Magic Mike

Channing Tatum Magic Mike Flexing

It’s a good time to be Channing Tatum. One minute he’s taking a meeting with the X-Men people, the next minute MTV is bestowing their most prestigious golden popcorn bucket upon him. And amidst all that goodness is something else to be proud of: Warner Bros. considers him decent enough competition (or at least, a viable alternative) to the Terminator franchise. Because it’s just been announced that Tatum’s Magic Mike 2 (rumored to be called Magic Mike XXL) is slated for release on July 3, 2015, which is two days before Terminator Genesis‘s own release date in the Great Summer of All Blockbusters. Of course, the one thing 2015 doesn‘t already have is a sex movie about shirtless men (just kidding! — there’s also 50 Shades of Grey), so Tatum and his cohorts can step up to fill an important niche (har!). Magic Mike 2/XXL‘s release date is also the first news about the sequel that’s come down the official news pipeline, and like all officially sourced news, it contains both the phrase “get your banana hammocks ready” and “drops trau.” Everything else about the sequel — that Tatum would be penning the screenplay (along with Reid Carolin), that it might be called Magic Mike XXL and that its director will probably be Magic Mike‘s first AD, Greg Jacobs, have come from unconfirmed sources, little hints dropped by actors or Tatum’s Facebook page.

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mcconaugheytampa

As I’m sure you’re aware, Matthew McConaughey is currently experiencing His Moment. Seemingly resurrected from the depths of bankable but critically ill-regarded romantic comedies, McConaughey is now headlining a gritty new HBO series, briefly stealing a scene in a Scorsese movie from fellow Best Actor nominee Leo DiCaprio, taking the lead in a characteristically ambitious and mysterious new Christopher Nolan movie, and, of course, cementing it all with an Oscar nomination and plenty of momentum to take home the statue in March. The fascinating turn of events that have occurred in the former Sahara star’s career since 2011, aka “The McConaissance,” is catnip for people who enjoy treating Hollywood seriously: it represents a tacit recognition by the star of the inherent limitations of Hollywood, and an attempt to transcend them; it evinces a star aware of his own public persona, who is seeking out roles that play with, and even subvert, that persona; and this particular star’s devotion to truly off-beat roles has made for something far more interesting than conventional career “comebacks” a la your Travolta, Rourke, or Downey, Jr. An Oscar for McConaughey would likely represent the apotheosis of the actor’s decisive shift in creative effort, a reward for his calculated and compelling career “redemption.” But McConaughey’s recognition for Dallas Buyers Club shows how even the most surprising of career moves are recognized for their most conventional and least surprising moments.

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Florida Movies

“Kim Jong-un doesn’t understand that we aren’t afraid of him. What that guy doesn’t get is that we already have an unstable peninsula that will ultimately bring down America. It’s called Florida.” The above quote comes from Conan O’Brian’s keynote speech at Saturday night’s Whitehouse Correspondents’ Dinner. O’Brien, of course, doesn’t explain the joke. He doesn’t need to. Not because he’s referencing a specific, recent event in Florida, but because the joke taps into a vast catalog of associations with Florida as a whole. It’s hard to pinpoint one adjective that adequately describes the ways in which Florida’s culture appears to the rest of the nation, but The Sunshine State is certainly in a class all its own. On the one hand, Florida made news this past year for its absurd, unjustifiable gun laws, its bureaucratic bulwarks against democratic participation, and even its cannibals. But in less serious terms, Florida is also known for hosting an astonishing number of bizarre petty crimes and a few emerging one-of-a-kind industries. Many lists, articles, editorials, and even a Twitter feed chronicling the life of the worst superhero ever have all taken part in attempting to surmise why, exactly, the Florida is so damned special. But perhaps recent movies that take place (and were shot on location in) Florida provide the real keys to understanding the idiosyncratic culture of Voldemort’s state. Michael Bay’s Pain and Gain is the third of a string of high-profile films to investigate the lives of that routinely exceptional brand […]

