Aubrey Ward III
I'm not telling you what to see. I'm not telling you what not to see. I'm just sharing my experience and opinion on the movie, tv show or play that I have seen. I'm merely an advisor. Ultimately, you will have to go with your own gut and decide if you'll buy the ticket or not.View all articles by Aubrey Ward III
Yes. I will honestly admit that the main reason I saw Magic Mike was to see some really beautiful men strip down to their bare essentials on the big screen. This was one of those moments where “sex sells” was translated literally and unabashedly. Though there is a plot the real meat in this cinematic dish is the erotic moves provided by some of the hottest bods in Hollywood at the moment.
Welcome To Stripper Camp - Adam (Alex Pettyfer) and Dallas (Matthew McConaughey)
Arguably, the biggest surprise was that Magic Mike actually had a competent plot although it was a recycled one. Adam plays the innocent lamb who gets caught up in the “industry” and winds up causing all sorts of destruction. He is that kind of character who learns the ropes but has yet to learn how to control himself. It is that classic moral of how excess of any kind of pleasure can easily corrupt the innocent. I suppose Magic Mike also serves as a cautionary tale for those who were thinking about choosing stripping as a profession. Adam is the example of how working in strip clubs or anything related to the sex industry can destroy your mind and your health.
On the other hand, Mike and the other veteran dancers seem to have their lives in decent order. While Adam is the downside to stripping Mike shows that you can shake your “tail” on the stage without losing your head when it comes to financial planning. It might actually help to put on the fast track to success if you keep focused on the goal and don't get distracted by the boozing, snorting and hook-ups.
Channing Tatum is pretty charming, as usual. He is just a hunky man and all he has to do is take off his shirt and smile and that would be enough for most audiences (including myself). Thankfully, he actually does act in the film and it is very easy to fall for his stripper with a heart of gold and a mind focused on things beyond the stripper stage. Since Magic Mike is based on Mr. Tatum's real life experiences as an exotic dancer he is the brightest star in the Xquisite troop with his impressive freestyle moves mixed with a rippling physique that is tailor-made for a g-string.
Alex Pettyfer does a great job playing a shiftless kid who's aspirations are limited to scoring high on the Xbox while rocking his sister's couch. Then he lands a job where he can get lots of cash for just taking his clothes off on stage along with the benefits of sexual conquests and ample amounts of drugs.
Beauty & The Sexy Beast - Mike (Channing Tatum) and Brooke (Cody Horn)
The oddest performance was given by Cody Horn. As Adam's sister, Brooke, she represents the voice of reason that isn't so easily swayed by the glamour spell cast on her brother. At first, it seemed that Ms. Horn wasn't doing anything spectacular with her performance. It took awhile for Ms. Horn's dry and somewhat cynical delivery to grow on me. And once it did I actually came to like “Brooke” a lot. I especially liked her scenes with Mr. Tatum. They had decent chemistry and the relaxed progression of their blooming friendship was fun to watch. Mike liked that Brooke actually talked with him and listened to him instead of just viewing him as a stallion to be rode until dawn. And I admired that Brooke was willing to give Mike a chance while still remaining extremely cautious just in case the stripper prince turned out to be another smooth talking frog.
Unfortunately, the rest of the Xquisite gang don't get much in the way of character development.
The Men Of Xquisite Salute You - "Big Dick" Rick (Joe Manganiello), Adam (Alex Pettyfer), Dallas (Matthew McConaughey), Mike (Channing Tatum) and Tarzan (Kevin Nash)
With a weekend opening at #2 on the box office charts I think Magic Mike proved that sex still sells quite well and that men aren't the only “dogs in the kennel”. Ain't no way the majority of those box office bucks came from “straight dudes”. And though the gay guys helped I tell you that Magic Mike provided the proof that the hetero females are just as turned on by flesh as males are. When I saw Magic Mike that theater was full of women and yes I do mean full. I think the ladies were just excited that there was a movie that put male nudity front and center in an industry that traditionally leans toward female nudity. It's just how it is. Most of the directors are male and most male directors don't want to film a guy's naked bod. At least, that's always been my belief. But now, thanks to Channing Tatum, we have Magic Mike where women and some men can revel in all that lustful admiration of the male physique. The surprisingly strong opening of the film will probably get more films like this on the fast track. Y'all know how Hollywood is. If it makes money the first time they will do whatever it takes to make lighting strike again and again....and again.
Like Showgirls (1995), Magic Mike is a spectacle film that has already lured enough of the masses based on hype and the promise of titillating scenes of nudity and sexual energy. Now those who have seen it will pass on the results to their more skeptical friends and this could increase the staying power of Magic Mike in theaters. Honestly, this is a movie more suited for watching in your own home but there is a thrill with watching a movie like this with a bunch of other people who are just as interested in seeing Channing Tatum's well sculpted backside on the big screen as I am. The prudes might turn their noses up at the idea of going to a movie just to see stripping routines but the rest of us will accept Magic Mike for what it is and have a great time.
Rhymes With: Showgirls (1995), Striptease (1996), Burlesque (2011), Boogie Nights (1997), Flashdance (1983), Coyote Ugly (2000)
For A Good Time, Call.... (8/31/12-Select Theaters, 7/7/12 – Nationally): Here is a wild comedy about two young women living in the city and making a living through phone sex. Looked to me like a more outrageous version of Girl 6 (1996). The trailer was a riot so here's to hoping the rest of the film is, too.
Pitch Perfect (10/5/12): Anna Kendrick begins her first year of college and ends up in an a capella singing group. Think of a competition comedy like Bring It On (2000) or Stick It (2006) combined with Glee.
The Apparition (8/24/12): A group of young people decide to test the theory that ghosts are actually the product of human thought. When the experiment proves true the group are hunted down by a malevolent spirit produced from their own psyches.
The Campaign (8/10/12): Will Farrell and Zach Galifianakis square off in a heated election campaign in a small North Carolina town.
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