Mo' Meta Blues: 22 Jump Street, Reviewed

1. How much credit are we supposed to give a movie for being self-aware? 22 Jump Street is so self-conscious and nervy about its status as an unnecessary cash-grab sequel that it never stops bringing it up. There are multiple inside-baseball asides about how much more expensive missions are the second time around, and… » 6/13/14 1:50pm 6/13/14 1:50pm

Been There, Bombed That. White House Down, Reviewed.

Die Hard was a brilliant concept for an action movie that's been much duplicated since: Die Hard on a bus (Speed); Die Hard in a hockey rink (Sudden Death); Die Hard on a battleship (Under Siege). But what a lot of the copycats forget is that it's not the claustrophobic location that made the original film so great,… » 6/26/13 5:25pm 6/26/13 5:25pm

The Steven Soderbergh Experience: Brilliant, Modest, Fiercely…

"I was watching one of those iconoclast shows on the Sundance Channel. Jamie Oliver said Paul Smith had told him something he hadn't understood until very recently: 'I'd rather be No.  2 forever than No.  1 for a while.' Just make stuff and don't agonize over it. Stop worrying about being No. 1. I see a lot of people… » 2/06/13 6:32pm 2/06/13 6:32pm

Steven Soderbergh Whips It Out. Magic Mike, Reviewed.

As Steven Soderbergh gets closer to the retirement he swears will be happening next year, it's tempting for us who love his movies to wish he'd go out with one last major opus, some sort of legacy-defining masterpiece. So maybe that's why it's good that he clearly doesn't seem interested in doing any such thing. Many… » 6/27/12 4:00pm 6/27/12 4:00pm

Channing Tatum Is Funny. Really. 21 Jump Street, Reviewed.

1. It's surprising that it took this long for someone to mix the peanut butter of Apatowian bromance comedies with the chocolate of the buddy cop film. They're natural allies, with their undercurrents of false machismo, crippling fear of women and unmistakable male panic. It's tough not to lament the buddy cop… » 3/13/12 4:20pm 3/13/12 4:20pm