8 December 2014-12-08

The cartoonised Robin Wright in Ari Folman's The Congress

 

Out in the UK This Week

 

 

The Congress (StudioCanal, cert 15)

With Waltz with Bashir, director Ari Folman used Tintin-esque animation as the visual clothing to a set of sober taped interviews between himself and the buddies he’d served with in Israel’s war against Lebanon. The Congress does similar unusual things, propelling Robin Wright – playing an actor called Robin Wright who has elected to have herself digitised and therefore immortalised – into an animated world when she attends “the congress”, the occasional gathering of other fictional figures. The real world looks like a workaday real world, as lived by rich Hollywood, leading to the suspicion that Folman is remaking Andrew Niccol’s digitised-actors dud S1m0ne. But the “congress” is a piece of animation where the Yellow Submarine and the Furry Freak Brothers, Robert Crumb and Banksy, Picasso and 2000AD comics all vie for space, where a never-named Tom Cruise (the only other surviving actor, apparently) rubs shoulders with Jesus, Cleopatra, Marilyn Monroe and Muhammad Ali, while octopuses wave at passing Mississippi riverboats afloat on a crimson sea. Psychedelic? Just a bit. What Robin actually does in this place, and the way that plays out when Robin eventually returns to the real world, turns out to be something of a damp squib, sadly, but Folman’s concept and his technical achievement are breathtaking – and two out of three ain’t bad.

The Congress – Watch it/buy it at Amazon

 

 

 

Goodbye to Language (StudioCanal, cert 15)

And talking of technique – Jean-Luc Godard shows that he’s been given Final Cut Pro for Christmas in his latest film, in many ways a return to the sort of film he made in the early 1960s (he’s just turned 84 as I write), A Bout de Souffle, for example. Except he’s taken a story so simple it’s barely there – a man, a woman, their little fights and love-making – and attempted to present it without resorting to standard filmic tropes, instead using different qualities of digital input, a tsunami of post-production techniques and an almost haphazard approach to editing. “Those who lack imagination take refuge in reality,” says the opening intertitle, and shortly after we see a man reading a book about Nicolas de Stael, the abstract pioneer being a clear indicator as to what’s going on here. Is Godard waving “goodbye to language” with this abandonment of film-making convention and embrace of lo-tech, laptop-editing? I think he’s trying hard to get outside the box – abandoning realism, going for expressionism. It’s a strange and remarkable film that’s best absorbed rather than watched and a stunning reform to maverick form.

Goodbye to Language – Watch it/buy it at Amazon

 

 

 

Charlie’s Country (StudioCanal, cert 15)

If Nicolas Roeg’s Walkabout took a couple of “civilised” white kids and threw them into the aborigine Outback, Rolf de Heer’s Charlie’s Country takes the same aborigine (David Gulpilil, who co-wrote) and sticks him in the white man’s world. Gulpilil is now 60 rather than the 18 he was when he worked with Roeg in 1971, though still wiry and strong, his hellishly expressive face lending dignity to a story that hits all sorts of racist buttons – “blackfellas” being lazy, drunk, awkward, angry, sly etc. And that is the story it tells, of Charlie getting into scrapes, into trouble with the police, going on a days’ long bender, having little in the way of ambition and so on. Yet, slowly, and it is a slow (you might say elegiac) film, it puts us in the aborigine’s place, gives us some sense of his world view, without either condescendingly over-prioritising his “difference”, or indulging in too much liberal guilt. Sentimental, for sure, but not mawkish. Nicely done.

Charlie’s Country – Watch it/buy it at Amazon

 

 

 

The Expendables 3 (Lionsgate, cert 12)

