A Look at 22 Jump Street and The Rest of This Week's New and Specialty Releases.

22 Jump Street.
Directors: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller.
Writers: Michael Bacall, Oren Uziel, Rodney Rothman.
Cast: Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Ice Cube, Nick Offerman.
Where it's playing: Everywhere.

21 Jump Street was a pleasant surprise. In a time when classic films and TV shows constantly get shitty reboots and remakes and re-somethings, directing duo Phil Lord and Chris Miller (The Lego Movie, Clone High) turned the silly old teen-cop TV show starring a young Johnny Depp into a film franchise goldmine.

Now, the star duo of Schmidt (Hill) and Jenko (Tatum) is back, and, this time, these youthful cops have been tasked wit taking down a drug ring at a local college. The plot is exactly like the first, which actually works because the film is aware that the audience knows it's poking fun at all cliche sequel story lines. 22 Jump Street is also a hilarious reminder that the buff and tough Tatum has more comedic brilliance that most Hollywood clowns working today, as he's more than able to hold his own up against Hill.

You'll laugh. I laughed so much, I almost peed myself. I held it in, though. You'll want to, too. All the way through the credits, even.

How to Train Your Dragon 2.
Director: Dean DeBlois.
Writer: Dean DeBlois.
Cast: Jay Baruchel, Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Kristen Wiig.
Where it's playing: Everywhere.

More like, How to Train Your Other Dragon, am I right? Well, regardless, if you need another sequel fix this weekend, How to Train Your Dragon 2's got you covered. Here, Hiccup and Toothless need to train more dragons, but, they new breed they're tackling this time is an even wilder bunch than the last. Also, they're controlled by a bigger, scarier Dragon Rider. It's up to the duo to keep the peace.

Filth.
Director: Jon S. Baird.
Writers: Jon S. Baird (screenplay), Irvine Welsh (novel).
Cast: James McAvoy, Jamie Bell, Eddie Marsan, Imogen Poots.
Where it's playing: Texas Theatre.

James McAvoy has finally taken off his goody two shoes and slipped on the bad boy ones for Jon S. Baird's silver screen adaptation of Filth, the novel from Irvine Welsh, the same mind behind Trainspotting. In the film, McAvoy channels his Bad Lieutenant and plays a corrupt cop hell bent on staying high 'till death do him part. His current goals are to lock down a promotion at work, get back his wife and kid, and not be sober while attempting any of these. Mayhem ensues.

The Case Against 8.
Directors: Ben Cotner, Ryan White.
Where it's playing: Texas Theatre.

Even though The Case Against 8 was shot five years ago, the documentary still makes for a heated debate all over the U.S. today. A small team takes on the California justice system to overturn the ban on same-sex marriage.

The Signal.
Director: William Eubank.
Writers: William Eubank, David Frigerio, Carlyle Eubank.
Cast: Olivia Cooke, Brenton Thwaites, Laurence Fishburne, Robert Longstreet.
Where it's playing: AMC Northpark, Mesquite, Grapevine Mills, Parks Arlington, Angelika Dallas, Tinseltown Plano and Ridgmar.

Laurence Fishburne (The Matrix), Olivia Cooke (Bates Motel), the great Robert Longstreet (Take Shelter; Pineapple Express) and Brenton Thwaites (Oculus) star in this sci-fi mind-fuck about two best friends who go on a road trip and end up in a living nightmare, controlled by a menacing computer hacker.

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.
Director: Steven Spielberg.
Writer: Melissa Mathison.
Cast: E.T., Drew Barrymore, Henry Thomas.
Where it's playing: The Angelika.

Everyone's favorite alien is back on the big screen this weekend. Join E.T. and a young Drew Barrymore as they bring back the nostalgic fun — riding bikes across the sky and phoning the pint-sized creature back to his home planet.

Battle Royale.
Director: Kinji Fukasaku.
Writer: Kenta Fukasaku.
Cast: Tatsuya Fujiwara, Aki Maeda, Taro Yamamoto.
Where it's playing: The Inwood.

Fans of Hunger Games — or at least the part where teens are battling one another to the death — should check out Battle Royale. Not for kiddos, this film takes place in a broken Japan, where the government sends bad kids to a desert island and requires them to fight one another until the least man is standing. Why this film is so much better than the former is the realism of the gruesome deaths. Nothing is held back. It's not for the easily faint, either.

Cabaret.
Director: Bob Fosse.
Writer: Jay Presson Allen.
Cast: Liza Minnelli, Michael York.
Where it's playing: The Magnolia.

If nothing above fits your fancy, how about getting seductive with Liza Minnelli as she romances Michael York (a brilliant actor you recognize from the Austin Powers movies) and other boys in this film adaptation of the musical. directed by the great Bob Fosse (All That Jazz).

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