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magicmike02

I don’t know the last time I watched the MTV Movie Awards. I think Howard Stern was there promoting his never-made Fartman movie. No, that was the 1992 MTV Music Awards. What about when the kids from Rushmore reenacted scenes from Armageddon, Out of Sight and The Truman Show? Actually, I might have only seen the parodies and not the actual show. Whenever it was, it’s been a long time. Because what self-respecting film lover watches such self-important, self-promoting, ratings-grabbing b.s.? Wait, that doesn’t sound all that different than the Oscars, and we pay lots of attention to those. The only difference is that the MTV Movie Awards don’t have a history or consistency or the sort of class that we like to think the Academy Awards do. They’re an easy punching bag because they seem to pander by catering to more mainstream, high-grossing, youth-driven entertainment. Also, they’re on MTV, which we always love to shoot down (can’t we just give up and acknowledge how ahead of their time they were by ceasing to be “music” television and having an acronym-based brand that no longer stands for anything… like every single channel now?). But I decided to glance at the nominees for tonight’s awards and I realized something: the MTV Movie Awards celebrate movies far better than the Oscars do.

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The Best Damn Oscar Blog

The Oscar nominations will be announced next Thursday, January 10th. Who’s excited? Perhaps more tellingly, who’s geared up enough to wake up early to watch the press conference live? It’s at 5:30AM PT! I’m planning on it, but I’ll probably just add another year to my tradition of sleeping through my alarm and missing all of the fun. That’s a shame, because surprises are always best in the moment. And there are always surprises. The trick is trying to predict them. Last year people were somewhat taken aback by Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close grabbing a Best Picture nomination, intrigued when Demián Bachir pulled off the nod for Best Actor, and impressed when little distributor GKIDS managed to get both A Cat in Paris and Chico and Rita in for Best Animated Feature. There are also always a few omissions that upset the common wisdom. Remember when Dreamgirls missed a nomination for Picture, knocked out by Letters from Iwo Jima? The twists and turns make the season fun. You wouldn’t want to wake up that early only to have all your bland suppositions simply confirmed by the Academy. So let’s predict the unpredictable! Here are five potential surprises to look for next Thursday morning. Don’t hold it against me if I’m wrong, but if I’m right you should totally tell all your friends.

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Culture Warrior on 2012

In this end-of-year editorial, Landon Palmer discusses the pattern that movies demonstrated in 2012 for telling stories through protagonists defined by their various personality traits rather than through conventional, straightforward characters. In so doing, movies this year showed how our individual identities have become divided within various aspects of modern social life. This trend made some of the year’s movies incredibly interesting, while others suffered from a personality disorder. Landon argues that movies ranging from The Hunger Games to The Dark Knight Rises to Holy Motors alongside cultural events and institutions like the Presidential election, social media, and “Gangnam Style” all contributed to a year in which popular culture is finally became open about its constant engagement with multiple cults of personality. Six years ago, Time magazine famously named its eagerly anticipated “Person of the Year” You in big, bold letters. Its cover even featured a mirror. As a result of the established popularity of supposedly democratized media outlets like Facebook and the home of the cover’s proverbial “You,” YouTube, Time declared 2006 as the year in which the masses were equipped with the ability to empower themselves for public expressions of individual identity. More than a half decade later, social media is no longer something new to adjust to, but a norm of living with access to technology. Supposing that Time’s prophecy proved largely correct, what does it mean to live in a 21st century where we each have perpetual access to refracting our respective mirrors?

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The Best Damn Oscar Blog

The Academy is voting! Nomination polls opened on December 17th and close on January 3rd. The two and a half week period might seem like a long time, but it’s going to go by in the blink of an eye, especially with Christmas and the New Year right in the middle. As voters pick through their piles of screeners and decide what to watch, I certainly hope that they dig deep enough to find some of the year’s best unheralded work. In fact, I’m going to suggest a few things. At this point much of the “don’t miss this movie!” conversation has been around performances, a valid pursuit if there ever was one. However, there’s also plenty of under-discussed work in “below the line” categories. Here’s a wish list, five extremely unlikely but entirely deserving nominations that would make me a very happy blogger.

