Channing Tatum

Channing Tatum Magic Mike Flexing

Though Channing Tatum has made a great home for himself staying in school way past his age limit, he’s lined up a very compelling project to produce and utilize as a potential starring vehicle as someone who left college behind long ago and found his genius in an arguably unorthodox way. Struck by Genius is the true story of Jason Padgett (based on his memoir of the same name), a hard-partying dude who suffered a serious, traumatic brain injury at the age of 31 after getting brutally mugged. The violent incident isn’t even the whole story here; it’s the fact that Padgett’s brain injuries led to him becoming the first documented case of acquired savant syndrome — with the added result of extreme mathematical synesthesia as part of the package. Effectively, after being brutalized, the shift in Padgett’s brain turned him into a mathematical genius who could see geometric shapes and mathematical formulas everywhere he looked. What’s your excuse for struggling through 10th grade Algebra?

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Foxcatcher

“Hello, Oscar voters, Channing Tatum here. Yes, hello, it’s nice to speak to you, too. No, I will not be appearing in Step Up: All In. No, no cameo. I swear. I know I’ve done it before, but there was just no time for this one. I am sorry. That’s really nice that you love dance movies, but I am here to talk to you about something else. No, not Matthew McConaughey. Not his Oscar. ALRIGHT ALRIGHT ALRIGHT. Happy? Let’s get to it. My Oscar. No, no, I don’t want to wait until next March. I’d like it now. No, right now. I know Foxcatcher hasn’t even been released yet, but I think that I’ve got a little something for you that might sway your opinion. Here, take a look, then let’s talk about that little gold man.”

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Tilda Swinton in Burn After Reading

2011 and 2012 were tough years. Before then, things were plentiful, as every year a new Coen Brothers film would release right on schedule. No Country for Old Men, Burn After Reading, A Serious Man and True Grit. Truly, it was a great time to be alive. But the next two years after True Grit were a desert. No Coen films. No Coen anything. Not a single trace of dryly broad (or broadly dry?) comic sensibilities, nor the gentle pop of John Goodman’s vocal chords exploding after one screamed line too many. Those were dark times. And when Inside Llewyn Davis swooped in to remind us that Joel and Ethan Coen were both still alive and still capable of putting story to celluloid, things got a little lighter. But still the question remained: when would the Coens return to hibernation? We should be in the clear for now. Their latest film has progressed enough to call it quits on the Coen slumber party. It’s got a title (Hail Caesar!), two cast members (George Clooney and Josh Brolin), and a vague outline of the story. It’ll follow Eddie Mannix, a Hollywood fixer in the moviemaking salad days of the 1950s. Mannix will have to juggle the lives and careers of various hyperactive Coen movie moguls. And now, according to Variety, the film’s got cast member number three: Channing Tatum.

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Sony Pictures

One of the many great things about 2012’s film adaptation of 21 Jump Street is its feeling of real affection for the characters, the genre and the art and craft of movie-making itself. Of course it’s also incredibly funny, but the humor benefited at least in part from the very obvious sense of appreciation and awareness. That same sense of casual respect and recognition is present in the creatively-named follow-up, 22 Jump Street, but now it’s extended to include observations on the art and commerce of Hollywood sequels. That meta-awareness leads to some ridiculously funny and entertaining dialogue and set-pieces, but the obvious intelligence from directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (and the trio of screenwriters) make the film’s lapses that much more unfortunate. Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) are sent undercover to infiltrate a drug dealer and find the supplier on a school campus, but their friendship is tested when only one of them gets in with the cool kids leaving the other to twist in the wind. They’re forced to get past their individual hang-ups over what school was like for them the first time, rediscover what it was that made them such good friends in the first place and then bring down the bad guys through a combination of teamwork and irresponsible shenanigans. Yeah, it’s a sequel.

