Sunday, July 8, 2012

Cinema Babble: Make Up Your Mind About What Kind of Flick You Want to Be

The Flick: Magic Mike

The Peeps: Channing Tatum, Matthew McConaughey, Joe manganiello, Alex Pettyfer, Cody Horn, Matt Bomer, etc.

The Dealio: Mike, (Tatum), does pick-up work, and hatches money-making schemes by day. But, by night, he is the star of an all-male stripper revue, run by Dallas, (McConaughey), himself an ex-stripper with schemes of his own. Into this pretty self-explanatory life comes The Kid, (Pettyfer),  an 19 year old ne'er-do-well who sleeps on his sister's, (Horn), sofa and bumps along from one  ill-fitting job to another, shedding each on the flimsiest of excuses. Mike takes the troubled Kid under his wing and, almost by accident, the younger man is soon part of the revue, albeit a extremely chaotic one. You begin to see that, sooner or later, cops- real cops- will be summoned. The Kid begins a downward slide that combines strange women, drugs, money problems and crimes. All of which makes it difficult for Mike to get as close as he would like to The Kid's older sister. Dangerous waters surround the whole lot of these folks.

The Grading Session: 4.08 pengies out of 5. First of all, this movie is about 20 minutes longer than it really needs be. Next: there is a schizoid quality to the entire enterprise, which first rears its ugly head about halfway through the movie; apparently, it is not enough to have a pretty entertaining comedy on the screen. Somehow, the writers decided to turn this into a cautionary tale, replete with falls from grace, unreasoning violence, and a total lack of understanding of consequences that grow like kudzu from off-the-wall actions.  This is a most unwelcome dash of reality in the midst of what is, face it, a fantasy/comedy summer movie. Make up your minds about what you want to accomplish- and be realistic about your goals, here. Your mileage may differ.

Lessons Learned: Apparently the revue in Magic Mike belongs to the Flashdance school of staging: set in a small, rundown strip mall (sorry for that...had to be said) strip club, it cartainly looks like the sky's the limit, and all sorts of effects, props, outfits and routines can actually happen. Riiiiiight. Next: every golden opportunity has, beneath its surface, a huge vein of fools' gold. You would be wise to remember this before signing on the dotted. Lastly this: let no good deed go unpunished. This is the other possibility when lending a hand-up to someone you really do not know.

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