Jonah Hill

Jonah Hill and Leo DiCaprio in WOWS

We’ve known since February that the fabled Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill bromance first seen in The Wolf of Wall Street would continue into a second film. We’ve also known who that film would be about: Richard Jewell, the security guard who saved the ’96 Olympics from a bomb threat and was wrongfully crucified for it. And now thanks to Deadline, we know who’s interested in directing it (“circling” the project, as they say): Paul Greengrass. Makes sense, given that the script is being handled by Captain Phillips writer Billy Ray. Right now, some outlets are referring to the pic as American Nightmare, but it’s not totally clear if that’s the official title or just something taken from the Vanity Fair expose this is all based off of, “American Nightmare: The Ballad of Richard Jewell.”

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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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Oscar Predictions 2014: Supporting Actor

The Best Supporting Actor category at this year’s Academy Awards is a tough race, because there isn’t a single nominee who doesn’t deserve to be there. All five men brought vastly different roles to the table, and it’s clear that they’re playing to win. But couldn’t the Academy have, just for a minute, thought to consider that shit and nominate James Franco for Spring Breakers? Franco’s controversial role as Alien in the equally controversial Harmony Korine film was divisive to say the least, but it’s his strongest to date. Plus, wouldn’t it have been wonderful to see that Oscar campaign go on just a little bit longer? Daydreams of what might have been aside, the talent that made the cut is tremendous. Keep reading for a look at all five nominees for Best Supporting Actor along with my predicted winner in red…

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wolf

Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street was one of those movies that really divided people. It was super-long, it was full of super-disgusting things, and it never fully showed its hand in regards to how you were supposed to be feeling about all of the repetitive debauchery it put up on the screen. Some people think that it’s a sharp takedown of the behavior of Wall Street executives, while others think that it’s a piece of exploitation trash, meant to do little other than glorify greed, drug abuse, and philandering. That’s a pretty wide divide to exist between opinions regarding the same movie. What pretty much everyone can absolutely agree upon in regards to The Wolf of Wall Street, however, is that two of its lead actors, Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill, put a powerful mix of chemistry on display as they played a pair of best friends/garbage human beings—with that infamous scene where they both take too many quaaludes and wind up experiencing a drug-induced freakout making an exceptionally strong case for the theory that these guys need to team up more often so that they can keep making weird movie magic together. And it looks like our wish has been granted. Deadline has news that Fox also sees potential in the DiCaprio and Hill pairing, so they’ve bought the rights to a story that will get them back together on set as soon as possible.

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jonah hill wolf of wall street

If there’s one thing I’ll feel is missing in tonight’s Golden Globes ceremony (even more than an award for best documentary), it’s Jonah Hill‘s name in the supporting actor category. I’ve still not seen a few of the movies represented in that group so I can’t say Hill deserves it more than those nominees, but he is my pick for the best supporting actor of last year and he certainly belongs in the bunch more than Bradley Cooper. The question is whether Hill might earn an Oscar nomination in place of Cooper, or perhaps they’d both be excluded in place of, say, James Gandolfini. Both Cooper and Hill are actors who started out in comedy who have been recognized once each for their moves into dramatic work and who now are basically back with comedic performances in contention for the Academy Award. And that’s a tough nut to crack. Comedy has always been a tough nut with the Oscars in general. It’s not ignored, not at all, definitely not as much as some would think, but it is true that what slips through is mostly hybrid movies, dramas with a good helping of comedy or drier comedies that have some dramatic elements. More common, actually, is comedic performances, especially in the supporting acting categories. That’s where we tend to find traditionally comedic talents earning nominations and often awards for providing the comic relief in a drama. Think Whoopi Goldberg in Ghost, Octavia Spencer in The Help and Alan Arkin in […]

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review wolf of wall street

Common wisdom says that money can’t buy happiness, but common wisdom never spooned cocaine into a flexible young woman’s anus. Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) knows better than that, and he also knows that power, expensive things, drugs, women, and drugs inserted in women are all for the taking when you have money. He heads to Wall Street, and after a quick business lunch with a mentor (Matthew McConaughey) he sets about building an investment firm complete with a team of driven, egotistical but slavish pricks shaped in his own image. His best and brightest employee is Donnie Azoff (Jonah Hill), and together they build an empire built on penny stock commissions, ersatz testosterone, and the broken dreams of lower to middle class Americans. Despite affectations of friendship, simulations of love, and words of confidence from the man’s own mouth, Belfort cares for no one but himself. His climb to the top (or just as correct, to the bottom) comes with hundreds of willing and thousands of unknowing Sherpas, but only he knows it’s a one-man venture. Welcome to one of the year’s best comedies. Welcome to Martin Scorsese‘s The Wolf of Wall Street.

