'Observe and Report'
(Seth Rogen, Anna Faris, et al / DVD / R / 2009 / Warner Bros.)
Overview: Bargain hunters at Forest Ridge Mall get more than they bargained for: a chubby flasher in a ratty bathrobe. They're repulsed. Security guard Ronnie Barnhardt (Seth Rogen - Knocked Up), isn't! Catching the flasher may be his ticket to a real police job and to romance with a hot cosmetics-counter princess (Anna Faris - the Scary Movie series).
DVD Verdict: Ronnie is a mall cop with big dreams: he wants to be a cop. Partly to carry a gun, partly so people will finally respect him. When a flasher appears on his turf, it's war--especially when one of the victims is Brandi, the makeup-counter girl whom Ronnie has a crush on. But when a real detective intrudes in the case, Ronnie decides to take matters in his own hands--to win respect, to win the case, and to win the girl.
'Observe And Report' is perhaps the darkest comedy in ages. Seth Rogen does not play Ronnie as a beloved character, as many a lesser actor would; in Rogen's hands, Ronnie is a borderline-sociopath, a bipolar loser who is as hilariously aloof as he is dangerous. Anna Farris, as Brandi, is a comedic delight as always; she throws her self-esteem to the wind in order to wring the last little laugh from every scene.
Michael Pena, as Ronnie's sidekick, is a scene-stealer. However, it's Ray Liotta who walks away with the only character to hold his own against Ronnie; as Detective Harrison, Liotta is tough and unforgiving, and the climax between the two ends the only way it could (though you'll be holding your breath the whole way).
In other words, Jody Hill's 'Observe And Report' is the darkest of dark comedies, often bordering on a (non-supernatural) horror movie; the comparisons it's garnered to TAXI DRIVER are well-founded, and often-times you don't know whether to wince or laugh. Hill doesn't just take things too far; he takes them to limits no one else would dare to. OBSERVE AND REPORT is not a comedy for the squeamish, but it's certainly a film for those of us who don't mind a few chills with our humorous thrills. [DD] This is a Widescreen presentation (2.35:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs, but sadly (and weirdly) does not come with any Special Features.
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