Film Friday #183

22 Jump Street (2014)

This time Jenko (Channing Tatum) and Schmidt (Jonah Hill) have been sent to college to pose as students, once again attempting to infiltrate a drug ring but the story isn’t really important because it’s more about the relationship between the two. Jenko immediately befriends a bunch of football players, in particular Zook (Wyatt Russell) and submerges himself into a beer-fueled frat party lifestyle that doesn’t really include Schmidt. Schmidt takes Jenko’s distance really hard and embarks on all kinds of clingy behaviour that only pushes him further away but when their investigation turns serious they inevitably have to work together and rebuild their friendship. There is no question that 22 Jump Street has some proper laugh out loud moments, most of which come from Jenko’s impressive and lovable idiocy, which is a function of Tatum’s excellent comic timing. However there is a tendency to get stuck on a joke and hammer it until it’s dead. For example it starts off being quite amusing pointing out the sequel cliches that they’ve decided to have fun with but eventually you just kind of think, okay… we get it. It’s also really, really dumb. I mean you know when you got to see something like this it’s going to be dumb but this is like fourteen year old boy, dumb. Anyway if you liked the first one you’ll probably enjoy this too and if you didn’t you should probably avoid it like the plague. 2.5/5

Having Cate Blanchett with the budget clearly ran to buying golden guns

Having Cate Blanchett with the budget clearly ran to buying golden guns

The United States of Leland (2003)

Gentle, quiet Leland (Ryan Gosling) finds himself in a juvenile detention centre after he kills the learning disabled brother of his ex-girlfriend, Becky (Jena Malone). Here he takes classes with Pearl Madison (Don Cheadle), an aspiring novelist, who mmediately sees the potential for a story in Leland if he can figure out why this seemingly harmless boy has done something so terrible. As Leland reveals more and more about his past, including the fact that his father (Kevin Spacey) is an award winning writer, Pearl becomes engrossed. While this unfolds, Becky’s complicated home life starts to unravel adding a further layer to Leland’s motivations. I’m not quite sure how to feel about this one. It’s easy to see why this was a breakout role for Gosling and the fact that everyone in this film is fucked up is really interesting but the narrative is a bit all over the place and it seemed to cop out a bit ending without even a hint at a resolution of any kind. 2/5

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Leland wasn’t sure what was worse, the haircut or the jumpsuit

What Richard Did (2012)

Richard (Jack Reynor) is a popular, rugby star, living a privileged existence in South Dublin. He hooks up with Clodagh (Liana O’Cleirigh), a girl in his circle of friends and things are going well between them but he can’t quite get over the fact that Clodagh is really good friends with Cian (Fionn Walton), who she may or may not have been romantically involved with in the past. Used to having whatever he wants, Richard loses his temper when he can’t control Clodagh and makes a terrible mistake that has tragic consequences, least of which is the unraveling of his life. There were some interesting things about this film, one of which being that it has no score, which makes things feel much more kind of real and raw. The other is that after Richard’s terrible mistake everyone seems to cover for him and it is his own guilt which starts to tear him apart rather than the actual consequences of his actions. Unfortunately the tone of the film seemed to be a bit all over the place and I struggled a bit to connect with the characters, partly because Richard was a bit of a dick. 2/5

The Vulcan mind meld was having little effect

The Vulcan mind meld was having little effect

Bridegroom (2013)

This documentary tells the story of the death of Tom Bridegroom through the eyes of his partner, Shane Bitney Crone in an attempt to add context to not only the same sex marriage debate but also the rights of unmarried life partners. Bridegoom explores both Shane and Tom’s upbringings and their family difficulties over their sexual orientation followed by their intense and lasting love story. This is brought to life through home videos, photos, statements from friends and family, text messages, emails etc and includes the plans of the two to marry after same sex marriage becomes legal in California. It takes a much darker turn when Tom is killed in a terrible accident and Shane is completely excluded by Tom’s family. There is no question that this is a touching story and what happened to these two “soul mates” is horrifying. It seems we will need documentaries like this to convince the world that humans are all human and love is love for a long time to come. Whether it will change anyone’s mind is up for debate. 3.5/5

if we just keep standing here do you think we'll eventually blend in...

if we just keep standing here do you think we’ll eventually blend in…

6 Comments

  1. No Abbi! I loved 22 Jump Street! We have to respectfully disagree!

    1. Abbi

      Really? Was there anything in particular that made you love it?

      1. I thought that it was extremely creative. They managed to put twists on a ton of cliches while still providing the lovable characters and laughs. The end credits alone is incredibly clever and inventive. Instead of giving us the exact same movie like the Hangover series…they found ways to still keep things fresh!

        1. Abbi

          I can see where you’re coming from but it was just a bit too dumb for me. I mean I should have expected it but it just didn’t measure up to the first one.

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