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22 Jump Street Should Change the Way Hollywood Does Sequels

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As of Wednesday, 22 Jump Street had made $145,003,982 domestically. You don’t need to be a mathematician to understand that 22 Jump Street, like it’s predecessor, is a huge hit. After watching the movie last night, it’s easy to see why. Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum are incredible together. They play off each other perfectly, Hill the desperate to fit in but smart dork, Tatum the popular but dumb jock. They fill stereotypes, but they’re so funny that I doubt anyone really cares. 22 Jump Street also had a great supporting cast: Ice Cube, Nick Offerman, Peter Stormare (Armageddon!) and Jillian Bell. Although the cast was great, what made 22 Jump Street so different from any other sequel is how self aware it was. You don’t have to study film to catch the numerous instances when the characters in the movie are poking fun at the absurdity of movie sequels. There’s the first scene outside 22 Jump Street, the numerous instances to Hill and Tatum teaming up “one last time”, and even the hummer/helmet chase scene, where Hill is continually advising Tatum to take the route that will cause the least amount of damage. Sequels in Hollywood are becoming as common as a Shia LeBeouf outburst. If a movie makes money for the studio, there is a very, very good chance that the studio will be looking to cash in once again. It’s not a bad move, but the sheer quantity of sequels (or threequels, or sevenquels) is becoming absurd. Throwing the same cast together and slightly adjusting the plot is becoming the new norm. While 22 Jump Street didn’t really deviate from that, it’s approach was more refreshing: it wasn’t trying to get something over on us, but basically said “this is pretty much the same movie, but you’re going to laugh your ass off so enjoy”. People, myself included, generally look at sequels as a negative thing. Why spoil a movie that was so good and unique by trying to duplicate it? It may not ruin the original, but most of the time the sequel pisses people off because studio’s literally make the same movie yet never acknowledge it. 22 Jump Street was pretty much the same as 21 Jump Street, but they got out in front and told you it was the same movie before anyone could argue about it. Let’s hope Hollywood notices that and follows suit.

– Ryan

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Steve Carell is Ready For His Closeup – Foxcatcher Trailer

Foxcatcher, the new Olympic wrestling themed film starring Steve Carell, Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo, premiered at Cannes yesterday to rave reviews. Most of those reviews revolve around the acting, and while I’ve always enjoyed Mark Ruffalo and Channing Tatum, I’d like to focus on Steve Carell. The first look trailer above (a longer version was leaked months ago but the studio took it down) gives us a small glimpse into the film and it’s three main characters. Carell looks haunting, and unrecognizable, as John Du Pont, the millionaire heir to the Du Pont family fortune who used his vast amounts of money to train Olympic wrestlers trying to make their way to the top. Carell’s performance is already getting Oscar buzz, but I’ll leave that for the actual critics to bicker over. I’m excited that Steve Carell was given the opportunity to step out of his comedy shadow and transform into the bad guy. Carell was magical as Michael Scott in The Office. Magical might not even be a strong enough word to express just how great I thought he was. Michael Scott was a character, yes, but he had a very human side to him, and any of us unlucky enough to be employed in Cube Life have come across a Michael Scott at some point or another. I think Steve Carrel always had this kind of performance in him, but he wasn’t given a chance to show it until now. It’s tough to blame writers, directors or movie studios: he’s a comedic gem who always delivers, whether he’s the oddball boss, or the lovable, albeit slow weatherman, or even the 40 year old virgin. When the director of the movie, Bennett Miller, was asked why he chose Carell, his answer was perfect:

Miller said after he met Carell and discussed the part, he knew he had found his Du Pont. “[This] obviously doesn’t resemble anything he has done before,” Miller said. “I asked Steve if he could imagine what life would really be like if he did not have the relief of a sense of humor. Not just being funny but to see humor in things.”

Carell went “to a dark place,” Miller said, adding that he thinks all comedians are dark. “I just thought, he could do it.” (WSJ)

The talent has always been there, and come November, I have a feeling a lot of people are going to be happy the opportunity finally came too.

– Ryan

 

 

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