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Out in Theaters: ‘WHY HIM?’

Oh Bryan Cranston, how far the mighty can fall. The four-time Emmy winning actor and Academy Award nominee rose to stardom putting the meth in method acting as high school chemistry teacher turned drug kingpin Walter White. But Cranston was not always the one who knocks. Many will remember his stretch as the goofy Hal on 2000s sitcom Malcom in the Middle. Here Cranston was the antithesis of the mean-mugging Heisenberg as an indecisive and immature father figure. He was the Stevia to Mr. White’s ricin; proof in the pudding that Cranston can wear many hats (even if the wool pork pie fedora still fits best.) With his latest comedic endeavor, the mind-numbing Why Him?, some might say that Cranston has returned to his roots. Not that that’s a good thing.   Read More

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Out in Theaters: ‘HAIL, CAESAR!’

The Coen BrothersHail, Caesar! exists in some zany cinematic purgatory of indecisiveness. Their critique of 1950s Hollywood dwells in an occasionally bemusing middle ground; that is, it can’t decide whether it wants to be a skewering of or a love letter to the golden era of tinsel town. Those who’ve found solace in the bewilderingly esoteric arms of A Serious Man or the bombast of The Hudsucker Proxy will likely concede Hail, Caesar! as a new coming for the seriocomic duo but I like my Coen’s like I like my coffee and Hail, Caesar!’s semi-satirical goofball makeup couldn’t be further from the blackest of comedy that defines the brothers’ greatest ventures. Read More

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Channing Tatum is a Merry Sailor in Trailer for Coen Bro’s ‘HAIL, CAESAR!’

Have you ever wondered what Channing Tatum would look like in a little sailors outfit? Wonder no more. The trailer for Hail, Caesar!, the newest comedy from Joel and Ethan Coen, has arrived and it looks nothing short of glorious (and features Tatum dressed oh-so-preciously) . Hail, Caesar! tells the story of a tentpole movie production halted when its leading man (George Clooney) is kidnapped and held for ransom. The sure-to-be winning picture is brimming with talent; in addition to Tatum and Clooney, Josh Brolin, Tilda Swinton, Scarlett Johansson, Ralph Fiennes, Jonah Hill and Frances McDormand are set to star with cinematography provided by all-star DP Roger Deakins. Read More

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Out in Theaters: TRUE STORY

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Based on a true story, True Story tells the story of a NYT journalist disgraced for publishing an untrue story about neo-African slavery who must earn back his mag-cover reputation by penning the true story of a wily, potential homicidal killer notorious for telling untrue stories. Got it? Good. Director Rupert Goold‘s doesn’t bother trying to reinvent the wheel with this 2001 true crime saga/Christian Longo biopic so much as he flips the genre’s tropes on their back and proceeds to dissect with a spoon in slow-moving, dull-edged pokes and prods. The result is psychologically unsettling – and speaks to the hazy nature of truth and truth-telling in journalism – but often the pathway is too humdrum and lacking in the significant battle of wits that such a feature truly demands to really get any blood boiling.

James Franco‘s shady simpers have always lent him a kind of notable incredulity and his best performances have come from a place of being able to exploit that to his characters’ advantage. From Aron Ralston to Saul Silver, Franco emotes through his half-cocked smile and stoney, squinty peepers.  For however half-baked and half-witted the writer/director/actor/poet/professor/artist can come across as, there’s something genuinely unnerving about casting his baby browns and easy grin as those of a bonafide psychopath but, due to a script that is decidedly set to simmer, he never gets to really explore the character’s darkest depths to fulfilling – or particularly worthwhile – degree. Rather the project, like Franco’s role within it, is served undercooked and is ultimately underwhelming.

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Sitting across the aisle from Franco’s murderous sycophant is a clean-cut Jonah Hill as Michael Finkel, the aforementioned defrocked journo. He wound up here in a round about way involving identity theft (when captured, Longo was posing as Finkel) and pure dumb luck (a phone call from a party interested in the scoop.) Having been stripped of his position at the New York Times and deemed untouchable by its many competitors, Finkel would be the last man to land an exclusive with a recently captured topper of the FBI’s Most Wanted List but Longo, for reasons not fully clear, has invited Finkel to his stainless steel conference room in exchange for “writing lessons” and friendly convos. You see Longo is a dedicated Finkel fan – or so he says – and wants to learn to hone his writing prowess at the foot of a master. And potential master fibber. After all, there’s not that many great avenues for self-expression for the incarcerated and Longo has always craved an audience.

