Reel Critics: 'The Watch' ticks slowly in raunchy comedy

Rude, lewd and vulgar, the dialogue in"The Watch"washes over the audience like an overflowing sewer line.

There's lots of filthy talk offered in place of any real humor. What might be a good five-minute skit is stretched into a mind-numbing hour and 40 minutes of endless, nasty comments.

Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughan and Jonah Hill are no strangers to this brand of juvenile comedy. But they, along with Richard Ayoade, take an innovative idea and waste it on the lowest-common denominator in the audience.

Their characters form a neighborhood watch team after a strange murder occurs in their town. Their goofball investigation reveals that alien invaders are behind the killing

This plot could be a great premise for generating laughs. There are some fun special effects in the sci-fi portions of the story. But the non-stop penis jokes eventually take over all aspects of the movie. The available comic energy is wasted appealing to the mind set of an immature 14-year-old boy.


'Queens' in a doomed kingdom

Two good movies out right now about women who are immensely privileged, spoiled and clueless when their world is crumbling about them:

"The Queen of Versailles"is an this engrossing documentary that began filming David and Jackie Siegel in 2007. They have so much money they decide to build a 90,000-square-foot home in Florida, modeled after Versailles, "because they can." Watching them with their seven children, countless pets and tasteless consumerism is jaw-dropping.

When the economy collapses the following year, the Siegels' dream castle and lifestyle begin to crumble. Jackie remains a cheerful mother of seven (she kept having kids because she could afford nannies). Now she power shopsWal-Martand frets her brood may actually have to go to college and get jobs. Bernie is certain he will raise money to finish the now-crumbling Versailles property.

Things are tough all over.

"Farewell, My Queen"takes a fictionalized look at three days at the court of Versailles beginning July 14, 1789, the day the people of Paris stormed the Bastille.

Pretty Sidonie (Léa Seydoux) serves as Marie Antoinette's reader, and it's clear she has a crush on her queen. The queen, in turn, is reputed to be having an affair with a haughty duchess.

The self-indulgent monarch at first seems oblivious to the impending doom to France's aristocracy. As seen through Sidonie's eyes, we are privy to court gossip, intrigue and rising panic as the palace nobles begin to hear of beheadings in Paris.

Diane Kruger gives a sympathetic portrait of the doomed ruler, torn by love for family and another woman. Much of the film is shot at the actual palace, with lavish attention to detail and well-nuanced performances.

"Farewell, My Queen" gives us mystery and suspense even with an inevitable outcome.

Both films manage to show us the humanity, for better and worse, behind the trappings of wealth.

JOHN DEPKO is a retired senior investigator for the Orange County public defender's office. He lives in Costa Mesa and works as a licensed private investigator.

SUSANNE PEREZ lives in Costa Mesa and is an executive assistant for a company in Irvine.

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