22 Jump Street. 8/10
Not as funny as the first, 22 Jump Street is still the best comedy I have seen probably since 21 Jump Street. Many of the gags carry over from that first film but they keep their carbonation. The movie benefits from the chemistry between Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill. I dare you to Flashback to 2005-6 and tell me that you expected “the gold fish boots guy” from 40 Year Old Virgin and “the Good Will Hunting dancer” from Step Up to star as the leads of one of the best comedy series ten years in the future. If you said you expected it, I say you’re a liar.
Hill and Tatum go undercover again, this time chasing down drug deals in college. In the first film, the duo showed amazing chemistry using physical humor and witty lines to great effect. This is all to say that I embarrassed myself in theaters by laughing like a fool through the first movie and using all my popcorn napkins to wipe away my tears. Next to Neighbors this is my most anticipated comedy of the year (at least that I know about now). On a side note, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller may be the most fun duo in Hollywood. Their filmography together is short but includes Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009), 21 Jump Street (2012), Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (2013), The Lego Movie (2014) and now 22 Jump Street. That’s really only three series but with a Lego Movie sequel scheduled for release in 2017, the duo have established a substantial presence.
One of the first stops on the Matthew McConaughey Redemption Tour which culminated in his Academy Award winning performance in The Dallas Buyers Club, and continued with Interstellar (with a detour going way, way back to doing Lincoln commercials). As a stepping stone, Mud functions well and shows us that McConaughey’s range extends farther than Sahara and Failure to Launch. Taken alone, I found Mud to be uninteresting. The film functions at its finest when the audience sees the action through the eyes of its young protagonist Ellis. Watching Ellis process the falling out of his parents and his shifting affections for neighborhood girls proves more heart-wrenching and emotional than the relationship between McConaughey and Witherspoon. And now that we have seen McConaughey in more effective roles, his work in Mud impresses far less. But Mud still leaps far ahead of How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.
If you want to read a real review of Godzilla do yourself a favor and head over to That Moment In.com for their hilarious take. With Pacific Rim rekindling the public’s interest in big monster flicks and the sour taste left in our mouths after Roland Emmerich’s 1998 Godzilla disaster, the time was ripe for a reboot of the longstanding Japanese franchise. Gareth Edwards steps in as director after rising to fame for his direction of Monsters, which he also wrote. His contribution to the franchise does not overwhelm but satisfies and improves on Emmerich’s edition. The film is enjoyable but quickly forgettable. Godzilla’s fight scenes work fine but fall a bit short of those in Pacific Rim and feel much more like the lackluster Cloverfield. Aside from Cranston’s predictably engaging performance the acting adds little to a film with a plot that while interesting, proves predictably predictable.