Channing Tatum

White House Down

Finally, a film that hopefully answers life’s greatest questions, including but not limited to “why is there a rocket launcher in the presidential limousine?” With this new 4-minute trailer, Roland Emmerich’s White House Down seems intent to solidify its place at the top of Summer 2013’s Most Ridiculous Summer Movies list. Consider that achievement unlocked.

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mcconaugheytampa

Given the sweaty, squealing reactions everyone witnessed during screenings of Steven Soderbergh’s male stripper movie, Magic Mike, it doesn’t take much of an expert in human behavior to realize that there are a huge group of flesh-obsessed folk out there who would more than welcome a second go-around with the taught and toned gang from Tampa. Really, a Magic Mike 2 is something of a foregone conclusion. But given Soderbergh’s constant claims that he’s now retired from directing movies, how would another Magic Mike come together? We’ve already heard the film’s star, Channing Tatum, hint at the fact that—seeing as Magic Mike was largely based on his real-life experiences as a male stripper—he’d like to use the sequel as an opportunity to step behind the camera and try out directing a movie for himself, and some new comments from Soderbergh reveal that this might be exactly the direction a sequel would take, and that development on the film might be further along than any of us anticipated.

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tatum:levitt

What is Casting Couch? It’s a whole bunch of casting news that’s being hastily compiled in the middle of an extra long work shift, so it apologizes if it’s uncharacteristically curt. Today we’ve got news concerning names ranging from Jennifer Garner all the way to Diddy. Which pair of modern actors would you say are the modern versions of Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra? Fox is willing to bet that it’s Channing Tatum and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. According to Deadline, the studio has just acquired the rights to classic film and stage musical Guys and Dolls, and it’s their hope to sign Tatum and Gordon-Levitt to play the iconic roles of Sky Masterson and Nathan Detroit; gambling-addicted friends who make a kind of rapey bet about whether or not they can convince a nice girl to go on a trip to Havana. What do you think, do Tatum and Gordon-Levitt have the singing and dancing talent to pull this off? And are they rapey enough to be right for the parts?

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Lord and Miller

As far as we’re concerned, directing duo Phil Lord and Chris Miller are three for three on their high profile projects, as both their television series Clone High (R.I.P.) and their two feature films (Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and 21 Jump Street) are hilarious, clever, and scarily watchable entertainment diversions. Now the pair is attached to helm their very first sequel to their funniest film yet (sorry, Cloudy fans), as the pair are reportedly back in the saddle for 21 Jump Street 2: More Jumpier (perhaps not the actual title). When the sequel got finalized back in July, we only knew a few scattered facts – like that star Jonah Hill and screenwriter Michael Bacall were set to draft a new screenplay, that Channing Tatum and Hill would return to star, and that it would send the boys to college – and now we’ve got lots more to get excited about when it comes to this project (seriously, who knew we’d all be salivating for a sequel to a modern reboot of an ’80s TV show). In a delightfully comprehensive interview with Neal Mortiz over at Collider, the producer spilled a ton of details about the upcoming sequel and, as is often rare with this type of thing, they all sound awesome.

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GI JOE

If you’ve come to Jon M. Chu’s G.I. Joe: Retaliation looking for plot, well, you’ve probably also forgotten what happened the last time we hooked up with America’s elite military force also named after action figures and comic books. While Chu does an admirable enough job cleaning up the mess left behind after 2009’s G.I. Joe: The Rise of COBRA, the latest entry into the saga of the Joes and all their nifty little gadgets doesn’t manage to amount to more than a pile of fun jokes and one show-stopper of an action sequence. This time around, the Joe gang is unexpectedly abandoned and destroyed by the U.S. government, thanks to a president who insists that the Joes (mainly Snake Eyes) are responsible for the assassination of the Pakistani president, which has thrown the country into utter turmoil. What’s left of the team (and, man, is it a scant bunch) must uncover what’s really going on in order to salvage their reputations. Yes, it’s sort of a political thriller. Yes, it’s also just sort of boring.

