Tag Archive: 21 jump street


This week has seen the release of two exciting films, albeit for very different reasons: The Lego Movie and Frozen, the new Disney film. The Lego Movie is one of the most exciting films currently being put together, not necessarily because of its story but because it’s a new way of making films that has never been done before; Disney’s Frozen is exciting because with Tangled and Wreck-It Ralph Disney seem to have returned to top form with their animation and Frozen could be another top notch film for them.

Take a look at the two teaser trailers (or don’t) and see which one you prefer:

THE LEGO MOVIE

UK Release Date: 14th February 2014

Stars: Phil Lord, Chris Miller, Chris McKay (directors), Chris Pratt, Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson, Elizabeth Banks, Will Ferrell, Alison Brie, Will Arnett

Plot: An ordinary LEGO minifigure, mistakenly thought to be the extraordinary MasterBuilder, is recruited to join a quest to stop an evil LEGO tyrant from gluing the universe together.

Coming from the very safe hands of co-directors Lord and Miller (21 Jump Street) and including a whole array of characters that have been seen in the Lego franchise previously (ranging from DC’s superheroes to the NBA all-stars) this looks like it should be a good ride, especially with Chris Pratt in the driving seat who is one of the finest comedy actors around today and absolutely hilarious in Parks and Recreation.

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FROZEN

UK Release Date: 6th December 2013

Stars: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee (directors), Kristen Bell, Josh Gad, Idina Menzel, Tom Kane

Plot: Fearless optimist Anna teams up with Kristoff in an epic journey, encountering Everest-like conditions, and a hilarious snowman named Olaf in a race to find Anna’s sister Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom in eternal winter.

While The Lego Movie certainly has the star power, Frozen has the advantage that it is coming from Disney. It is unknown at this time whether this little scene will be included in the film but it certainly has my attention as you can tell that it has been crafted with the heart and humour of Disney films gone by. Plenty of reindeer merchandise will be sold on the release of Frozen.
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I’m back from my Christmas hiatus and in the past couple of weeks critics and fans alike have been compiling their lists of the ten best films of 2012 or twenty best or whatever you like, but I have decided to take a different approach to compiling my list and I will be looking at, month by month, what were the best releases. I’ll be using the UK release dates for films and, in doing it month by month there will be some big omissions and some surprise inclusions.

Will any of these films feature on the list?

 

January – The Grey

To be honest, if you look at what was released in January it doesn’t really fill you with enthusiasm for the rest of the year as there weren’t really many films worth noting released this month. I think that people were still more bothered about seeing the previous year’s Christmas releases (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol) however there were a few films that stood out. You might think that We Need to Talk About Kevin, Shame or War Horse might win this month but I decided to go for Liam Neeson’s The Grey. Neeson continued his rebirth as an action hero in 2012 and it was largely down to his enounter with wolves in the partially surprising hit: The Grey.

 

February – Chronicle

February brought a lot of very disappointing ventures to the cinema. Safe House was a blockbuster than lacked a punch, Man on a Ledge was a very boring ‘thriller’ and One For the Money is one of the most boring films I have ever seen! However, saying that I was really impressed by Woman in Black which seemed to reinstate Hammer Films at the forefront of the horror scene but for the best film of the month it fell short and I went for Chronicle. Chronicle was seen by many to be very refreshing to an overcrowded superhero genre. The characters that appear in this found footage film are not from the pages of comic books and, like The Grey, Chronicle was another surprise hit but worth of all it’s critical acclaim.

March – 21 Jump Street

If you think that 21 Jump Street is a strange and ridiculous choice to be on this list then I really do encourage you to look at films that were released in the UK in March this year. March saw releases from some very highly anticipated films that were subsequently big disappointments, none bigger than John Carter. Of course, March also brought us the beginning of a huge new franchise with the Jennifer Lawrence led The Hunger Games, however I enjoyed 21 Jump Street a lot more. I can’t remember the last time I laughed so much in the cinema, 21 Jump Street was a welcome injection of humour to an otherwise dull month.

 

April – Avengers Assemble

There was a clear winner for this month. Marvel’s Avengers Assemble became the third highest grossing film of all time, breaking no end of records on its way to this achievement. This was the event that film fans had been waiting for for 4 years and it did not disappoint, The Avengers (as it was known sensibly in other countries) provided big entertainment, big action, big characters and big laughs. The only real competition in this month came from another film with Joss Whedon’s name attached: Cabin in the Woods, which was seen to redefine the horror genre but really, nothing could top Avengers Assemble.

