April 23, 2012
I am powerless to resist you, Channing Tatum
I don't know how this happened, but about half an hour into 21 Jump Street, I suddenly became a Channing Tatum fan. I'd seen him in other movies, and he's always been fine, I guess, but not especially memorable. He delivers his lines a little flat sometimes, he's got that tan and those eyes that are set close together and that thick neck and muscle-bound body--he's someone else's kind of movie fantasy guy. Ladies like me, we go for Joseph Gordon-Levitt or Clive Owen. Guys who at least occasionally appear in movies where they don't take their shirts off.
Well, so much for that. Those days are over and now I love Channing Tatum. It turns out he's really funny! I don't think he had done a comedy before 21 Jump Street, not that I've seen, but he's got excellent timing and reactions, and when he pretended to hump a new arrest or stuck his fingers down Jonah Hill's throat to try to make him barf, I was won over forever. I'm never watching The Vow or the dozens of other romances he'll probably do in the next ten years, but any comedy where he says "Let's just finger each other's mouths," I'm there.
Cue: the Magic Mike trailer. Now that Steven Soderbergh has cast Channing Tatum in two movies in a row, I think I've got some cinematic credibility to cling to. He's good! Steven Soderbergh says so! In the Times article about Tatum's inevitable Next Big Star status, Soderbergh says, "I certainly would never place him in that category of young actors who get hired just because they look good. He comes with ideas that are well thought out but also doesn't take himself too seriously, which is really refreshing." This guy is so good at not taking himself too seriously that he can star in a movie (based on his own life) as a super hunky stripper in which he comes off as a modest, decent, kind of sweet guy. (In the trailer, which is good enough for me.)
Of course, he's got Matthew McConaughey as his flamboyant father-stripper-figure foil, who, as my friend T-Rock said, steals the show in the 5 seconds he's on screen ("I see a lotta law breakers up in this house!") I predict this is going to be one really fun movie with irresistible charm and unstoppable abs, and I don't want to discuss how many times I've watched this trailer.
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