Movie review: ‘22 Jump Street’ |

Movie review: ‘22 Jump Street’

The inspired pairing of Jonah Hill as Schmidt and Channing Tatum as Jenko; a pair of bumbling, undercover cops; is taken out for a respin in "22 Jump Street," a surprisingly amusing sequel. After successfully busting a high-school drug ring four years earlier, the now grown-up buds undercover adventures yield a string of dismal failures. Called on the carpet by chief Hardy (Nick Offerman) after their latest investigation fails to yield a bust — but leaves the department saddled with an outsized bill — the duo is given one last chance to reproduce their first and only success. Originally drawn from the '80s TV show starring Johnny Depp as a serious undercover cop going back to high school, the premise has been twisted and tied into a series of goofy knots. As one character observes, "Nobody cared about the Jump Street reboot, but, because it worked, this department has invested a lot of money to make sure Jump Street keeps going." Skewering itself and its likable main characters, the film not only defuses criticism about revisiting essentially the same plot, it also recruits viewers to be in on the jokes. When a dangerous designer drug begins making the rounds at fictional university MC State, the boys, now pushing 30, go undercover once again, this time as college students. Jenko is awestruck, observing, "I'm the first person in my family to pretend to go to college." Schmidt, short and rolly-polly in contrast to Jenko and his statuesque jock body, falls in with the artistic crowd and under the spell of art student Maya (Amber Stevens). Jenko bonds with Zook (Wyatt Russell), a dumb blond Dudley Dooright look-alike who happens to be the football team quarterback and president of a popular fraternity. While Jenko digs rushing the fraternity, being Zook's running back and lifting weights with his new best bro, Schmidt hankers for the days when he and Jenko went everywhere together. Schmidt's girly complaints about their relationship prompts Jenko to suggest, "We should each investigate other people and sow our cop wild oats." Jillian Bell, turning up in a notable role as Maya's petulant roommate, is brilliantly contemptuous and continually ratchets up the tension for Schmidt, whose insecurities go busting out all over. Appearing as Jenko and Schmidt's police captain, Ice Cube supplies comical anger, glaring at the boys as he warns them, "Someone assumed that if they paid twice as much for the sequel it would bring in twice the profit." He isn't too far off. While the first installment earned $36 million during its opening weekend, the sequel brought in $60 million during the same time frame. It seems Sony studio execs knew precisely what they were doing when they decided to give the franchise another go. Action rolled into the ending credits and depicts the boys going undercover at various educational institutions (culinary school, army boot camp, etc.) for Jump Street operations that extend all the way to number 34. These hilarious vignettes have me hoping that's exactly what they do.

Jumping Back To The Future

As a pair of 25-year-old rookie cops, actors Jonah Hill (29) and Channing Tatum (31) push the envelope, but the credibility of their characters is smashed when they are sent back to high school in order to bust a designer drug ring. Even if you buy it, the premise of this comedy makes “21 Jump Street” creepier than many horrors. Since it’s also a reboot of a middling ’80s crime drama, the film sends up Hollywood remakes of mediocre material. No one is safe, including Capt. Dickson (Ice Cube), a self-proclaimed angry black man, miffed off over his assignment overseeing the revived 21 Jump Street program, because, “All they do is recycle sh-t from the past … and expect us not to notice.” Capt. Dickson, a firm believer in stereotypes, informs his new recruits, “You’ve been assigned to go back to high school because you’re too all immature for regular police work.” It just so happens he’s right, especially about beefcake Jenko – played by a blank-looking Tatum. The captain makes an underwater basket weaving class schedule for Jenko that includes track, band, P.E. and drama. Jenko’s partner on the undercover assignment is Schmidt (Hill), who’s lack of social skills and high academy grades prompts the captain to put the nerd in honors chemistry. The film further plays with these types by switching their records, thus sending the jock into chemistry and the nerd into drama. That part of the film works well, as does requiring the recruits to pose as brothers and live with Schmidt’s aging hippie mom (Caroline Aaron). Schmidt is pleased to find himself accepted by the cool kids, including an ecology-obsessed, designer-drug dealer (Dave Franco), whose galpal Molly (Brie Larson), takes a shine to the new guy. Meanwhile, Jenko discovers that nerds dig blowing things up, and are geniuses when it comes to tapping cell phones. The film, co-written by Hill, regularly sinks into vulgarity that trades polished wit for raunchy, homophobic, penis jokes. Likewise, the story’s muddled action sequences consistently earn “C’s” and “D’s.” The situational humor works best when focused on the troubled friendship between its unlikely costars, and the unexpected elements each brings to his new high school clique. The setting provides an opportunity to make keen observations about the constantly shifting perspective of what is and isn’t “cool” among teens, blaming the current environment of PC tolerance on TV shows such as “Glee.” Creepy bits included, there’s little new here – but when it works, the story boldly goes where others have gone before.

