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There’s an interesting movie under all that beefcake (but oh, the horror)

Paul Peterson

Well it’s been a summer of different films and I like the variety. So far, my favorite is The Dark Knight Rises in terms of craftsmanship, and Rock of Ages for sheer fun, and I’m nominating Magic Mike for least favorite and most alarming trend in movie making this summer: full frontal male nudity.
OK, I can’t really say I ever saw fhe full Monty (which was a much better film) but there was stuff swinging in the wind that shouldn’t be on a screen 40-foot wide. I’m just saying.
Magic Mike tells the loosely biographical story of Channing Tatum’s early years in the business when he was a male stripper.
The film also stars Mathew McConaughy and Alex Pettyfer and is directed by the always interesting Steven Soderbergh (Traffic, Sex Lies and Videotape)
There are some very talented people here. I have always liked Soderbergh’s work since the quirky and enigmatic Sex Lies and Videotapes. He’s a good storyteller and lets his characters develop their own story lines without rushing.
While this film was received as a lot of eye candy by the ladies who frequent our various theatres, it has a lot more depth.
I know, I know.
No one buys Playboy for the interviews and people-women-aren’t coming to see Magic Mike to explore the dark side of stripping. They just want to see the dudes.
Luckily for Mathew he doesn’t need a weak segue to take off his clothes. He’s the oily leathery owner of the strip club so he’s semi -naked most of the film. He’s also cheesy and sleazy but I know no one cares because he’s semi naked most of the film.
In one horrifying sequence for me, I was walking toward the drive in’s front screen to give someone a boost because their battery had died and I made the mistake of looking up and there was McConaughey promoting a different kind of beef. Wearing nothing but an overtaxed rubber band and grabbing his ankles, well, I haven’t been right since.
There is a decent story here and while most men might love a shot at being one of these dancing dudes, it isn’t all sunshine and lollipops.
Beyond the big money, the seemingly unending parade of beautiful women who want to sleep with you and the free drugs, alcohol and easy working schedule, there’s a but coming in here somewhere.
Well, apparently having hoards of screaming women wanting to grab your junk isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Believe me, I wouldn’t know.

I like Tatum, he’s an interesting actor and makes good choices. Word has it he’s not too hard on the eyes but that really isn’t the point of the movie. Alex Pettyfer plays the new to the dance guy who quickly falls into drugs and trouble.
There’s an interesting movie in here underneath all the beefcake. It’s always fascinating to watch women in the wild. Men would be arrested and beaten if they behaved this way around strippers, and that’s as it should be.
When it’s dudes though, it’s game on and that’s also fair I think.
All I know is while I thought the story was good in Magic Mike, I will never be right again, having seen what I’ve seen of Mr. McConaughey. There’s a team of therapists working with me around the clock and there’s no impending breakthrough. Just warn the others.
I took one for the team, and I’m not sure which was a bigger sacrifice for this column. Watching Adam Sandlers’ Jack and Jill or all of the butts I had to navigate to get through this. All I can say is, just say no to crack.
As always, other opinions are welcome, but wrong That’s it for this week. The cheque’s in the mail and I’m outta here. Paul

Filed Under: News from Everywhere ElsePaul Peterson

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