By the end of Expendables 2, it looked like Sly Stallone had put together yet another franchise, like Rocky and Rambo, that was going to run and run, there being a never-ending supply of cheap ageing action heroes who, repackaged like sub-prime mortgages, can be sold on in bundles to yet another generation nostalgic for whatever was going on 20 years before. By the end of Expendables 3… it looks like he’s blown it. Why introduce Wesley Snipes as the latest member of the old crew – half looking as if he’s been on the crack pipe, which lends exactly the sort of demented gleam that makes this franchise such fun – only to dismiss him and the rest of them, only to bring in a younger crew of relative nobodies (apologies to Glen Powell, Victor Ortiz, Ronda Rousey and Kellan Lutz, but you’re not Jason Statham or Dolph Lundgren, not even Terry Crews, in fact). And then to get the new crew into trouble, forcing Sly to get the old team back together. The whole film reeks of this sort of time-wasting, from the endless montage sequences, to the relentless walky-talky sequences, to the unnecessary cameos by Harrison Ford and Arnie Schwarzenegger. Kelsey Grammer injects a bit of vim, as does Mel Gibson as a whacked-out bad guy, and Antonio Banderas overacts manfully as a 40something with painful adolescent enthusiasm to join the team. Yes, but what’s it about? Oh, you know, the usual – guys, guns and shitstorms that need sailing into. Except this time Stallone has accidentally sailed into Steven Seagal territory.

The Expendables 3 – Watch it/buy it at Amazon

 

 

 

Still the Enemy Within (Lace, cert 15)

A useful documentary about the 1984 UK miners strike. It’s pretty much a straight history, using archive footage and talking-heads testimony from those at the sharp end – the miners, their wives and the many people who supported them – taking as its starting point the strike in 1974 that prompted Prime Minister Edward Heath to call an election, foolishly asking the country to decide once and for all who ran the country, him or the miners. The country chose against him (which the miners perhaps took as a signal that it had voted for them). Fast-forward to the election of Mrs Thatcher in 1979 and her decision to break the unions, starting with the miners, a campaign that the government mounted with military precision. Stocks of coal were built up in preparation, a tough new Coal Board boss (the industry was still nationalised in those days) was brought in, trouble was fomented, the miners went on strike, and stayed out for a year. And in the end, as history recalls, they lost. The title is from the mouth of Mrs T, who referred to the miners as “the enemy within”, and if there is one complaint against this film, which is admirable in the way it marshals its facts and its many eye-witness speakers, it is that it replays the strike from the familiar position – noble miners defending their communities on one side, the rapacious Conservative government on the other. Little mention of North Sea oil, which had just started coming onstream, little analysis of broader union relations, the solvency or otherwise of the country (its debt overhang from the Second World War, the loss of Empire), the shift from a Keynesian to a more Chicago-school economic model. Nor of the claim now being made by economist Thomas Picketty and others that strong unions, far from being a drain on a country, are in fact vital to its success. “We. Were. Right,” says the appropriately named Norman Strike, a former miner, sad and angry at the same time. “We lost. But we were right.”

Still the Enemy Within – Buy it/watch it at Amazon

 

 

 

Diplomacy (StudioCanal, cert 12)

The last film I saw by Volker Schlöndorff’s was The Tin Drum, in 1979. So what’s the director of one of my all-time favourite films up to 35 years later? The answer is: making an entirely stagebound two-hander starring Niels Arestrup as General von Cholitz, the Nazi in charge of Paris, and André Dusollier as the French-born Swedish diplomat Raoul Nordling. The film follows the one fateful night when, on Hitler’s express orders, Cholitz had all of Paris rigged with explosives, and Nordling tried to persuade him not to blow it to smithereens, using all the argument and oratory at his considerable disposal. This is an example of the well-made play, turned into a film in old-school style by Schlöndorff, who puts all his faith in his actors. Arestrup, usually brilliant, seems reluctant to play a tough Nazi who has been through a war as a successful warrior, while Dusollier is burdened with a cypher role as the representative of all that’s best about western civilisation. However, the story is true – though the disputes still rage as to whether von Cholitz was ever really going to give the order to detonate – and at this level at least, it’s a fascinating film.

Diplomacy – Buy it/watch it at Amazon

 

 

 

Finding Fela (Dogwoof, cert E)