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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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The Wolf of Wall Street

Perhaps you’ve heard by now that Martin Scorsese‘s highly anticipated The Wolf of Wall Street is (finally) set to hit theaters on Christmas Day after persistent chatter that the film could be pushed all the way until sometime next year, making it the most gaudy and bonkers gift most of us are likely to recieve this holiday season. But the film’s official new release date also comes with word on the film’s runtime – an intersting bit of trivia, considering its delays were reportedly rooted in the studio’s need for Scorsese to chop down its original 180-minute cut – that now clocks in at a heady 165 minutes. The film’s fresh runtime is already getting plenty of buzz on the Internet – most people seem jazzed about so much madness and Leonardo DiCaprio dancing and toasting to enjoy, but a few people are already blowing raspberries about such length (what’s wrong with you?!), so we felt it was time to investigate how the true-life tale stacks up against both other Scorsese films and some other 2013 releases. The answer may surprise you (hint: it’s in our headline).

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The Wolf of Wall Street

While the trailer for Martin Scorsese‘s The Wolf of Wall Street painted a wild world of excess and debauchery, the new stills from the film are only showing a tame little piece of the bigger puzzle. Granted, you’ve still got Leonardo DiCaprio living it up, white guy stockbroker style, but the cash-flinging, womanizing, partying, and domination seen in the trailer (which our own Scott Beggs wrote about here) are replaced by images that depict the business side of the affair. Wall Street before wolfishness? But come on – you know as soon as DiCaprio finishes raising his glass on that classy-as-hell yacht, he’s about to either A) have sex with Margot Robbie B) fling cash at poor people C) snort coke? That’s what rich people do on yachts, right? or D) get into classy fisticuffs. It’s like it’s all just out of reach for us. Hopefully, more stills will appear soon that will better match the tone of the trailer so I can look as excited as Jonah Hill does in that second shot. Take a look:

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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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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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This-Is-The-End-Rogen-Franco-Hill

A lot of people make fun of Adam Sandler for choosing his projects based on whether or not their filming would make for a good vacation for him and his friends. He picks a story set in an exotic local, shoehorns a bunch of product placement into the script to make sure everything gets paid for, casts his buddies in all of the supporting roles, and then they go hang out. It’s not a bad scam. And if the trailers we’ve been getting for This is the End are any indication, it’s a scam that the next generation of comedic actors have finally gotten hip to.

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DJANGO UNCHAINED

Quentin Tarantino has very quickly, but not so quietly, found a new niche for his filmmaking talents as a teller of tall tales with a historical bent. He’s less interested in historical accuracy than he is historical tomfoolery, but that never lessens the sheer entertainment he finds in mankind’s relatively recent foibles and misdeeds. From Inglourious Basterds‘ band of World War II Nazi-killers to his latest film’s vengeful slave turned bounty hunter, Tarantino has shown a knack for fitting his charismatic and electric characters into unexpected historical contexts with entertaining as hell results. It’s 1858 in America, and Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz) is a dentist on a mission. It’s light on tooth decay, heavy on bloodshed and utterly unrelated to the field of dentistry. He’s a bounty hunter whose latest targets, The Brittle Brothers, present a challenge in that he has no idea what they look like. Undeterred, Schultz acquires, apprentices and befriends a slave named Django (Jamie Foxx) who can identify the brothers. In exchange the ex-dentist will help the newly freed Django reunite with his wife, Broomhilda (Kerry Washington), who currently belongs to a cruel but undeniably charming plantation owner named Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio). What follows is a tale that would have made American History class a hell of a lot more memorable as Schultz and Django cut a bloody swath across the post-Civil War South through racists, enforcers and recognizable TV actors (Tom Wopat! Lee Horsley!) from decades past. The cinematic violence is paired with […]

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This Is the End

Just in time for (insert tons of played out end of the world jokes here), the first teaser trailer for Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg‘s This Is the End (formerly known as The End of the World) has arrived. And, guess what? It’s a film about Rogen, Jay Baruchel, James Franco, Craig Robinson, Danny McBride, and Jonah Hill living through an apocalypse in Los Angeles, getting trapped in a house together, and trying to survive – of course it’s funny. If the world doesn’t end tomorrow, the prospect of seeing this movie next summer is more than enough reason to keep living. Check it out for yourself:

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Over Under - Large

While inspirational sports stories usually prove to be box office draws, when you make them you still run the risk of alienating the portion of the film-going audience who just don’t like sports. If someone doesn’t like basketball or football, how do you get them to sit through a story where people play basketball or football for two hours? Brad Pitt’s 2011 starring vehicle, Moneyball, was hyped by its fans as being a baseball story that anybody could get into. Its focus was more on statistics and science stuff than it was gameplay. It was more about bucking the system than it was winning the big game. And at its heart was a story about a failed man reclaiming his life and growing as an individual. There’s no need to be into baseball to enjoy all of that stuff, right? Major League, conversely, is a 1989 comedy that was aimed squarely at baseball fans. If you didn’t know about the Cleveland Indians’ pathetic standing in the league, if you didn’t have a long-standing relationship with hearing Bob Uecker’s voice talk about the game, and if you didn’t know the ins-and-outs of each position and exactly what it takes to be bad at playing them, then a lot of the movie’s charms were likely going to be lost on you. And if you could care less about whether or not the Indians beat the Yankees in the championship game, would you even be able to get anything out of watching this […]

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If you want to go into Django Unchained unspoiled, then watching the second trailer isn’t the brightest idea. While the first teaser was all about attitude, this one is much more story heavy. It has the set up, the conflict, and some rather spectacular money shots. A few of those shots may be best to experience on the big screen first, so if you want to go in fresh, stick with the first trailer. However, if you want to see more of a slave owning Leonardo DiCaprio, then check it out:

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Okay, so maybe screen legend is pushing it, but it’s kind of hard not to get excited about the career resurgence that Matthew McConaughey has experienced in the past year. Remember all those years he was doing lame romantic comedies and cashing checks? Well, forget them, because hopefully that’s all over. This year the man famous for his bongos, his abs, and his southern drawl has already shown up in worthwhile projects like Bernie, Magic Mike, and Killer Joe, and now Variety has word that he’s keeping that momentum going by being the latest to sign on for Martin Scorsese’s next, The Wolf of Wall Street. You remember what The Wolf of Wall Street is, right? We’ve only written up about a thousand casting announcements for it so far. It’s Scorsese’s look at the real life adventures of decadent day trader Jordan Belfort, and all of the drug and adrenaline fueled shenanigans he got himself into back in the ’80s (you know, before he got caught being involved in illegal trading and money laundering and had to go to jail).

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It can be difficult making friends once you’re past a certain age because the older people get the more set in their ways they become. Youth offers any number of bonding experiences that bring people together from grade school up through college, but once you enter the real world those opportunities start to dwindle. Husbands and wives, children, jobs, existing friends…these things tend to limit the time you have for meeting new people, becoming familiar with them and building new relationships. Past the age of thirty a catalyst of some kind is required to draw people together on short notice. Something big is good. Something of planetary importance is even better. Evan (Ben Stiller) is constantly on the lookout for friends and has formed more clubs than Tracy Flick ever dared to dream. He keeps busy with running club and Spanish for Senior Citizens, but when one of his Costco employees is viciously murdered Evan decides to form a Neighborhood Watch. Franklin (Jonah Hill) failed every test the police department threw at him, so the opportunity to join a “vigilante squad” appeals to him greatly. Bob (Vince Vaughn) is a recent transplant to town with his wife and teen daughter, and he jumps at the chance to hang out with the guys. And Jamarcus (Richard Ayoade) is simply a responsible newcomer to our American shores. Together they form a local neighborhood watch. Together they will decide Earth’s fate as they discover and attempt to stop an alien invasion. Together, if […]

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While we’ve yet to see Akiva Schaffer‘s The Watch, it sounds as if at least element of the comedy works – the pairing of stars Ben Stiller and Jonah Hill. Let’s at least hope so for the sake of Shawn Levy and Nicholas Stoller, as THR reports that Levy (who is also a producer on The Watch) has signed on to direct a script from Stoller that would star Stiller and Hill. Not much is known about the project beyond its title – Aloha – and a vague description of being an “island-set comedy.” The outlet also reports that Stiller, Hill, and Levy cooked up the pitch for the project while filming The Watch, and that Stoller is currently in negotiations to write the screenplay. Stoller has, of course, already directed a film that features both Hill and Hawaii (a little ditty by the name of Forgetting Sarah Marshall), and the pair also worked together on its pseudo-follow-up, Get Him to the Greek. Will Aloha center on Matthew the Waiter? Perhaps harassing his favorite comedian – played by Stiller? Your guess is as good as mine.

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published: 11.21.2014
D
published: 11.21.2014
B+
published: 11.19.2014
C+
published: 11.19.2014
B-, C


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