21 Jump Street

Culture Warrior on 2012

In this end-of-year editorial, Landon Palmer discusses the pattern that movies demonstrated in 2012 for telling stories through protagonists defined by their various personality traits rather than through conventional, straightforward characters. In so doing, movies this year showed how our individual identities have become divided within various aspects of modern social life. This trend made some of the year’s movies incredibly interesting, while others suffered from a personality disorder. Landon argues that movies ranging from The Hunger Games to The Dark Knight Rises to Holy Motors alongside cultural events and institutions like the Presidential election, social media, and “Gangnam Style” all contributed to a year in which popular culture is finally became open about its constant engagement with multiple cults of personality. Six years ago, Time magazine famously named its eagerly anticipated “Person of the Year” You in big, bold letters. Its cover even featured a mirror. As a result of the established popularity of supposedly democratized media outlets like Facebook and the home of the cover’s proverbial “You,” YouTube, Time declared 2006 as the year in which the masses were equipped with the ability to empower themselves for public expressions of individual identity. More than a half decade later, social media is no longer something new to adjust to, but a norm of living with access to technology. Supposing that Time’s prophecy proved largely correct, what does it mean to live in a 21st century where we each have perpetual access to refracting our respective mirrors?

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“In a perfect world, ‘The Cabin in the Woods’ would be a lock for a Best Original Screenplay nomination.” – Joey Magidson, The Awards Circuit It must be frustrating to write for an awards blog (aka an Oscar blog, since the Academy Awards are always the main focus of these sites), and know that the best films of the year are not necessarily the ones that will be nominated. Magidson’s comment above, from his April review of The Cabin in the Woods, sort of sums that up. But at the same time I don’t know if the movie truly deserves the statement. Something to consider, semantically speaking, is that the Academy’s award is not for “Most Original Screenplay” but “Best Original Screenplay.” This isn’t to say that the script, by Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard, isn’t well-written, and you’re welcome to argue its case for a nomination. Is it the best-written original screenplay of the year, though? All my time as a movie lover and watcher of the Oscars, including the past few years of hate-watching, the original screenplay category is one I’ve constantly been excited about. It’s the place where you could find some of the more clever and creative efforts, including a number of films that might not get other nominations. You could find a good number of interesting foreign films outside of the foreign-language award ghetto (such as Bunuel‘s two nominations for writing), as well as an interesting showing of mainstream and blockbuster fare, especially in the […]

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21 Jump Street Sequel

For all the complaining we might do when it comes to Hollywood’s love of reboots and sequels, on occasion, they do get this stuff right. Just look at this year’s 21 Jump Street big screen reboot (re-imagination?) – a hilarious, original, and meta (“We’re reviving a canceled undercover project from the ’80s and revamping it for modern times. The people behind this lack creativity and they’ve run out of ideas, so what they do now is just recycle shit from the past and hope that nobody will notice.”) spin on the ’80s television series that is still one of the funniest films of the year. The film, starring Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill as newbie cops (and best friends) who get sent undercover at a local high school to root out their massive designer drug problem, left audiences wanting more, so it’s convenient that a sequel was announced back in March, with Michael Bacall and Hill set to pen a script treatment for Bacall to craft a full screenplay from. But when, oh when, would we get more of the boys and their hilarious hijinks? According to a new report, really damn soon. F**k you, science!