Alex Gibney uses the documentary form to shine a light on people who bask in the shadows, whether it’s big business, with Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, or Lance Armstrong in The Armstrong Lie. Finding Fela continues the tradition, though the shadows here are created by most of the world’s lack of interest in African culture, rather than any shyness on the part of Fela Kuti, the Afrobeat pioneer and political activist who lived life right out in the full glare of publicity and government disapproval in Nigeria. But hang on a minute. Gibney also seems to be making a documentary about the Broadway musical Fela! and how it is “finding” its way towards the staging of a show about this talented, charismatic and contradictory man. And Gibney continues in this vein – first archive and talking-head footage about how Fela, from a well-to-do family, took the prevailing Hi-Life style of West Africa, added jazz and good belt of Black Panthers politics and created Afrobeat. Then a bit of backstage at the Broadway show, where choreographer and artistic director Bill T Jones is trying to explore the truth of Fela, through Fela!. As Gibney flip-flops back and forth, the question arises – does one illuminate the other? And the answer becomes clear soon enough: not even slightly. The sound you can hear is not the exuberant free-form of Afrobeat, but of a ball being dropped. Kuti was such an interesting man too – a pipecleaner thin sexist, married to 27 women, politically brave, musically beyond talented, mother-fixated, charismatic, sex-driven, a believer in magic with a penchant for Elvis jumpsuits who declared his own compound an independent country, who stayed in Nigeria even though he knew it was dangerous, and paid the price for it. And no matter how good the Broadway show is, there is the ringing suspicion that it’s included here because Gibney simply believe that Fela on his own would sell. Bad faith.

Finding Fela – Buy it/watch it at Amazon

 

 

 

© Steve Morrissey 2014

 

 

 

The Best Films of 2014

Scarlett Johansson in Under the Skin

 

Of the 350+ films I saw this year, these are the best ones. Some of them were released last year and I’ve been a bit slow getting round to them. Some of them were released even longer ago. The criteria are – I watched them in 2014 and I liked them. That’s it.

 

 

 

The Best

 

Computer Chess (2013, dir: Andrew Bujalski)

Andrew Bujalski, inventor of mumblecore, proved there’s life in the old beast yet with this retro-verité drama about geeks meeting in the 1980s to pit their programs against a chess-playing computer. Shooting on original video cameras in fuzzy-edged boxellated black and white, Bujalski catches the moment when the let-it-all-hang-out era died and our brighter, geekier world was born.

 

In a World… (2013, dir: Lake Bell)

A comedy of modern manners strung onto a plot about voice artists vying for the throne of the newly dead king of the hill. The savviest, screwballiest Hollywood comedy in years came from left-field, from writer/director/star Lake Bell, playing the daughter of a famous voiceover artist trying to get out from under dad’s reputation. It’s sentimental in all the right ways too.

 

The Canyons (2013, dir: Paul Schrader)

The sensational Lindsay Lohan’s “right, I’m back” movie is also Paul Schrader’s best for decades, a turning over of the paving slab to see what low-lifes slither about beneath. It’s The Canyons, not The Hills, so don’t expect Hollywood to come out smelling of anything but bad drugs, mercenary sex and broken dreams.

 

Stranger by the Lake (2013, Alain Guiraudie)

Don’t watch if you can’t take the sight of gay male sex. If you can you get a remarkable French drama about a killer at large on a nudist beach where homosexual omerta guarantees him a free ride, in any way he fancies. It’s beautifully composed, dramatically as taut as you like and even the soundscape is a thing of wonder.

 

Under the Skin (2013, dir: Jonathan Glazer)

How odd that Scarlett Johansson suddenly cornered the female sci-fi market (with this, the Avengers movies, Her and Lucy). This is the best of the bunch, with ScarJo playing a killer (in every sense) alien who cruises round Glasgow, Scotland, enticing men into her white van and then taking them back to her lair. Shot painstakingly with real, unsuspecting Glaswegians picked up off the street playing the dupes, it’s a triumphant return to movies for writer/director Jonathan (Sexy Beast) Glazer.

 

Of Horses and Men (2013, dir: Benedikt Erlingsson)

There are scenes in this elemental Icelandic movie that you will never have seen before, some hilarious, others just jaw-droppingly wha? It’s a unique rural drama that seems to suggest that people are at their happiest and least stressed when they behave most like animals. Watch that young woman swish her tail when the visiting Spaniard shakes his mane. Brilliant.

 

Norte, The End of History (2013, dir: Lav Diaz)

A four hour epic shot in long continuous beautifully framed takes, about a rich young law student and the poor street-pedlar woman whose life he affects maximally without even realising what he’s done. Wait two hours for the first “what the hell just happened” moment, and then another 90 minutes for the second, while a new (to me) master Lav Diaz casts his spell.

 

 

Only Lovers Left Alive (2013, dir: Jim Jarmusch)

If you were going to cast the supercoolest vampire film ever, you’d want Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston in it. And you’d want Jim Jarmusch to direct it, wouldn’t you? That’s exactly what you get with this aching paean to immortal hipsterism shot in crumbling Detroit and labyrinthine old Tangier. No one ever says “I feel so very very tired,” as they do in cornier movies, but that’s the spirit. Plus jokes, hipster jokes.

