It’s the return of the green slime when the bumbling members of the Glenview, Ohio, neighborhood watch task force experience a close encounter with a hive of sure-enough flesh-stealing space aliens at the local Costco.
Whether classified as a sci-fi comedy or an extended Costco commercial, “The Watch” delivers lots of laughs. Seriously funny comic actors Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill and Richard Ayoade appear in an “R-for-raunchy” blend of “Ghostbusters” and “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.”
Stiller portrays store manager Evan Trautwig who organizes a surveillance team after the mysterious death of security guard, Antonio Guzman (Joe Nunez). To patrol the mean streets of suburban Glenview, Evan recruits would-be vigilante/militiaman Franklin (Hill is terrific as the nerdish Momma’s boy) and party animal Bob Finnerty (the reliably off-the-wall Vaughn). Late arrival Jamarcas (Ayoade) joins the team as a way to meet women.
Writers Jared Stern, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg and director Akiva Schaffer create a wickedly amusing scenario with a pitch-perfect cast which includes Rosemary DeWitt as Evan’s wife Abby, longtime “Saturday Night Live” cast member Will Forte as Sergeant Bressman, Erin Moriarty as Bob’s teenage daughter Chelsea, Billy Crudup as Bob’s creepy new neighbor, R. Lee Ermey as Manfred and the incomparable Doug Jones as the Hero Alien.
Rated R 3 Stars
Thomas Hardy’s tragic 1891 novel “Tess of the D’Urbervilles” serves as the basis of filmmaker Michael Winterbottom’s modern story of love and class differences in present-day India.
Frieda Pinto, the breakout star of “Slumdog Millionaire,” portrays Trishna, a young Indian woman who lives with her large family in Rajasthan. Besides toiling in the fields and delivering produce to market, Trishna works at a local hotel where she meets Jay Singh (Riz Ahmed), the handsome son of a wealthy property developer (Roshan Seth).
When Trishna’s father is injured and unable to provide for his family, Jay hires Trishna to work at one of his father’s properties, a luxurious hotel resort in Jaipur.
In this reworked version of Hardy’s bleak tale, Trishna eventually returns home before reuniting with Jay and moving with him to Mumbai, the teeming city of more than 20 million.
For his third film based on Hardy’s writings following “Jude” (1996) and “The Claim” (2000), Winterbottom provides a compelling story, a Bollywood subplot and travelogue vistas of the countryside and crowded Indian cities. Unfortunately, the stunningly beautiful Pinto lacks the dramatic range to convincingly recreate one of literature’s most incandescent and fascinating protagonists. In addition, Jay’s shift from kindhearted lover to cruel abuser remains hard to fathom.
Rated R 2 and 1/2 Stars
ALSO OPENING TODAY “Step Up Revolution” is the fourth film in the “Step Up” franchise which began six years ago with Channing Tatum’s starring role in the first film. The latest dance flick takes place in Miami and capitalizes on the “flash mob” phenomenon. The “MOB” of dancers, artists and musicians utilize protest in an attempt to save their neighborhood from developers.
Anticipation has me feeling like a kid again
I still act like a kid sometimes.
Please, friends, before you start nodding in agreement, let me explain.
An unusual officer from three countries
Walking into the headquarters of the Green Berets 10th Special Forces Group in Bad Tolz, Germany as a newly-assigned lieutenant in June of 1961, not knowing what to expect, was the start of the second best assignment I had in the U.S. Army (the best was commanding a battalion in the 8th Infantry Division in Europe during the Cold War).
Adjusting to change and getting back on the wagon
Adjusting to change is hard, even when the change is a great thing in your life like a new job, a new relationship, or a new location.
Anything, good or bad, that can throw a wrench into our normal routine, has the potential to be an opportunity or a detriment to our wellness planning.
COLUMN: Being a role model more important than winning
My first nine years in the newspaper business were as a sports writer, so I’ve seen my share of crazy sports parents. In fact, I’ve probably seen my share and your share. However, these people never cease to amaze me with ridiculous behavior at youth sporting events.
COLUMN: Life's too short to fret over blunders
If you’re among the jillions of people who can’t make it through the day — or hour, in some cases — without your social media fix, you are well aware that Facebook thrives on our status updates.
To prompt us to update — or spill our guts, so to speak — we are encouraged to “write something.” And then there’s the dangerous Facebook question: “What’s on your mind?”
COLUMN: The difference between ‘spoiled’ and ‘blessed’
Some people have said that we have created a monster.
They’ve said that we spoil our little girl.
And some could say that she’s got us wrapped around her little paw.
COLUMN: County Judge stresses importance of library and its vision
Recently, the Commissioners Court approved the three-year strategic plan for the Rockwall County Library. This plan sets the vision and the goals for the organization for the next three years and was developed by the Librarian and the Library Advisory Board. Most citizens are not aware of the Advisory Board and its function, but it is composed of nine individuals chosen by the Court members with the purpose of advising the Court and the Librarian on the policies and practices they recommend should be followed in the operation of the library.
Trumping negotiations with sarcasm: A proven winner
As a sarcasm connoisseur, I like to use a lot of one-liners that, while the recipient isn’t quite fond of, I’m absolutely in love with. They can be used in almost any setting, any situation and directed at just about any person.
Reporter in his ‘element’ at recent Taste of Rockwall event
Someone mentioned during the recent Taste of Rockwall that I was in my element.
I checked an online definition just to make sure I pretty much understood what they were saying. I thought I knew, but sometimes I apply my own definitions, and I have been wrong.
So I checked it out and, yep, that was me all right. I was definitely “in my element.”
Dispatch issues present number of problems that need to be fixed
In the spring of 2011, about 125 citizens gathered in our library and started the development of a five-year strategic plan for Rockwall County. The plan was divided into several major categories, one of which was law enforcement. In this area, a major recommendation was that the county should develop a county-wide 9-1-1 dispatch center for all of Rockwall County public safety organizations.
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