As Finkel and Longo circle one another, becoming dangerously close and blasting past the line of unprofessional-ism early on and with relish, an unconventional game of cat and mouse unfolds. Goold’s game playing is meant to keep the audience on their toes but he can’t shake the feeling of being too obvious and too oblivious to his obviousness. As we’re expected to parse out whether Longo is a David Gale or a Hannibal Lecter – a patsy or a true psychopath – the film hems much closer to the dramatic success of the former (sitting at 19% on Rotten Tomatoes).

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Felicity Jones steps in briefly to jumpstart the coronary pumps but her character – the most interesting in the film – is mostly relegated to the offscreen or in charge of sulky but supportive backrubs. When she does rise from the depths to blast her unbridled, fearless opinion of Longo at his own self-satisfied face, Franco again fails to take charge of the scene and the character, leaving him to lie flat as a scolded pup and with just about as much agency.

Though Hill and Franco have played together well in the past – This Is the End and, to a lesser extent, Knocked Up – seeing the two take on such self-serious roles – stripped of even the smallest inkling of black comedy – is far less satisfying than one might hope for. Though for admittedly different reasons than you might expect. Neither flat-out fail (The Interview) or fall on their face (The Sitter) so much as they just do their jobs competently and without any fanfare to speak of. Each have worked as dramatists in their own right but the near-inspired union here is one tear away from disintegrating into a black hole of complete and utter humorlessness.

You would think that the casting of such comedic icons would demand us to reinvent our perspective on the two high-profile jesters. That is just not the case. For a two-hander so focused on these dueling central performances, neither has enough seasoning to turn the product tasty nor ship off our assumption that once “cut” is called, one of the two launch into a one-liner of the “that’s what she said” variety. Give me True Story the Comedy next time. At least that would be different. Instead, we’re treated to a blandly flavored re-heated crime saga that, though not bad, is highly forgettable (even a week after screening it, I almost forgot I had seen it at all.)

C

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Out in Theaters: 22 JUMP STREET

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A truly great comedy movie requires three things: pitch-perfect chemistry between its charismatic stars, a treasure trove of visual gags (preferably sans dongs, ball sacks, and/or fecal matter) and a waterfall of jokes that feel rightly organic; ad-libbed zingers that don’t come across like sweat-shop products whittled down by mouth-breathing jurors in some distant focus-lab. Overstuffed with these three golden characteristics, 22 Jump Street has all the makings of a comedy classic. A healthy improvement over the original, this higher budgeted follow-up chiefly takes on sequels and bromance in a deeply meta and surprisingly charming manner. Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller‘s saucy avenue for comedy is aptly winking and righteously unbarred, stirring up just the right amount of chagrin for the platitudes of (notoriously lame) studio sequels. In acknowledging the shortcomings of what their product could have been, Lord and Miller’s film is transcendent. It’s smart, funny and flowing with in-jokes for industry insiders and casual filmgoers as well. It’s a comedy for movie lovers by movie lovers and joke for joke, the funniest movie of the year. Further, it’s one that will likely remain in the “best of” comedy conversation for years to come.

The table is set with a playful “Previous on 21 One Jump Street” recap that doubles as an homage to the original Johnny Depp-lead television program while still providing a brief summation of the first film for people like me who haven’t seen it in a number of years. We reacquaint with odd couple cops Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) as they’re about to intercept a drug deal, or so they think. A hilariously off Mexican gangster impersonation follows and hijinks quickly sour with Schmidt receiving hickey by octopus and Jenko strung up from the heels.

Even though they majorly biff their first outing, these two flunky street cops soon find that the higher ups have them squarely in their sights. After the success of their first “mission”, the Mr. Money Bags on top are gambling even more on Schmidt and Jenko this time around. They’re dished out more money to throw around but expect an even greater degree of success. “You need to do things exactly as you did last time,” Nick Offerman‘s mustache of a Deputy Chief commands. The only way to achieve success after all is to play it safe. As the film pitches this very concept, the bastions of this artfully devious script do all they can to switch hit and deliver much meatier blow for it.

