Written by Senora Bicho
I will admit when I saw the first preview for Magic Mike, I was mostly interested in the eye candy. However, once I realized it was a Steven Soderbergh film, I knew there would be much more to the film. Not only did it live up to my expectations visual but it also stimulated my mind with an interesting story and suburb performances.
Mike (Channing Tatum) is a construction worker by day and stripper by night with dreams of someday owning his own furniture-making company. One day while on a construction site, Mike meets Adam (Alex Pettyfer) and decides to take him under his wing. He introduces Adam to Dallas (Matthew McConaughey), the owner of the strip club, and soon Adam is a part of the male review. While Adam has always struggled with holding down a job and being responsible, the new-found success and money sends him down a path of drugs and self-destruction despite Mike’s attempts to help him.
Meanwhile, Mike has his own issues to solve including his inability to develop relationships with women deeper than just sex. He becomes interested in Adam’s sister Brooke (Cody Horn), but she sees him as a bad influence on Adam and has a difficult time seeing him as more than a stripper. As issues with Adam escalate and Dallas talks of moving the show to Miami, Mike realizes it might be time to make some decisions on changing his life.
One of the reviews I read when the film first came out stated that the reviewer felt the women going to see the film would be so mesmerized by the men on screen that the film’s quality would be lost on them. I was so offended by this. I guess the thought is that women are incapable of seeing past some naked chests. When I saw it in a sold-out theater opening night, the crowd of women were definitely enjoying the strip numbers. We were hooting and hollering and having a great time, but when the film was over, I overheard many people saying how good the film was. It didn’t go over our heads.
Channing Tatum’s performance is the best I have ever seen from him. He is vulnerable, charming, and sexy. I always thought he was a flash in the pan, but after this I see he has the potential for real greatness as an actor and Soderbergh saw that in him. Knowing that Tatum used to be a male stripper and that the film is based on his experience adds an extra layer of believability. Matthew McConaughey is as perfect as I expected him to be in a role no one else could possibly play. The rest of the cast is adequate but this was all about Tatum.
Displayed at an aspect ratio of 2.40:1, the source video from the Red Epic cameras has been given a 1080p/MPEG-4 AVC encoded transfer so naturally grain is absent. Inside the club, colors are at their most vibrant and the details are at their sharpest. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 offers an immersive experience, with the club sequences again being the highlight. The thumping bass on the LFE pounds to the point of distortion during the dance numbers. Ladies heard squealing during surrounds. Dialogue is regularly clear.
There are disappointingly very few extras are provided in the Blu-ray combo pack. “Backstage on Magic Mike” provides interviews with the cast and crew. It is less than seven minutes and left me wanting more. “Dance Play Mode” is a genius feature that allows the viewer to watch the dance sequences back to back. I see lots of female viewing parties utilizing this. There are also extended dance scenes and deleted scenes.
Magic Mike is for all audiences, men included. It would be unfortunate if men miss out on seeing this because of the story being about a male stripper; it is so much more than that. It is about following your dreams, believing in and trying to help others, and how sometimes it takes real courage to change your life.