21 Jump Street


21 Jump Street is like 2009’s “Get Him to The Greek”, where the popular awareness was not high, but on DVD you really find out what has been missed; Fast, funny, and tongue-in-cheek satire produce a top-notch comedy, featuring Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill as buddy-cops. Directed by Phil Lord, and Chris Miller, the film constantly is satirizing movies of the 70s and 80s, like Lethal Weapon and Die Hard; cars are expected to dramatically blow up, but don’t;¬† the man in the ambulance¬† says ‘I’ll come back later’ during the dramatic make-up and kiss ending.

The premise is that these two jerk-off cops are going to raid a high-school, the homestead they just escaped.¬† Jonah Hill is still scarred by his loser-charm, and Channing Tatum flowering at the idea, after having an uproarious time in high-school, and locate a new synthetic drug. The cop that assigns the task is played by Ice Cube, in one of the rare roles where he is actually funny. It starts out with Schmidt, (Hill), fearing that his relationship with Jenko (Tatum), will return to the I’m cool-your loser dichotomy it was originally; instead, the new generation of kids finds Schmidt to be the cool one, especially after Tatum punches a gay black boy on the first day of school for no apparent reason, other than he was ‘trying’.

The fake-identities get a little jumbled; Jenko ends up being the chemistry-geek, even though he seems to be really dull, and Schmidt is headed for Drama class, which his unloose personality is not made for. But this leads to Schmidt talking to a girl, who eventually gets in the way of his assignment. They find a supplier of the synthetic drug, Eric, and hope it will lead them to the mother-dealer; Eric takes Schmidt under his wing and trusts him to sell part of the load. Not till the end do we find the supplier, in a scene like the ending of “True Romance”.

The pairing of Tatum and Hill was very well done, and the script also gave them a solid amount of material to work with. It was based on the television show from 1987-1991, by the same name, created by Patrick Hasburgh and Stephen J. Cannell. It shows excellent talent, I found especially from Jonah Hill, who is glowing with the glee of popularity in high-school. It even has a cameo from Johnny Depp. Hilarious and warmhearted, 21 Jump Street is the best surprise comedy-film of 2012.

Dr. Strangelove


Dr. Strangelove, directed by Stanley Kubrick, is hands down the greatest cold war satire in cinematic history. Filmed in monochrome, it showcases the undebatable talent of director Kubrick, seaming together three different scenarios into a feature-film: Jack Ripper’s office, the war-room, and the cockpit of the deterring plane itself. It all roots from one man, Jack Ripper, and his sudden order for Plan F, to send one of the twenty-four hour a day planes off to the target, Russia, who he thinks are communists conspiring to take away the precious bodily fluids; Jack Ripper is clearly homosexual, as he juggles his thick cigar constantly in his mouth and tells of his refusal to give woman his precious bodily fluids.

Peter Seller’s stars in three different roles: The Nazi weapons expert, the president, and the hostage of Jack Ripper. The war-room rendezvous with the president converse hilariously with a trigger-happy General Buck Turgedsen, played by George C. Scott, who really attracts the spotlight with his uproarious character, descriptive of right-wing paranoia and compulsiveness. When the president says he has invited the Russian Ambassador, he instantly fears putting in full-view the plans and war-screen, and when he does come stumbling in, the general plants a camera on him, quite literally tackling him with his masculine physique; he calms down by chewing a stick of gum, wrappers scattered across his table-space. The ambassador lightly calls him a fool, seems to not be bothered much.

The nuclear-carrying plane, blocked from communication, was not enough for the film: Added in is the doomsday device, a computer controlled deturrent that automatically destroys all human and animal life; “Your not suppose to keep it a secret!” the nazi weapons specialist shouts. This bumps the consequence up higher, and it is no longer a matter of what the world thinks, but if they will survive.

In many of Kubricks films, like Paths of Glory and Full Metal Jacket, he mocks the petty “Uncle Sam” notions of war peace. As soldiers move in to infiltrate the base that Gen. Ripper has locked down, bullets fly across the frame, and in the distance is the sign, “Peace is our Profession”.

The film never lets you breathe with its comedy and even tension for the final minutes of the planes course. Their are many newcomer actors, like the Texas Cowboy pilot played by Slim Pickens, who I found to be tedious in his reciting at times. Regardless, the tree of characters and performances are legendary, a cinematic masterpiece in the actors art of gesture and timing, and will endure even past its date of historical satire.