Directed by Steven Soderbergh
1 hour 50 minutes
From Warner Bros.
Stop reading this and run to your windows, throw open the shutters (ok, imagine doing that) or dash to your front door, fling it open and just see if you see any straight women or gay men. Uh-huh, looks pretty weird out there, doesn't it? Well, they are all in your neighborhood cineplexes sucking up Magic Mike and his muscled merrymakers. Hey, I fall into one of those groups and these demographics were well-represented. And since the film just opened today, I'll be interested in seeing what's chattered about and will watch the box office.
Clearly what this film has going for it is some hunky actors, oiled down, pumped up and jumping on stage to the squeals of those on a girls night out. They show their booties-- I mean I had to stop counting because I was losing my concentration-- and grab their ample packages and thrust and gyrate wildly. If that's not enough, then there's that little bit when they jump on a guest's chair simulating ora... oh, you ladies know exactly what I mean. And my gay brethen, you're on board here, too. So we move along. God, it's so warm in here... where's that clip-on fan?
I confess I went to see Channing Tatum. I like him. Maybe a lot. I'll think it over and get back to you. I do wish he would make better movies because I think he has all the makings of being King of Hollywood if he wanted to be. Of course, knowing I would see him in various states of undress only encouraged me to see the film as soon as I could. I don't mean the first day. I mean is there a midnight showing, c'mon.
I knew that Tatum had in fact been a stripper for a while when he was younger and struggling more and I will add... and why not? You go, CT. And while I am not so sure this film is about his life, it was something he knew something about from experience and would seem the perfect fit for him.
And it was. I would say the same for Pettyfer as well. Attaboys to the other hunks, too. I thought they all moved it around real nice. As long as the stripping and backstage scenes were the focus, the film succeeded. And since it's what most folks want to see who attend, they shouldn't be disappointed. Teenagers may need smelling salts.
The backstory just didn't capture my attention. I wanted it to succeed but to me it was unimaginative and a bit dull. Tatum has been in the business for awhile, working with McConaughey and the others when he comes across Pettyfer and mentors him in the business and less successfully in life.
What did capture my attention is Steven Soderbergh being attached to such a so-so picture. It sort of reminds me of another Steven-- Spielberg-- helming War Horse. Neither project is in line with the other great work either has done. Soderbergh, the man behind sex, lies and videotape, Erin Brockovich, Traffic and the Ocean's 11 series must have been slumming here. I'm not slamming him for slumming exactly... I've been known to spend a few days here and there slumming in my working past. But there is certainly not the magic in Magic Mike that can be found in his other work.
The leads are McConaughey, Tatum and Pettyfer. The other lads are mainly decorative. Wish they'd been given more to do. I am amazed at that bod on McConaughey. The dude is 42 years old. You go MM; you more than held your own with those young pups.
The women's roles were mainly secondary parts which may have something to do with why name actresses didn't inhabit any of the parts.
So here we go. I liked it. I went for a particular reason, I wasn't expecting more than I went for and that is exactly what I got. I think we have to go back to 1983 and A Night in Heaven when I saw Christopher Atkins shake his oiled-down goodies. I think I've been very patient.
As we left the crowded matinee, a couple was in front of me. She said, "Oh, those guys were really something." He responded, "Oh, who can't do that?" He was somewhere in his 80s and in a wheelchair to boot.
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