Magic Mike, DVD Review

This was a fun movie.  I like Steven Soderbergh as a director, I really appreciate him as an artist.  He actually raises this film to a level of artistic interest whereas it would normally be a low grade flick.  First off, I'm not going to be directly prurient here but a stripper film that is R rated (on DVD but PG-13 in the theaters)----I don't get it.  If we're going to talk/see strippers we should be wrestling with NC-17 ratings.  But perhaps that's because this is men not women?  Okay, so there's a vein of misogyny going on here but do the actors---Channing Tatum, Matthew McConaughey, and Adam Rodriguez, raise the bar to the point where, if you haven't seen it, this is worth your time and money?  Somewhat.

The plot is simple.  Like 1970s simple.  The hot headliner at an all-male revue, Mike (Channing Tatum) takes a protégé to teach him the fine arts of dancing and picking up women.  Drugs, drama, hijinks, male bonding and betrayal ensue. There's some bisexuality (no, no, only amongst the women).  The women amazingly enough get deeply a film about male strippers.  There's also the push of men acting like out of control boys and women acting as the moral, mature center that little boys return to.  This is a fun, silly, medium sexy popcorn film that involves more overacting and butt shots than it does emotional depth or physical nudity.  There are some minorly clever strip/dance scenes but nothing of WOW factor.  This film though is a great vehicle for the acting range of Matthew McConaughey (including this year's startling Killer Joe film)---he'll definitely get an Academy Award nomination from the combined wattage of both of these films.  Word on the Hollywood street is that a sequel to Magic Mike is in the works (as this is based on the stripping work of Channing Tatum before he became a movie star), I think that's the way Hollywood works, no predictions about the sequels quality. 

Kyle Phoenix
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