War Dogs (2016)

  • Director – Todd Phillips
  • Starring – Jonah Hill, Miles Tellar & Ana de Armas
  • Writer – Stephen Chin, Todd Phillips & Jason Smilovic (screenplay).  Guy Lawson – Rolling Stone article “Arms and the Dudes’
  • Year – 2016
  • Running Time – 114 mins

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In 2004’s Old School, director Todd Phillips brought us the outrageous Frank the Tank streaking his way through the night.  This time round it’s a very different kind of tank in Phillips’ latest offering, War Dogs, a black comedy about bullets, bros and bazookas.

Following in the footsteps of the far superior The Big Short, War Dogs is another film to take comedic aim at greed, those who profit from instability and, in this case, actually reap the spoils of war.  While not entirely successful, it is an interesting departure from the recent Hangover trilogy and does succeed in being Phillips’ most accomplished movie to date. (more…)

21 Jump Street

  • Director – Phil Lord and Chris Miller
  • Starring – Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill
  • Writer – Michael Bacall and Jonah Hill
  • Year – 2012
  • Length – 110 mins

At some point Hollywood is going to run out of 80’s movies or TV shows to remake.  I often wonder what will happen when they have all gone twice around the track?  Third time’s the charm?  Let’s hope not, this has to end at some point, doesn’t it?

It was with this feeling that I cautiously approached the latest 80s remake.  This time it was the turn of 21 Jump Street, apparently a popular US TV show from 1987, which famously gave Johnny Depp his big break, but strangely I don’t recall ever seeing it growing up. This time around we see Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum), playing an ex-high school nerd and jock, who are forced into an unlikely pairing after enrolling in Police Academy and using their combination of brawn and brains to get through basic training.  After an enthusiastic and somewhat optimistic drugs bust goes amusingly array the two are shipped out to 21 Jump Street, an undercover unit run by Captain Dickson (Ice Cube), set up to infiltrate high school drug networks. (more…)