Sunday, February 3, 2013

Channing Tatum's magical career

 In summer of  2010. all of my daughter's friends were crazy about  some young hunk from the ultimate tear- jerker,"Dear John". He was presumably the best looking guy anyone has seen in years, a stud  with a gentle heart,and his abs were to die for.

As I was spending a disastrous summer in the city, faced with a crash of  my grand plans about moving to another country,the time I spent  in front of  all my screens was quadruplicated.
The guy seemed familiar,and finally I remembered him from a charming comedy "She 's The Man" with one of the best young comedians,Amanda Bynes (God,what happened to that girl??!)

He played a dumb hot football star Duke to her witty and smart Viola.I liked the movie,I liked his character so I gave him another chance as John Tyree.And he was good. Handsome and hot of course but also really good. And when I say good I mean good FOR the part and IN the role.Not good in the GREAT ACTOR category but exactly the right person for that specific job.And this is one of my norms for recognizing GOOD actors. 

He was decent, unpretentious and touching.It was a perfect role for him, not to complicated,spare and manly.But it is a pity that the very important part of his character,his ability to love someone so deeply and selflessly,didn't come to full expression because of the tragic lack of chemistry between him and Amanda Seyfried.

It seemed to me that this guy had huge potential and I continued to follow his career.
Immediately I rented all the "Step up" movies which were good (no.1), and average (no.2).But his acting was decent again, his dancing  excellent, and  it is always great to see a multi talented performer.

Next was "Fighting" and  Shawn Mac Arthur.The character was well written and full of great opportunities for an actor. And he took them and played it perfectly.Even though it is essentially always the same guy Channing is showing us,I like him.He is kindhearted, sometimes burdened by his past,ingenuous but capable of surviving serious challenges,he is loyal and fierce,gentle and decent.
And Channing Taum is a generous partner,he gives his maximum to the role but leaves a lot of space for his co-stars.
His chemistry with Zulay Henao was excellent,far better then with Amanda Seyfried and till today I consider this to be one of his best performances.

"Stop-Loss" was my next stop and I was very excited since I am a big fan of the director Kimberly Peirce.
The movie was ok,not exceptional,but Channing played a correct partner to a very tense Ryan Philippe.

Since I started backwards,these were all roles that led to "Dear John" and in my opinion his big break in Hollywood blockbuster was well deserved.I still preferred him in comedies but I was excited to see what will come next.

And there it was,the not so great 2011.(for me neither so I was even more upset).Just a brief walk through some really awful movies(The dilemma,The Eagle,Son of no one,Ten years) and one that is an enigma for me (Haywire).

I understand the motives for working again with a director who loved him and who made two really good small movies before, but Dito Montiel blew it in the "Son of no one" and no one was there to save poor Channing (not even the legendary Al Pacino).He tried,he did the best he could but all in all it was awful.And it's a pity because the director showed us so much with so little means before.

I will spare everyone my opinion of his choice of the other roles, but  Zip in "The Dilemma" was strangely funny compared to the lack of enthusiasm of far bigger stars in the movie. 

"Haywire" is a movie I generally don't like nor understand  but Tatum was decent in it and it was a beginning of a cooperation that will prove him as one of the smartest actors in Hollywood.

2012. began with a disappointment but afterwards brought a lot of joy for me as Channing's devout follower. First let s talk about the disappointment, "The Vow".

Essentially it is not an awful movie,it did well at the box office but there is a constant problem with his female partners that culminated in this movie.Rachel McAdams is a beautiful woman and a good actress.And yet her Paige to his Leo was uninspired,irritating,cold and selfish (not as her character but as acting partner).
It was a nice romantic movie in which she did nothing except counter play a very humbled Tatum with a certain disdain that was not intended for her character. Another bad casting move when it comes to pairing him with his supposed love interests.

And then  no more romantic drama,just a great comedy."21 Jump Street" was pure perfection.His Jenko was exactly the role that he should do again and again,a role that puts all of his flaws in good use.He had a great partner,or to be precise partners,since all the cast with Jonah Hill as his co-star was brilliant.The simpleton who comes back in another era when the rules of popularity have changed had both heart and balls and endearing vulnerability thanks to Channing Tatum.

And finally "Magic Mike".Very smart and bold move,it could have easily gone wrong even with a great director like Soderbergh.But it didn't and I enjoyed it a lot. It was fun,it was serious and it was original.The cast ensemble was great and both Matthew McConaughey and Alex Pettyfer were excellent.

Tatum was completely himself and even though he had better roles,his creation of the movie project is what is so compelling.He let his partners play it to their best, which proves again that he is a very generous co-star. There is  one serious flaw in the casting department and that 's Cody Horn.But I have already said enough about the choice of his female partners.

The movie proved that he was one of the smartest young movie professionals in Hollywood.

There are great examples of actors who are clever enough to produce the kind of movies they love to star in,like Mark Wahlberg and on a completely different level Ben Affleck and I hope Channing Tatum will continue in that direction.He has overcome the prejudice that surrounds so many good looking actors and actresses,he has endured harsh criticism,he was ready to learn from his mistakes and proved that he can do much more than just act.

So here is my whisper to Channing Tatum:

- more comedies,less romantic movies,more Jenko less Leo
- very careful choice of dramatic roles,the affinity with the director is not always a guarantee of a good movie 
- expansion in production

And it seems that Chaning Tatum is listening to all our prayers and whispers,he continues producing,he did the next Jump Street movie and most importantly,he is triumphant with "Foxcatcher" premiering in Cannes to all around praise.
Finally ,a great dramatic role in a critically acclaimed movie with lot of exposure,Oscar buzz is already starting.


  1. I adore him. I need him to dig deep and find that way to connect to his female costar in a real way.
    I suspect meeting his wife in such a manner is holding him back in some way. I don't want him to go the way of the meat head leads.

  2. Me neither,I just love the guy,the real Channing Tatum guy and his dedication and struggle.He has come a long way and let's hope he keeps up the good work.