company encounter a whole lot of speed bumps on their journey back to land and family, to include pirates of a sort, and a whale named Precious. All of it is frenetic and intense and nonstop. The kids will love it. The parents one row over? Not so much. But maybe a little.

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