 

 

Goodbye to Language (2014, dir: Jean-Luc Godard)

At one level Jean-Luc Godard’s boy-meets-girl drama of collaged visual styles and overlapping dialogue looks like the result of using every preset on Final Cut Pro software; at another it’s a brilliant exercise in trying to reformulate film syntax. Genius.

 

Edge of Tomorrow (2014, dir: Doug Liman)

Tom Cruise as a soldier repeatedly being killed, each time back to life a little bit tougher, sharper, wiser in Doug Liman’s sci-fi extravaganza that looks, feels, smells like something Arnold Schwarzenegger would have graced in the 1980s.

 

Welcome to New York (2014, dir: Abel Ferrara)

Abel Ferrara’s drama about/not about Dominic Strauss Khan and his sexual escapades in New York looks like it was shot entirely on one camera, stars Gérard Depardieu and Jacqueline Bisset and suggests obliquely that the people who run the planet are sociopaths.

 

 

 

 

 

Honourable mentions

 

Gary Bond sinks a beer in Wake in Fright
Gary Bond sinks a beer in Wake in Fright

 

Wake in Fright (1971, dir: Ted Kotcheff)

A restored 1971 Australian classic about a nice schoolteacher having a wild weekend of up-close Ocker masculinity out in the Outback of the Outback.

 

Blue Is the Warmest Colour (2013, dir: Abdellatif Kechiche)

Lesbian sex was its big sell but it’s the acting that’s the thing in this slow (as in Slow Food slow) French drama about a young girl’s sentimental education.

 

Klown (2010, dir: Mikkel Nørgaard)

The Danes do comedy in this road movie about two inadequate blokes and a ten-year-old boy on a “tour de pussy”. Inappropriate comedy fans, this is for you.

 

All Is Lost (2013, dir: JC Chandor)

Robert Redford is all at sea on a sinking yacht in the virtually wordless thriller from JC Chandor, who made the banking business sexy with Margin Call and proves lightning does strike twice here.

 

Fossil (2014, dir: Alex Walker)

A British couple in trouble are befriended by a lovey-dovey twosome in this four-hander that looks good, hits a few deep notes and goes as badly whacked-out as outsider-couple dramas generally do.

 

Back to the Garden (2013, dir: Jon Sanders)

Really? A film set in Kent (the “Garden of England”) and made for nothing? Yes, and you won’t find a better recent film about confronting that moment when you realise your parents’ generation are dead and your lot are next.

 

Dallas Buyers Club (2013, Jean-Marc Vallée)

Part of the McConaissance, with Matthew McC as the homo-hating cowpuncher who discovers he’s HIV+ and breaks the law to fix himself. A brilliant exercise in Hollywood storytelling economy.

 

The Past (2013, dir: Asghar Farhadi)

Asghar Farhadi casts The Artist’s Bérénice Bejo as the woman about to marry for the third time, to a man with a wife in coma. How the wife ended up in the coma is what this subversive, complexly plotted drama is all about.

 

The Lunchbox (2013, dir: Ritesh Batra)

A Mumbai desk jockey gets the wrong lunchbox at work and starts up a relationship with the neglected wife who prepared it. Life-changes all round in this lovely romance made with a very light touch.

 

An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker (2013, dir: Danis Tanovic)

A dirt-poor Roma man tries to get medical help for his pregnant wife in this immensely sweet drama that comes with this seal of authenticity – it really happened, and to this lovely couple.

 

The Lego Movie (2014, dir: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller)

The incredibly smart Lego people got Phil Lord and Christopher Miller of 21 Jump Street to script/direct their movie, a fast-moving Star Wars-y affair with Liam Neeson and Will Ferrell its standout voices. Four viewings necessary.

 

Starred Up (2013, dir: David Mackenzie)

The best British jail drama since Scum, all those years ago, with a starry turn by Jack O’Connell as the new lag running into all the usual bad stuff inside. Spectacular.

 

Locke (2013, dir: Steven Knight)

Tom Hardy sitting inside a car for 90 minutes and making phone calls. That’s all there is to this super-high-concept drama that screws more tension out of the situation than you could imagine possible.