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Screenwriters’ Michael Bacall, Oren Uziel and Rodney Rothman‘s gumming is a devilishly obvious allusion to the studio system’s tight grip on franchising – whose “creativity” is more in tune with reproduction by assembly line than true originality – with third wall breaking so mightily pronounced that Hill and Tatum all but stare directly into the camera. But the irreverence of the entire cast and crew is deeply comic. Its seven layers of meta has sarcasm running so deep that their pot shots come fast and loose. Tatum essentially acknowledges how bottomed out White House Down was just as they later acknowledge how easy it would be to milk this franchise for all its worth. Also with a higher budget, we get things like Ice Cube‘s Ice Cube office. That’s right, Ice Cube has an office shaped like a cube of ice.

Schmidt and Jenko make their way to their next assignment, investigating a hybrid drug called WHYPHY (pronounced wifi and standing for Work Hard? Yes, Play Hard? Yes) at a local community college. While there, the two best buddies/partners begin to tear in different directions as Tatum and his bulbous throwing arm fall into the frat bro crowd, leaving Schmidt to find sentimental solace in gallons of ice cream and Friends re-runs and the artsy, fartsy community.

As far as ying and yang go, Hill’s wounded fay routine synchs perfectly with Tatum’s prom king duncemanship. As a college football announcer says (however not about their two characters) “They’re two peas in a pod.” Their comic timing is perfect as it their oddball dichotomy of character. Tatum’s cob-webbed thought process is blunted by Hill’s smart aleck ways and Lord and Miller find many opportunities to exploit their differences in hilarious and oft-kilter ways. Even if some of the laughs are expected, the amount of them will catch you off guard. It’s a non-stop flight of guffaws, a bullet train of side-splitters. Also, be sure to stick around for the credits which will likely have you rolling on the floor.

With their tongues planted deeply in cheek, Lord and Miller bring the same slapstick routine that defined The Lego Movie to this more adult adventure and it’s nothing short of a riot-fest to watch them peel back the many layers of this joke onion. But licking your way to the creamy center, one might be surprised to find some real heart buried amongst the awkward and yet sweet relationship between Hill and Tatum. While their matching at first looked like some kind of Frankenstein’s monster, in 22 Jump Street, they really are two peas in one hell of a funny pod.

A-

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2013 Silver Screen Riot Awards

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With the majority of 2013 awards winding down and the Oscars gearing up for next month, it’s time for me to reflect on the best parts about last year’s films. I’ve already published my top ten list alongside the absolute worst movies of the year but with these awards, I focus on the performances, direction, music, scene work and artistry of 2013.

At first, I tried to pigeonhole five nominees into each category but found that didn’t give me enough leeway to recognize all the talent I wanted to. When I then expanded to ten, it felt like there were times where I would be putting names down to fill up spots and didn’t really work for me either. So, instead of making an arbitrary number of nominees for each category, I opted to just recognize as many people as I saw fit in each category. So while the best actor category has 11 names of note, best foreign film only had 6 nominees and so forth. I know a lot of these may see overlap with other award nominations but I tried to recognize talent from all walks,  the old to the new, and award what stood out as my personal favorites.

Look out for a short breakdown in the actors and directors sections but the other categories speak for themselves.

Best Actor:

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WINNER: Leonardo DiCaprio ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’
Runner Up: Christian Bale ‘Out of the Furance’ & ‘American Hustle’
Honorable Mention: Ethan Hawke ‘Before Midnight’

Also:
Matthew McConaughey ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ & ‘Mud’
Joaquin Phoenix ‘Her’
Mads Mikkelsen ‘The Hunt’
Chiwetel Elijofor ’12 Years a Slave’
Bruce Dern ‘Nebraska’
Tom Hanks ‘Captain Phillips’
Michael B. Jordan ‘Fruitvale Station’

It’s no secret that I’m a big Leonardo DiCaprio fan and it’s performances like his in The Wolf of Wall Street that earns him such a high ranking amongst my favorite working actors. With manic physicality, hypnotizing stage presence and wonderfully potent comedic timing, his take on amoral but lovin’ it Jordan Belfort is a role to remember. Christian Bale did wonders in Out of the Furnace and, even though I wasn’t head over heels for American Hustle, his performance there was nothing to balk at and one of the strongest features of the film. The most underrated performance of the year is Ethan Hawke who embodied humanity and boyish charm in my favorite film of the year Before Midnight. The film rests squarely on his and Julie Delpy‘s compotent shoulders and had their performances been any less, the impact wouldn’t have been nearly what it was. 

