PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Movie Guy

June 29, 2012

‘Magic Mike’, beefcake with a side of drama

— Summer is traditionally the time when I answer a lot of questions from young men about upcoming comic book movies, but women have been dominating the Q & A over the past few weeks. They want to know about “Magic Mike,” otherwise known as the film about a hunky male stripper with a heart of gold. It stars Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer, Joe Manganiello and Matthew McConaughey, all of whom spend much of the film running around without their shirts.

It’s a medium budget film, so I’m guessing that they didn’t have enough money for shirts in the costume budget.

The good news is that in addition to the impressive eye candy up on the screen, “Magic Mike” also turns out to be a pretty good film. Directed by Steven Soderberg, this is one of his best films in years because he makes us empathize with these men who dance for a living before showing us the downside of their profession. It starts out as a feel good romp before plumbing the darker territory that gives the film some credible dramatics to go along with the incredible male bodies up on the stage.

Channing Tatum stars, and if you believe the hype, the story is based on his experiences before he made it big in Hollywood. Mike is one of the dancers at Xquisite, a club that is full of screaming women who spend their nights leering at the beefcake and stuffing dollar bills into the dancers’ G-strings. Mike meets Adam (Pettyfer) at his day job and introduces him to the nightly paycheck of being a stripper. Adam is an immediate success on stage, but finds himself being drawn into an abyss of drug abuse.

“Magic Mike” is also a bit of a romance, with Mike falling for Adam’s sister (Cody Horn). She’s worried about her brother and hesitant to strike up a relationship with Mike, but like so many women in the real world, she finds herself being drawn in by Tatum’s ineffable charm. To be truthful, Tatum isn’t the best actor working today, but he does have an earnest quality that makes it easy to forgive some of his mannered performance.

This is all the more obvious whenever Matthew McConaughey takes the stage as the club’s owner, Dallas. He continues his career renaissance with a performance that is both playful and thoroughly seductive. Every ounce of his movie star charisma burns bright in this film. Mike may be the star of the story and Adam is the audience’s surrogate, but it’s Dallas who steals the show and reminds us why he was named the sexiest man on the planet a few years back.

“Magic Mike” may disappoint some because it’s not simply a female fantasy committed to celluloid, but there’s enough beef to delight the eyes and enough serious drama to engage the heart and the mind. This is a thoroughly enjoyable drama that’s worth checking out—even if you’re a guy who’s far more interested in those comic book movies that arrive in the next few weeks.

Movie reviews by Sean, “The Movie Guy,” are published bi-weekly in “The Port Arthur News” and seen weekly on KFDM-TV and KBOI 2-TV. Sean welcomes your comments via email at smcbride@kboi2.com.

1
Text Only
Movie Guy
  • Les Miz.jpg Beloved Broadway musical shines on big screen

    “Les Misérables”
    Universal Pictures
    Directed by Tom Hooper.
    Starring Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Eddie Redmayne, Samantha Barks, Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter
    Rated PG-13
    3 1/2 Stars

    December 21, 2012 1 Photo

  • Dredd 3D copy.jpg Second time’s the charm for Judge Dredd

    “Dredd 3D”
    Lionsgate Films
    Directed by Pete Travis
    Starring Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, Lena Headey, Wood Harris and Domhnall Gleeson
    Rated R
    3 Stars

    September 26, 2012 1 Photo

  • End of Watch.jpg ‘End of Watch’ a macho love letter to LAPD

    “End of Watch”
    Open Road Films
    Directed by David Ayer
    Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Peña, Anna Kendrick, America Ferrara, Cody Horn and David Harbour.
    Rated R
    3 Stars

    September 21, 2012 1 Photo

  • Res Evil copy.jpg New Resident Evil stale repetition

    September 19, 2012 1 Photo

  • Cold Light copy.jpg Shouldn’t have seen ‘Light of day’

    “The Cold Light of Day”
    Summit Entertainment
    Directed by Mabrouk El Mechri
    Starring Henry Cavill, Bruce Willis, Sigourney Weaver and Roschdy Zem
    Rated PG-13
    1 Star  

    September 14, 2012 1 Photo

  • Hit and Run copy.jpg “Hit and Run” is hit and miss

    “Hit and Run”
    Open Road Pictures
    Directed by Dax Shepard and David Palmer
    Starring Dax Shepard, Kristen Bell, Bradley Cooper, Tom Arnold, Kristin Chenoweth and Beau Bridges
    Rated R

    2 Stars

    August 24, 2012 1 Photo

  • ParaNorman.jpg “ParaNorman” is silly and scary fun

    “ParaNorman”
    Focus Features
    Directed by Chris Butler and Sam Fell
    Starring Kodi Smit-McPhee, Tucker Albrizzi, John Goodman, Anna Kendrick, Casey Affleck and Christopher Mintz-Plasse
    Rated PG
    3 1/2 Stars

    August 17, 2012 1 Photo

  • BourneLegacy.jpg New “Bourne” doesn’t live up to his legacy

    “The Bourne Legacy”
    Universal Pictures
    Directed by Tony Gilroy
    Starring Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton, Scott Glenn, Stacy Keach and Donna Murphy
    Rated PG-13
    2 ½ Stars

    August 13, 2012 1 Photo

  • Total Recall.jpg ‘Recall’ remake not as memorable as original 

    “Total Recall”
    Columbia Pictures
    Directed by Len Wiseman
    Starring Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Bryan Cranston, Bokeem Woodbine, Bill Nighy and John Cho
    Rated PG-13
    2 Stars

    August 3, 2012 1 Photo

  • IceAge.jpg ‘Ice Age’ floats on towards mediocrity

    “Ice Age: Continental Drift”
    Fox Animation
    Directed by Steve Martino
    Starring Ray Romano, Denis Leary, Seann William Scott, Jennifer Lopez, John Leguizamo, Queen Latifah, Wanda Sykes, Peter Dinklage, Chris Wedge and Keke Palmer
    Rated PG
    2 Stars

    July 13, 2012 1 Photo

Video
Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment
Facebook
Sports Tweets
Photos