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    Magic Mike (2012: Steven Soderbergh)

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    Masterofoneinchpunch

    Posts : 392
    Join date : 2011-02-16
    Location : Modesto, CA

    Magic Mike (2012: Steven Soderbergh)

    Post  Masterofoneinchpunch on Mon Jul 23, 2012 11:55 am

    Magic Mike (2012: Steven Soderbergh) **½/****

    I like to arrive for a movie just in-time for the beginning of the trailers. Occasionally I have too much time on my hands and come in early. Usually this is because I could not waste enough time outside of the theater. There is only so much you can check on the car and hang out at the local coffee shop (Serrano Social Club) where I like to bug the baristas and local hipsters in a variety of topics from film (of course) to wherever the conversations may lead. However, the place was deserted and I had finished my drink and did not bring a book to read. Soundgarden was playing a bit too loud and the barista was unusually spastic and catatonic in a caffeine-addled state. Off to the theater.

    The line was short and quick to get in, but parallel to me was a growing line for the midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises [this was Thursday]. I still had plenty of time to shred, so I check every poster that is new and even read the rules of conduct for the first time. This would prove to be prescient. I arrived early to the theater, picked my usual spot in the back and at the time there were only three women right in the middle of the theater. I was regaled by one of them and her very loud explanation of how her husband borrowed her new car to a trip to Vegas and used all of her gas. More banal conversation was to follow. Many more women would come in at various times through the trailers and only one male with his wife among the bunch making me feel more conspicuous as the only single male watching the film (might not have been the best time to wear my silk shorts and dress shirt). This crowd ended up really sucking: a woman who sat near me texted throughout the whole film, the male had a whole business conversation in Spanish which was so intrusive the texter even glared at him, and there were more flashes of cell phones in this film than in any other films I have seen this year. Obviously people do not read the rules of conduct. Rhetorical question: what is the point of paying for a movie and texting throughout the damn thing? If the film had been better I would have been really pissed.

    My feeling for the film is somewhere between liking it and thinking it was just OK for Steven Soderbergh's second directed film this year (I still need to see Haywire). The cinematography with the film is quite good and the musical numbers are often a high point with the movie though sometimes the adoring female fans, which were shown Ad Nauseum, got to be a little obnoxious. I noticed the fans in the film resembled much of the audience. Other than Mike (Channing Tatum who was an exotic dancer when he was younger), who was a well thought out character, most of the other male strippers were lackluster. I was hoping more detail was going to go into the strippers, their relationships, day-to-day struggles and that this film would be more of a nuanced look into the male entertainer industry. However the film completely misses some salient issues such as steroid abuse, the dieting and exercise routines that are not only commonplace but sometimes fanatical, and the fact that many are not there to just party but to make a life for themselves and quite often their family.

    Mike lives a few lives. He does construction, wants to build a company refurbishing furniture and at night is a male stripper for a local entertainment club owned by Dallas (Matthew McConaughey). At a construction gig, he befriends Adam (Alex Pettyfer), a construction neophyte soon to be stripper neophyte, and gets him a quick job picking up females for his stripper club. He gets hired on and serendipitously later gets a very awkward chance to dance for his keep (his dancing does not get much better during the film either, he seems quite out-of-place regardless of what the script says). The Kid proves to be quite popular and becomes the protégé of Mike while Mike is slowly falling for Adam's sister Brooke (Cody Horn).

    I almost want to recommend it, but cannot quite do it. I know some of you will certainly like this more than I did and will accept the film for what it is. There are certainly some funny moments in it (picking up a large girl and jumping up-and-down is a no-no in the profession), though I was less enthusiastic with the melodramatic content. Though to counteract that, I was quite impressed with the cinematography and Channing Tatum's athleticism. Matthew McConaughey is outstanding with his performance. His character Dallas was not as interesting though. In some films there comes a moment you hope does not come, but you know will come. The exact moment where the film seems to go downhill -- when the hard drugs come into play (and loose women, especially ones with a pet pig) which you know the protégé will become entranced with. Then the plot starts to feel even more formulaic.

    Weird moment was noticing that Kevin Nash (Tarzan) was one of the dancers as I saw him in Rock of Ages not too long ago. He really seemed too slow for a dancer, especially with his years of abuse as a professional wrestler. I would have been more interested in a movie about a broken down older stripper with a knee brace than this plot, but I digress. Weirder moment was the unfocused penis pump in the foreground of one shot. That got a reaction from the crowd -- even from the one texting.

    Brian T

    Posts : 319
    Join date : 2011-02-16

    Re: Magic Mike (2012: Steven Soderbergh)

    Post  Brian T on Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:24 am

    Masterofoneinchpunch wrote:making me feel more conspicuous as the only single male watching the film (might not have been the best time to wear my silk shorts and dress shirt).

    Presumably you were actually wearing more than that, otherwise conspicuousness might have been the least of your worries, especially in a theatre full of ladies, and depending on how easily they were either offended or intrigued. Laughing


    Masterofoneinchpunch

    Posts : 392
    Join date : 2011-02-16
    Location : Modesto, CA

    Re: Magic Mike (2012: Steven Soderbergh)

    Post  Masterofoneinchpunch on Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:30 am

    Brian T wrote:
    Masterofoneinchpunch wrote:making me feel more conspicuous as the only single male watching the film (might not have been the best time to wear my silk shorts and dress shirt).

    Presumably you were actually wearing more than that, otherwise conspicuousness might have been the least of your worries, especially in a theatre full of ladies, and depending on how easily they were either offended or intrigued. Laughing

    I got replied too: wooooo hooo. Thank goodness for email notification.

    They would have no idea if I was going commando or not. One of the more intriguing crowds I've been apart of though. Going to the movies is an event in itself and sometimes what happens is more interesting than the movie. I like to observe.

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