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Drinking Games

Die-hard Channing Tatum fans can breathe a sigh of relief this week because finally Jon M. Chu’s sequel G.I. Joe: Retaliation is hitting theaters after a nonsensical delay from last year. In 3D. With more Channing Tatum. Now that Paramount and Hasbro have seen fit to finally release this cinematic masterpiece, you’re likely going to want to revisit 2009’s G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra so you don’t miss any nuances of the plot or subtle subtext from film-to-film. After all, why else would you watch a Stephen Sommers’ movie? To enhance those nuances and subtext further, have a few adult beverages at your side while prepping yourself for the deep, complex plot that is sure to accompany the new film in theaters.

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White House Down

The United States finds itself under attack in White House Down, where Jamie Foxx plays the President, and Channing Tatum plays a greasy Channing Tatum in full rescue mode. It’s purely a product of timing, but the symbolism of Foxx playing Django six months before we’ll see him as the Commander-in-Chief is pretty huge. No doubt the deep-thinking Roland Emmerich saw the possibility all along. It’s also a nice product of timing that Tatum is in the G.I. Joe sequel this weekend at the same time that the other White House under attack movie (Olympus Has Fallen) has already made its box office presence felt. The marketing team must be really happy. Fortunately for everyone, this trailer more than delineate between White House Down and Olympus Has Fallen. At the very least — you didn’t expect Emmerich’s characters to go stealth mode, did you? Seriously — what doest that guy have against important federal buildings? Give your ear drums the middle finger and check the trailer out for yourself:

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WHD_ONLN_1SHT_CPTL_01.indd

UPDATED: Now with one more new teaser poster! Did you want to go on vacation in our nation’s capital any time soon? Perhaps you would like to sit outside the Capitol Building, gazing up at the sky for no reason whatsover? Or to relive Forrest Gump on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial? Or to really just feel kind of fuzzy and out of sorts and typical in Washington, D.C.? Sounds like you’ve been tasked with populating the new teaser posters for Roland Emmerich‘s White House Down, starring Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx. Look! There you are! Just to the right! Suffice to say, it doesn’t seem as if the big budget was brought out for these first looks, but with the film’s first trailer dropping tomorrow, we’ll soon get a real taste of the year’s other “Die Hard in the White House.” The film also stars Maggie Gyllenhaal, James Woods, Richard Jenkins, Joey King, and Rachelle Lefevre. Check out the other teaser poster after the break. White House Down opens on June 28th. [Moviefone]

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Side Effects

If Side Effects truly is Steven Soderbergh‘s final theatrical film, the director has ended his storied career on a somewhat surprising note – Side Effects surely combines all the character intrigue and well-crafted filmmaking technique we expect from Soderbergh, but its seemingly unoriginal plotline will likely fall flat with a number of viewers. And yet, that does read “seemingly,” because bundled up within Scott Z. Burns’ relatively straightforward thriller-influenced screenplay is one hell of an intriguing story, one that will linger with its dedicated viewers for far longer than its swiftly-moving 106 minute runtime. It’s not Magic Mike or Ocean’s Eleven or even Erin Brockovich, but Side Effects is a more than worthy film for anyone to end their career (well, maybe) on. Side Effects benefits most from fresh viewings and relatively uninformed audience members, ones not steeped in trailers and television spots (in fact, a couple of recent TV spots for the film have revealed far more than this critic would have liked), but the basic plot can be shared without concern over potential spoiling. Rooney Mara stars as Manhattanite Emily, a reserved young wife who is trying to delicately balance the pieces of her life in the wake of what should be a pleasant change – the recent release of her husband, Martin (Channing Tatum), from a white collar prison after a four year stint for some messy professional mistakes. Emily has a history of anxiety, one that certainly wasn’t aided by Martin’s legal troubles, and things are […]

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February Must Sees

This February isn’t such a hot month for movie-going. When it comes to genuine “must-sees,” there are only two movies on this list which earn that title, and they’re the expected picks. January could have been worse, but this February won’t do 2013 any favors, unless the fifth Die Hard movie ends up blowing everyone’s socks off, and since it’s from the director of Max Payne, how could it not? In short, this year isn’t off to a good start. We got spoiled with last December, as we usually do, so hopefully we see something genuinely great soon, unless you thought Mama overcame a lackluster script, that Movie 43 wasn’t the Antichrist sent from Satan himself, and if you even remember that movie with Mark Wahlberg and Russell Crowe. The Last Stand isn’t included, because no more than five people saw it. Hopefully a few of you go out to see these movies and have a fun time, though:

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Side Effects trailer

The last time we got a trailer for Steven Soderbergh’s upcoming thriller, Side Effects, it was a little too dream-like and abstract to really tell us what the movie was about. Rooney Mara was taking drugs of some sort, Channing Tatum tried to pull off wearing a fedora, Jude Law screamed a bunch, and apparently a murder got committed—but what order all of that happened in and who the good guys and the bad guys of the film were never quite got made clear.

