DVD Review “22 Jump Street”

Starring: Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Ice Cube, Amber Stevens, Wyatt Russell, Jillian Bell
Directors: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Sony
DVD Release Date: November 18, 2014
Run Time: 112 minutes

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2 out of 5 stars

You got to admit, making “21 Jump Street” with Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum was definitely a risk…but it paid off soooo well. The first film is a blast all around but surprisingly the sequel is even better than the first. Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum are a great team and really play off each other very well. It is a really well-balanced action/comedy/buddy flick! Non-stop action and laughs. Directors Phil Lord & Christopher Miller (“21 Jump Street”, “The Lego Movie”) strike gold again here. My only question: when is “23 Jump Street” coming out?

Official Premise: After making their way through high school (twice), big changes are in store for officers Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) when they go deep undercover at a local college. But when Jenko meets a kindred spirit on the football team, and Schmidt infiltrates the bohemian art major scene, they begin to question their partnership. Now they don’t have to just crack the case – they have to figure out if they can have a mature relationship.

No idea why a solo DVD is even released anymore when most films come in a combo pack. The special features are 10x better on the Blu-ray release for this film. We get an abridged version here. There is an audio commentary with the directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller and stars Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, which is an absolutely blast. “The Perfect Couple of Directors” takes a look at the directing duo. “Line-O-Ramas” are a bunch of funny sequences from the film and lastly there are 22 deleted & extended scenes…on the Blu-ray. We get a faction of that here with optional directors’ commentary.


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Film Review “22 Jump Street”

Starring: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum and Ice Cube
Directed by: Phil Lord and Christopher Miller
Rated: R
Running time: 1 hour 52 mins

Our Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Sequels have that weird reputation of being either really good or really bad. In fact, the great Carl Gottlieb, who co-wrote the film “Jaws,” among others, once said that “the only sequel that loses money is the last one.” They either start out great or start out slow. I’m happy to report that “22 Jump Street” is definitely in the former.

After a brief recap of the first film (“Previously on 21 JUMP STREET”), we find the heroes from the previous film, Schmidt (Hill) and Jenko (Tatum), back in uniform and bored to tears. They take to working undercover off the clock, doing their best to infiltrate a recent smuggling ring. When things backfire, they are called on the carpet by their commander. They plead their case for what they are qualified to do. Jenko even suggests they protect the White House (ha). They are told that, due to the success of their first “back to school” assignment it’s time to do it again. This time they’re going to college!

Full of inside jokes (hey, we’re making a sequel) and fantastic performances, “22 Jump Street” is everything you want in a sequel and more. Directed by the same duo that not only did “21 Jump Street” but the incredible “Lego Movie,” the film is one hilarious scene after another. They are ordered by Captain Dickinson (Ice Cube) that they are being sent to Midstate College, where they are to investigate the death of a young woman believed killed by an illegal drug. Again, things don’t go as planned. Jenko is recruited by the school’s quarterback to play football for the school, where Schmidt meets a young woman (Amber Stevens) who has a lot more in common with him then he knows.

The two stars are joined by some great new cast members as well as returning co-stars like Rob Riggle and Dave Franco. The script is top notch and even features a little “real life” humor when Schmidt is counseled for a few homophobic statements, similar in tone to what Jonah Hill endured last week for the same thing. The action scenes are well thought out and I promise you that, if you stay through the end credits, you will laugh even more. In fact, I’m giving the film and extra half-star just for the credits sequence, which rolls out scenes and posters from the next 20-plus sequels, all of which I hope eventually get made!

Blu-ray Review “21 Jump Street”

Directed by: Phil Lord, Chris Miller
Starring: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Brie Larson, Dave Franco, Rob Riggle, Ice Cube
MPAA Rating: R
Distributed by: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Release Date: June 26, 2012
Running Time: 109 minutes

Blu-ray: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4 out of 5 stars

In the mass flood of remakes, this action/comedy easily stands out as one of the best. The duo of Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum are a great team and really nail their roles in this film.  The film is packed with laugh-out-loud comedy, but also contains some great action as well.  A truly great blend of the genres.  Fans of the original series, will also rejoice to see great cameos from “21 Jump Street” originals Johnny Depp and Peter Deluise. I also really appreciate that first time live-action directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller really went head-in with this film and didn’t deliver a lame PG-13 film, it is balls-to-the-wall raunchy and that is why this film is so bad-ass! So the only question left is…when is “21 Jump Street 2” coming out??

The Blu-ray presentation is good for Sony’s standards.  The 1080p resolution with aspect ratio of 2.39:1, looks good but doesn’t break any records for Blu-ray.  The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 audio track is great though and really delivers the action well.  This release also comes stocked with an Ultraviolet digital streaming copy, which I will be revisting quite a bit.

The special features are jam-packed with this Blu-ray release. There is an busy-yet hysterical audio commentary including Directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller and stars Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum.   There are about 30 minutes of deleted scenes included, some of them are fantastic and I would have loved to see an extended cut with some of them possibly included.  There is a decent length gag reel included as well.  This looked like a really fun production.  Next up is “Cube-O-Rama”, which is a short montage of Ice Cube’s scenes, not really my favorite aspect of the film.  “Back to School” and “Brothers in Arms” are two featurettes looking into the production with Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill.  “Johnny Depp on Set” is a short piece on Depp’s cameo. “The Rob Riggle Show” is a laugh-riot with some great behind-the-scenes footage.  Lastly “Peter Pan on the Freeway” focuses on the film’s big action sequence.

Film Review “21 Jump Street”

Starring: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum and Ice Cube
Directed by: Phil Lord and Chris Miller
MPAA Rating: R
Running time: 1 hour 49 mins

Our Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars

2005. High school seniors Schmidt (Hill) and Janko (Tatum) are on opposite ends of the popularity meter. Schmidt is quiet and smart and has a horrible time talking to girls. Janko is the classic big man on campus. For very different reasons, neither attends their senior prom.

2012. Reunited at the police academy, the two develop a friendship. But their first crack at big time crooks will have to wait. They’re on bicycle duty. But when an “old and recycled” program is reinstated they find themselves assigned under cover as high school students hoping to uncover a new drug and its manufacturer. And the fun begins!

Hilarious from beginning to end, and featuring a surprisingly funny performance by Channing Tatum (who knew this guy could be funny…he’s always brooding every time I see him), “21 Jump Street” is the funniest film of the year so far. Both cops find out that high school isn’t the same the second time around. While Janko was the epitome of cool in 2005, he finds that the shift of power now favors the more studious kids. Which works out fine for Schmidt, whose high school highlight was forming the Juggling Society (one man, three balls). It’s kind of like “The Breakfast Club” only now Anthony Michael Hall is cooler then Judd Nelson.

Both leads do a great job conveying they’re new stations in life. Ice Cube is the, in his words, stereotypical angry black police captain, and he has fun with the role. Supporting characters, including Chris Parnell, Rob Riggle and Dave Franco (James’ little brother and an upcoming talent to watch) keep the film moving along briskly.