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Movies: Past, present and future

Category: 21 Jump Street

Fox alters 'Neighborhood Watch' campaign after Trayvon Martin death

March 27, 2012 |  2:48 pm

Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller, stars of the upcoming summer comedy "Neighborhood Watch," at an NBA basketball game

Twentieth Century Fox has pulled its teaser trailer and in-theater posters for the upcoming Ben Stiller-Vince Vaughn comedy "Neighborhood Watch" in light of the Trayvon Martin shooting that has sparked national protests. The film is set for release in July.

Starring Stiller, Vaughn, Jonah Hill and Richard Ayoade as four suburban dads who form a neighborhood watch to get away from their families and wind up having to battle aliens, "Neighborhood Watch" couldn't be further from the tragic circumstances of the Martin case in Florida, in which an unarmed black teenager was fatally shot by a neighborhood watch volunteer. Yet in the minute-long trailer, which debuted in theaters ahead of "21 Jump Street" and online just three days after the shooting, the four actors are seen cruising their leafy neighborhood in a minivan with Hill's character making a gun motion out the window. 

The in-theater promotional display shows a bullet-riddled street sign dripping with green goo. According to a Fox spokesperson, the materials were taken out of Florida theaters over the past week and will be removed from other theaters around the country in the coming days. Online, the trailer can still be found.

The studio wants to assure audiences that the film is in no way connected to the Martin case and will therefore accelerate to the second stage of its marketing campaign, one that focuses more on the alien invasion component of the film.

"We are very sensitive to the Trayvon Martin case, but our film is a broad alien invasion comedy and bears absolutely no relation to the tragic events in Florida," said a statement released by the studio. "The movie, which is not scheduled for release for several months, was made and these initial marketing materials were released before this incident ever came to light. The teaser materials were part of an early phase of our marketing and were never planned for longterm use."

The in-theater materials will be replaced with posters of the cast. Fox has not yet determined when a new trailer will debut.

This is not the first time a real-world event has coincided with a theatrical motion picture on a similar topic. Warner Bros. pulled Clint Eastwood's "Hereafter" -- which featured a deadly tsunami -- from the Japanese market after Japan's earthquake and tsunami hit last year. The British release for Warners' "V for Vendetta" was delayed in 2005 after the London subway bombings eerily echoed a key plot point in the vigilante-themed film.


Ben Stiller's 'Neighborhood Watch' begins to attract a crowd

Weinstein Co. to release 'Bully' documentary without MPAA rating

Summer showdown: Is there room for 2 action movies on the same day?

--Nicole Sperling

Photo: Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller, stars of the upcoming summer comedy "Neighborhood Watch," at an NBA basketball game in January. Credit: John Bazemore/AP

Box Office: '21 Jump Street' marks another hit for Tatum, Hill [Video]

March 19, 2012 | 12:10 pm

21 Jump Street was the No 1 film at the box office this weekend
Both Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill continued their box office hot streaks this weekend, as "21 Jump Street" hit the No. 1 position with $35 million worth of ticket sales.

Tatum, 31, proved to be a box office draw in February, when he lured young females to the multiplex in droves to see his romantic tear-jerker "The Vow." Hill, who has had plenty of success with comedies like "Superbad" and "Get Him to the Greek," also did well with more dramatic fare in last fall's "Moneyball."

But the film's stars weren't the only reasons for its success. Check out this week's box office video report for more on why "21 Jump Street" resonated with moviegoers.


'21 Jump Street' tops weekend box office

Does '21 Jump Street' prove the '80s naysayers wrong?

"21 Jump Street:" Channing Tatum-Jonah Hill bromance disarms critics

--Amy Kaufman


Photo: Channing Tatum, left, stars with Jonah Hill in "21 Jump Street." Credit: Sony Pictures.

Does '21 Jump Street' prove the '80s naysayers wrong?

March 19, 2012 | 10:29 am

'21 Jump Street' and the '80s renaissanceWith the 1980s renaissance now in full swing, the one pattern that's finally established itself is that there is no pattern.

Every time a movie puts a check mark in the pass column, another film comes along and, well, flunks out. “21 Jump Street,” Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum’s revival of the Fox network's school-set cop series, was a solid success this weekend with a $35-million opening and a surprisingly all-ages audience. But the results don’t really prove much.

Among the more high-profile 1980s properties released in theaters over the last couple of years, two have now been successes ("The Karate Kid" and "Jump Street") three have been disappointments ("The A-Team," "The Thing" and "Fright Night") and two have landed somewhere in the middle ("Footloose" and "A Nightmare on Elm Street").

Review: '21 Jump Street' has an endearing, punch-you-in-the-arm charm

That hardly offers a definitive argument in favor of the reboot (and, in fact, a split decision makes a sort of contrarian case, since the rationale for bringing back the 1980s in the first place was that properties from that era would be automatically advantaged).

Still, there’s at least an inference to be made about what’s worked within the subgenre — movies whose tone showed an awareness of the original, not to mention how much times have changed since. The new “Jump Street” took a goofy idea and treated it with irreverence; in fact, it didn't pay much attention to the conventions of the original at all.

On the other hand, the original “A-Team" was also silly, but Joe Carnahan took its explosions and escapes so seriously audiences could only laugh at the contrast.

Movie review: '21 Jump Street'

Even if another '80s movie never sees the light of day (and no such luck — “Red Dawn” is on its way later this year), the decade is coming back in other ways. You don't have to try too hard to see in "The Hunger Games" echoes of "The Running Man" and "Blade Runner. " And the upcoming  "American Reunion" will strike many as (an attempt at) a 21st century blend of the youth comedy of "Revenge of the Nerds" and the adult nostalgia of "The Big Chill." And so on.

In other words, those who are wondering what the results for new releases will mean for the 1980s renaissance need not waste their time: That renaissance is already here.


"21 Jump Street" is No. 1 with $35 million

"21 Jump Street:" Channing Tatum-Jonah Hill bromance disarms critics

Back to school with "21 Jump Street"

— Steven Zeitchik


Photo: The new film "21 Jump Street." Credit: Sony Pictures.

'21 Jump Street': Channing Tatum-Jonah Hill bromance disarms critics

March 16, 2012 |  2:31 pm

Though ostensibly based on the '80s cult TV series of the same name, the new action-comedy "21 Jump Street" also draws heavily on buddy-cop conventions, "Superbad"-style high-school high jinks and the grand tradition of the stoner bromance (see also: the "Harold & Kumar" films, "Pineapple Express"). For all its raunchy familiarity, the film, which stars Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum as rookie cops going undercover to bust a drug ring in their old high school, is charming critics.

Times film critic Betsy Sharkey writes that "21 Jump Street" has "an endearing, punch-you-in-the-arm-because-I-like-you-man charm" and that Hill and Tatum display "great goofball gusto." Both actors — "rock hard" Tatum and "squishy soft" Hill — "bring a kind of vulnerability to their characters that makes whatever mayhem they are up to OK." Sharkey notes that the film is not only about but also created by a buddy pair: Phil Lord and Christopher Miller ("Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs"), who "clearly understand the push-and-pull and hyper-competitiveness that make guy friendships both complex and stupid."

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