Friday, 26 August 2016
JONAH HILL Feature-KING OF THE COMEDY HILL
By TIM DAVID HARVEY
Hollywood hills there's a new King Of Comedy in movies right now...and his name is Jonah. Straight out the Weezer, millennial generation of the American Dream deferred, this Supergood actor flipped jump streets and showed he can make the Academy sit up and take notice. Even when they've stopped laughing. All the way to a pushed envelope. No wonder 'The Revenant' Leonardo DiCaprio is stopping his fellow wolf in the street like a crazed fan. Everyone wants a selfie with one of the biggest stars in pictures today. He is the portrait of the next generation of multi-talented actors applying themselves to multiple crafts whilst everyone else in his peer group are too busy swiping through endless iPhone apps. So the next time you try and Snapchat a crown on to yourself, know that this guy has been watching the throne for years. This Cavalier talent sitting on it for as long as LeBron. At 32 he's around the same age too. King for King. From the court to the royal one of jesters.
It's time the movie world finally gave this kid his due. After scoring bit parts in top comedies 'The 40 Year Old Virgin' and 'Click', Hill finally changed the channel and got lucky when it came to the big time. First being 'Accepted' in a Justin Long college dorm comedy, before leading his own one for the behind the bike-sheds stoner generation for 'Superbad' in 2007. One of the best comedies of the past decade (can you believe it's that old) and 'The Hangover' for the teenage dirtbag generation (not so young now are you kids...I mean how dated is that reference? Yep I'm almost 32 too!). The film stands the test of time, a Summer smash which you have to open that season with every year you open it up out your DVD shelf. You know every household has a copy...even if most parents try to hide it. They, like any critic of what was a millennial 'Waynes World' on something a little stronger than 80's metal hair spray are left on their own now. Maybe they could have dessert with Michael Glansberg?! Because 'Superbad' was oh too good and super. Dynamite like Napoleon. Forget voting for Pedro! McLovin became the new locker room icon in bifocals. And it was all lead by Jonah, starring alongside Seth Rogen with his fellow curly haired 'fro and Johnny Cash shirt. Racking up the big numbers in '07, in a year that also saw him cash in on some appearances in 'Knocked Up' and 'Walk Hard: The Dewy Cox Story'. The kid came out of nowhere...and it was clear he was going nowhere.
And everywhere at the same time. Because this guy was in everything. The following year heard his voice hearing a who with 'Horton', before he helped that guy that met your mother forget 'Sarah Marshall'. Comedy greats began to notice and pick up on his talent like Rogen in 'Knocked Up' or John C. Reilly working with him again for the darkly funny 'Cyrus'. Or Ben Stiller nightwatching him for a cameo in the 'Battle Of The Smithsonian', 'Night At The Museum' sequel and co-star Ricky Gervais giving this genuine talent a significant spot on 'The Invention Of Lying', whilst Jonah was still inventing himself. But then between funnier 'Forgetting Sarah Marshall' spin-offs with Russell Brand (the breakout star-power confirmed 'Get Him To The Greek') and feature vocals on franchise 'How To Train Your Dragon' and Pixar generation stand-alone, 'Megamind' (finding another new niche), Jonah re-invented himself past the young-adult critical age of 25. Just when everyone thought he only belonged to the 'Funny People' world of co-stars and contemporaries like Rogen and Adam Sandler. Hill swung big and knocked it out the park for his biggest hit to that date 'Moneyball'. As Brad Pitt's Billy Beane charcater plucked him out of obscurity like the over-looked statistically proven talents of the baseball players in this true life story that saw the basement Oakland Athletics almost make it to the ceiling of big league teams like the New York Yankees. 'Moneyball' was an inspired underdog story that proved it wasn't all about money before Jonah starred in more dramas that showed just how dark the American Dream gets when it turns all on a dollar and a dime. Sure Hill was characteristically funny in this movie...but he was something else too. That's when guys with names like Oscar started to look his way. Or Hancock's associated with that gold like Scorsese and Leo. Sure Jonah would play 'The Sitter' on classic comedies like the out of this Costco, small-town world 'The Watch' (back on night-shift duty with Stiller) and new Frat Pack ensembles like 'This Is The End' (yes being Jonah Hill..."from 'Moneyball'" didn't make him too big to still work with Seth and play himself in more ways than one), but this big hitter, still seeming only a balls throw away from his rookie year had more than one strike to his name and drama game.
That's when Marty came calling. 'Moneyball' may just be that movie that makes overlooked talent the stars they deserve (See Also: Pratt, Chris; Lord, Star). Because between forging a new force of a retro flipped, modern mainstream comedy franchise with opposite dramatic, turned comedic all-round talent, Channing Tatum in '21 Jump Street' (and it's no sophomore slump sequel '22' that may rack up the numbers and crazily cross-over with the 'Men In Black' team...hey if anyone can make that neuralyzing crazy shtick work it's those two. They may just even make a Superman and Green Lantern spin-off off their 'LEGO Movie' cameo like Will Arnett's Batman. That will make Tatum forget all this 'X-Men', 'Gambit' card flushing) and a 'go to the restroom' and you'll miss it cameo in Quentin Tarantino's 'Django Unchained', Hill finally starred alongside hero DiCaprio on-screen, instead of just the same credits, roll billing. And Scorsese's fake-cocaine snorting crazy 'The Wolf Of Wall Street' was real money for Hill. Howling all the way through, with equal parts comedy and tragedy for a man that was all-in this time. Save the classic cameos for McConaughey in the 'True Detective', Matthew's 'Dallas Buyers Club' Oscar winning year with the Joker in the fall that Aussie Harley Quinn, Margot Robbie broke out. Because 'Supporting Actor' Jonah got an Academy nomination too in what should have been this years finally Oscar winning Leo's one. And face it every time you see a shoe by Steve Madden now who do you think of? It won't be long before Jonah get's his name on one too. And we aren't talking about no stiletto statue. Because in all these money movies it's more than balling. It's real, dramatic acting with a satirical slice of humor for that comic relief in a world that really needs it. Now after cameo calling with Channing again, stamping his mark on the latest Cohen, ensemble classic, 'Hail Caesar' and attending another Seth Rogen 'Sausage Party', it's clear Jonah Hill is only in competition with himself...or Miles Teller. Going to war with the fellow dog-who has been racking up the big hits and numbers like a bank teller, from 'Whiplash' to 'Bleed For This'-for their latest big hit 'War Dogs' from 'The Hangover' direction/production team of Todd Phillips and co-star Bradley Cooper for the 'Superbad' star. And in what looks to be the big-third of Jonah's dramatic trilogy delivery, after what he learnt about money and balls on 'Wall Street', it's clear this dogs had more than his day. He's the wolf now! Ooooow!