 

Blue Ruin (2013, dir: Jeremy Saulnier)

A hillbilly milquetoast is forced into an unlikely revenge-driven killing spree in a drama that grips from the first second and holds you there till the grisly end.

 

The Counselor (2013, dir: Ridley Scott)

Ridley Scott and Cormac McCarthy’s loquacious drama about a high-flying lawyer who hasn’t realised he’s swimming with the sharks (Javier Bardem, Brad Pitt). A sleek, ratchet-like thriller of pitiless inevitability.

 

Sofia’s Last Ambulance (2012, dir: Ilian Metev)

So simple, so effective, a documentary that follows a Bulgarian ambulance team and focuses entirely on them, never the people they’re treating. Tight, unusual, very humane.

X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014, dir: Bryan Singer)

The best of the X-Men movies gains a position in this list because of director Bryan Singer’s sheer ability to keep so many stories, characters and settings constantly in play. And his observation that the 1970s might as well now be an alien universe is interesting too.

 

 

 

 

The Underrated

 

Antonia Campbell-Hughes and Julian Morris in Kelly + Victor
Antonia Campbell-Hughes and Julian Morris in Kelly + Victor

 

Kelly + Victor (2012, dir: Kieran Evans)

A nice lad falls for a totally fucked up girl in this brilliantly acted, nicely observed Liverpool drama about a boy, a girl and a lot of bondage gear. No “ferry across the fucking Mersey” (the director’s words) visible. Hoo-fucking-ray.

 

Seduced and Abandoned (2013, dir: James Toback)

An exquisite and slyly clever documentary that’s not really a documentary at all, about old mates Alec Baldwin and James Toback talking to the movie world’s money men at Cannes. Fascinating, proper inside-Hollywood reveals.

 

Bad Grandpa (2013, dir: Jeff Tremaine)

Johnny Knoxville deserves the Sacha Baron Cohen award for bravery for the audacious stunts he pulls off as the titular grandpa, and Jackson Nicoll – what, 10-years-old maybe? – even more for his turn as the grandson. Yes, it’s a Jackass movie and that ship has sailed, but it’s also a very funny, one-of-a-kind affair.

 

Metro Manila (2013, dir: Sean Ellis)

A poor Filipino family moves to the big bad city and what looks like a drama about the innocent getting monstered turns into one of the best heist films of the year. Brilliantly made, brilliantly acted.

 

Safety Not Guaranteed (2012, dir: Colin Trevorrow)

Aubrey Plaza, one of those girls who can go from hot to not in the blink of an acting eye, dominates this no-budget smartly written mumblecore sci-fi about a rookie journalist chasing down a pudgy middle age guy who claims to have built a time machine. Fabulous.

 

Oldboy (2013, dir: Spike Lee)

Hated because a) it’s not as good as the original and b) people like to kick Spike Lee, who proves here he’s an intelligent, accomplished gun for hire, while Josh Brolin excels as the asshole incarcerated by person(s) unknown for 20 years and now wanting payback.

 

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013, dir: Ben Stiller)

Ben Stiller’s brilliantly crafted reworking of the story that Danny Kaye made a hit film with in 1947 – about a geek whose rich fantasy life starts to invade his real one – is too unclassifiable to hit the “best of” lists.

 

8 Minutes Idle (2012, dir: Mark Simon Hewis)

A simple British comedy about a Bristol call centre that’s clearly been written by someone who’s worked in one – the cameraderie of the drones is palpable, their maddened boredom too. And star Tom Hughes is great as a post-Uni slacker working out what to do next.

 

The Monuments Men (2014, dir: George Clooney)

OK, so it’s not a Tarantino movie. But George Clooney’s amiable comedy about a crack team saving art before the Nazis destroy it isn’t meant to be. It’s meant to be Von Ryan’s Express/Hogan Heroes reimagined. Job very much achieved.

 

The Invisible Woman (2013, dir: Ralph Fiennes)

Felicity Jones is surely going to get an Oscar one day, but this film actually belongs to Ralph Fiennes (who also directs) playing her lover, Charles Dickens, as the world’s first media celeb. It’s a sweet film about love, in the end, with intelligent digressions.