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Sony Pictures

22 Jump Street hits theaters tomorrow, and you should probably go see it. I say probably, but I mean definitely as it is ridiculously funny and entertaining. If you enjoyed the first one it’s guaranteed you’ll love the follow-up. I re-watched 21 Jump Street the night before the sequel’s screening and was happy to see that it remains a fantastically fun watch even two years after its premiere. Watching it yet again — this time with the commentary track featuring directors Phil Lord & Chris Miller as well as leads Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum — proved to be an equally good time. The quartet are clearly a good team, and it’s as evident in the film as it is in their shared commentary. They appear to have recorded the track just after the film’s opening weekend, and it’s clear they’re still on a high from audiences’ reception of it all.

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Book of Life trailer

When it comes to Halloween movies, we’ve run the course of the genre from the grotesque, to the slasher, to the found footage, to the spooky ghost story and every iteration of the word “frightening” that your sick little minds could conjure up for the in-between. When you get to something that bends and twists the genre ever so slightly to make a film with monstrous elements and human heartache — such as The Nightmare Before Christmas or Corpse Bride — you wonder when it’s going to happen again. With the first trailer for The Book of Life, an animated feature that’s celebrating the Day of the Dead, the magic of that realm between the living and the not-so-alive seems to be back bigger and brighter than ever before. The film, directed by Jorge Gutierrez and produced by Guillermo del Toro (who’s fairly busy lately) follows a beautiful girl named Maria (Zoe Saldana) who must pick between two suitors — the handsome and brawny Joaquin (Channing Tatum) or the dreamy, guitar playing Manolo (Diego Luna). Evil forces who want her to end up with Joaquin, because gambling is apparently a problem in the fairy tale world, too, ensure that this will happen by sending poor sensitive Manolo to an early grave. What they don’t understand is that they’re actually doing him a solid, because life after death is a hell of a lot cooler than whatever it is we’re wasting our time doing here on earth. Check out the trailer […]

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Foxcatcher

Looks like it’s Foxcatcher day around the cinematically-inclined internets, as our own William Goss just recently unveiled a stellar A- review of the film out of Cannes, and now we’re all getting graced with the presence of a brand new teaser for Bennett Miller‘s latest film. Oh, and hey, it’s totally terrifying. Based on the real life story of crazed murderer/overly encouraging wrestling coach John du Pont (and also apparently loosely inspired by star Steve Carell‘s voicework in the Despicable Me films), Miller’s film sees Carell starring as the creepily intense (and also intensely creepy) du Pont, a rich dude with a thing for bringing glory back to America. No, really. Du Pont’s glory-seeking plan involves training Olympic level wrestlers, which sort of sounds like the perfect thing for a crazed rich dude to do. Du Pont’s desires might seem, yes, a bit nutty, but his path to all that glory is kind of smart — he starts a training program for actual athletes (including the Schultz brothers, played by Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo), using his own fortune as financing. Everything seems to be super-excellent, until he loses his tenuous grip on reality. Sound over-the-top? It’s not — it’s deeply unsettling. Ready to be chilled to the bone? Brace yourself for the film’s latest teaser trailer.

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Foxcatcher

“Fame makes a man take things over.” There couldn’t be a much more obvious needle drop for a scene of newly minted champions celebrating over champagne in a well-adorned trophy room, but more than one line from David Bowie’s “Fame” suits the grander themes of the terrific sports drama, Foxcatcher. Landing at the logical crossroads between Moneyball’s quest for sports-minded superiority and Capote’s chilly portrait of the criminal mind, director Bennett Miller’s third narrative feature revisits the eventually tragic real-life involvement of Olympic wrestling champs Mark and Dave Schultz with eccentric millionaire John du Pont. By 1987, 27-year-old Mark (Channing Tatum) had already earned an Olympic gold medal, but as he lectures bored students for a pittance and commits to his umpteenth meal of instant ramen while older brother Dave (Mark Ruffalo) raises a proper family, it’s clear that the glory has faded. Out of the blue comes a call on behalf of Mr. du Pont (Steve Carell), a wealthy ornithologist, philatelist and philosopher eager to sponsor the Schultz brothers if it means bringing the gold home to America once again.

