Saw Soderbergh’s Magic Mike last night. After about an hour my friend Warren said “I’ll wait for you in the lobby.” I said “Don’t wait — I’m coming with you.” Really stupid sleazy (and not in a good way)completely unsexy sexploitation film about straight male strippers — based partially on star Channing Tatum’s experiences as one. He’s still “Jolie laide” with the emphasis on the “laide” IMO. Rather like Karen Black but without the talent (or ironic self-regard.) Matthew McConaughey, as usual looks like he’s never washed a day in his life. This time I swear I could smell his stench wafting off the screen. He plays the leader of a group strippers who would be a lot more interesting if they just faced up to the fact that they’re whores. But they consider themselves to be something far more important — as does Soderbergh. Basically it’s Valley of the Dolls minus the camp. Actually if Soderbergh had so much as the slightest awareness of camp this thing could have been Alexander: The Other Side of Dawn — Part Two
Nary a trace of homoeroticism. As for homo-action, there’s one scene in which Alex Pettifer — who plays a character called “the Kids” (ie. fill in the blanks) is at a paty where he takes his girl-of-the nanosecond into a room to fuck only to discover it’s occupied by Matt Bomer (actually gay in real life) and his girl-of-the-nanosecond. An orgy appears to be about to start. Pettifer tells Bomer that he loves him — and vice versa. And the scene is over. A Total Waste of Time.
Uh, the film seemed pretty homoerotic. The “Raining Men” dance sequence, perchance? Channing Tatum is a second-rate Mark Wahlberg but he’s actually not bad in this although McConaughey stole the show. Not quite as entertaining or trashy as it could have been but it was okay. Better than Haywire at least. It’s the kind of film Soderbergh can seemingly direct on autopilot.
u celebrated your new dad status by seeing male strippers?? u rock ari! xD
^No baby yet! Still waiting. But the screening was filled with giddy groups of teenage girls who giggled and cheered at every Tatum bare ass shot (the film doesn’t seem to want to go, ahem, Full Frontal ). I guess that’s the film’s target audience?
i guess, since they can’t legally get into bars yet? i would think there’d be more horny middle aged women. hmm
10pm screening attracted the younger crowd, maybe? Do middle aged women even know who Channing Tatum is? I don’t even know why I know who he is. I think David’s right about him being funny looking. Plus I have an immediate dislike of guys who end their sentences with “Bro”.
In James Ivroy’s barely acknowledged much less seen “The Coity of Your Final Destnation,” Hiroyuki Sanada has a nude scene that’s hotter tyhan anything in “Magic Mike.”
It makes me mad that this film is getting such positive reviews. I have no interest in “the Channing Tatum Story” however it’s hard to ignore a film that’s getting responses like:
“it is exceptional and one of the best and most original pictures to come along in 2012.”
“It’s one of the year’s best surprises,”
“I think “Magic Mike” is a fascinating film, one of [Soderbergh’s] best in recent years."
“Arguably the raunchiest, funniest and most enjoyably nonjudgmental American movie about selling sex since Boogie Nights”
The only top critics who didn’t care for it are Turan and Travers (who, not coincidentally, are two the blandest critics around). I won’t be seeing this film in theaters (there’s way too much good stuff out there right now) but I might have to check it out on DVD. Ugh.
I strongly dislike when people criticize a film like OP does. Not trying to flame here. Just an opinion.
Really stupid sleazy
Brilliant observation. What were your expectations going in? A clever take on the gender role reversal vis-a-vis sexuality? I mean….stupid sleazy is what it’s going for. Come on now. I don’t see the point of criticizing a film for something it isn’t trying to hide.
Over analyzing a film like this is why mainstream audiences disregard critics sometimes. And this is coming from a pretentious misanthrope.
I highly doubt it is about “nothing.”
I haven’t even seen the film yet, but I’m sure it will result in some interesting talking points regarding scopophilia, voyeurism, spectator theory, male vs female gaze, etc. Soderbergh is well versed in the history of cinema and film theory. I look forward to seeing what he brings to the table.