 

Felony (2013, dir: Matthew Saville)

A gritty Oz cop melodrama written by its star, Joel Edgerton, the supercop who fucks up one night and spends the rest of the film getting further and further in the shit as he tries to wriggle free. Tom Wilkinson contributes another of his sneakily intelligent peformances as Edgerton’s superior.

 

All This Mayhem (2014, dir: Eddie Martin)

If you’ve never heard of the Pappas brothers, Ben and Tas, this excellent and shocking documentary about their 1990s rise and fall is well worth the ride, even if you’ve no interest whatsoever in skateboarding.

 

God Help the Girl (2014, dir: Stuart Murdoch)

A strangely 1960s-ish and intensely cute love letter by Belle and Sebastian frontman/director Stuart Murdoch to his star, Emily Browning, here fetishised in a boy-meets-girl Scottish musical recalling – if you’re fanciful – The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.

 

Chef (2014, dir: Jon Favreau)

Jon Favreau is one of the great under-revered directors of our era, and Chef – a road movie about a celebrity chef getting his mojo back – is exactly the sort of easy-looking, effortlessly digestible charmer he seems to be able to knock out at will.

 

Mystery Road (2013, dir: Ivan Sen)

An Aborigine cop tries to find out who killed an Aborigine girl – with stone-faced resistance from his white co-workers – in a beautifully shot Down Under cowboy thriller with one of the best shootout finales ever committed to film.

 

The Congress (2013, dir: Ari Folman)

Waltz with Bashir director Ari Folman pushes animation even further this time, with a psychedelic meditation on fantasy and reality starring Robin Wright as an actress who is digitised and inserted into any set-up the imagineers fancy. Highly highly unusual.

 

 

 

The Overrated

 

Emile Hirsch and Paul Rudd in Prince Avalanche
Emile Hirsch and Paul Rudd in Prince Avalanche

 

Prince Avalanche (2013, dir: David Gordon Green)

Two guys paint a road and David Gordon Green swerves back into George Washington territory in a film that’s Waiting for Godot with Girl Trouble. Tim Orr’s camera is lovely, 1970s and sun-dappled, but there’s a hole where the meaning should be.

 

Blue Jasmine (2013, dir: Woody Allen)

Another of Woody Allen’s overhyped “returns to form”, this time featuring a relentlessly over-acting Cate Blanchett as a super-entitled bitch whose ship has sailed. Watch instead Sally Hawkins.

 

Thor: The Dark World (2013, dir: Alan Taylor)

Everything that’s wrong with bad superhero films in one film – too many characters, too much gobbledegook, a lack of humour, though Tom Hiddleston’s Loki remains a fun watch. More to come (sigh).

 

The Butler (2013, dir: Lee Daniels)

Lee Daniels’s epic about the black butler (Forest Whitaker) to a whole bunch of POTUSes attempts to square the radical tradition with the gradualist conservative move towards black civil rights. Proficient, nothing more.

 

Saving Mr Banks (2013, dir: John Lee Hancock)

How Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) strongarmed PL Travers (Emma Thompson) into letting him film her Mary Poppins. The leads are genuinely fabulous and brilliant, but all that Travers backstory? Really?

 

Frozen (2013, dir: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee)

On my own here, I know, a triumph for lovers of adenoidal singing of the sort of Broadway songs that Eric Idle spoofed so brilliantly with his Song That Goes Like This. The snowman and reindeer are funny but the central characters, what utter drips.

 

The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014, dir: Wes Anderson)

It still hasn’t sunk into Wes Anderson’s head that a) a little whimsy goes a long way and b) it has to be in the service of something, if only a good story. Here, though Ralph Fiennes is joyously funny as a devious owner of an old Mitteleuropean hotel, as a film it’s Sachertorte with cream, then more cream.

 

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014, dir: Marc Webb)

Marc Webb’s second pop at Spider-Man is immeasurably worse than the first, fails to weld live-action into increasingly cartoonish set-ups, has too many villains, and feels like little more than a franchise placeholder or a sop to fanboys who will buy any old crap.

 

22 Jump Street (2014, dir: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller)

The jokes were all done in 21 Jump Street – and Phil Lord and Christopher Miller’s extensive running gag in the closing credits, in which they trail the franchise’s development all the way to 34 Jump Street: Return of the Ghost – shows they know it. Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum remain a hot combo though.

 

And if you want to watch or buy any of the films, this Amazon link will allow you to do just that – enjoy!

 

© Steve Morrissey 2014