Friday movie roundup: 'Watch' and learn
Published: July 27, 2012 09:32AM
Updated: July 27, 2012 09:50AM
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This film image released by 20th Century Fox shows, from left, Jonah Hill, Vince Vaughn, Ben Stiller, and Richard Ayoade in a scene from "The Watch." (AP Photo/20th Century Fox, Melinda Sue Gordon)

Hollywood looked at this week's competition – between the second weekend of “The Dark Knight Rises” and the start of the Summer Olympics in London – and decided, pretty much, to sit this one out.

The weekend's big entry is “The Watch,” a raunchy and bloody comedy that mashes up two genres: Science fiction and guy-centric comedy. The movie follows four suburban guys (Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill and Richard Ayoade) who form a neighborhood-watch group after the murder of a Costco security guard. When they're not occupied patroling the suburb and drinking brewskis, the four discover that the guard's death was the first sign of an extraterrestrial invasion. Director Akiva Schaffer (part of the trio behind “Saturday Night Live's” digital shorts) lets his stars riff off each other, which isn't as much fun onscreen as it probably should have been.

Also opening this week is “Step Up Revolution,” the fourth installment of the dance-heavy movie franchise. In the franchise's tradition, this story has very little to do with the previous three. It tells of a flash-mobbing Miami dance crew trying to win a YouTube competition – until they apply their dance moves to a cause, to stop a greedy developer (Peter Gallagher) from bulldozing their Miami neighborhood. And, of course, the dance crew's main guy (Ryan Guzman) and the developer's dancer daughter (Kathryn McCormick) fall for each other. The story is idiotic, with a finale that muddles its anti-corporate message. The dancing is dynamic, though you might wish director Scott Speer didn't edit everything so frantically.

Lastly, the Tower brings the Oscar-nominated animated tale “A Cat in Paris,” a vibrantly colorful tale of a cat with a double life – as the pet of a police commissioner's daughter, and as accomplice to a smooth burglar. The story is a bit thin, but the visuals are stunning.