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Side Effects Poster

I’m not entirely sure what’s going on in this trailer for Side Effects from Steven Soderbergh, but it’s intense. From the synopsis, I know that Rooney Mara plays a woman taking prescription pills to deal with the release of her husband (Channing Tatum) from prison, but in the trailer? Maybe she got seduced by her shrink (Jude Law)? Or maybe she’s claiming something worse? Maybe they made meth together in a travel trailer? In a way, it’s kind of cool to see a bunch of puzzle pieces but no picture on the front of the box. From the vague description and this jumbled trailer, the movie’s plot is still in the fog, but the tone and performances are given a great spotlight in which to shine.

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Movie Stars

As if answering our well-established hypothesis about Hollywood shutting down the production of genuine movie stars, the industry offered a positively scientific blitz of testing this year to challenge that assertion and ultimately prove it correct. The home version of the game is to try and name the last movie star minted by the studios, the last big name to emerge and become wildly popular because of their appearances in motion pictures, the last figure to be crafted by the system in order to help secure a bigger box office for it. However, filmmakers gave us something much more concrete this year in order to prove once and for all that — while a face or two still rises from the periphery to the forefront in movies — we should be mourning the concept of “The Movie Star.” They gave us Channing Tatum and Taylor Kitsch. Let’s start with some magic.

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G.I. Joe: Retaliation

When the first trailer for G.I. Joe: Retaliation hit about a year ago, expectations for the sequel were pretty low. That was due to the first film, G.I. Joe: The Rise of  COBRA, pretty much sucking. But a funny thing happened after everyone saw that trailer for Retaliation : suddenly people were talking about G.I. Joe again. This one didn’t look like a random, terrible action movie that just happened to be called G.I. Joe, it actually looked like an adaptation of the beloved property. That’s a real Cobra Commander mask! And the whole thing looked pretty epic and exciting, too. Mountain-climbing ninja action! There are conflicting reports as to why exactly the film’s release date was pushed back from last summer to this upcoming March 29, 2013. Some say they wanted to add a 3D element to the film, some say that they wanted to add more scenes featuring Channing Tatum – seeing as he became a bigger star almost immediately after this movie stopped filming. Whatever the case may be, Retaliation got pushed back, it is now going to be released as a 3D movie, and this new trailer certainly features more Channing Tatum than the first one (which seemed to be trying to wash him right out of the franchise). Check it out after the break!

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Side Effects Poster

Whether or not Side Effects is director Steven Soderbergh‘s final film still remains to be seen, but even that added (potential) intrigue seems unnecessary so far, because the Channing Tatum, Jude Law, and Rooney Mara-starring film looks satisfyingly confounding all on its own. Mara stars as a young wife (to Tatum, lucky duck) who turns to a doc played by Law to help ease her anxiety. He prescribes her a new drug. And it has, you guessed it, side effects. The film’s first poster is a sleekly designed affair, and we’re willing to bet it holds more than a few secrets to Side Effects. Like just what does “a doctor’s most important prescription is trust” mean? Side Effects opens on February 8, 2013. [The Huffington Post]

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Side Effects trailer

Rumors of Steven Soderbergh‘s retirement have been greatly exaggerated (seriously, guys, that’s just not happening), but the director’s supposed “next-to-last” film, Side Effects, has perhaps been the victim of not enough exaggeration and chatter. The Rooney Mara-starring film also features Soderbergh returning players Channing Tatum and Jude Law (and even comes with a screenplay by Contagion‘s Scott Z. Burns), but it’s flown quite spectacularly under the radar. The only thing resembling an official synopsis for the film, as reflected over at the film’s IMDb page, promises that Side Effects centers on “a woman [who] turns to prescription medication as a way of handling her anxiety concerning her husband’s upcoming release from prison.” And yet, this first trailer feels more in the spirit of some sort of infidelity thriller, like Unfaithful or Closer, though those prescription drugs are definitely present. So just how much of all the dark drama we glimpse in this first trailer is real…and how much of it is in Mara’s seemingly drug-addled brain? We can’t wait to find out. Swallow down the first trailer for Side Effects after the break. It will go down quite nicely, we promise.