Best Supporting Actor:

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WINNER: Jared Leto ‘Dallas Buyers Club’
Runner Up: Jonah Hill ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’

Honorable Mention:  Geoffrey Rush ‘The Book Thief’

Also:
Woody Harrelson ‘Out of the Furnace’
Michael Fassbender ’12 Years a Slave’
Barkhad Abdi ‘Captain Phillips’
Ben Foster ‘Lone Survivor’
Daniel Bruhl ‘Rush’
Matthew McConaughey ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’
Alexander Skaarsgard ‘What Maisie Knew’

Another crowded category, I had to go with a somewhat calculated choice, a man more than likely to win at the Academy Awards this year, Jared Leto. His performance, almost moreso than Matthew McConaughey‘s, grounds the heartbreaking tale of Dallas Buyers Club and brings humanity to those that are too often dehumanized. On the other side of the coin, Jonah Hill was a riot in The Wolf of Wall Street and between his introductory scene and subsequent cousin soliloquy and the unhinged energy he brings to the Lemmons scene, his is one of the most unforgettable performances of the year. Another under-appreciated role takes my honorable mention slot with Geoffrey Rush‘s lovely performance in the otherwise forgettable The Book Thief. Rush is an acting giant and watching him effortlessly capture our sympathy just goes to show his monumental range.

Best Actress:

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WINNER: Meryl Streep ‘August: Osage County’
Runner Up: Julie Delpy ‘Before Midnight’
Honorable Mention: Scarlett Johansson ‘Her’

Also:
Cate Blanchett ‘Blue Jasmine’
Brie Larson ‘Short Term 12’
Judi Dench ‘Philomena’
Adele Exarchopoulos ‘Blue is the Warmest Color’
Shailene Woodley ‘The Spectacular Now’
Greta Gerwig ‘Frances Ha’
Emma Thompson ‘Saving Mr. Banks’

I know Cate Blanchett is the name on everyone’s lips right now and there’s no denying that her performance is a showstopper but, for me, was not quite the most impressive of the year. Speaking of cinematic giants, I just couldn’t help but give my top award to Meryl Streep for her poisonous performance in the ensemble drama August: Osage County. Streep is a chameleon and we’re used to seeing her, for the most part, play loveable roles so seeing her transform into an utterly despicable train wreck of a pill popper showcases why she is the monolithic actress she is. Watching Julie Delpy embody the role of Celine for the third (or fourth if you consider Waking Life) time, you can see how much she has sank into this role and it’s simply a beauty to behold. Although deemed ineligible for the Oscars, Scarlett Johansson is able to achieve wonders with just her voice and deserves a pile of praise for that.

Best Supporting Actress:

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WINNER: Julia Roberts “August: Osage County”
Runner Up: Margot Robbie “The Wolf of Wall Street”
Honorable Mention: Kristen Scott Thomas ‘Only God Forgives’

Also:
Octavia Spenser ‘Fruitvale Station’
Jennifer Lawrence ‘American Hustle’
June Squibb ‘Nebraska’
Lupita Nyong’o ’12 Years a Slave’
Emily Watson ‘The Book Thief’
Melissa Leo ‘Prisoners’

Easily the least impressive of the four acting categories, the best supporting actress category just didn’t have quite as much to offer as the rest did this year. Going through my nominees, it was hard to choose a top spot because all were commendable but none were absolutely unforgettable. I would hardly consider Julia Roberts as someone whose films I anticipate so was caught offguard by her fantastic work in August: Osage County. She holds her own against Streep and at times even shows her up. Color me impressed. I gave the second slot to Margot Robbie of The Wolf of Wall Street because of an unforgettable scene she shares with DiCaprio that’s sexy, tortuous and hysterical all at once and would have been nothing without the presence she brings to the scene. And for all the flak Only God Forgives caught for lacking dialogue, Kristen Scott Thomas stood out as the only character with true personality and she absolutely chewed through her deluded sanctimony. She’s menacing, repulsive and commanding and totally owns every scene she’s in. And just to preempt those offended by my lack of pedastalizing Academy darling Jennifer Lawrence, I enjoyed what she did in American Hustle but could never really take her character seriously. It was fun but not near worthy the level of praise being heaped on. And Lupita Nyong’o was certainly stunning in her 12 Years a Slave scenes but remember, this is my favorites and her performance is nothing less than a chore to watch.

