Magic Mike (2012)

Directed by: Steven Soderbergh (he has directed numerous great films, but for me, his best work will probably always be Out of Sight, one of my Top Five Movies of All Time)

Written by: Reid Carolin

Starring: Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer, Cody Horn, Adam Rodriguez, Riley Keough, Olivia Munn, Kevin Nash and Matthew McConaughey

What it’s about: a group of male strippers and their lives off of the stage

B-Movie Alternate Title: Magic Mike and the Boys

Movie Mash Up: Ocean’s ElevenDear JohnThe Full Monty

What I liked: Dammit, Channing Tatum is a charming and talented actor.  Every time I want to dismiss him as nothing more than a slab of meat that drives the ladies wild (“panty soup”), he  finds a way to deliver a line effortlessly and in a real fashion that appeals to the movie critic in me.  Olivia Munn’s boobs.  Hmm, what else did I like?  It was a good story, and one that will only make a heterosexual man more confident in his sexuality, because there is a lot of gyrating, and naked, oiled dude torsos and if that doesn’t do ANYTHING for you, this movie will confirm it for you.  Not that I was in doubt, mind you.  The movie looks gorgeous as well, and feels alive, compared to Soderbergh’s Haywire which didn’t really.

What I disliked: All the oiled dude torsos.  Nah, that was just part of the story (and I watch WWE every week, so I’m fairly desensitized to it), but yeah, the story is a fairly bit predictable, enjoyable though.

Would I recommend it to anyone?: Sure.  Seriously, dudes, suggest watching it with a lady friend of yours and they will probably throw themselves at you.  Or at least they will in the screenplay I am going to write.

Rating: 4 / 5

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Iron Man 2 (2010)

Alright, so I did a whole nice write-up yesterday for the first Iron Man movie, and well, this one is more of the same.  It’s not The Dark Knight sequel to Batman Begins, it’s more like what Batman Forever was to Batman, if that makes sense.  It probably doesn’t since I just casually omitted Batman Returns, but Forever had sooo much Batcrap shoved into it that the movie actually shat out a sequel.

I just wanna sit back and appreciate that thing that I just wrote.  Man, I hope I didn’t subconsciously steal it from someone, because it is such a perfect description of Batman & Robin.  You can LIKE this review or G+ it or RT it or whatever.  I don’t even want to write anymore.

Alright, fine.  So Iron Man 2 brings back almost the exact same cast and creative team as the original movie, minus the unlikable Terrence Howard (replaced with the awesome Don Cheadle) and bringing in Justin Theroux as the screenplay writer.  At this point The Avengers movie release date was (I think) set in stone and there were preparations and things shoved into the story that seemed to be less about just Iron Man, and more about pumping up the Avengers plotline.  There’s nothing wrong with that, but it gives the whole movie more of an episodic feel.  Like, you can’t have “The Body” episode of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” without “I Was Made to Love You” which I had to research (and I actually dug that episode too) to remember it took place directly before “The Body”.

I feel like I’m getting all Pitchfork-y with this review, making allusions to other things that seem quite brilliant in my head and maybe seems assholeish when someone else reads it.  Anyways, the film also brings in Mickey Rourke as the main villain Whiplash, Sam Rockwell as Tony Stark’s (Robert Downey, Jr.) main business rival, Justin Hammer, and Scarlett Johansson as S.H.I.E.L.D. agent – and future Avenger- Natalya Romanov or y’know, Black Widow.  There’s also a lovely little appearance by John Slattery as Tony’s dad in archival footage, and the whole Stark family thing reminds me so much of “The Venture Bros.”

So there are parts I like about Iron Man 2 because they remind me of other things, and it’s a competently enough made movie, but not nearly as great as the first movie.

3.5 / 5

I Don’t Know How She Does It (2011)

Look, in case you don’t know, I’m not a woman.  I don’t pretend to know all of the hardships that come with being the fairer sex, the gender inequalities that sort of thing.  However, I can’t help but think that the world this movie takes place in is some sort of parallel universe where things are exactly as we’ve been shown they are in movies.  It’s a world where attractive women can’t find a man because they’re so busy with their work lives and guys want quirky women, etc. all filled with numerous and easily dismissed tropes.  A planet where a woman character will get pregnant and then five scenes later give birth with absolutely no time progression shown.

This easily forgettable film was directed by Douglas McGrath, based on author Allison Pearson’s novel and it’s all about how no one knows how a harried mom (Sarah Jessica Parker) can continue to be an amazing super woman when it comes to work and raising her two children with her husband (Greg Kinnear).  The titular phrase is repeated so many times in the movie that I thought I was watching an interpretation of Domino where Keira Knightley tells us again and again that she’s a bounty hunter.  Of course women can do these things, and if I were a single mom raising a couple kids by myself, I’d be insulted and infuriated by this movie’s premise.

There are very few bright lights in the film, with Busy Philips and Olivia Munn being the only ones I can think of off the top of my head deserving of any sort of praise.  Every character in this movie is a stock character, given predictable lines and situations that it becomes a joyless, soul-sucking affair.  Pierce Brosnan is reduced to repeating words in his accent ironically, Kinnear does his trademark thankless awesome guy role, and Christina Hendricks is reduced to blithering ridiculous sentences.  This is not the correct usage of Christina Hendricks, people.

Then there’s the whole execution of the movie, where the characters are giving testimonials to the camera, yet 90% of the footage is of the events of the movie.  It’s dumb, like it’s a pseudo-documentary but not.  I hated it, dislike, recommended only as a present to someone you hate.

1 / 5