The 2014 Channing Tatum Initiative Remembered, or, The Pony Tricks Bump: A Myth?

Two of the top five most popular posts on this website revolve around the 2013 Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Initiative. The most popular post on this website today, January 7, 2015, is a discussion of Pain and Gain that was part of the 2013 Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Initiative. My decision to see every theatrical film Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson released in 2013 is paying dividends to this very minute for he and I both – lest we forget the coveted “Pony Tricks Bump” the Rock received in 2013, being named the highest grossing entertainer of 2013 by Forbes doubtlessly in no small part due to my examinations of his work.

I think we can all agree the 2013 Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Initiative was a rousing success.

But what of the 2014 Channing Tatum Initiative?

What of it?

Unforgettable.

Unforgettable.

Where the 2013D“TR”JI was a mutually beneficial partnership between Dwayne Johnson and myself in which he became entertainer of the year and I learned several valuable life lessons from Fast and Furious 6, the 2014CTI has proven to be anything but, as not only have the lessons I learned from Tatum’s films this year fallen woefully short of life-affirming, Channing himself didn’t even crack the list of Forbes Top 10 Entertainers of the Year.

That being said, the Pony Tricks Bump still tentatively takes credit for his being cast as Gambit.

I went to the theater four times this year for the 2014CTI and I learned four very different, pretty lackluster lessons.

The LEGO Movie, in which Tatum made a brief appearance as Superman, taught me to keep my cynicism alive in the face of the first largely entertaining feature-length commercial I’d ever seen. Sure, sure, a fine lesson for a four-year-old girl, but I’m a twenty-something-year-old man. I don’t exactly need a refresher on cynicism.

Luckily, 22 Jump Street, which wound up being one of my favorite movies of the year, was there to pick up the slack. Sort of. 22 Jump Street is a masterclass in understanding that repetition, when blended with self-awareness, can be a beautiful thing. There’s no harm in doing something twice when it worked the first time, so long as you remain aware of the pitfalls of returning to the same well over and over again.

A great lesson.

And a total lie. As evidenced by the maligned sequel to the 2013 Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Initiative.

My good friend Channing.

My good friend Channing.

From there it was all downhill. The Book of Life taught me to never, ever, ever have kids lest I be dragged into films like The Book of Life every weekend for ten years. And Foxcatcher revealed new depths to my twenty-something pretension.

What of the 2014 Channing Tatum Initiative?

The 2014 Channing Tatum Initiative was a disaster. Tatum was charming and fantastic in all of his roles this year, but somewhere between “Channing” and “Tatum” a certain “The Rock” was missing from my 2014.

2015 Initiative TBD I guess.

P.S. I love you, Channing.

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