Best Director

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WINNER: Spike Jonze ‘Her’
Runner Up: Richard Linklater ‘Before Midnight’
Honorable Mention: Steve McQueen ’12 Years a Slave’

Also:
Martin Scorsese ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’
Jean-Marc Valee ‘Dallas Buyers Club’
Alexander Payne ‘Nebraska’
Denis Villeneuve ‘Prisoners’
Alfonso Cuaron ‘Gravity’
Destin Cretton ’12 Years a Slave’
Coen Bros ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’

I have to give a leg up to the director/writer combos so it’s no surprise that Spike Jonze has secured the top position. The humanity he brings to this technological world and the insight he’s able to provide is simply stunning, aided by his sharp visual style and realistic futurism. Richard Linklater may not be the world’ most hands on director but the palpably freedom he affords his actors gives them the capacity to create the caliber of tender moments we see in Before Midnight. He’s no bleeding heart but he’s not quite a cynic either and I love watching the way he sees the world. On the more difficult side of things, I’ve seen all three of Steve McQueen‘s films and, though this comment may be hotly debated, think 12 Years a Slave is actually his least tortuous. At least to watch. It’s an amazing effort that drags us through hell and yet there is a string of hope that runs throughout the story. I guess that only someone from outside of the states could bring such honesty and power to a distinctly American story.

Best Ensemble:

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WINNER: American Hustle
Runner Up: The Wolf of Wall Street
Honorable Mention: August: Osage County

Also:
12 Years a Slave
This is the End
The Counselor

Best Cinematography

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WINNER: Sean Bobbitt ’12 Years A Slave’
Runner Up: Emmanuel Lubezki ‘Gravity’
Honorable Mention: Roger Deakins ‘Prisoners’

Also:
Phedon Papamichael ‘Nebraska’
Hoyte Van Hoytema ‘Her’
Bruno Delbonnel ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’
John R. Leonetti ‘The Conjuring’
Yves Bélanger ‘Lawrence Anyways’

Best Foreign Film

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WINNER: The Hunt
Runner Up: Laurence Anyways
Honorable Mention: Populaire

Also:
Wajdja
Blue is the Warmest Color
Crystal Fairy and the Magical Cactus

Best Documentary:

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WINNER: The Act of Killing
Runner Up: Cutie and the Boxer
Honorable Mention: Dirty Wars

Also:
The Crash Reel
Blackfish
The Square
Somm

Best Song

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WINNER: “Fare Thee Well” – Inside Llewyn Davis
Runner Up: “Young and Beautiful” – Great Gatsby
Honorable Mention: “Doby” – Anchorman 2: The Journey Continues

Also:
“Please Mr. Kennedy – Inside Llewy6n Davis
“The Moon Song – Inside Llewyn Davis
“In Summer – Frozen
“Oblivion” – Oblivion

Best Scene:

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WINNER: Her ‘When it All Goes Dark’
Runner Up: The Wolf of Wall Street “Lemmons 714”
Honorable Mention: Before Midnight ‘Letter from the Future’

Also:
Captain Phillips “Check Up”
August: Osage “Family Dinner”
Nebraska “Mt. Rushmore”
This is the End “Backstreets Back”
Gravity ‘Opening Sequence’
Out of the Furnace ‘Hot Dog’
Inside Llewyn Davis ‘Please Mr. Kennedy’
The Conjuring “Basement Exorcism”
Lawrence Anyways “It’s Raining Clothes”

I’d love to hear where you guys agree and disagree and would encourage you to share your own lists in the comments section below.

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Out in Theaters: THE WOLF OF WALL STREET

“The Wolf of Wall Street”
Directed by Martin Scorsese
Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Jean Dujardin, Matthew McConaughey, Kyle Chandler, Rob Reiner, Jon Bernthal, Jon Favreau, Cristin Milioti 
Biography, Comedy, Crime
180 Mins
R

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Martin Scorsese
‘s The Wolf of Wall Street is a bombastic raunchfest spilling over with feverish humor and held in place by vibrant direction from Martin Scorsese and unhinged performances from its gifted cast. Sprawling and episodic, this “greed is great” epic is not only the funniest movie of the year, not only has one of the most outstanding performances in recent history, and not only is one of the most explicit films to hit the theaters under the guise of an R-rating, but, like icing on the proverbial cake, it offers a colossally poignant and timely cultural deconstruction of the financial institutions on which our country depends. And though it runs for exactly three hours, I’d watch this strung-out saga again in a second. A messy masterpiece on all fronts, The Wolf of Wall Street is a towering achievement.

