This blog is now closed. After three years and 311 posts, I have decided to end this blog. I have enjoyed watching the films, reviewing them, and interacting with global readers.
If you are interested in contacting me, you can do so by commenting on any of the posts. The blog will remain live on the web. Thank you to all the readers for your comments, ideas, and thoughts. They were helpful, stimulating, and enriching. This is Alene, signing off.
October 5, 2012
Magic Mike (2012)
When it's over, there's no confusion to why female audiences flocked to see this film. However, I don't think this film should be labelled as just for women as I think there's something for both genders. Women may be attracted to the film for its visuals, while men will find the stories happening off-stage relatable to their own lives - especially the ideas of what defines success. The catchy music, the actors, the dance routines, and the costumes (or lack of) make Magic Mike a variety venue played out on the big screen as a long strip tease, giving viewers a substitute for the real deal. The key word is substitute, and it's a good one at that. Director Steven Sodenberg does a commendable job spotlighting the physical life of a male stripper, but falls short in telling the emotional side of the profession. I mean, are all male strippers that shallow? That's the impression I got from the film. Sodenberg tries to bring substance to Mike by showing the character's struggle with whether he should remain a stripper, while his personal dreams grow further away. The character's re-evaluation tells me that Sodenberg's on the right track and should have developed that aspect of the story with more care, instead of spending so much screen time on the stripping scenes. Notable performances included onscreen siblings Alex Pettyfer and Cody Horn, who both really embodied the dramatic side of their characters - Pettyfer going from innocent to addict and Horn as the older sister that watches her brother get sucked into the life of easy money, women, and drugs. Matthew McConaughey is simply a hoot to watch. His charisma explodes on screen and steals the show. Lastly, Channing Tatum is Magic Mike. His sculpted physique and great dancing abilities are great to watch, but he still can't sell himself as a dramatic actor. I found myself wanting to care for his character, but without cause and reason to do so. Overall, entertaining film, but pointless.