 

May – The Raid: Redemption

May saw a lack of big releases as the prospect of going up against Marvel’s box office Goliath seemed a little bit daunting for many studios. And of course there is a bit of a lull in the cinema calender before the big summer smashes get released. The Raid was something that we don’t see nearly enough on this side of the Atlantic, a foreign release… and a successful one at that! The Raid is a brilliant, action packed, adrenaline fueled Indonesian martial arts film and it should come as no surprise that there are plans in America to do an English language remake.

 

June – Killer Joe

Now, June saw the second big release of the year: Prometheus. And don’t get me started on how over rated that was and what a bore fest it unfortunately turned out to be. Rock of Ages was a very very dull adaptation of the successful stage musical and The Five Year Engagement was about five years too long. Killer Joe proved that Matthew McConaughey could really act and it turned out to be a very gritty, gothic crime drama that also featured Emile Hirsch who is quietly going about proving what a good actor he is too.

 

July – The Dark Knight Rises

At the beginning of July The Amazing Spider-Man was released and was a very good attempt at reshaping Spider-Man’s origins; then on the 20th of July Christopher Nolan turned up to show everyone how it was done. Nolan’s Batman trilogy ended with one of the greatest films of the year. Full stop. He brought an all star cast here and cranked up the tension, cranked up the stakes and people flocked to the cinema to see how the greatest superhero trilogy ever made would end. And it did not disappoint. Sure, it never quite reached the heights of The Dark Knight which preceded it but I thought that the ending of The Dark Knight Rises was one of the greatest and most satisfying endings I have ever seen.

 

August – Ted

Fans of controversial humour, outrageous humour and toilet humour were delivered an early Christmas present back in August when Seth MacFarlane made his feature film directorial debut in this story of a child’s teddy bear coming to life to become a sex-craved, pot smoking best friend (voiced by MacFarlane himself). I think Ted may suffer from a lack of rewatchability but all in all it was a very funny film with some great cameos and hilarious scenes. The “white trash girls names” scene is one of the best scenes of the year in itself!

 

September – Looper

There were some very popular films released in September: Anna Karenina, Dredd, The Sweeney and House at the End of the Street to name a few. Lawless, featuring wonderful performances from Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf and Guy Pearce among others was an incredible film and gives Looper a run for its money but when I saw Looper I knew I was watching something special. Looper is one of the best films that I have ever seen and has fast become one of my favourites. The time travel plot device that has long been a staple in the science fiction genre and Looper gave an alternate look while skirting around the edges of Rian Johnson’s own laws of time travel. Looper was incredible! My best film of the year.

 

October – Skyfall

2012 saw the return of James Bond to the big screen in Skyfall, directed by Sam Mendes. After a disappointing Quantum of Solace Bond returned in a flood of critical acclaim and commercial success worldwide in the critically lauded Skyfall. Skyfall delivered a more personal look at the characters in Bond’s world, including a small trip into Bond’s background, a more in-depth look at M and revealed a few dark secrets of MI6. Skyfall also brought back some famous characters in a new style, Q and Moneypenny. Skyfall was simply fantastic and should be an outside bet for a couple of Oscar nominations.

 

November – Argo

My heart longs to say that Rise of the Guardians was the best film released in November but my head says otherwise. November saw End of Watch and Silver Linings Playbook released as well but I think that Argo was a really really incredible achievement for Ben Affleck. Argo was crammed full of suspense and tension and had audiences chewing on their nails whilst sitting on the edge of their seats. A true story of a rescue attempt using the undercover story of being a film crew for a science fiction film seems almost unbelievable but Argo brings it to the screen with such perfect realism.

 

December – Life of Pi

Life of Pi was very hotly anticipated as soon as it was announced. Being a best-selling book Life of Pi already had a huge audience waiting to see how the adaptation would turn out. The story is of 16 year old Pi who suffers a ship wreck which kills his family and leaves Pi stranded with just a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. It is a truly touching and emotional story and is already reaping the rewards of their hard work with Golden Globe nominations for Best Score, Best Drama and Best Director.

UK Release Date: 11th July 2012.

Plot: A male stripper teaches a younger performer how to party, pick up women, and make easy money.

Magic Mike is a comedy drama which has pulled a pretty mismatched cast together to be directed by Steven Soderbergh, the man who was at the helm of the Ocean’s trilogy. In the lead role is Channing Tatum; pretty boy turned actor, supporting him is Alex Pettyfer; teenage superspy Alex Rider from Stormbreaker; the wonderful Matt Bomer; charming con artist from the brilliant television series White Collar and finally all round bad actor Matthew McConaughey.

No doubt this is probably a film for the female audience to enjoy but I think that it could turn out be a great laugh for all audiences. I think that the trailer picks up on some pretty good points (the opening scene in the trailer of the strippers arriving at the party was pretty amusing) and there is no doubt that Steven Soderbergh can inject humour into his films as he did with Ocean’s Eleven and Ocean’s Thirteen (the less said about Ocean’s Twelve the better).