We know that reality is often stranger than fiction but Scorsese’s encapsulation of the world of Jordan Belfort and his scurrying dervishes is like lifting a rock to find a thriving hive of ants equipped with Tony Montana-worthy piles of cocaine and strippers decked out in ever-fashionable neon beneath. Their iniquitous ways the stuff of adolescent male fantasies and their drug-fueled, deranged shenanigans straight from a Hunter S. Thompson memoir, Belfort is a modern day Dionysus. Taking the mantle of this larger-than-life imp of an investment banker, Leonardo DiCaprio is unholy goodness.

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It’s no secret that I’m a massive fan of DiCaprio’s and a performance like this proves my continued faith in the multifarious thespian. Ranging from manic to disturbed, possessed to contemptible, his commanding performance scraps subtly for an off-the-walls buffet of theatrics. And though he never quite swallows the pill of reality, Belfort’s arc is splattered in sober doubt and drug-fueled confidence, always anchored by a megalomaniac’s grip on the destiny of those in his company. Twisting what it means to be generous, he takes from the rich and poor alike and distributes the riches amongst his legions of fanboy-like employees.

But for his however ethically corrupt he is, he’s got his own twisted sense of morality, at once misanthropic towards the world at large and a gentle guardian of his own flock of flunky stock pushers. His minions, led by a brilliantly toothy Jonah Hill, see him as the God he wants so badly to be.

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Around the workplace, they call Belfort Wolfie; a nickname derived from his bullying brokering and his pick-up-the-scraps mentality. And as penny-stock pushers, Belfort and his henchmen turn scraps into millions, spinning gold from floss. Their office a carousal, Wolfie and Co.’s imperious rise to power is just too heinous to make up.

Beneath DiCaprio’s frantic and telescopic work as Belfort is a man feeding off his own energy. No matter how deluded Belfort can be, he’s a guy caught up in the moment, too high to not ride the waves of his own self-invented success. As an audience, we feed off the surge of energy too and let it drive us from scene to scene, always the intrigued voyeur.

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And like a pitch-perfect backup singer, Hill’s Donnie Azoff (based on over-the-counter stock broker Danny Porush, who threatened to sue if they didn’t change his name) is the wind beneath DiCaprio’s wings. From the first time he steps onscreen, he demands our attention with his mammoth chompers and sleazy Long Island accent. He’s got sidekick so down pat that he may as well be the piggy Robin to Belfort’s wicked Batman. And no matter how brief his appearance is here, Matthew McConaughey is once again on fire. As a steadfast FBI agent, Kyle Chandler also breaks out of his comfort zone and puts in a performance worthy of such an accomplished cast.

Though lots of names have been tossed around for award recognition, Hill will assuredly be seeing his second (and here, more deserved) nomination for his work. His unique blend of drama and comedy is a staggering success and has knocked any skeptics off the fence in one fell, chompy swoop. And while DiCaprio’s performance here is a show for the ages, it may again go overlooked by the notoriously antiquated Academy. Regardless, he is the king of Hollywood and has proved it in spades with his astonishing work in Wolf.

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But it’s not the performances alone that shine, as the movie flows smooth as butter. Looking at it as a whole, I wouldn’t want a single scene cut and that’s a testament to the seductive power of Scorsese’s film. With well over 500 counts of the f-bomb and enough female and male genitalia to perturb the most hip of parents, do be sure that you’re attending The Wolf of Wall Street with the right parties. This ain’t your grandma’s Scorsese.

A+

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Tatum and Hill Return for 22 JUMP STREET Trailer

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Coming from someone who has never seen 21 Jump Street, the new red band trailer for its sequel 22 Jump Street kind of makes me want to watch it. Starting off with a very self-aware speech by their captain, played by Nick Offerman, which winks at the audience, as if to say, “We know comedy sequels are a little ridiculous,” the trailer explains the arbitrary reason for the new title. This time they have to infiltrate a college, instead of a high school, but the premise is more-or-less the same as the first.

Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum are set to return, accompanied by Ice Cube, to relive their glory days and search out a drug dealer of sorts. The intriguing thing about the perspective these films take is looking at the college or high school film genre, through the eye of someone older. It serves as a deconstruction that we take part in, as people who have been through those institutions and know that their Hollywood representations are mostly bullshit. A fish out of water story, mixed with action, mixed with a meta-genre commentary, will hopefully make this an enjoyable sequel, as long as they don’t fall into the Hangover trap.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06rvPK8ydZo

22 Jump Street is directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller and stars Channing Tatum, Nick Offerman, Jonah Hill, and Ice Cube. It hits theaters on June 13, 2014

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