New on DVD: Watching the Detectives

In an age of video games, television, movies and the Internet, we tend to live our lives less through doing and more through watching. It has been argued the young waste their youth and we allow our lives to pass us by. Then you have the people at the other end of the spectrum.

Neil (Cillian Murphy) is an average Joe that runs Gumshoe Video, which specializes in old movies and survives via a loyal group of return customers. One day, Violet (Lucy Liu), a real life femme fatale, walks through the door and into his life. Neil suddenly finds himself living out stories he had only seen on the screen. But how much excitement can one man and a new relationship take?

Watching the Detectives is a romantic comedy but it's weak on both fronts. Neil's endless whimpering near the end of the flick is pathetic but not funny. Even though Violet teases him with the "drama queen" crown, he actually reacts on par with the situations she's concocted so his embracement of the title is actually out-of-character. And in the end, while the chemistry between the two exists, it is less romantic than it is friendly.

Murphy is naturally charming and good-looking but still average enough to take on a role like this and be believable. Thus, he portrays the film geek perfectly. Liu's off-the-wall "bore-phobic" beauty is commendable but there often seems to be something a little off when she portrays fun-loving characters.

The DVD extras are sparse, consisting of the trailer and a photo gallery, which will mostly interest those with a crush on one of the actors.

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