Archive for April 2012

21 Jump Street   1 comment

IMDB: 7.7

Rotten Tomatoes: 85%

My Grade: C+

21 Jump Street – Film Review

Commercial Comedy Lives up to Expectation

Watching 21 Jumps Street’s previews was literally exactly like watching the movie. When I saw the preview I laughed, thought to myself man that’s probably solid and did not give it a moments’ thought after that.

Any movie with Jonah Hill is worth at least a few laughs (Knocked Up, Get Him To The Greek, Superbad, etc.) and this one is no different. Channing Tatum even avoids being the stereotype he usually and that’s also worth some recognition.

The film is based off the TV show 21 Jump Street that spanned from the late 80’s to early 90’s, but the only difference between the two is that the original had an actor with some serious chops in Johnny Depp. (Depp makes a pretty awesome cameo, just btw.)

Both the show and the film center around 2 reject cops that got kicked off active duty. However, because they looked so young they were selected to work under cover as high school students in the attempt to bust up a drug ring.

Having acted in Dear John, both G.I. Joe films and Step Up within in the past 6 years Channing Tatum Is generally all over the place. No one can deny the guy is good looking but his acting this film (and in general) makes it obvious that he is only a pretty face.

Playing the same jock-ass (jock-ass = jock + badass) in all of his films Tatum is really just a six-pack with a limited emotional spectrum. Although when a director (wisely) doesn’t ask Tatum to be anything more than a chiseled jock-ass he can be passable, like in the context of 21 Jump Street.

Tatum’s counterpart Jonah Hill supplies the same handful of laughs we always expect. His most recent film before this dynamic duo attempt with Tatum was The Sitter, which delivered just about the same amount of chuckles.

I honestly struggled to decide how to write this review. Never has a film been so incredibly close to what I thought it would be like after seeing the preview. It was predictable and started a little slowly which is atypical of a good comedy, but it still delivered some laughs so it wasn’t altogether a waste.

However If debating whether or not to go see it, maybe wait till you go home for the summer and watch on mom and dads cable subscription.

The only true comedy came from well-known character actors Rob Riggle and Chris Parnell. These guys have been the glue in blockbuster comedies such as Anchor Man, Step Brothers, and Hot Rod.

Although it hurts me to talk a little shnizz on Jonah Hill, at this point he is just trying too hard. He is a very funny man, don’t get me wrong, but if he keeps making B- comedies like 21 Jump Street his loyal fans will be relegated to re –runs of Knocked Up and Super Bad.

My review to this point has been a bit disparaging, and I think my disappointment stems from the hype. The previews were funny, I had heard it was funny from my friends (who are idiots, a fact I often forget) and I was pretty pumped for it. Unfortunately the hype and previews turned out to be the best part of the film.

Jonah Hill was funny, Channing Tatum avoided being cheesy, women were hot… but that is about it.

If you want to see a formulaic comedy on a day when you’re stuck sick at home this would be the one. I’m not saying its bad, its just not good enough for me to give a shit.

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Posted April 20, 2012 by dauberb in Uncategorized

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The Hunger Games – Film Review   1 comment

IMDB: 7.6

Rotten Tomatoes: 84%

 

Opening with a solid $250 million in the box office, “The Hunger Games” marks the next step forward in Hollywood’s book-to-movie sagas.

“The Hunger Games” provides some serious action and suspenseful film-making that has critics talking. For a PG-13 rated film, it certainly packs a punch.

Excitement surrounding the film’s premiere has been stirred by the wild success of the novel written by Suzanne Collins.

Following in the footsteps of LOTR (“Lord of the Rings,” for all you noobs out there), “Twilight,” and of course, the godfather of all book-to-movie franchises, “Harry Potter,” “The Hunger Games” cements this trend in current filmmaking.

All of these blockbuster-caliber films drew from hype, fueled largely by the books they were adapted from, to turn their debuts into big box office bucks.

In terms of revenue generated, “Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows II” is in the lead among these films with a gross of $380 million; next is “LOTR: The Return of the King” with $377 million; “Twilight: Eclipse” brings up the rear (rightfully so) with $300 million.

Each of these films was the highest rated of their respective series at rottentomatoes.com.

But worry not, “Hunger Games” fans: “The Hunger Games” is still generating revenue.

And we don’t even know if the first film in the series will be the most successful of the saga as far as the big screen is concerned.

In addition to the moola, all of these movies (with the exception of “Twilight”) have received mostly exceptional film reviews.

It is safe to say at this point that the book-to-movie phenomenon happening in Hollywood is putting butts in seats, but are these books’ die-hard fans satisfied with Hollywood’s sometimes half-assed recreations of these narratives?

In the instance of “The Hunger Games,” novelist Suzanne Collins was involved in both the writing and the production of the movie, which probably led to an at least somewhat satisfactory adaptation in her mind.

If you look at the movie in comparison to “Twilight,” the only other series with a strong female lead, “The Hunger Games” blows it out of the water.

On screen, “Twilight” comes across as mainly as a whiny teen love story, accentuated by random intervals of shirtless vamps.

“The Hunger Games” actually has substance, and isn’t just intended for 14-year-old girls.

The positive reactions in the blogosphere have labeled “The Hunger Games” as satisfactory for the average movie-goer and the fans of the novels alike.

Rumors are already buzzing of a video game are already underway, but it’s unclear whether a gory Xbox interpretation of kids killing other kids will gather enough support to actually hit the shelves.

Overall I give the film a B+.

I went into the theater knowing almost every major plot point thanks to my talkative friends, and I still really enjoyed it.
Even fans of the book I have spoken to on campus said they enjoyed it.

It is not directed toward one sex in particular. Any guy who says this movie is just for girls doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

It was one of the fullest theaters I have ever seen at The Movies at Meadville, and it was a Tuesday.

Posted April 12, 2012 by dauberb in Uncategorized

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