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    Humorous Observe and Report has potential for cult film status

    Andrew Dotta

    Issue date: 4/17/09 Section: Focus
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    It's business as usual for Seth Rogen. Straight off of minor roles in the 2009 releases Fanboys and Monsters vs. Aliens and memorable leading roles in Pineapple Express and Zack and Miri Make a Porno, Rogen is back with an all-new, just as memorable, leading role. He stars as head of mall security rent-a-cop Ronnie Barnhardt in writer and director Jody Hill's (Foot Fist Way, HBO's Eastbound and Down) first major studio-distributed film, Observe and Report. Rogen plays a bipolar anti-hero who starts a turf war between the local police force and the force within his own mall, one that is plagued by an unknown male streaker and late- night thefts.

    The movie has an extremely cultish and independent feel to it, as Rogen described in a phone interview: "More than any movie I have done, [Observe and Report] felt like a little independent movie being shot by a bunch of friends...All the guys went to film school together...We were friends before we even talked about working with each other. It felt like a little student film." Indeed, Observe and Report is a genre-defying film, the type of classic that must be talked about, and analyzed, days and weeks after seeing it for the first time.

    Influenced by Martin Scorcese's Taxi Driver, Hill expertly crafted a humorous, but ultimately depressing, film. Hill's hatred for malls but intended love for individual characters with ambiguous goals is clearly shown in the opening montage, set to the backdrop of a nostalgic soundtrack.

    Fast food. Coin-operated rides. Petty theft. Shoppers holding hands, following their children. Unfortunately, these images define the obsessive consumerism apparent in today's mall culture. Honestly, this film takes on a thematic life of its own.

    Hill is definitely someone to keep an eye out for. His first film, Foot Fist Way, expertly defined a new director's "strong comedic voice and perspective." With Observe and Report, Hill proves that he has the directing abilities to contend with the best comedic directors out there. While the script was written specifically for Rogen, the rest of the cast expertly play their roles. Anna Faris and Ray Liotta are fun to watch, as a perfect binge-drinking Valley Girl and a hard-ass detective respectively.

    The film drifts in and out of emotional depth, happiness, anger, and sadness. In one scene, Ronnie is finally content with the cards life has dealt him; in another scene, he's running around the mall, bloodied and bruised, with small hope for survival. The movie was bipolar but kept me interested.

    Do not expect anything if you choose to watch this film. As one reviewer from Ain't It Cool News states, "[Observe and Report] may be the greatest film I've ever seen that I probably won't be recommending to anyone." The film defies recommendation as much as it defies genre. Paul Blart: Mall Cop this is not, nor is it another Pineapple Express.

    Hill's Observe and Report is on an entirely different plateau, in a mall to itself, a mall impenetrable to even the most brain-numbing big-Hollywood comedic zombies. The film is now playing at all theaters.
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    In This Issue

    News

    • "Doc Oc" memorial statue to be dedicated
    • "Zombies" continue attacks
    • Cleveland, Case community celebrate Village at 115's LEED certifications
    • Despite recession, Case optimistic about incoming freshmen enrollment
    • Have you heard about: Ballroom Dance Society?
    • How to choose the right health insurance policy after graduation
    • Meet the Provost: providing answers to tough questions
    • USG � BRIEF

    Sports

    • Athlete association active off the field
    • Baseball: Walks cost Spartans in twinbill sweep
    • Softball: Andrasik's glove, bat key to win over Hiram
    • Spartan Spotlight: Angel Rice
    • Track & Field: Last stop before UAAs: Lynchburg

    Fun Page

    • Crossword Answers
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    Opinion

    • Editorial: Study abroad policies need flexibility
    • Eight stages of genocide offer chances for prevention
    • Living abroad forces students to gain real world experience
    • Misogynistic comments should not be tolerated
    • Students find motivation to serve in local, international efforts
    • Surprising talents abound at Case

    Focus

    • Bat for Lashes impresses with soundscapes on Two Suns
    • Humorous Observe and Report has potential for cult film status
    • The Buzz
    • Winning story from CRAP Board's short story contest
    • Yeshiva University professor discusses transgenderism

    Sex and Dating

    • Letting it go

    Worst Case Scenario

    • Paper writing 101
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