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Watching the Detectives
DVD disk
09.03.2008 By: Jason Adams
Watching the Detectives order
Director:
Paul Soter

Actors:
Cillian Murphy
Lucy Liu
Jason Sudeikis

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A movie geek who runs a video store finds himself in a real life adventure after meeting a free spirited girl who doesn’t even own a TV.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
A romantic comedy made for (and apparently by) movie geeks! If you frequent this site I’m willing to bet you’d appreciate some of the humorous references and nods to film fans that are peppered throughout this lighthearted love story. Written and directed by Broken Lizard’s Paul Soter, it’s got its share of laughs obviously. There’s not much laugh out loud, but sections of it were definitely humorous. (Gotta love serious discussions about Korean snuff anime vs. Japanese deathmatch anime.)

The romantic story was nothing new unfortunately, and when it dominated the non-cinephile parts the film kinda dragged. The story of the quiet geek who is unwittingly broken out of his shell by the wild, free-spirited girl is old hat by now. (Or as the A.V. Club refers to her…the “manic pixie dream girl.”) And while a cute chick who doesn’t mind when you gripe about who shot first, Han or Greedo, is surely every introverted geek’s dream, there’s only so much you can do before it becomes a cliché, and WATCHING THE DETECTIVES didn’t exactly break the mold.

A large issue is that Lucy Liu’s character, the romantic centerpiece, is borderline annoying. I think around the fifteenth time she knowingly tricked the main character I decided that if I was in his place, she would not be worth the trouble, no matter how cute and Asian she is. Liu does well in the role, it’s just the way the character is written. I did enjoy Cillian Murphy, who finally gets a chance to lighten up a bit as the movie geek. Its almost refreshing.
THE EXTRAS
Trailers.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
WATCHING THE DETECTIVES has some charm to it, thanks to the cast and Broken Lizard’s Paul Soter behind the camera, but that can’t really overcome a tired and clichéd story.

Extra Tidbit: “Watching the Detectives” is also the name of an Elvis Costello song about a girl who prefers watching TV to other girlfriendly activities.
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