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Performer of the Year: Matthew McConaughey

To truly understand the essence behind our choice for 2012’s Performer of the Year, we have to take a walk back in time to 2005. It was the year that, simply a heartthrob at the point, Matthew McConaughey was named “Sexiest Man Alive.” At the time, the Texas-born star was on the road promoting his latest big screen swoon-monster, Failure to Launch. A publicity tour that landed him a memorable spot on the couch next to Oprah, back when she was still just an absurdly rich and powerful talk show host. Why I was watching Oprah on that fateful afternoon, only a higher power would know. But to this day, I can’t help but remember the magnetism of that handsome, denim-clad man who seemed so proud of the fact that he had never worn deodorant in his life. “The women in my life,” he explained amidst talk of his highly publicized relationship with Penelope Cruz and his naturally sweet B.O. “”have all said, ‘Your natural smell smells, one, like a man and, two, [it] smells like you. … [And] there’s only one of those.” It was a line of questioning that left nary a dry seat in Oprah’s lavish studio. She could have given away vibrating chairs to her audience and it still wouldn’t have made as much of an impact. That was Matthew McConaughey’s world. And in 2005, he was king. The question now is how did he end up here, in the sights of a very serious film website being named our first ever “Performer of […]

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Welcome back to This Week In Discs… now on Mondays for your reading pleasure one day early! As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Isn’t Anyone Alive? It’s afternoon on a college campus, and as the students chat about urban myths, employees go about their business and strangers pass through the area something begins to happen. They all begin to die. One by one they fall to the ground coughing and writhing in pain, but the conversations continue on around them. Director Gakuryu Ishii and screenwriter Shirô Maeda (adapting his own play) have delivered a film guaranteed to turn off 90% of viewers with its shifting tones, slow pace and lack of easy answers, but the 10% who stick with it will find a surreal gem exploring the things we share with each other and the things we keep secret. Dark, absurd humor exists alongside moments of real beauty, and the ending in particular is an affecting glimpse at true loneliness. [Extras: None]

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Channing Tatum in Magic Mike

Here is a lesson in Internet translation – don’t run stories through Google Translate in German to French to English, otherwise, you just might end up staring at a line that reads “We want it necessarily But Steven Soderbergh is retiring so we are currently looking for a director, it was already the ideas that…Gregory Jacobs (Anm.d .’s note: regular assistant director Steven Soderbergh, director of “Wind Chill”) takes on the director or Reid Carolin and I take over the government, but we are still not safe there” and wondering just what the hell “the government” of Magic Mike 2 is. Amusing adventures in failed bilinguality (trilingulaity? trylinguality?) aside, a German site called Filmstarts (via French site Allocine, via The Playlist) reports that Channing Tatum could possibly direct the sequel to Magic Mike. Via Google Translate, Tatum is quoted as saying something along the lines of “We really want, but Steven Soderbergh really want to retire. We will undoubtedly make the Broadway version first…Gregory Jacobs can make the film, or we can make it, Reid Carolin and me. But we do not know.” Which means that they want Soderbergh to direct it, everyone is still clinging to this weird “retirement” thing, and either Tatum or Reid Carolin (Tatum’s producing partner and screenwriter on the first film) could step in to direct the film. Maybe. This is, of course, all in another language and could be completely misconstrued. My eyes are still crossed and I’m trying to read German.

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All in all, this was a decent summer. There were plenty of highs and lows, with zero grand achievements for either sides of that scale. We could argue endlessly about what movies lived up to the hype or which ones totally blew it, but where’s the fun in having that conversation for the thousandth time over twitter? What we all should be discussing is the important stuff, like, how sad Damon Lindelof‘s Twitter feed could get this summer or how many ounces of man sweat we think Matthew McConaughey shed in Magic Mike? These are the real topics worthy of discussion, ’cause who cares why Vickers didn’t run a few feet to the right to easily save her life in Prometheus? Or how on earth Batman survived that nuclear blast when we clearly saw him in The Bat before the blast? These are details we all need to let go of. What you all really need to know is who came out as the winners and losers of this summer season, and I’m here to tell you who.