Truckee boy’s letter to a horse gets published

TRUCKEE – When Philadelphia-based horse Smarty Jones lost the Belmont Stakes last summer, fifth-grader Kelly Schmidt cried, and he’s not afraid to admit it. “One horse (Birdstone) beat him by a half a length. I bawled,” the 10-year-old said. Schmidt, of Truckee, felt a special connection to the horse, he said. Smarty had overcome a lot of adversity as a racehorse – like his small size and an accident that almost cost him his eye – and the horse hailed from Philadelphia, just like Schmidt’s family. “When he won the Kentucky Derby, I was really excited because I was like ‘Wow, a horse from Philadelphia.’ He was a great horse from a very low-class track,” Schmidt said. After recovering from Smarty Jones’ foiled Triple Crown bid at Belmont, Schmidt sent his condolences to the farm where the horse had retired. In his letter, Schmidt told Smarty how disappointed he was with the loss. “The way I wrote it – I didn’t want to make it sound phony,” Schmidt said of the letter he sent to Smarty’s owners. “I think they knew how much I love this horse.” Schmidt wasn’t alone. In the summer of 2004 alone Smarty Jones received more than 1 million pieces of mail from his admirers. The people who owned the farm where Smarty retired weren’t sure what to do with all the mail, so they approached a publishing company to place them in a book. Jump forward a few months. In early November 2004, the Schmidts received a knock at their door. A woman, also with the last name of Schmidt, told Kelly Schmidt that a man at a book publishing company was looking for him. Since the Schmidts were listed, the woman went to the chamber of commerce to find the Schmidt family’s address. A publishing company, looking for Kelly Schmidt, had called all the Schmidts in Truckee to track him down. His letter had been chosen to appear with 79 other letters in the book “Dear Smarty, A Collection of Letters Written to Smarty Jones,” and the writer, Billy Valentine, wanted to interview him. After he found out, “I think I was in a state of shock,” Schmidt said. The woman got to Schmidt just in time – it would be a matter of weeks before the book went to print. “If it wasn’t for her, this never would have happened,” he said. In the following week, Valentine interviewed Schmidt three times, and “Dear Smarty” was released just after Christmas. In the book, Valentine had a lot to say about Schmidt: “Kelly Schmidt is an absolutely amazing 10-year-old young man, and one of the nicest people you will find anywhere,” Valentine wrote. “He fell in love with (Smarty Jones) when he found out Smarty had overcome so much adversity.”

Schmidt says ties should be left to hockey

Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt avoided giving his opinion of the controversial All-Star Game tie as slickly as he played third base for the Philadelphia on Wednesday. After several requests to answer the question during a teleconference for the American Century Celebrity championship, the 10-time Gold Glove winner finally answered, “Only in the stupid sport of hockey can you have a tie.” Baseball commissioner Bud Selig called off Tuesday’s All-Star Game with the scored tied at 7 after 11 innings because the teams’ pitching staffs had been exhausted. Schmidt played in 11 All-Star games, but he said the mid-season classic was approached differently back in the 1970s and ’80s. “When we went there, whatever it took to beat the American League, that’s what we were going to do,” he said. “Some guys played whole games. They wanted to pitch in that All-Star Game even if they pitched nine innings that Sunday. “There is a lot more intention being put on not hurting them and being aware of when they are scheduled to pitch next and not overworking them.” The eight-time home run king and three-time National League MVP attended the game in Milwaukee but left after seven innings to catch a flight home. “I thought the environment at the All-Star Game was as exciting of an environment as I’ve ever seen,” Schmidt said. His opinion didn’t change once he reached his set. Just as he was sitting down, Twins center fielder Torii Hunter extended his elbow over the eight-foot wall while robbing San Francisco’s Barry Bonds of a home run in the first inning. “I don’t know if you’d see that kind of catch 20-25 years ago,” Schmidt said. “I only say that because their walls are padded. So when they jump they don’t end up hanging on a fence or post. Our walls were cement or plywood.”

