Posts Tagged ‘Channing Tatum’

Part 2 of My 100 Movies of Summer 2014

The faces of two men wearing colorful sunglasses, and holding guns up beside their faces. Above them the number '22' in red.

22 Jump Street (d. Phil Lord & Christopher Miller)

Laurel & Hardy.  Abbott & Costello.  Hope & Crosby.  Pryor & Wilder.  Hill & Tatum?

There’s a new comedic duo primed to join the greats.  And that duo is Magic Mike and the tubby kid from Superbad.


I saw 21 Jump Street in the theater and rather liked it.  I thought it was funny and found it to be a good time.  I went on living my life.  Recently, I was visiting a friend who had never seen it.  He rented it VOD and I laughed my ass off.  I had forgotten just how funny it was.  I was primed and ready for the sequel.

If you’ve seen the first film, you understand just how genius the pairing of these two actors is.  Tatum, not known for being the best of actors, plays the ridiculously sculpted athlete who’s a bit of lunk.  Hill, who was previously known for his teen comedies, is the insecure, clumsy and book smart guy.  They put aside their differences to help each other get through the police academy and are partnered up.  Hilarity ensues.

The interplay between the two is perfect.  It’s not something that can be directed or coaxed out of an actor.  It’s the kind of chemistry that very few actors have together and it’s absolutely the best reason to see these movies.

You may have noticed that I haven’t really talked about the plot of the sequel.  Well honestly, that’s because it’s not really necessary.  The movie itself merely serves as a device to allow these two to do their thing (this time in a collegiate setting) with some great supporting turns from the likes of a dry Nick Offerman, an ever angry Ice Cube and others including character actress Jillian Bell who almost steals the movie in her few minutes of screen time.  The film is self-aware without being cute about it.  The filmmakers and actors knew they didn’t have to break new ground and yet manage to do so while serving up a story that is almost directly lifted from the first film.

But it doesn’t matter.  They even use that to great comedic effect.

The plot resolves, the greatest bromance in movie history survives another test and, as the end credits roll, the viewer is gifted with a tease of further potential sequels.  I’d probably watch every last one of them.

If you enjoyed 21 Jump Street, you will enjoy this one.  It’s that simple.  And if you didn’t enjoy 21 Jump Street, what the hell is wrong with you?

If you are interested in seeing what other films I watched this week you can always check out of my profile at Letterboxd.

Previous Entries in My 100 Movies of Summer 2014 series:

The best thing I saw LAST week!





Sometimes you just don’t get around to catching a flick


Side Effects (d. Steven Soderbergh)

So why didn’t I see it in the theater?  Well, to be honest, it just looked a little boring and there was other stuff out that I wanted to see more.  I kept putting it off and ultimately decided that it would just have to wait.

So why did I buy the DVD?  Because I have a sickness called compulsive Blu-ray/DVD buying.  Seriously though, there were a few reasons.  It’s allegedly Soderbergh’s last feature film and, unlike many of my friends, I’ve actually rather enjoyed his last few movies such as Haywire and Contagion.  At some point, I was able to pick it up for $10 so I decided to pull the trigger on a purchase.

So was it worth it?  I’m going to have to say, “No.”  I probably should have saved 5 bucks and just bought it on demand.  The acting is fine and it looks good but the story ultimately felt a bit flat to me.  One of the things that kept me from seeing it in the theaters was that I thought it would be about prescription drugs and ‘Big Pharma’ and that didn’t really seem too interesting to me.  As it turns out, that was the most fascinating part of the movie.  Once it turned into a paint-by-numbers psychological thriller, I lost interest.

So what’s it about?  A young woman (Rooney Mara) is excited that her husband (Channing Tatum) is being released from prison after serving four years for insider trading.  She suffered a miscarriage while he was incarcerated and has been battling depression.  His release does nothing to relieve her malaise and ultimately she purposefully drives her car into the concrete wall of a parking garage.  A doctor (Jude Law) on call in the emergency room recognizes her illness and she agrees to visit him for treatment.  They try different meds before they settle on an experimental new drug known to cause sleepwalking.  A terrible accident occurs shortly after that puts her freedom on the line and the doctor’s career in jeopardy.

So what’s the grade?  I really hope this isn’t Soderbergh’s last movie.  It’s not terrible but it’s not a particularly great way to close out his cinematic career.  There’s just nothing special here.  If you like stars, I gave it 3 out of 5.  If you like grades, it’s a solid C+.