21 Jump Street a winner 

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Back in the days when Vancouver was just starting to get noticed as a bankable place for film and TV production, a new network named FOX anchored their Sunday nights around a Vancouver-based show called 21 Jump Street. The show, about young-looking cops infiltrating a high school, was nothing special but it did launch the career of Johnny Depp (but not Richard Greico) and now, 21 years since it went off the air, 21 Jump Street the movie opens this week at both Whistler's Village 8 and Squamish's Garibaldi 5.

Jonah Hill (Moneyball, Strange Wilderness) and Channing Tatum (GI JOE, Haywire) star as cops on the undercover high school beat, hoping to bust up a violent drug ring. Those pesky teenage drug rings are serious business but the odd-couple cops discover the real terror is high school itself.

Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller are best known for the animated hit Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (which is pretty funny) and they make the crossover to live action quite smoothly. 21 Jump Street is well crafted and pretty streamlined — it's frontloaded with humour and lags a tiny bit towards the end (when the violence kicks in) but who doesn't love a movie that features Ice Cube, a car chase and ends at prom?

Hill and Tatum show good chemistry and the result is a decent, light, action comedy. 21 Jump Street is rated "R."Or is it? My comrades at the Village 8 recently called me out for misleading you, dear readers, by rating movies using the American (MPAA) system when here in B.C. we actually have our own system. So 21 Jump Street, an "R" in the U.S., is only a "14A" up here (kids under 14 need adult accompaniment).

The problem is, not all MPAA rated "R" films become "14A's" in B.C. Some of the time they become "18A" (under 18 needs an adult) and sometimes they stay as "R" (no one under 18 is allowed in whether they have an adult with them or not.)

Our "R" is a lot like the U.S.'s "NC-17" but just to make sure you're confused we also have an "A" rating, which stands for "adult" and means essentially the same thing as "R" except that "A" films have no "artistic, historical, political, educational or scientific merit."

Are you following me? Good because it gets worse. Each province also has it's own independent system. So Goon, the awesome hockey movie, is rated "18A" in B.C., "R" in the States and "13+" in Quebec. Act of Valor, the Navy Seals shoot-em-up, also gets an "R" down south but just a "14A" in B.C. And yet in Nova Scotia it gets both "14A" and "R" ratings depending on what theatre you attend (and in Quebec it gets a "13+").

The Territories go by Alberta's ratings, Newfoundland uses Nova Scotia's (who themselves use the MPAA half of the time) and it's one ridiculously convoluted mess. Quebec proves to be the most sensible province as their films are rated at "13+", "16+" and "18+" and Goon is totally acceptable for any 13 year old, as it should be.

The point of it all is that while the Village 8 uses the B.C. ratings system I think I might just keep using the MPAA ratings because those are the universal ratings and everyone knows what they mean. We'll see... (Ed. note: Because Feet has pointed this out, we're going to force him to use the B.C. ratings system along with the MPAA one.)

Regardless, part of growing up is sneaking into movies above your age-level anyhow. Or pleading with stranger/homeless guy to act like your guardian and buy your tickets.


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