Etherton sets Aces’ record with 13 Ks

RENO – Seth Etherton pitched the Aces to their fifth straight victory Saturday night, striking out a career-high-tying 13 batters in a 10-1 Reno win over Fresno on Saturday night at Aces Ballpark. Etherton (11-8) tossed eight innings of near-flawless ball, allowing just one run on four hits. His 13 strikeouts set an Aces’ franchise record, as he kept Fresno off-balance throughout the evening. Jose Marte tossed a scoreless ninth to seal the victory for Reno. The Aces jumped on the Grizzlies early with five first-inning runs. Reno sent 10 men to the plate in the first, with Taylor Harbin leading the charge with a two-run double. Konrad Schmidt and Etherton added run-scoring singles in the frame as Reno took a 5-0 lead and coasted to the victory. T.J. Brewer took the loss for Fresno in his first-career Triple-A appearance. Brewer was making his first appearance since being promoted to Fresno from Single-A San Jose. Harbin (2 for 4, four RBI) has now reached base in all four of his Triple-A starts, and improved his average to .462 (6 for 13) with Reno. Schmidt, another call-up from Single-A Visalia, went 3 for 4 with an RBI. The Aces go for the series victory Sunday, as they send right-hander Tony Barnette (13-8, 5.80 ERA) to the mound. Fresno counters with righty Matt Kinney (8-13, 5.25 ERA). The Spitball Gang will make an appearance at Aces Ballpark Sunday, with first pitch set for 5:05 p.m.

Lambdin helps Vikings finish sixth

South Tahoe distance runner Kate Lambdin won the 3,200-meter run in 12 minutes, 13.40 seconds and the team’s 4×800 relay team took first and also set a school record on Saturday at the Bishop Manogue Invitational in Reno. The 4×800 relay team made up of Heather Newman, Kimmy Arroues, Kylie Noll and Kelsey McClurg finished in 9:55.90, more than 15 seconds faster than second-place Reno (10:11.10). Those two first-place finishes for the Vikings helped them take sixth out of 11 teams. Reno won the meet with 143 points and was followed by McQueen (114.5) and Douglas (99). Noll, a sophomore, placed second in the 1,600 (5:39) and was about seven seconds slower than first-place Nicole LaJeunesse of Reno (5:32.08). South Tahoe’s Stephanie Hansen took third in the 100 meter hurdles (17.69) and Jordan Dalton placed fifth in the 800-meter run (2:34.40). The Vikings’ Camilla Johansen took fifth with a mark of 92 feet, 8 1/4 inches in the discus. Reno’s Joelle Sebaaly won the event with a mark of 114 feet, 8 1/4 inches. In the boys’ meet, South Tahoe’s Ben Booker placed second in the triple jump with a mark of 40 feet, 1/2 inch. Damonte Ranch’s Josh Butler won the event with a jump of 42 feet, 5 inches. South Tahoe’s Alex Hand placed eighth in the 400-meter dash (54.52), an event McQueen’s Pat Delaplain won in 51.25. The South Tahoe boys finished in 12th place with nine points. McQueen won the event with 127.5 points and was followed by Reed (113) and Reno (112). In the freshman/sophomore meet, South Tahoe freshman Rob Davenport won the triple jump with a mark of 40 feet, 5 inches. Davenport’s jump was watched by event worker and former STHS athlete Elliot Hubler, who is the school record holder in the triple jump (46 feet, 6 inches).

