This is Ron Salfen,
“At The Movies,” and here’s my review of two films now
showing at The Majestic Theater in
“Observe And Report” and “State Of
” are polar opposites.
“Observe And Report” tries to be funny, but leans
so hard on the supposed farce of a mall cop (already done this
year in “Paul Blart”) that it becomes as pointless as a
five-minute skit that went on too long.
” is a complex drama, constantly unfolding, even as the
characters are continually uncovering the clues. True,
you could get frustrated with the viewer deception:
but at least there is some kind of mental engagement
for the viewer, other than narrow-minded, mean-spirited
“Observe And Report” consists of non-stop f-bombs
interspersed with the occasional raunchy sexual reference that
demeans both the women who are the objects and the men who are
” uses slang words the way they were intended, sparingly,
for emphasis. And
just a little raunch humor strategically placed in very
serious dialogue is funny precisely because it is out of
context. But then
you chuckle at the sophomoric and move on, before it becomes
“Observe And Report” utilizes nudity in a crass,
gross-out kind of way that could not possibly be erotic to
anyone, much less funny.
That’s not nudity, that’s just plain ol’ nekkid.
” is all about the implied sexuality of extramarital
affairs, betrayed by the knowing glance, the careless caress,
the too-intimate greeting, the too-familiar query.
Subtlety is interesting for so much longer.
“Observe And Report” develops relationships by
chronicling drinking shots together until vomiting, or
harassing until a fit of explosive invective.
” develops relationships by slowly etching the changing
response of one character to another, and the affect one
character’s actions has on another.
When you watch “Observe And Report,” you feel
you’ve participated in the Great American Dumbdown.
When you watch “State Of
,” your senses are heightened with the glimpses into the
corridors of power in
, the push-pull between the media and politics, between the
media and corporate
, and the struggle for “truth-seeking” versus “sales”
within the media itself.
True, it’s fiction.
But it’s based on current events, and it feels real.
“Observe And Report” will be seen by few and
enjoyed by even fewer. “State
” will enjoy a much wider audience, partly because of the
great actors involved, but mostly because they have a
substantive vehicle to ply the craft of their trade.
This Ron Salfen, “At
The Movies,” for 93.5 KICK-FM