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Review: 21 Jump Street (2012)

Honestly, 21 Jump Street was already a dud in, not only my mind, but it a lot of people’s before it’s release. Remakes aren’t doing so hot right now, I practically hate Channing Tatum, and Jonah Hill is kinda skinny. Then it was released, people were pleasantly surprised, and I am writing this review. Now that we’re up to date, let’s get going.

Tatum’s Jenko and Hill’s Schmidt went to high school together. Jenko being the popular jock, and Schmidt being the nerd. After a few years, they find themselves both trying to become police officers, only to be assigned to bike cops in a public park. Eventually, they find themselves on the brink of unemployment when they get assigned to 21 Jump St. to go undercover as high school kids to find the person behind a new drug circulating. The two men get the usual culture shock in the technology driven world of 2012, and struggle to keep their usual archetypes.

21 Jump Street is surprisingly clever. It isn’t afraid to wink at the audience and play on the usual expectations. I was shocked at the comedic ability of Tatum, and along with Jonah Hill, the two make a great comedic duo. It can be crass at times, but it does bring several legitimate laughs. Dave Franco shows that he’s not the only Franco who has some acting chops, graduating from his TV work. Comedies are always hit or miss with me, but 21 Jump Street was a sure hit.

My Rating: A-

Review: The Future (2011)

I’m a fan of weird, quirky movies. People I know, know this. So when a co-worker suggested a film that was narrated by a cat with a creepy voice, I didn’t bat an eyelash. Instead, I went out and watched The Future.

Jason and Sophie are a quirky couple with their own flaws, but they love each other. During the course of adopting a rescue cat, they come to the realization that the month they must wait for the cat are their last days of freedom to do what they want with their lives before responsibility gets them tied down. Soon enough, their relationship is tested, time and space is threatened, and the future is continually unknown.

My thoughts after this film: What?

My thoughts during this film: ZZZzzzzz

Seriously, I’ve heard great things about Miranda July’s previous film “Me and You and Everyone We Know”, but The Future was absolutely horrible. The plot is flimsy at best and the watching it develop is about as fun as watching paint dry. There is a brief window of curiosity when the story takes a turn for the supernatural, but just like that, it’s back to snoozefest. It wasn’t too weird for me, or too unrealistic, it was just too boring.

My Rating: D

Review: Thirty Minutes or Less (2011)

Typically movies that portray real world tragedies are going to be dramas and moving Academy Award-like films. Comedies trying to get laughs out of other peoples horror aren’t generally common. So when news leaked out that the plot of 30 Minutes or Less was eerily similar to a real life disaster, not many people still wanted to see the movie.

Jessie Eisenberg again finds himself in the awkward, fast-talking, going nowhere in life, in a minimum wage job (see: Adventureland). This time around he is a pizza delivery driver, who harbors feelings for the sister of his life long best friend (Aziz Ansari). The story also follows that of Danny McBride in his usual role of crazy loudmouth with a harebrained idea to have someone rob a bank in order to pay a hitman to kill his father so he can inherit his fortune early (Wouldn’t it just be easier to just rob the bank?). McBride along with his minion played by Nick Swardson, come up with the plan to strap a bomb to the pizza man and make him rob the bank. Cue crazy bomb-themed hijinks!

The key part of any kind of buddy comedy, is that the characters are genuinely buddies. However, it seems as if everyone in this movie hates each other. Eisenberg is about as unlikeable as ever, Aziz is in anti-Tom Haverford mode (unfunny), and McBride is just crass and obscene without getting laughs. There were a few chuckles, but they were all covered in the trailer below. If you want my advice, just watch the trailer. You’ll be none the wiser.

My Rating: D+

Coming Soon: Carrie

 

By now, you’ve probably heard that the Brian DePalma horror classic Carrie is being remade with Chloë Grace Moretz in the titular role (replacing Sissy Spacek). The first poster has been released, and looks very similar to the Thor teasers. My problem with the poster is that a fan made poster that made the rounds a little back, and it makes this official poster look like crap. The first teaser trailer also dropped recently, as you can see below. Carrie, starring Moretz and Julianne Moore hits theaters Spring 2013.

Review: The Five-Year Engagement (2012)

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The Five-Year Engagement has some of my favorite television actors in it. You have Jason Segel (How I Met Your Mother), Alison Brie (Community), Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation), along with one of my favorites, Emily Blunt. I think I might just see myself in a long term relationship with this movie. (yeah, I know that was forced).

Tom (Segel) and Violet (Blunt) are blissfully in love, and in an awkward turn of events, engaged. However, after some fooling around, Violet’s sister (Brie) is pregnant thanks to Tom’s idiotic best friend (Pratt). Soon, they are the one’s getting married, having kids, and starting their lives. On the other side of things Tom quits his job to follow Violet’s academic endeavors and things are never the same. The wedding is continuously pushed back until its breaking point.

There’s no doubt there are some fantastic comedic actors in this film. There are even plenty of laugh out loud moments (more than the trailer). Even the Segel-Blunt dynamic is completely on-point. The downsides are still there though, some of which might be intentional. For one, it felt as though it would never end (much like the engagement). Obviously we are as tired of waiting as the characters. Secondly, Five-Year Engagement is very jumpy in its editing. Some jokes are ending too abruptly, while others are lingering for way too long. As much as I wanted to like it, The Five-Year Engagement just wasn’t satisfying for me. Maybe I had too high expectations, maybe it’s just not a great movie.

My Rating: B-

Top Three: 1941

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Say you’re putting 3 movies from each year in a time capsule. What ones would you want people to see? Forget critical acclaim. Forget the critics in general, what are the three best movies from that year? Today, the list is all classic in each genre: Horror, comedy, and suspense.

Today, the predecessors of Hugh Grant and Jennifer Aniston, a priceless item that doesn’t really have any thing to do with the movie, and possibly the greatest American film of all time.

3. The Maltese Falcon

I’ve just watched this one again, and there is still no doubt Bogart was the biggest star in Hollywood during this era. Not to mention this titular falcon is one of the greatest MacGuffins in cinematic history. A classic noir. And still very nerve-wrecking even in today’s world.

2. The Lady Eve

The plot is something out of a modern rom-com. The fact that it was made in the early 40’s is unbelievable. Who would have thought Henry Fonda and Barbara Stanwyck would eventually be replaced by Hugh Grant and Jennifer Aniston as the go-to people in the genre?

1. Citizen Kane

What can I say? It’s arguably the best movie ever made, tops the AFI Top 100 list of American Films, and is the standout film of Orson Welles career. If you are a fan of film, there is no excuse to not have seen Citizen Kane. From the shots, the brand new idea of changing the perspective of time, to the classic Macguffin, “Rosebud”. It shaped so many modern films and filmmakers it has become this legendary monster of a film.

Honorable Mentions:

Sullivan’s Travels

How Green Was My Valley

Sargent York

Dumbo

Suspicion

The 49th Parallel

All New Everything for The Lone Ranger

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I’ve been hearing a lot about the bird headed Johnny Depp film The Lone Ranger since it was first greenlit. It had to lower its budget significantly since, but all of that is behind it now. The teaser poster (above) ties in both Depp’s bird motif and the aforementioned Ranger’s signature mask covering  Armie Hammer eyes. While the first trailer looks pretty much what you’d expect from a Disney-Gore Verbinski venture. Check it out: