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Getting High School: "21 Jump Street" and "Casa de Mi Padre" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 20 March 2012 12:14

Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum in 21 Jump Street21 JUMP STREET

As an undercover police officer who, in 21 Jump Street, can say to his platonic partner “I cherish you, man” in a way that’s both hysterical and intensely touching, Jonah Hill possesses a rare gift for completely unembarrassed sincerity. By now, it should go without saying that Hill is a sensational verbal comedian and a fearless physical one. But as in his bro-mantic scenes opposite Michael Cera in Superbad, the actor brings to this action comedy something few others would think to: absolute honesty and emotional transparency. Hill is funny as hell here, but his character is never a joke.

Yet the delightful shock of this parody of and homage to the late-’80s TV drama – a series that famously cast Johnny Depp as a pretty-boy cop who infiltrates schools and youth hangouts disguised as a student – is that Hill’s co-star actually matches him in earnestness and hilarity, and his name is Channing Tatum.

 
One-Shot Wonder: "Silent House," "John Carter," and "A Thousand Words" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 11 March 2012 16:14

Elizabeth Olsen in Silent HouseSILENT HOUSE

It’s entirely possible that you’ll need to have seen an awful lot of horror movies – particularly an awful lot of awful horror movies – to be jazzed by Silent House, considering that it’s basically just 90 minutes of a young woman being terrorized by barely glimpsed figures and startling noises in her family’s lakeside summer home. (Contrary to the title, this house is anything but silent.) Yet if you can get past the paper-thin storyline and a climax that’s less “Aa-a-a!!!” than “Hu-u-uh?!?”, the movie proves to be a terrifically nerve-racking and utterly fascinating scare flick, because from first shot to last, the action not only takes place in real time, but seems to have been filmed in one continuous take.

 
Demographic Party: "Project X," "Dr. Seuss' The Lorax," and "Flying Monsters 3D" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 04 March 2012 16:39

Jonathan Daniel Brown, Oliver Cooper, and Thomas Mann in Project XPROJECT X

In director Nima Nourizadeh’s teen comedy Project X, three nerdy high-school pals in North Pasadena decide to make names for themselves by throwing a wild party, and then throw the party.

Now that we’ve dispensed with the plot, let me try to explain why, through almost its entire running length, this movie made me want to repeatedly plunge an ice pick through my skull.

 
Everything New Is Old Again: Notes on the 2012 Academy Awards Telecast PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Monday, 27 February 2012 13:34

Best Actress Meryl StreepThe first trophy handed out at the 2012 Academy Awards ceremony was for Best Cinematography, a prize that I predicted would go to The Tree of Life but that instead went to Hugo. (Seriously, after his undeserved losses for 2006’s Children of Men and now the Terrence Malick film, exactly whom does Emmanuel Lubezki have to do to win an Oscar?) But that was actually my second incorrect assumption of the evening, because as soon as host Billy Crystal stepped on stage, I said to the others at my viewing party, “Here comes the standing ovation,” and the audience – despite giving the man a warm reception – remained seated. Did the crowd have a collective premonition of just how spectacularly Crystal would bomb last night?

 
Woodstock Options: "Wanderlust," "Act of Valor," "Tyler Perry's Good Deeds," and "Gone" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Sunday, 26 February 2012 13:06

Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston in WanderlustWANDERLUST

If I could pick one show-biz personality with whom I could be best buds, I’m pretty certain I’d choose David Wain, the director of Wet Hot American Summer, The Ten, and the new fish-out-of-water comedy Wanderlust. Can you imagine how awesome a Wain-hosted party must be? Even if there were awkward moments, and draggy moments, and things weren’t quite as wild as you hoped, he’d still invite the likes of Paul Rudd, Justin Theroux, Ken Marino, Michaela Watkins, Malin Akerman, Kathryn Hahn, and Joe Lo Truglio. Whatever your qualms, wouldn’t the hilarity they provided make the experience totally worth it?

 
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