Following on the heels of one of my favorite comedies of the past five years is no small task and yet 22 Jump Street manages to stand toe-to-toe with its hugely successful predecessor at almost every turn. Sure its self-awareness can be heavy-handed at times, but the film’s deconstruction of comedy sequels is refreshingly on point and far more incisive than a summer blockbuster has any right to be. As far as performances go, while Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, and Ice Cube deserve all the praise they receive for carrying the movie, I can’t say enough about how much Jillian Bell brings to the table in every single scene she’s a part of. The former SNL writer is responsible for my biggest laugh of the film which is saying a lot when you consider the consistent laughs that 22 elicits. Add in a near perfect end credits sequence for good measure and the result is the rare sequel that knows exactly what it is, where it came from, and where it wants to go.
We’ll talk more about 22 Jump Street after the jump while the rest of this week’s Top 5 highlights the first trailer for Dumb and Dumber To, interviews for and a review of How to Train Your Dragon 2, the excellent first trailer for director Alejandro González Iñárritu‘s Birdman starring Michael Keaton, and a look at some of the most popular video game trailer premieres from E3 2014. Keep reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.
1. 22 JUMP STREET Interviews and Review
If nothing I’ve said about 22 Jump Street to this point has you interested in checking it out then there’s likely nothing I can do to win you over. That said, I’m going to give it one last college try anyway (see what I did there, with the movie being set in college and all). Maybe one reader out there, with whom I’m a kindred spirit, loved ABC Family’s Greek and will be persuaded to check out 22 in theaters simply because they learn that it stars Greek‘s Ashleigh Howard (played by Amber Stevens) in a considerable role. With that final selling point, I leave you with Matt’s review of the film and Steve’s video interviews with Jonah Hill & Channing Tatum and co-directors Phil Lord & Chris Miller who could likely take over the world at any minute.
2. First Trailer for DUMB AND DUMBER TO
Raving about how great of a comedy sequel 22 Jump Street is seems like a solid enough segue into the first trailer for Dumb and Dumber To, a comedy sequel arriving two decades after the original. As someone who loved Dumb & Dumber as an 8-year-old kid, I think Dave does well to point out his hopes that the Farrelly’s do more than rehash old jokes for this one. While I laughed during the trailer, I also realized that some of the crude humor I may have loved as a kid because it seemed dangerous/rebellious at the time is no longer in my wheelhouse. The Shaggin’ Wagon on the other hand; that thing is timeless.
3. HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 Interviews and Review
If my older brothers are any indication, finding time to go to the movies without the kids is a rarity that is to be cherished. Even if you can’t break away to join other consenting adults in a screening of 22 Jump Street this weekend, DreamWorks has you covered with another sequel that is garnering rave reviews: How to Train Your Dragon 2. For more on the pic I recommend checking out Matt’s review, Christina’s video interview with Djimon Hounsou & Kit Harington, Adam’s interview with composer John Powell, and Haleigh’s behind-the-scenes look at the film with director Dean DeBlois.
4. First Trailer for BIRDMAN Starring Michael Keaton
Every once in a while a trailer unexpectedly knocks me back on my heels. It has happened of late with Snowpiercer and this week it happened again with the first trailer for director Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman. Starring Michael Keaton, the dark comedy looks to be a beautiful trip that I never saw coming. That fight between Keaton and Edward Norton at the end of the trailer? Fantastic.
5. E3 2014 Trailer Premieres
Just because I’m still having a great time with Titanfall doesn’t mean that I can’t look forward to the coming attractions offered by E3 2014. Whether you’re a Microsoft or Sony fan (or if you defy all Internet logic and manage to enjoy both), this past week was a big one that included new looks at some of the most anticipated video game releases of the day. Click here for the biggest trailers from Microsoft’s E3 2014 presentation and click here for a recap of Sony’s presentation. Although I’m always excited for new tidbits from Destiny and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, the announcement that Microsoft is going to sell the Halo games to me again, this time on the Xbox One, is a particularly exciting one for me.