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Steve Carell in Foxcatcher

There’s a little bit of Brick Tamland in every role Steve Carell‘s ever done. Even his dramatic roles (which are less “dramatic” than they are “drama adjacent”) bear the stigma of a man who once pooped a Cornish game hen in the Anchorman blooper bonus footage. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is the poignant story of a man who copes with the certainty of his own grisly death … by visiting a restaurant where a wacky wait staff kisses him and he yells things like a lunatic. Little Miss Sunshine is a touching family film where Carell overcomes his suicidal depression through his love for his niece and nephew. Then he does a wacky dance and yells like a lunatic. I long for the day he can fully emerge from the shadow of “I love lamp.” And that day’s almost here, give or take a few months. On November 14th, Foxcatcher will open in theaters across the country. It was originally scheduled for last December, but that was before Sony Pictures Classics decided the movie had more of a “2014” ring to it than a “2013” (makes sense — 2013 is so last year). It stars Carell as John du Pont, the real-life chemical heir who befriended Olympic wrestler siblings Mark and Dave Schultz, only to grow mentally unstable and kill the latter in cold blood. The film also stars Channing Tatum as the Tatum-esque Mark, and Mark Ruffalo as bald and bearded Dave. The first clip from the film, released via Yahoo Movies, has no Ruffalo,  […]

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Channing Tatum Magic Mike Flexing

It’s a good time to be Channing Tatum. One minute he’s taking a meeting with the X-Men people, the next minute MTV is bestowing their most prestigious golden popcorn bucket upon him. And amidst all that goodness is something else to be proud of: Warner Bros. considers him decent enough competition (or at least, a viable alternative) to the Terminator franchise. Because it’s just been announced that Tatum’s Magic Mike 2 (rumored to be called Magic Mike XXL) is slated for release on July 3, 2015, which is two days before Terminator Genesis‘s own release date in the Great Summer of All Blockbusters. Of course, the one thing 2015 doesn‘t already have is a sex movie about shirtless men (just kidding! — there’s also 50 Shades of Grey), so Tatum and his cohorts can step up to fill an important niche (har!). Magic Mike 2/XXL‘s release date is also the first news about the sequel that’s come down the official news pipeline, and like all officially sourced news, it contains both the phrase “get your banana hammocks ready” and “drops trau.” Everything else about the sequel — that Tatum would be penning the screenplay (along with Reid Carolin), that it might be called Magic Mike XXL and that its director will probably be Magic Mike‘s first AD, Greg Jacobs, have come from unconfirmed sources, little hints dropped by actors or Tatum’s Facebook page.

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Magic Mike

Back in January, uber producer Lauren Schuler Donner said she wanted Channing Tatum for a movie about everyone’s favorite card-flinging Cajun X-Man. Now Tatum has confirmed (while blazing trails for MTV) that he’s taken a meeting about it and is definitely interested. Something we’ve all known since he auditioned for a part in X-Men: The Last Stand. So it goes. If a million things line up correctly, Channing Tatum playing Gambit might be our future. The thing is, of course, that if a movie is an adult who can vote, this is the movie news equivalent of hearing two people fucking through your hotel wall. But grains of salt aside, it offers us an interesting opportunity to look at what went wrong with the first live-action Gambit and how a solo film with the character might be a much-needed antidote for comic book movie fatigue.

