Jump for Jonah

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Photo Credit: movies.about.com

Photo Credit: movies.about.com

CW44_TMPowell_4x3 T.M. Powell
I'm CW44's Media Critic & '44 on the Town' Co-Host. I make...
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When Jonah Hill started to show up on the red carpet and premieres at the end of last summer, many people couldn’t believe how much weight he had lost. He looked like a totally different person! Instead of congratulating him on trying to improve his lifestyle and health people began to assume something else.

jonah hill weight loss Jump for Jonah

Photo Credit: huffingtonpost.com

They assumed since he had lost all the weight that he wasn’t going to be funny anymore and all his opportunities were going shrink like his waist line. What a stupid assumption! I guess it was his body type that was funny in Superbad and Get Him to the Greek and not his acting and comic abilities.  I might as well go down to an all-you-can-eat buffet and start a talent agency for comedy actors instead of writing for you good people. Luckily for Mr. Hill, all those assumptions about his weight loss and career future from the internet tough guy critics (that hide behind their screen names and monitors) couldn’t have been more wrong.

Since losing the weight, Jonah Hill has been nominated for an Oscar for his dramatic turn in Moneyball. He starred in The Sitter which was a modest moneymaker for its budget. He was also in the awesome Call of Duty commercial that ran all last Fall – kicking butt with action star Sam Worthington. Yes, in both Moneyball and The Sitter he was still carrying the weight but after this past weekend, I think we can put the whole weight loss and not being funny anymore issue to rest.

21 Jump Street opened to great reviews and a huge weekend box office made over $36 million and finally overtook the Lorax - something Disney’s John Carter couldn’t do. Jonah Hill was a huge part of the movie’s success: developing the project, serving as executive producer, and serving as lead actor.  He also made a couple of risky moves bringing 21 Jump Street to the big screen. First, he decided to turn the TV drama into an action-comedy. This formula has created issues with fans in the past- especially for fans of the original work. People like things for a reason and they don’t like it when people change things. Just ask how Michael Bay is feeling right now after being ridiculed for saying that when he brings the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to the big screen they will be aliens this time around.

The second risk was casting Channing Tatum as Hill’s undercover partner. Most people think of Tatum as Hollywood’s new hunk… no one knew the guy was so funny. Tatum steals the show in 21 Jump Street playing the dumb, former jock partner who has to go back to high school and see life through the nerd’s eye while undercover. It’s a great turn for Tatum, I could even write another big article about Tatum’s surprisingly great year. Tatum has ruled the box office this year and after his comedic turn this past weekend, I think even more doors will open to him in Hollywood.

Hill will continue to be a Hollywood player as well. He will appear in Neighborhood Watch with Ben Stiller and will be appearing as an exaggerated version of himself trying to survive in The Apocalypse with his buddies Jay Burachel, Seth Rogen, and my good buddy Danny McBride. I for one want to congratulate Jonah Hill for improving his health and showing the movie viewing public that it wasn’t his body type that was funny. It was him all along. The last thing we want is to lose another great comedic actor too soon (like John Candy) simply because they are not taking care of themselves.

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