Fox’s Delay in “Neighborhood Watch” Unfortunate


What was supposed to be a feel-good comedy (featuring Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, and Jonah Hill) for summer 2012, is pulling back its marketing efforts following the tragic shooting of Trayvon Martin.  The movie is drawing criticism over its:

  • Title
  • Trailer
  • Movie Poster (top picture)

In my opinion only the title has any bearing on the shooting, and even then I don’t feel like it crosses the line.  Why not?  Because if it did, any title of any movie that somehow relates to any tragedy would also be inappropriate. Also, if the plot of the movie somehow picked on the events in Sanford, Fla. then I would agree that this movie would be inappropriate (putting it lightly to say the least), but it’s about a group of four guys that find themselves in the midst of an alien invasion.  How is that related?

The New York Times states the timing, and content of, the trailer was “an unfortunate decision by Fox.”  Read the article here.  I have to agree with Fox on this one—it looks like a spoof that portrays the characters as a bunch of delusional tough-guy wannabes.  You can watch the trailer here and judge for yourself.

With the sign, I feel the same way as the trailer.  Even though there are bullet holes on the sign, the setting seems to be in a neighborhood that is relatively crime free.  In the trailer we see a kid throwing eggs (serious crime right?) and his target is the guys on the watch.  I’m not saying the kid isn’t doing anything wrong, but perhaps without the watch (whom the kid doesn’t seem to like) there is no egg-throwing at all.

My biggest concern in this issue is that if this movie takes a hit at the box office or suffers legal consequences, what next?  What future comedies will be pulled or simply not created in the future in fear of a backlash?  Interestingly, “The Hunger Games” came out right about the same time as Kony 2012.  The plot of “The Hunger Games” involves children being forced to fight and kill each other.  If THAT isn’t too related to Kony then how is “Neighborhood Watch” too related to the Martin shooting?  Honestly, I don’t believe either are; I loved “The Hunger Games” and I will go see “Neighborhood Watch” when it comes out.


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