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tatumhair

Fox’s X-Men franchise is unique amongst most of the other superhero movie franchises in that its current incarnation has been a pretty mixed bag, but it still keeps on going without experiencing a reboot. Other franchises like the Fantastic Four movies or Daredevil and its spinoff were terrible from the start, and were put to bed pretty quickly. Or, all of the movies tied into the current Avengers universe are pretty good, so they seem like they’re going to go on forever. Heck, all it took was one stinker in the Spider-Man franchise for it to go from being a huge money-maker to a new series that was rebooted with a completely new cast and a completely new filmmaking team. The X-Men movies have been going ever since 2000 though, with legitimately good movies and real stinkers right next to each other in its catalogue. It seemed for a minute like 2011’s X-Men: First Class was going to finally be a clean restart for the Marvel-created mutants, after a decade of cinematic ups and downs, but by now it’s clear that director Bryan Singer’s upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past is going to be linking that movie into the first franchise, in order to create one big, weird family of movies that it’s always hard to anticipate the quality of. Channing Tatum’s acting career, similar to the X-Men movie franchise, has also seen its share of ups and downs. When his name first started to become known, he was vilified […]

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There’s a lot riding on 22 Jump Street. No, not box office bucks or critical praise or Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum‘s careers or anything like that- what hangs in the balance is far more precious. As you probably know (as does everyone who’s anyone), Kurt Russell’s son, Wyatt Russell, turned down a role in the last two Hunger Games films just to take part in 22 Jump Street. This could be his big break; an opportunity to rake in Jaden Smith or Charlie Sheen levels of “I’m the son of someone famous” fame and fortune.

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Mila Kunis origami

The Wachowskis hit it big as filmmakers with only their second movie, The Matrix, and while its two sequels are a mixed bag on the critical front they made massive amounts of the green stuff. That’s a good thing in this case as it allowed Andy and Lana some freedom in regard to making the movies they want to make with little regard for studio interference. Granted, one of the results was Speed Racer, but we also got the the big, beautiful mess that is the sadly under-appreciated Cloud Atlas. Some of you undoubtedly think the former is the unappreciated masterpiece and the latter the bust, but the takeaway is the same regardless. These are filmmakers who are perfectly content making epic films for small audiences. It’s not the most sustainable business model, but to each their own. The big question now though is what to make of their next sure-to-be-misunderstood-by-the-masses film, Jupiter Ascending. The film is a sci-fi adventure that sees the Queen of the universe put out a hit on an earthling named Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis) because the human is destined to claim the intergalactic throne. A genetically engineered hunter named Caine (Channing Tatum) arrives as her sole protector against the dark forces aligned against her (which presumably includes a poisoned apple at some point). Check out the first trailer below.

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whitehousetruth-1

If there’s anything that people can take from the films of 2013 – aside from the potential danger of living in big cities prone to being crushed by aliens, super villains, the undead, and whatnot – it’s that it’s hella easy to storm the White House and take the President hostage. After all, this happened not once (as seen in Olympus Has Fallen), but twice (as seen by fewer people in White House Down) at the multiplex. While White House Down (which had a decent run at the international box office) was a bit of a flop here in the states, Olympus Has Fallen was seen as a springtime hit. Now, Hollywood is already prepping a sequel, recently announced as London Has Fallen (which makes little sense, but I suppose 10 Downing Street Has Fallen just doesn’t have the same ring to it). This got us thinking: Could terrorists really take over the White House like they did in these movies?

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tatum

UPDATED: The Playlist shares that this story has now been debunked. Boo. Recently Cinema Blend was invited to join director Paul Feig at a dinner meant to serve the boring purpose of promoting the release of Feig’s latest comedy, The Heat, on home video. Fortunately for us, their intrepid reporter refused to let an interesting opportunity slip away while talk stuck solely on director’s commentaries and gag reels, and instead managed to turn the focus of conversation to things Feig will be doing in the future. A couple of juicy tidbits were revealed. First off, Feig spilled the beans that Jason Statham was going to be appearing in that upcoming movie about a female secret agent he’s making that’s starring Melissa McCarthy. You know, the one that used to be called Susan Cooper? From the sound of it, Statham is probably just going to be playing a small part though, and one that comedically undercuts his status as a macho superhero, so that didn’t end up being the part of the conversation that was all that exciting. The exciting part was when the director revealed what he has planned for Channing Tatum.