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One of the biggest complaints people had coming out of Ridley Scott’s epic in scope sci-fi spectacle Prometheus was that it raised more questions than it answered. Well, today brings good news for those of you looking for closure. It turns out Scott knew what he was doing all along: he raised a bunch of questions about the origins of humanity, got us on the hook for wanting answers, and now he’s going to sell us all tickets to a sequel. Pretty clever, movie industry. Confirmation of a Prometheus 2 comes from THR, who have published a comprehensive look at which of the big movies from this summer are likely to spawn sequels. In addition to the Prometheus confirmation, they reveal that movies like Ted, Magic Mike, American Reunion, and Snow White and the Huntsman are all likely to be given follow-ups as well.

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Magic Mike

Over the last couple weeks since its release, Magic Mike has become so successful that you had to imagine somebody somewhere was already thinking about a sequel. This movie was basically the largest dollar bill stuffed into the largest g-string ever, so to think that everyone involved wasn’t going to shake it a second time to try and double their money would be naive. And, sure enough, during a recent Twitter Q&A with “Glamour” magazine, Magic Mike star and oiled up hunk of beef Channing Tatum put it all out there. When asked about a possible sequel, his response was a resounding, “Yes, yes and yes! We’re working on the concept now. We want to flip the script and make it bigger.” Of course, this simple confirmation that the idea is being bandied about doesn’t really give us any of the particulars of what a Magic Mike sequel would look like. The first was directed by Steven Soderbergh, and felt very much like a Steven Soderbergh film. In addition to all of the flashy stripping scenes that seem to have caught everyone’s attention, there was also a solid story about people at the heart of things, and the whole point of the narrative seemed to be Mike trying to get to a place where he could grow beyond being a Goodtime Charley.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a vicious sonofabitch, back from a weekend of debauchery (and candle-lit research) to bring you news and notes from around the film blogosphere. The best links end up here. If they don’t, you should email them in so that we can include them tomorrow. No seriously, do it. We begin this evening with a first look at Naomi Watts as Princess Diana in Caught in Flight, a film from Downfall director Oliver Hirschbiegel. The film will see Di’s relationship with Dr. Hasnat Khan, who will be played by Naveen Andrews. Because all those blonde-haired dames love a little Sayeed. Also because it really happened, in real life.

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Magic Mike

It feels more and more like we’re on the cusp of a cultural change in the types of movies that studios make. Or, at least, there are more signs that studios should be paying attention to. This week’s edition of Movies Aren’t Just For Teenage Boys comes in the form of a record-breaking R-rated feat. As the LA Times points out, Ted and Magic Mike (which sounds like a morning radio show duo) have become the first R-rated movies to open on the same weekend with more than $21m a piece. And they made a lot more than that. Ted scored $54.1m, and Magic Mike came in second with $39.2m. Seth MacFarlane‘s directorial debut featuring a totally ethical teddy bear had a near even split with 56% of its audience being men, but women dominated Magic Mike with 73%. So here it is, studios. Proof that adults go to movies, that they enjoy strippers, and that women buy tickets too. Maybe these aren’t the high-minded examples that everyone would have hoped for, but they display a challenge to the new-found wisdom that toys and comic book properties are the only way to make money with moving pictures.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a “a sleazy, slimy, adolescent, over-sexed, over-paid, blowhole!” Or at least that’s how it all works out in the version written by Aaron Sorkin. If the man decides to write it, we’ll take it. We begin this evening with an image of Christian Bale looking rather dour as Bruce Wayne in The Dark Knight Rises, a film the Los Angeles Times says should open in the area of $200 million dollars. The fact that it’s tracking for big numbers comes as a surprise to no one. Chris Nolan’s final Batfilm has been the movie of the year from day one. So smile, Mr. Wayne, it’ll all be over soon.