Snowboarder dies at camp

A failed landing to an aerial jump at Heavenly Ski Resort led to the death of a 19-year-old snowboarder last week. Megan Glendinning, 19, of Cobble Hill, British Columbia, was participating in a snowboarding camp at the resort on Tuesday when she took a jump and landed on her head without a helmet. The injury left her breathing but unconscious. Ski patrollers had her wrapped up and ready for transport when an air ambulance landed on Von Schmidt’s Trail at 3:10 p.m. Glendinning arrived at Washoe Medical Center 20 minutes later. Doctors kept her on life support until her family arrived from Canada. She was pronounced dead Thursday at 2:36 p.m. Steve Woods, deputy coroner at Washoe County Coroner’s Office, said a “closed head injury” caused Glendinning’s death. “There was nothing obvious. She didn’t look to have significant external injuries,” said Heather Summerby, a flight nurse at Cal Star. “When we got to her she was not a stable patient. I don’t think we could have done any different to change the outcome.” Molly Cuffe, director of communications at Heavenly, confirmed there had been a fatal accident at the resort. She said it happened in a terrain park on California Trail, an intermediate slope in the middle of the mountain.

Schmidt, Bartkowski withdraw

And then there were seven. Steve Bartkowski informed the American Century Championship on Tuesday that he won’t participate in the 54-hole tournament, trimming the number of players who have played in all 18 events to seven. No reason was given for Bartkowski’s inability to play in Friday through Sunday event at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course. Bartkowski finished 28 points behind winner Jack Wagner last year. Although he isn’t included on some entry lists, Dick Anderson is expected to play. Anderson, the 1994 winner, is one of the remaining seven stars who have played in each tournament. The shrinking list also includes Wagner, John Elway, Mike Eruzione, Neil Lomax, Jim McMahon and Maury Povich. There were two additional withdrawals on Tuesday. Hall of Fame third baseman Mike Schmidt, who played in the first 14 championships, won’t participate. Hockey player Jeremy Roenick pulled out of the tournament because of a family matter. Boller eyes top-20 finish As the second-string quarterback in Baltimore, Cal alum Kyle Boller is hoping to get an opportunity to play in the final year of his contract. The fifth-year player is backing up veteran Steve McNair. The Ravens’ QB depth chart also includes rookie Troy Smith (Ohio State) and second-year player Drew Olson (UCLA). “It’s the last year of my contract, so hopefully I’ll get a chance to get in there and play a little bit. I’ll just be ready when my time comes,” Boller said. “I’ll prepare just like I’m a starter. You never know. I got in there a few times last year and it went well.” Boller is excited that the Ravens now possess one of the top running backs in the league in Willis McGahee. “He’s really gonna help us out. He’s got breakaway speed and can catch the ball coming out of the backfield. I’m really looking forward to seeing him at training camp,” Boller said. Boller finished 37th in last year’s event, but he has sets his sights on a much higher placing this year. “I’ve been playing a lot better golf this year, so hopefully I’ll be able to compete. Top 20 would be awesome,” he said. We always get some name celebrities, but I’m sure there are more guys out there like Tony Romo. Three or four more guys like that every year would be great. I know some guys who play with him down in Florida, so I have an idea of how he plays. played mini tour event in beginning of June. I’ve played a ton of golf in the last six months. You could play five straight weeks and come here and everything could change. It’s a different animal and all you can do is be ready. If he’s good that’s great, that bodes well for the event. The more guys at the top, the better. Skiing and golf resorts … Ritz Carlton Club regional director in South Florida ; opening a club on the North Shore. Tolliver: The guys who are playing good this week will be the guys who will show up on Sunday. Romo just missed the cut at the Byron Nelson last year. He’s a dam good player. Everybody’s forgetting about Romo. It doesn’t matter with this guy. He’s good. The guy is a good player. The better watch out for him at 20-1. Everybody knows that I am the man. I’m so good i’s ridiculous. If I’m hitting my irons well, I’ll be all right, I’ll be in there come Sunday. Former NFL quarterback Billy Joe Tolliver (a two-time winner of the event): It doesn’t matter how much we’ve been playing, how many tournaments (we’ve played). We’ve been doing this tournament a long, long time. Everybody gears their game for this one event and everybody looks forward to it. Kyle Boller, Baltimore Ravens’ backup QB, 5th year. I love Tahoe. I grew up coming here as a kid. We had family friends here so we used to come up to the lake a lot. We used to snow ski and in the summers come here for boating. Each year this tournament gets better and better. There are such great guy that surround the event, NBC does a great job putting it together and the fans have a good time, and it’s very competitive and that’s what people love. I’ve been playing a lot better golf this year, so hopefully I’ll be able to compete. Top 20 would be awesome. It’s my last year of my contract so hopefully I’ll get a chance to get in there and play a little bit. I’ll just be ready when my time comes. I’ll prepare just like I’m a starter. You never know. I got in there a few times last year and it went well. I just have to try and do that again this year. Willis McGehee. He’s really gonna help us out. He’s got breakaway speed and can cath the ball coming out of the backfield. I’m really looking forward to seeing him at training camp.