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foxcatcher-09

Steve Carell teetered over to the dramatic side of things in Little Miss Sunshine, but Foxcatcher will be the film to truly stretch his acting abilities. Based on real-life events, Foxcatcher sees Carell as Jon du Pont, the multimillionaire chemical heir who built a wrestling facility at his home in Foxcatcher Farm, where he later shot and killed Olympic wrestler David Schultz. Mark Ruffalo will portray Schultz, while Channing Tatum will play the role of his brother, fellow Olympic wrestler Mark Schultz So far, Carell has only ventured into a handful of dramedies, and never a full-fledged drama, so portraying a schizophrenic killer does seem like it may be a little out of his league. But at least the actor is in good hands. Bennett Miller, the man at Foxcatcher‘s helm, drove comedian Jonah Hill to an Academy Award nomination in his last feature, Moneyball (technically Hill had already tasted serious drama in Cyrus the year before, but never mind that). Entertainment Weekly has just debuted a still of Carell made up like du Pont, complete with a fake nose and an unhealthy-looking glower. This first image does make Carell’s menace seem genuine. Still, I can’t help but wonder – when du Pont ratchets up the crazy, will we see Carell embody his madness, or will we see Carell wearing a fake nose and falling back towards a Brick Tamland-like yelling spree? Hopefully it’s the former. Foxcatcher releases on December 20th.

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21-Jump-Street

Ever wonder why comedy sequels are rarely ever able to be as funny as the originals, even when all of the same people come back to make them? Well, Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the writing and directing team who have brought us things like the gone too soon cult TV show Clone High, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, and last year’s surprisingly excellent TV-to-film adaptation 21 Jump Street, have just done an interview with Collider, and in addition to confirming that they are now officially signed on to make 22 Jump Street, they also had some interesting things to say about the hurdles you need to jump over in order to make a comedy sequel. First off, what’s the plan for a 21 Jump Street sequel? The only specifics regarding what the new film is going to be about are that it’s called 22 Jump Street because the program gets moved across the street to a fancier building, Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill will both be back as our undercover agents, this time infiltrating a college, and Ice Cube will once again be back as their commander, who continues to be abhorred at their general idiocy and lack of professionalism.

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Iron Man Extended Look

Today in life imitating art news, Robert Downey Jr. is one step closer to becoming an actual genius, billionaire, playboy philanthropist. Forbes has released their annual list of Hollywood’s Highest-Paid Actors, and the Iron Man star comes in at a firm number one, having made $75m between June 2012 and June 2013. There is no contesting that Downey Jr. is box office gold. He has starred in six films that have all grossed over $500m, and The Avengers and Iron Man 3 both earned over $1b during their runs. The Avengers, the third-highest grossing movie of all time, featured Downey Jr. once more in his beloved Tony Stark role – and it’s easy to argue that he stole many a scene throughout the blockbuster.

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WHD

No, Roland Emmerich doesn’t blow up the White House (again) in his latest patriotic pulse-pounder, but that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t put a really hurting on America’s presidential palace. After all, the director’s newest film is called White House Down, and it centers on something that seems to have captured Emmerich’s attention back since his opus, Independence Day – namely, what it means to wreak havoc on historical real estate in the middle of national crisis. Instead of focusing on a worldwide catastrophe for his latest actioner, Emmerich has scaled back (well, as much as Emmerich can scale back) and focused his film on a set of coordinated attacks that target the heart of America’s government by infiltrating the White House and going after the president himself. Jamie Foxx leads the cast as President James Sawyer, the leader of the free world (and not exactly President Barack Obama, but clearly a man influenced by him) and a guy who has just decreed that all American troops are to be pulled out of the Middle East immediately and finally. Clearly, Sawyer’s decision has pissed off a lot of people – including his sulky head of the Secret Service (James Woods), the military-industrial complex, and pretty much every Republican in existence. Sawyer may be popular with the people, but he’s not so popular in DC. Meanwhile (there’s nothing Emmerich loves more than a great “meanwhile!”), Channing Tatum’s John Cale is toughing it out in his own way. A police officer who […]

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