It feels as if this role will suit Channing Tatum perfectly; he used to be a model, he has a big female fan base and he showed his comedy credentials earlier this year in 21 Jump Street. He should be able to excel in the title role and I think he could have some fun with the role because I highly doubt this is going to be a film that takes itself 100% seriously.

I think its a film that could go either way but it does have a lot of positives going for it and hopefully it will be a great laugh for everyone.

Before you quickly skip straight to the answer being ‘no’ at least give it some thought.

There is a thought process that goes through many people’s heads when they see Channing Tatum; he is a former model, he made his name really in more romantically engineered films geared towards the female audience and his looks and body are used to attract said female audience members to his films. Therefore he is seen by many to be a pretty boy with no talent and just looks; a stereotypical jock in all honesty. But this is something that may be about to change in Hollywood over the next year or so.

I can’t talk about Channing Tatum without mentioning his first piece of work even though it has no bearing at all in what I am writing about but it might be good for you to know, or give you a little chuckle. But the first time Channing Tatum appeared professionally on film was in the music video for ‘She Bangs’ by Latino pop sensation Ricky Martin. Funny, no?

Anyway, I digress. Channing Tatum first got audience attention when he appeared alongside Amanda Bynes in She’s The Man, probably because of his looks. He also starred in Step Up and its sequel Step Up 2: the Streets as well as moving into a more drama based film with Battle in Seattle which received mixed reviews but showed that Tatum was more than just a pretty face.

But who cares about his early career anymore? Move forward a few years and Tatum is having a very successful time. Haywire received mainly positive reviews, The Vow, where Tatum partnered the beautiful Rachel McAdams, was a surprise box office hit to me as I don’t think it looked very good but its romantic premise and timing of release (Valentine’s week) surely gave it a hand; but it was 21 Jump Street that was Tatum’s biggest hit this year so far. The comedy film is an absolutely hilarious watch and Tatum himself puts in a very good performance. These successes make the point that Tatum does have some box office pull for both genders of the audience.

The interesting thing is that I don’t seem to be the only one that sees this happening. Channing Tatum’s next release is scheduled to be G.I. Joe: Retaliation which will see him reprise the role he played in 2009’s critical lamb to the slaughter G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra, making Tatum one of the few cast members to actually reprise his role. This time he will appear alongside action stars Bruce Willis and, more importantly, Dwayne Johnson!

What an absolute star!… Oh, and Channing Tatum is there as well.

So, to the point: G.I. Joe: Retaliation saw its release delayed by a few months because of reshoots with the reason for these shoots kept tightly under wraps. Now, rumours have surfaced that Channing Tatum is the reason behind the delay because it appears as though his character was set to be killed off. Now, after Tatum’s recent successes and new pulling power they have had a rewrite and decided that he needs a bigger part in the film and may not be killed off after all. Since the first film went down so badly they will not want the same to happen here and are trying to capitalise on Tatum’s new found stardom.

Coming up Tatum has Magic Mike, a hotly anticipated stripper comedy alongside Alex Pettyfer (Stormbreaker) and Matt Bomer (White Collar), Steven Soderbergh directed thriller The Bitter Pill and drama Foxcatcher alongside Mark Ruffalo. Tatum looks set to dip his toe in the pool of different genres and may soon be a name on all Hollywood producers’ lips if he continues to reel off the hits!

It’s been nine years since we last saw Jim and the gang on the big screen, and to fill the pie shaped gap in their lives die hard fans of the series were forced to endure the awful awful sequels that were being made, although by the time Book of Love was made I’m not sure anyone was bothering to watch anymore. But now, in 2012 fans have what they want: a new sequel, the rightful continuation of the original trilogy however there is a problem; with new comedy hits like The Hangover and 21 Jump Street is there still room in the comedy genre for Jim, Finch, Kevin, Oz and Stifler?

The basic premise of the film is pretty much said in the title. American Reunion is the story of the class of 99 from East Great Falls having a high school reunion back in their home towns and as it seems, this is the first time that the gang have got together properly since leaving school. But back in East Great Falls relationship are put to the test as romantic interests, both old and new, force a few characters to think about their adult lives.

The main cast are all back for this: Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Chris Klein, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Sean William Scott, Eddie Kay Thomas and even John Cho, Chris Owen and Shannon Elizabeth return for the final slice of pie. Because of this the film takes a while to get going as the audience have to be re-introduced to the characters and their modern lives. Fortunately, the opening scene featuring Jim and Michelle’s relationship is pretty funny and does well to set up the tone of the film.

