My thoughts.... just my thoughts

Film & TV.

In Defence of “Magic Mike”. Why It’s Actually A GUY Film.

Hollywood has a habit of mispromoting films, showing trailers teasers and posters which don’t truly interprete what a film is about. This is just another sleazy tactic to sell tickets. Anton Corbijn’s “The American”, a brilliant slow paced drama/thriller was promoted as some action blockbuster starring George Clooney. Remember the lady that sued the makers of “Drive” because she was expecting it to be like “The Fast and The Furious”? I could go on but you get my drift. Which brings me to “Magic Mike”. Steven Soderbergh’s film loosely based on Chaning Tatum’s (C-Tates) brief venture into male stripping.

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I have to admit, I saw “Magic Mike” on the airplane cos I was too ashamed to see it at the cinema during its theatrical run. It’s a shame most of my fellow male folk still haven’t seen it cos they think it’s just about stripping and full of gratuitous male nudity. “Magic Mike”is not just a male stripper movie like the trailers portray. It’s a film about friendship, coming of age, looking at the future, ambition and getting caught up in the wrong. The stripping is just on the side, just a bright topic to gloss over the grit. I should also mention that this movie is really entertaining and good fun.

Did I forget to mention that “Magic Mike” was directed by Steven Soderbergh? The man that gave us Out of Sight, Ocean’s Eleven, Traffic, Sex Lies and Videotape, Contagion and so on. The man that was nominated for best director for two different films in the same year. Soderbergh is a versatile film maker, he never plays it safe, always experiments and this normally yields fascinating results. Alongside Quentin Tarantino and Paul Thomas Anderson he is one of the most influential filmmakers to emerge in the 90s. Speaking of PTA, if you like “Boogie Nights” (who doesn’t?) you’d probably like “Magic Mike”. Both are similar, youngin’ gets a non conventional job, goes off the rails etc. It isn’t as engaging as “Boogie Nights”, a far superior film but it is brilliant entertainment. “Mike” also has several good performances and a stand out great one by Matthew McConaughey who’s finally fulfilling his potential in a mini career renaissance (more on McConaughey in another blog post). 

Honestly the stripping scenes didn’t even move me that much, they were just funny and corny as hell to me. There was one where C-Tates showed his impressive break dancing skills we haven’t seen since “Step Up” but that’s about it. If you’re a heterosexual man and you’re confident in your sexuality, I see no reason why dudes acting silly in thongs should bother you. And it’s not only the men that show skin in this film, Olivia Munn gets her tits out, that alone is a good reason to see any film. So check out “Magic Mike”, a very solid piece of cinema.  

Die Hard 5

"Die Hard" is my favourite action film ever. It is also my best Christmas film ever. I have great love and affection for Bruce Willis, if I start writing why I love Bruce Willis it would be a really long post. I watch anything with Bruce Willis and find it hard not to enjoy his work, I’m the guy that saw "Surrogates" opening weekend and enjoyed it. "Cop Out" is bad but I think he was pretty awesome in it. "The Whole Ten Yards"? Yup, I dug it. Bruce Willis could almost do no wrong until I saw "Die Hard 5".

Where do I even start with this trash? The “plot” is a disjointed mess that tries way too hard to be clever and only ends up with tame, predictable plot twists and unnecessary arcs. The acting is just meh, one of my favourite things about Bruce Willis is that he always seems committed no matter the role. He knew “Cop Out” was trash and never got on with Kevin Smith while filming but still gave 100%. Here he just seems disinterested. image

Justin Long’s comic relief paired with Bruce Willis’s charisma was one of the things that made “Die Hard 4” work (that and the Olyphant factor).

In “Die Hard 5” Bruce Willis is paired with Jai Courtney, some wooden Australian actor. On paper the whole hard man (Courtney) wise ass (Willis) thing is usually action movie gold, that is what made “Lethal Weapon” great but it doesn’t work here. Bad ass, devil may care maverick is reduced to side show and unwanted burden, constantly trying to suck up to his son. This is not the bad ass we love.

 

Then there’s the action sequences. I know IT’S FUCKING FICTION but they had to chill. Everything here was just ridiculous, they might as well have put some transformers in the mix. I suffered through the abomination that was the “Max Payne” movie so I have no idea what made me think director John Moore would be up to the task. If you want to know why the great (yes GREAT) Chris Nolan is not fond of working with second and third units watch this film. There is more to action filmmaking than stupidly blowing shit up.

The only thing “Die Hard 5” (I will not call it “A Good Day To Die Hard”) does well is advertise Mercedes vehicles. Absolutely trash but no matter what it would never ruin the legacy of its predecessors.

It’s early days but “Die Hard 5” is already the worst film of 2013 and it has set the bar so low it would take a very, very atrocious film to beat it. “Scary Movie 5”, the ball is in your court.

1/10, the 1 is for her:

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directorscuts:

The first poster for @RZA’s THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS! 

directorscuts:

The first poster for @RZA’s THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS! 

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