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This Week in Blu-ray

Between this week and last, the world of Blu-ray has been rather quiet. Each week provides its own go-to titles, but it’s not quite the deluge of high definition spirit that we’re seeing at the box office this time of year, there are a few real standouts. It’s our job to sift through the buffet of choices and find said standouts, and that’s what we intend to do with This Week in Blu-ray. We begin this week with one of this author’s favorite films of 2012 thus far… God Bless America The Pitch: One man’s rage over the fall of reason in American pop culture turns into a killing spree with a teen girl sidekick. This is known: Putting a quote from my theatrical review on the back of your Blu-ray packaging will not guarantee you pick of the week status, but it certainly won’t hurt. Purchasers of Bobcat Goldthwait’s excellent tale of a fed up guy (Joel Murray) and his bloodthirsty, pubescent friend (Tara Lynne Barr) will find the following quote on the back cover, accredited to this very site: “It’s a magnetic film that provides 100 minutes of subversive, blood soaked fun.” We do not print lies, friends. This one is highly political, hyper-violent to the point of being militant and above all, hilarious. Joel Murray and Tara Lynne Barr are a regular Butch and Sundance, if Sundance rocked an a-cup and the gang was out to kill the Kardashians. You won’t want to be the like who […]

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Drinking Games

Whether you like it or not, 2012 is the year of Channing Tatum. It’s also the year when the world is supposed to end. Those may be two facts that go hand in hand, but even Tatum’s most bitter critic should recognize that he showed some serious comedy chops with Jonah Hill in this spring’s hit 21 Jump Street, now out on Blu-ray and DVD. Based on one of Fox’s flagship television series, which aired from 1987 to 1991, this film follows two cops who enter the Jump Street program, in which they pose as high school students to uncover a drug ring. It’s a funny film with plenty of irresponsible drinking in it, so tap a keg of cheap beer and have your own party.

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Brie Larson got her start in children’s films, broke into television, and even had a short music career. The 22-year-old actress has transitioned into more grown-up roles, but she still gets cast in a high school student (even though, ironically, she was home schooled for her high school years). Her most recent role was in this spring’s hit comedy 21 Jump Street, based on the television series that ran on Fox from 1987 until 1991. The film comes out on Blu-ray and DVD this week, so Larson took some time to chat with Film School Rejects about her various roles, including the upcoming films James Ponsoldt’s The Spectacular Now and Peter Bogdanovich’s Squirrel to the Nuts.

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This Week in DVD

Welcome back to This Week In DVD! Lots of fantastic (and not so fantastic) titles hitting shelves today including one of the year’s best comedies, an Academy Award winner for Best Film, a near-hilariously bad Korean monster movie, Drafthouse Films’ newest release and more. As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Sound of Noise Amadeus Warnebring is a detective with a not-so-secret disdain for music thanks to a family that displayed immense and near constant talent for the art, but when a group of musical terrorists begin threatening the city with impromptu performances he’s tasked with overcoming his issues to catch the culprits and prevent the musical apocalypse. You really shouldn’t need more than that synopsis to encourage you to seek this movie out, but I’ll add that this Swedish film is a rare original and filled with laughs and honestly enjoyable music. Check out my full review.

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If you’ve ever seen a Tim Burton movie, you know the guy is probably pretty awkward. At the very least, he’s gotta be soft-spoken, right? Which begs the question, “How interesting can a Tim Burton-only commentary be?” Well, we’re here to answer that very question with this week’s Commentary Commentary. In honor of Dark Shadows, Burton’s latest collaboration with Johnny Depp, we’ve decided to go back and delve into their first pairing, Edward Scissorhands. Burton took the commentary duties by his lonesome here, and I’m sure amid all the fumbling of words and general gracelessness there’s enough to pack in here to hold our interest. At the very least it’ll be an entertaining car wreck. So here, without further ado, is everything we learned about Edward Scissorhands from listening to its director, Tim Burton, speak on it. We didn’t learn Tim Burton is a strange guy. We knew that one already.

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The Reject Report - Large

A chimpanzee, Zac Efron, Steve Harvey, and Katniss – Not Jennifer Lawrence – all have their palms on a brand new Dodge Challenger. Hemi. The last person with their hand on the car wins it, and, unfortunately for Katniss – Still not Jennifer Lawrence – who could afford 10 Dodge Challengers right now – the game’s been going for four days straight. She’s exhausted. The other players are all fresh, and a few of them have heavy fan support. Who will walk away with this magnificent car or the claim of #1 at the box office if you’re into the whole analogy thing? One things for certain. The chimpanzee was already distracted by a low-hanging branch. Let the contest begin.