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Some of you may already know me by my Twitter handle: @thefilmcynic. It’s a name I’ve gone by for nearly a decade (so, before current social media outlets), because I’m very cynical about the film industry and try to keep my expectations low. I’m also very cynical about the Academy Awards and awards season in general, because we devote so much focus on them — with a wide spectrum of positive and negative angles — and they’re really a bunch of malarkey (much like the V.P. debate, which has inspired my newfound obsession with that word). So, the higher ups at FSR have asked me to write a cynical column devoted to the Oscars. The first one is inspired by the films Seven Psychopaths, Looper and Lincoln and their celebrated performances. As someone who has studied acting (I’m not very good at it), I’ve long taken issue with the way people look at film performances, because there are just so many different kinds. But there are two real distinct types that we tend to recognize while watching and writing about movies that aren’t acknowledged by the Academy: realistic and artificial. The former has been a big favorite since method acting came into play, though it doesn’t necessarily apply to that style nor does that style necessarily always mean realism. The latter could be more expressive and therefore goes back to the dawn of cinema and its silent performances or could even be more stiff, if that’s what’s intended. Directors who […]

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Anthony Michael Hall

Director Bennett Miller‘s upcoming passion project, Foxcatcher, continues to add solid talent of the most unexpected variety. Next up, Anthony Michael Hall, everyone’s favorite ’80s movie brain (and some people’s favorite Rusty Griswold, though those people are wrong). Variety reports that Hall will play Steve Carell‘s character’s assistant in the stunning true crime tale. The film tells the true story of John du Pont (Carell), the heir to the du Pont fortune who, as a huge supporter of amateur sports and USA Wrestling in particular, built a wrestling facility, called Team Foxcatcher, on his Pennsylvania estate. But du Pont was also a paranoid schizophrenic who believed that there was an international conspiracy in place to kill him – a conspiracy that he believed his long-time friend, Olympic gold medal-winning wrestler Dave Schultz (Mark Ruffalo) was a part of. That belief led du Pont to shoot and kill Schultz in 1996, in front of both Schultz’s wife and du Pont’s head of security. After the shooting, du Pont barricaded himself in his mansion for two days while negotiating with the police. Sienna Miller also recently joined the cast as Schultz’s wife, and Channing Tatum is set to play his younger brother, Mark, also an Olympic wrestler. Production is finally set to kick off on the film later this month in Pittsburgh. Frankly, we can’t wait.

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Sienna Miller

Director Bennett Miller‘s passion project follow-up to his smash hit Moneyball continues to take shape with the protracted roll-out of his final casting decisions. Deadline Hollywood reports that Sienna Miller is now set to play Nancy Schultz in Foxcatcher, based on the wrenching and bizarre story of the murder of Olympic wrestler (and Nancy’s husband) Dave Schultz. Mark Ruffalo has been attached to the Schultz role since April, along with the rest of an impressive cast that also includes Steve Carell and Channing Tatum. Miller has been trying to get the film made for years, so it’s heartening that he’s finally been able to compile such a talented line-up to tell the tale of the tragically murdered Schultz. And what a tale it is.

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10 Years Review

The high school reunion film genre has been so flooded with entries that it’s reached the point of being nothing short of played out, so any new entry needs to justify its existence by offering some kind of unique spin on the usual, or at least by featuring characters that transcend the normal archetypes. Writer-director Jamie Linden fails on both counts in his 10 Years and seems to think that the film’s all-star cast compensates for those deficiencies. It doesn’t. No matter how much you love Channing Tatum, Aubrey Plaza, Anthony Mackie, Chris Pratt, Ari Graynor, or any of the other notables who turn up here, there’s no getting around the simple, basic fact that Linden’s movie doesn’t tell a story. It merely brings to life the world’s least interesting reunion, featuring a swath of staggering dullards played by talented people.

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