Fans of the original trilogy are bound to enjoy this new addition; there are plenty of old jokes referenced throughout the duration of American Reunion and there are, of course, plenty of new jokes and antics from Stifler that are sure to get the audience laughing. A few of the jokes do fall flat on their feet but most of the comedy elements shine and are divided well throughout the film.

As well as the great comedy turns there are also some touching and really nice moments between the couples and this balance of light heartedness and relationship themes really helps the characters come alive and it’s wonderful to see how these people’s lives have changed while we haven’t been watching. This is the first film featuring the original characters not to be written by Adam Herz (instead being written by Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg) but the new writers manage to capture the old essence of the characters really well.

American Reunion probably wouldn’t look that great as a stand alone film, but as a sequel to the already hilarious trilogy it works brilliantly, providing plenty of nostalgia and familiarity for audiences everywhere. Whilst it is likely that American Reunion may get another sequel providing it does well at the box office I feel like this should be the end. The end of the film seems like a natural conclusion for the gang and I don’t think there is much else that we can follow the characters doing. This would be a perfect way to go out.

My Rating: 7/10.

A LEGO Movie, Really?

For some time now a LEGO movie has been in development, that’s right, LEGO, those little bricks you used to play with when you were a kid, the ones that really hurt if you stood on them by accident, they’re making a film out of that. This week it has been announced that the film will be released in 3D on the 28th of February 2014. But why do this?

For years, the LEGO building blocks have been best sellers all year round in the toy department. They have already moved into the video game genre with the likes of LEGO Star Wars or LEGO Harry Potter. So why not try films?

I think that using LEGO to make a film could be something very interesting. It’s not a film about LEGO, it’s just a film with its own characters and its own story; the LEGO is just the material being used to make the film, just like the clay used in Aardman Animations films. This is just another type of animation and if it works on the big screen we may even get more films made in this style.

Apparently up to 20% of the film could be live action but the whole backdrop for the film will be LEGO. This includes any car chases or explosions, they will all be made out of LEGO. There have even been rumours that characters such as LEGO Harry Potter or LEGO Indiana Jones could pop up in the film.

Okay, so the idea of this may not sound very interesting at all to some people. But when you find out that the directors are Phil Lord and Chris Miller, directors of one of the funniest films this year and surprise hit 21 Jump Street, then that must intrigue the avid moviegoer a little bit. After coming off the back of two very successful films commercially, their other being Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, then there must be something in the LEGO movie that has them excited.

Nothing of the plot is really known yet and it will be some time before we get a glimpse of the film but this is something to ponder. Maybe it will be nice to have a new ‘style’ of film competing and who knows, it could turn out to be brilliant.

21 Jump Street Review

***WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS***

Based on the television series from the eighties that made a teen idol out of Johnny Depp, 21 Jump Street is a loose sequel made for the big screen. We follow Morton Schmidt and Greg Jenko, two new and hopeless police officers who end up getting sent to become part of an undercover operation. This operation includes the two officers going undercover in high school in order to find out who has been supplying a number of drugs to the students.

21 Jump Street is written by Michael Bacall, who also wrote critical success Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, and Oscar nominee Jonah Hill who also portrays Schmidt. Hill’s co-star is Channing Tatum and the two are supported by Ice Cube, Dave Franco and Jake Johnson among others who all make this film what it is: a brilliant piece of comedy entertainment.

The film has, what seems to be, the quickest montage series in film as it takes place just five minutes into the story, if that! Opening with a flashback gives the audience a quick and easy indication as to what the two protagonists were like in high school and their relationship there. The story moves at a pretty fast pace to get to the beef of the story, the actual undercover work. This works well as it allows for comedy moments, not focussing on too much of the drama and getting the audience right into the action.

The comedy is fantastic. Some of the jokes are immature, some of the jokes are clever and the combination of the two works perfectly. There is physical comedy and verbal comedy which make for some real laugh out loud moments. Channing Tatum, although he has his critics, is hilarious in this film and Jonah Hill is also very funny. The two have a great chemistry on screen, stemmed from their off screen friendship, and gives a real belief to their friendship.

21 Jump Street is not a film that takes itself too seriously. And in doing so allows for some fantastic moments and in jokes which refer to the television series. These range from the subtle hint to ‘reviving a programme from the 80s’ to the television show being shown in the background of the final action scene and what will make fans of the television show happiest is that the real star of the show, Johnny Depp, even has a cameo!

Overall, 21 Jump Street provides over an hour and a half’s worth of great entertainment. There isn’t a lot there to make you think but that’s not what it attempts to do. The objective is to make the audience laugh and it certainly succeeds. The ending very much leaves itself open for a sequel, which is already being talked about. If Hill and Tatum are back on board then it should be great. If you want to see a brilliant comedy film, then look no further than 21 Jump Street.

My Rating: 8/10