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The Reject Report - Large

The 1990s are so 13 years ago. At least, that was the attitude this weekend when two films with roots in the last decade of the 20th Century came, saw, and had their proverbial butts kicked by something that is very much 2010 and beyond. The Hunger Games made this third weekend in release its bitch, pulling out another $33.1m and breaking past the coveted $300m mark, tying with Revenge of the Sith as the sixth fastest film to do so. The Lionsgate film was also able in its third week of release to surpass every film in the Twilight franchise, but comparisons between the two were dead, buried, resurrected, and staked in the heart about two-and-a-half weeks ago. With an additional $157.1m in foreign markets – Australia and the UK rank highest with $16.7m and $15.7m, respectively – The Hunger Games if officially a worldwide, cinematic phenom, nearing the half billion mark. The “is he or isn’t he” game Gary Ross and Lionsgate seem to be playing for the sequel, Catching Fire, isn’t stopping audiences from packing theaters, and why should it. Uwe Boll could helm the follow-up, and it’d still bring in record-breaking coin. That’s getting way ahead of ourselves, though, so let’s back-track to the film that’s currently killing everything else in release. Literally killing them. Okay, not literally.

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The Reject Report - Large

Happy Easter, everybody. It’s the time of year for giving, for hollow, chocolate bunnies, and for Stifler to make some crude remark just before ingesting something disgusting. That’s right, it’s time for a reunion with the American Pie crew, and, like it or not, the movie is going to come out on top. It doesn’t matter that Katniss and her Hunger Games are still shooting strong. Never mind that the 2nd biggest movie of all time is getting a 3D update. All that’s moot when it comes to the financial strength behind dick jokes and bare breasts. So grab a chair, and heat up that warm, apple cobbler, check out this week’s Reject Report, and never let go. Not like Rose, though. She totally let go.

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Take all the box office records out there, the biggest openings and fastest to whatever astronomical dollar amount is considered a hit these days, put them up on a wall, and throw a dart. Chances are good whichever you one you hit, The Hunger Games either ranked exceedingly high on it or it took the #1 spot with a fury. The record shifting began early with the film, the first of many if Lionsgate has anything to do with it, boasting the 15th widest opening in history. Then, with $19.7m, The Hunger Games set the record for midnight sales for a non-sequel. We’re getting into some qualifiers here, but non-sequels being hits are a rare breed these days.

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This year’s SXSW may be over, but it’s certainly not forgotten. Another week of barbeque, buddies, beer, and – oh yeah – movies down, and we’re still recovering, both in terms of remembering everything we saw and attempting to pry ourselves out of our stretchiest of pants. As with any film festival, the stunning depth of films available to watch has resulted in a solid handful of serious favorites. This time around, our twelve favorite films of the festival include big studio comedy, intimate documentary, the best action film in years, true independent features, and even a picture made entirely on cell phones. Take a look at our twelve favorites from this year’s SXSW after the break.

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The Reject Report - Large

A lone film hits on a multitude of screens this weekend. The playing field is all for its amusement, and this one film appears to be holding every card in the deck. It’s not a matter of if The Hungers Games will be a success. The real question is how many records will it be breaking this weekend. The incredibly popular book series finally makes its cinematic debut, and, like the Twilight series before it, The Hunger Games is sure to take its core audience by storm. It’ll be sure to bring in audiences who aren’t familiar with the book series, as well, ensuring its place in box office history, or, at the very least, offer a strong enough debut to warrant the inevitable sequel. That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? The franchise. Let’s take a look at how this lone wolf stacks up against all these familiar cubs.