This is officially my favorite thread on mubi right now.
In the Mubi Notebook, Ignatiy ends his review with this interesting observation:
“It may not be a film of any great depth, but it has plenty of substance.”
Wait a minute! You mean to tell me this is NOT the Citizen Kane of stripper movies?!
I have no shame in saying that I’m a sexually satisfied younger woman who cannot wait to watch a film that, for all I care, is solely about seeing Channing Tatum strip.
I’m a sexually satisfied heterosexual male and I want to see Tatum strip.
Woo hooo!!! You’re the best, Tommy :)
Quote of the day:
//I’m a sexually satisfied heterosexual male and I want to see Tatum strip.//
Love it Tommy!!!!
I don’t personally understand why anyone gives a crap about Soderbergh or his films……talk about a mediocre director. He gets way too much discussion time on Mubi.
I wish he’d just retire already and stop subjecting people to his films.
Soderbergh is by no means a great director, but what I find most intriguing are his choices in projects. I just like to see what he’s doing next.
“I’m a sexually satisfied heterosexual male and I want to see Tatum strip.”
He’s actually one hell of a dancer. Not knowing anything about him, I wasn’t expecting that. I think David’s probably right that the film’s not really sexy but then again the film’s not directed at gay men, it’s directed at straight women and quite frankly I’m not sure I fully understand what women want when they go to a strip club but it’s probably less about sexiness or eroticism than play acting gender reversals (they can act as chauvenist pigs and objectify men the way they have usually been subjected to). As for the film’s depth, I’m not sure, Santino. I think it probably does have something to say about class aspirations, the American dream, etc (the scene where Tatum goes to the bank to get a mortgage is actually really well done).
He was in those Step Up movies so I think you’d need to be a good dancer to be in those.
Ari : I’ve never had the desire to go to a strip club but that’s an interesting observation. Certainly that is how women are characterized in films when they go to strip clubs.
You know, until Dennis posted his weekly Wide Release thread I had no idea this film was directed by Soderbergh.
So I just read that Soderbergh and Tatum want to bring Magic Mike to the stage, possibly as a musical.
I think the depiction of men and women at strip clubs are essentially the same. I’ve been once and it’s not sexy, but there are always assholes drooling over strange breasts in their faces and I feel like an asshole for being there. I’m sure there are similar thing that occur at strip clubs for women. But replace breasts for penises.
I don’t know what I’m getting at. It’s just an observation I guess. Why is it that much more of an issue when it concerns male strippers?
you’re right tommy. it’s gross and embarrassing either way. but some people like it i guess
a bunch of girls at work are going to see this tonight and they’re pretty excited.
I was expecting somehting of genuine interest. Soderbergh is scarcely untalented. I quite liked both Contagion and Haywire — two radically different films. But any film, no matter who it’s by, must answer the primary question “Why are you telling me all of this?”
Magic Mike didn’t supply an answer.
Many compelling films have been made about marginal people with delusions of adequacy. While I’m not a great fan of Boogie Nights Paul Thomas Anderson created an entire world for his characters to live in, and made it possible for viewers to be interested in what was happening to them from one moment to the next. That doesn’t happen here.
LoL, Ruby. I’m going with a bunch of girls from work on Sunday night :) Only Channing Tatum could make me do this :p
I’m probably seeing it at the early bird show at like 10am. It’s cheap an there aren’t a lot of people. I don’t think my girlfriend will be too happy since I’ll be sitting in the front row by myself so I can experience this whole package up close…and by myself ;-p
Hahaha. This is the first time I felt weird going to a film solo, which is so unlike me. But I always run the risk of a student working at the theater so I’m just avoiding any, Ms. G is a pervert rumors by going with a group.
The 720 show tonight at the closest theater is sold out.
Tommy, you are cracking me up!
I’m a heterosexual woman and my boyfriend and I are seeing this tonight. I’m psyched (admittedly, a bit more than he is, and for what he calls “the wrong reasons”…hahaha).