Schmidt patiently waiting for first title

STATELINE – There could be a positive to aging for Hall of Fame third baseman Mike Schmidt. Schmidt is hoping that he’ll discover the patience that will vault him to the top of the American Century Championship leader board. “It’s something I’ve always had trouble with, the patience needed to win a golf tournament,” Schmidt said on Wednesday while working on his short game at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course. “My ego and my brain have kept me from winning. The big key with me is not making double bogeys, as it is with everybody. But I have a tendency to hit some wild drives. So if I can keep the ball in play off the tee and putt a little bit, I should be a contender, but I say that every year.” The eight-time National League home-run leader with the Philadelphia Phillies has long had his eyes on the ACC trophy, but he hasn’t been able to put a few bad holes behind him. “It starts to go a little bit bad, and I start losing confidence,” he said. “Now I’m a little older, and I’ve played a lot more golf, and I’ve got a lot better swing than I’ve had.” Schmidt appeared on the verge of winning his first championship in the mid-1990s, finishing in the top 10 three straight years. His best finish was fifth in 1995. But the top 10 has eluded him ever since. Schmidt, however, has only participated in the event two of the past four years. He managed in the minors for one season, but found it couldn’t pay all of his bills. “I didn’t make my mortgage payments,” he said. “Right now that window is shut for me. Life is too good without it, but I would never say never.” A lucrative personal services deal with Phillies gives Schmidt the freedom to again enjoy his retirement. But now the goal is to smile for the next three days. “I’ve always thrown in one bad round with two decent rounds. I’ve never put three good rounds together, and that’s my goal this year,” Schmidt said. “Quite honestly I’d like to say I’m one of the 15 guys who could win, but I haven’t proven myself.”

LTCC coach welcomes return of students

School is back in session at Lake Tahoe Community College and that’s good news for cross country coach Terry Adams-Schmidt. Only five Kokanee runners competed in last weekend’s meet in Rocklin, but Adams-Schmidt is hopeful of having a full complement of runners for upcoming Golden Valley Conference meets. “I’m looking forward to bringing two full teams to Shasta on Saturday, and I think we’ll do OK,” said Adams-Schmidt, whose first official practice was Monday afternoon. Tashia Steele and Russell Grant led the Kokanee in Rocklin. Steele, the only Kokanee female competitor, finished the 3.1-mile course in 26 minutes, 15 seconds for 82nd place. Grant completed the 4-mile men’s course in 26:43 for 142nd place. Nathan Coats and Michael Shalvoy came in 165th and 169th, respectively, with their times of 28:47 and 29:08. The team’s top returning runner, Dusty LaChappell, didn’t finish. Rosemarie Lagunas of West Valley won the women’s race in 18:32, while Sstoz Tess of Redwoods claimed first place in the men’s division with a time of 21:12. Adams-Schmidt is pleased that several of her runners have a couple of meets under their belts prior to the conference meet at 11 a.m. Saturday in Redding. “The main thing is they know the competition and the others don’t. They know who they are next to and who they need to pick off,” Adams-Schmidt said.