Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Ice Cube | R |
Either you're old, like me, and were aghast at the idea of someone defiling your beloved Jump Street. Or you're young (i.e., born after the '87 launch of the TV series that made Johnny Depp a star), and your reaction was closer to, "What's 21 Jump Street?" Good news, graybeards and whippersnappers: This is a movie we all can dig.
The new Jump Street borrows the same conceit as the original-babyfaced cops go back to high school to narc on naughty kids-but torques it into a ridiculously inappropriate comedy. The secret is the Mutt-and-Jeff pairing of Tatum and Hill as the narcs. Tatum is Jenko, the hot cop to Hill's Schmidt, the smart one. They're both stunned when they enroll in school to bust a drug ring, only to find that cliques have changed and Schmidt's the popular one now. Tatum is all goofy charm as he tries to fit in with the nerds, while recent Oscar nominee Hill mines his easy wit. They're both upstaged by Ice Cube as their hilariously cliched Angry Black Captain, who tells them to embrace stereotypes. It's that kind of humor, the go-for-broke lunacy that isn't afraid to offend but never veers to the offensive, that should unite fans of the series and folks who've barely heard of it. Surely we could all use the laughs.
Jeff Who Lives at Home
Jason Segel, Ed Helms, Susan Sarandon | R |
We don't choose our families, but we can still learn from them. Such is the heart of this sweet indie flick about 30-year-old Jeff (Segel), who runs an errand for his mom-slash-roommate (Sarandon), only to be sidetracked by his self-involved brother (Helms). It could be called Jeff Who Needs a Job: Nobody plays a gentle (toking) giant like always-affable Segel, but his character is so single-minded about finding his "destiny" that it can grate. Meanwhile, Helms's talent is often wasted on over-the-top hijinks as he tries to determine if his wife, expertly played by Judy Greer, is cheating. Here, less is more. The best scenes are the honest ones-especially with Sarandon's deeply lonely matriarch-that make Jeff an emotional portrait of a dysfunctional but loving clan. Corny at points? Sure. But ultimately, this is a touching movie that stays with you.
Casa de Mi Padre
Will Ferrell, Diego Luna, Genesis Rodriguez | R |
It seems like a one-joke idea: Gringo Will Ferrell does a film in subtitled Spanish. But telenovela/spaghetti western Casa has more going for it than that. Ferrell stars as Armando, the slow brother to Luna's Raul, who brings home his new fiancee Sonia (Man on a Ledge's Rodriguez). Soon the brothers war over Sonia, even as a drug lord (Gael Garcia Bernal) menaces. The film is so purposely, good-naturedly dumb, though, that none of that really matters. It's just fun to watch Ferrell thrill in making a ninny of himself.
JOHNNY DEPP AS TONTO!
"Johnny and his makeup people devised the design," The Lone Ranger producer Jerry Bruckheimer says of Depp's latest kooky look. Set for release in May 2013, the film follows the masked Lone Ranger (The Social Network's Armie Hammer, right) as he seeks justice alongside Depp's Tonto. Once again, Depp puts a unique spin on an iconic character. Says Bruckheimer: "It's great seeing what Johnny comes up with."
SPRING BREAK DVDS!
1 LIKE CRAZY
College students will relate to coeds/lovers Anna (Felicity Jones) and Jacob (Anton Yelchin), who are separated by bad decisions, immigration officials and the tense tedium of long-distance love.
Feel free to get into Kenny Wormald and Julianne Hough's super-intense high school love. Me? I'm using the DVD as my personal step-by-step dance class to nail some of their (less tricky) moves.
3 THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN
Theoretically, Steven Spielberg's visually arresting Tintin is for kids, but anyone can appreciate the swashbuckling epic. Plus the Blu-ray version comes packed with extra featurettes for hardcore fans.