Saturday, September 27, 2014
WATCHING THE DETECTIVES (2007)
Written & Directed By: Paul Soter
Cinematography By: Christophe Lazenberg
Editor: Jeff Canavan
Music By: Nathan Barr
Cast: Cillian Murphy, Lucy Liu, Jason Sudeikis, Heather Burns, Ali Reza, Steve Lemme, Erik Stolhanske, Brett Gelman, Callie Thorne, Josh Pais, Lonny Ross, Paul Scheer, Josh Gad
Neil, a self proclaimed film geek and owner of Gumshoe video, has always been content to live vicariously through his favorite films noir. But when he meets Violet, a real-life femme fatale, his mundane world gets turned upside down and the line between reality and the movies quickly begins to blur. Will Neil step up and embrace a life full of adventure or retreat back to his comfortable couch?
The title of the film is taken from a 1977 Elvis Costello song, from the album "My Aim Is True". An offbeat romantic comedy with Cillian Murphy whose character who runs a video store. When one day Lucy Liu comes into rent some films. Through a matter of cons. She gets him To take her out to dinner, throughout the rest of the film they date and get to know each other. The only problem is, she is always coming up with elaborate situations and stories to test his reactions. Soon he can't tell what is real and what's make believe. This is an interesting concept pulled off somewhat successfully.
I like this movie and I could have given it a better grade. The premise is unpredictable ad constantly keeps you on your toes, but it comes off for some reason rather bland
It just feels like it never truly comes alive as much as it could. Especially with so many recognizable names cast. If it had been made more with lesser known actors it would be excusable and charming, bit watching it you have a constant feeling that everyone knows better.
The movie ends up feeling like it never reaches it's full potential. Not because of it's low budget but maybe. Like ALLY MCBEAL some things seemed quirky for no other reason then just to be quirky. Also some scenes just seem to lay there limp, but for a movie that's so quirky the supporting characters could have been a bit more interesting. Or at least better dialogue. I liked them but there really seemed to be no reason for them or they didn't feel like complete characters. They could have been extras who showed up that day and got lucky.
The film is an offbeat romantic comedy. It's like a subdued screwball comedy. Situated in the real world.
Cillian Murphy is a good actor bit I don't know if the role was underwritten or he worked with what he had or was internationally trying to underplay his character to be more subtle, but he seems iffy miscast. Lost when not having any motivations or maybe an actorly distraction. His character needed to be a little more broad.
Lucy Liu though is a doll not totally a manic pixie dream girl, but a bored dream girl looking for an adventure and doubling as a femme-fatale for a mystery she is creating. I'm happy to see her change up her roles. Playing more softer, nice, happy characters. Instead of the ice queens she usually has played to perfection In the past. I really like her as an actress and feels she deserves more work.
I know it sounds like I'm bad mouthing the film but I liked it. It's probably more me. I just expected more from it.
The film's director Paul Soter is a member of the comedic improv group Broken Lizard who made the films SUPER TROOPERS, CLUB DREAD, BEERFEST and THE SLAMMIN SALMON. So we know he knows comedy as being funny on fact 2 other members Steve Lemme and Erik Stolhanske of the troupe make cameos. His direction is subtle, but needs to be a bit more colorful and pick up the pace, it's a good movie definitely one you should check out