Channing Tatum

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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Channing Tatum in Magic Mike

Here is a lesson in Internet translation – don’t run stories through Google Translate in German to French to English, otherwise, you just might end up staring at a line that reads “We want it necessarily But Steven Soderbergh is retiring so we are currently looking for a director, it was already the ideas that…Gregory Jacobs (Anm.d .’s note: regular assistant director Steven Soderbergh, director of “Wind Chill”) takes on the director or Reid Carolin and I take over the government, but we are still not safe there” and wondering just what the hell “the government” of Magic Mike 2 is. Amusing adventures in failed bilinguality (trilingulaity? trylinguality?) aside, a German site called Filmstarts (via French site Allocine, via The Playlist) reports that Channing Tatum could possibly direct the sequel to Magic Mike. Via Google Translate, Tatum is quoted as saying something along the lines of “We really want, but Steven Soderbergh really want to retire. We will undoubtedly make the Broadway version first…Gregory Jacobs can make the film, or we can make it, Reid Carolin and me. But we do not know.” Which means that they want Soderbergh to direct it, everyone is still clinging to this weird “retirement” thing, and either Tatum or Reid Carolin (Tatum’s producing partner and screenwriter on the first film) could step in to direct the film. Maybe. This is, of course, all in another language and could be completely misconstrued. My eyes are still crossed and I’m trying to read German.

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10 Years Trailer

The high school reunion comedy is a sub-genre that’s ripe with drama and conflict. You’ve got the lost loves, the old rivalries, the people who have improved their stations in life butting up against those who have been taken down a peg, the people who have refused to grow up interacting with those that have gotten completely lame, and probably a handful of other familiar tropes that always seem to pop up. But that means that the high school reunion comedy is also a sub-genre that’s ripe with cliché, because, let’s face it, every single movie that falls into it always covers these exact same things. What’s the secret of making a good one then, if there isn’t much room for being unique? Probably making sure that the familiar material is at least infused with wit, and getting a talented cast to deliver it. Just from the trailer for 10 Years, it’s clear that this movie has the latter part of that equation taken care of. Just look at the names in this cast: Channing Tatum, Rosario Dawson, Chris Pratt, Aubrey Plaza, Oscar Isaac, Justin Long, Ron Livingston, Kate Mara, Ari Graynor, etc… Whether this movie feels a little familiar or not, with a cast like that there’s guaranteed to be something in there worth watching.

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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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Magic Mike

Over the last couple weeks since its release, Magic Mike has become so successful that you had to imagine somebody somewhere was already thinking about a sequel. This movie was basically the largest dollar bill stuffed into the largest g-string ever, so to think that everyone involved wasn’t going to shake it a second time to try and double their money would be naive. And, sure enough, during a recent Twitter Q&A with “Glamour” magazine, Magic Mike star and oiled up hunk of beef Channing Tatum put it all out there. When asked about a possible sequel, his response was a resounding, “Yes, yes and yes! We’re working on the concept now. We want to flip the script and make it bigger.” Of course, this simple confirmation that the idea is being bandied about doesn’t really give us any of the particulars of what a Magic Mike sequel would look like. The first was directed by Steven Soderbergh, and felt very much like a Steven Soderbergh film. In addition to all of the flashy stripping scenes that seem to have caught everyone’s attention, there was also a solid story about people at the heart of things, and the whole point of the narrative seemed to be Mike trying to get to a place where he could grow beyond being a Goodtime Charley.

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Years before he krumped and jazzed and tapped and whatevered his way into hearts with his star turn in Step Up (and a star turn it was), Channing Tatum also starred in a little-seen trifle called Supercross. It is, of course, a film about motocross-riding brothers who seek to avenge the death of their father by way of, duh, a motocross-riding competition. Tatum plays the asshole role, as a fellow motocross star named “Rowdy Sparks.” It’s that kind of movie. Now it looks like Tatum is getting back on the bike for a (somewhat) different take on dudes, motorcycles, and bad decisions. THR reports (via ComingSoon) that the star is currently in negotiations to star in and produce a film about the infamous Evel Knievel for Columbia Pictures. Tatum would be producing the picture through his Iron Horse Entertainment, alongside his partner Reid Carolin, who will also write the screenplay (Carolin recently penned Tatum’s Magic Mike, which the pair produced) from Stuart Barker‘s 2008 book, “Life of Evel.”

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Magic Mike

It feels more and more like we’re on the cusp of a cultural change in the types of movies that studios make. Or, at least, there are more signs that studios should be paying attention to. This week’s edition of Movies Aren’t Just For Teenage Boys comes in the form of a record-breaking R-rated feat. As the LA Times points out, Ted and Magic Mike (which sounds like a morning radio show duo) have become the first R-rated movies to open on the same weekend with more than $21m a piece. And they made a lot more than that. Ted scored $54.1m, and Magic Mike came in second with $39.2m. Seth MacFarlane‘s directorial debut featuring a totally ethical teddy bear had a near even split with 56% of its audience being men, but women dominated Magic Mike with 73%. So here it is, studios. Proof that adults go to movies, that they enjoy strippers, and that women buy tickets too. Maybe these aren’t the high-minded examples that everyone would have hoped for, but they display a challenge to the new-found wisdom that toys and comic book properties are the only way to make money with moving pictures.

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Magic Mike may be loosely based on Channing Tatum’s past as a male stripper (and Tatum proves it with his impressive dancing skills), but Tatum first burst onto the film scene in 2006 as a troubled kid from the wrong side of the tracks with some serious moves (even when he is keeping his clothes on) in Step Up. While Tatum has taken on drama (A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints), comedy (21 Jump Street), and being a romantic lead (The Vow), one thing has always been true – the guy can dance. Step Up seemed like your typical dance movie based on two dancers, the classically trained Nora (played by Tatum’s now wife, Jenna Dewan) and break dancing Tyler (Tatum), but the dance chops  and chemistry of these two leads made ended up making the film a surprise hit at the box office. Directed by Anne Fletcher (who is also an accomplished choreographer) Step Up’s story not only resonated, but the dancing on screen was fresh and exciting.

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Though the idea of making a movie about Legos initially sounded like a really bad one, once Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller pitched their take on the material it actually sounded pretty promising. Could a movie about little plastic blocks tell an engaging story that teaches children an important message? That’s a question that we won’t be able to answer for quite some time, but thanks to a report from Variety we now know a whole lot more about what this upcoming Lego movie will look like. First of all, the project’s working title has now been confirmed as the project’s official title – that would be Lego: The Piece of Resistance. Thematically this makes sense, as Lord and Miller’s initial comments said that their main character would be an average guy living in Lego City who has to unlearn the town’s strict rules of always building things according to the instructions and figure out how to create something wholly original. It would seem that The Piece of Resistance’s protagonist is being set up as something of a revolutionary; both figuratively and literally according to new information from the Variety report.

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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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published: 04.18.2014
C-
published: 04.18.2014
C
published: 04.18.2014
B+
published: 04.18.2014
A

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