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If you’ve been rocking back and forth with anticipation for The Raid: Redemption, your wait is almost over. It hits theaters this weekend (alongside another certain highly-anticipated movie), and to whet your appetite, we talk with writer/director Gareth Evans who dissects an action scene for us. Plus, Kate Erbland and Rob Hunter join us for the Movie News Pop Quiz and to share their favorites from SXSW that will be coming to your neck of the woods. Download Episode #126

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21 Jump Street ain’t no Hot Fuzz, Airplane, or Phil Lord and Chris Miller‘s Cloudy with a Chance of Meetballs. This TV adaptation is no satire or parody. 21 Jump Street is a straight-faced comedy, with only a few pokes at the action genre. Miller and Lord never go further than pointing out the TV adaptation/remake craze and how awesome it is to have doves in your action movie. But like Cloudy with a Chance of Meetballs, 21 Jump Street is a late coming-of-age story. Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) are both nerds. When they join the police force, they want their lives to become Lethal Weapon, Bad Boys II, or Red Heat. As Flint Lockwood did in Cloudy, the duo have to grow up. Here’s what directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller had to say about not making a parody, pro-nerd messages, and invoking the cop genre style:

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Kevin Carr

This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr dresses up in skinny jeans and bling-bling (‘cause that’s what the kids nowadays are wearing, right, dawg?) so he can sneak into his old high school and pose as a student. After spending the following night in jail, he heads to the multiplex to watch the biweekly Channing Tatum movie spectacular. Unfortunately, he goes in the wrong theater and ends up seeing a movie that requires him to read the whole time. And he doesn’t even get to see Genesis Rodriguez’s breasts. It’s a sad day.

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We’ve already signed up hundreds of people for FSR Dating – the first dating site for movie fans – and to aid the endeavor to provide all of our readers with that special tingle, we’re tossing out a few ideas (that you can totally claim as your own) for forming dates around this week’s releases. They’re perfect for finding a new flame or for proving to your current wife/girlfriend/husband/boyfriend that cheap roses for Valentine’s Day isn’t all you’re good for (even if it totally is). This week involves cops pretending to be in high school, comedians living in the basement and Will Ferrell speaking only in Spanish. If you plan on catching 21 Jump Street, Jeff Who Lives At Home or Casa de mi Padre, what are you doing afterward? Check out these thematic date ideas, sack up, and go ask someone out. Then send us the pictures.

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A movie based on the show 21 Jump Street? Dumb, right? Well, directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller acknowledge that right out of the gate. In doing so, they’ve crafted a hilarious and whip-smart comedy with a big heart and mind. The duo didn’t make a series of a action movie references, but an actual action movie. The Jump Street program, which remains the same concept as the original television series, has been resurrected due to a “lack of imagination.” Two of the young-looking cops chosen are Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum), two wannabe badasses. Schmidt and Jenko were on opposite sides in high school: Schmidt was a juggling club loser who went through an Eminem phase, while Jenko was the popular jock. A few years later, the dynamic has changed. Schmidt and Jenko become buddies to even out each other’s respective athletic or academic weaknesses. When they’re thrown back into high school to crackdown on a drug aptly called “Holy Fucking Shit,” their friendship gets tested.  Schmidt is no longer the outcast, and Jenko quickly realizes acting like an asshole isn’t exactly cool anymore.

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SXSW: Rob Riggle on 21 Jump Street

Rob Riggle has a presence unlike most comic actors working today. Most are not exactly domineering or towering, and Riggle fits both of those descriptions. It helps Riggle standout, especially in minor roles. The actor’s one of those guys who’ll come into your movie for a few minutes and mark an impression, and usually as an oblivious asshole. From his collaborations with director Adam McKay to plenty of his other work, Riggle displays what he likes to call “arrogant ignorance.” No matter how much of a loser Riggle will play, there’ll still be a cockiness there. This is a bold statement, but that may be the actor playing at his most arrogant and ignorant yet. There’s only a slight sliver of Riggle arrogance and ignorance in 21 Jump Street, but what’s there is pure comic idiocy. Here’s what actor Rob Riggle had to say about getting to play on set, the awkwardness of studying acting and drama, and how he pushed through bartending:

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