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Reel Sex

Ladies and open-minded gentlemen, this is the weekend for which we have been waiting ever so patiently. Years of watching our fellow sisters remove clothing and undulate for the good of “story” has finally paid off, and we will have our day in the sun. Our fearless prince, director Steven Soderbergh, has reached into the depths of his vast (yet dwindling) bag-o-tricks and presented us with a simple masterpiece that has been on the tip of wagging tongues for months. Magic Mike is the product of a genius, and while it isn’t a perfect film, Soderbergh’s dedication to objectifying his male cast is reassuring and welcomed. It is about time ladies get a fluff movie that isn’t about shopping, shoes, or relationships, but instead two hours of glorious female gaze. These men are hotter than this Texas drought I’m currently suffering through, and I appreciated every moment I had with them. But what makes Magic Mike something of dreams is the film’s playful self-awareness that it is, in fact, meant to be a sort of man droolfest. Soderbergh knows what he’s doing, and instead of alienating his audience he embraces them, offers up a beer, and presents six sexy, shirtless men on a platter for the world to see. I’m sure a discussable plot is in there somewhere (and I will leave that to our film review), but I am more interested in reflecting on a handful recent films that paved the way for this glorious moment of shirtless wonderment.

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Film has certainly explored the female side of the world of stripping, but rarely has the glittered curtain been pulled back on the male side of this risqué form of entertainment. Director Steven Soderbergh paints this picture with his signature style and does so in a way that shows us the highs and lows of living a cash-only lifestyle, the sort that can seem like one big party, but one that leaves you questioning your future when the sun comes up, the high from the night before wears off, and you realize you have nothing more than a stack of ones to show for your “day at the office.” Magic Mike focuses on Mike (Channing Tatum), a man with a plan who is a natural hustler, bouncing from odd job to odd job, saving his cash, and working on his plan to start his own custom furniture business. Mike is a charmer, not just with the ladies, but with anyone he meets thanks to an unflappable, positive outlook on life as he good-humoredly chuckles in the face of even the most outlandish of situations he finds himself in. But Mike is not some good-looking blockhead, he knows where his strengths lie and has parlayed that into a successful run at a male revue, Xquisite, where he is “second in command” to the club’s owner, Dallas (Matthew McConaughey.) Mike is constantly watching the bottom line and while he is certainly having a good time, he considers it all a temporary stop […]

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Though we’ve been talking about Steven Soderbergh‘s Magic Mike for nearly a year now, the passage of time has in no way lessened the inherent weirdness of Soderbergh directing a movie about male strippers that’s loosely based on the real life experiences of one of his many very attractive male stars. The marketing has not helped make Magic Mike seem even less bizarre – it’s almost unfathomable that a film that will see Matt Bomer playing at being a Ken Doll during an all-male revue will make it to the big screen for mass consumption. Again and again, I’ve stared wide-eyed at Magic Mike marketing materials and asked myself, is this really an actual movie? It is. It really is. While it’s still hard to say if Magic Mike will end up being the unexpected hit of the summer, there are a few things we do know (that we can glean just from some newly released pictures alone): That Matthew McConaughey will, at one point, drink from a gold goblet on the beach. That Alex Pettyfer and Channing Tatum will go shopping for Speedos together. That the costume department didn’t both buying any shirts whatsoever for McConaughey. That it will be rife with crotch shots. And, at some point, McConaughey is going to play us a song. Thank you to everyone involved with this movie for making this movie. Check out the new photos (and a few old) after the break.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly celebration of all that is good and right in the world. Mostly movie and television related stuff. A lot of love for Doctor Who and Game of Thrones, but also some things that you won’t see coming. Like Omar. Because Omar comin’, yo. We begin tonight with a snipped version of the new Magic Mike poster. Since our last edition of News After Dark was headlined by a bikini-clad supermodel, here’s a little something for the equally undersexed female masses that read this column. Hello, all three of you. Welcome.

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published: 11.21.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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published: 11.19.2014
C+
published: 11.19.2014
B-, C


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