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Entries in Magic Mike (30)

Friday
Mar282014

Cast This: "Magic Mike XXL"

Channing & Pettyfer in the originalThe Magic Mike sequel is gearing up to start filming in the fall. The Playlist reports that Steven Soderbergh's long time first AD Gregory Jacobs will direct so they're keeping it in house and the film will be called Magic Mike XXL a title of which we approve.

What we do not approve of is the rumors that most of the original cast will return. The last film ended with a clear parting of the ways so it makes sense to move on at least to some extent with new characters. Channing Tatum has promised in the past that the sequel will be more like what people were expecting from the first one so I guess that means more of a fleshy spectacle? Anyway, the first film was terrific (and not just for the fleshy spectacle) but this kind of project begs for fresh blood meat, not sloppy seconds you know? Frankly, they should only keep one or two of the players to keep the energy up while the clothes are off.

So, let's pretend they wise up and bring in new players. Last time they went with a mix of 20-40somethings and actors from both TV and film -- they can't be too famous though or they'd pass. But there are literally hundreds of men who would qualify. Here's a few suggestions to diversify a bit to get you started.

Nicholas Hoult, Max Greenfield, Jesse Williams, Kit Harrington, Michael Ealy, Diego Boneta, Harry Shum Jr, Lee Pace. I could go on and on...

And that's basically just eight hot affordable men with some degree of fame (but not huge movie careers ... apart from arguably Hoult) who don't have to do too much training to get in shape for it. Your turn! Who would you love to see dance their (clothes off) ass off with Chan?

Monday
Feb242014

Interview: Matthew McConaughey and the Body

McConaughey and those haunted eyes in True DetectiveIt's hard to get a moment with a major movie star. They're tightly scheduled and you have to go from 0 to 60 once you're in front of them, recorder on. Nevertheless the stars themselves usually seem relaxed enough through their long promotional efforts for Oscar films as the world's slowest seated wedding line commences with one journalist after another sitting down with them one by one for a quick conversation. I'm sure our faces all blur together forming one lumpy mecha-journalist for the star. Their faces, on the other hand, remain individualized and imprinted in each of ours from frequent exposure and mythology.

The first thing I notice about Matthew McConaughey in person, apart from the inevitable "how much weight has he gained back?" instant check, is his eyes. They're blue, sure, but the darkest blue I've seen up close and more than a little intense. They're so inky blue, in fact that they look dangerous and unfamiliar despite years of movie appearances. (I hadn't yet seen True Detective in which they reappear). The voice counterbalances them surprisingly well, instantly familiar and Texas friendly.

I sat down with McConaughey last year as his Oscar buzz was building for Dallas Buyers Club (he was on a weekend break from filming Interstellar when we spoke). I was surprised to hear that despite his busy schedule he's been getting the weekends off which he says he needs though he was sacrificing some to support his now Oscar nominated film "Which I am happy to do!" he added, quickly. I had planned to stay off the topic of weight loss (he lost 47 lbs for the role), which has been discussed too often for an award-winning performance that is most impressive for its emotional content, but I made the mistake of leading with it. And it's a topic he kept drifting back to. But then, why shouldn't he? His body has hardly been easy to separate from his acting, either, whether he's playing hunky romcom leads, male strippers, pumped up dragon slayers, or, as recently, an emaciated AIDS patient or an eerily stiff and sinewy police detective.

Our interview after the jump

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jun282013

Cast This: Magic Mike 2

One year ago tomorrow Magic Mike opened to leggy box office becoming Channing Tatum's third $100+ million grosser of 2012, and the most definitive piece of his A List breakthrough.

He's still routinely asked about the proposed sequel Magic Mike 2 and he's still happy to answer questions about it. He's now claiming:

It will be a road trip movie, and it will essentially be the movie that everyone thought the first one was going to be—crazy and fun and less slice-of-life and less drama. The first one, we had to make not so cheesy and campy; this one we are going to swing for the fences"

I can't quite figure out how this works since (one year old spoiler alert!) Mike was tearing off his stripping lifestyle rather than his clothes at the end of the first film. Will Mike's journey of self-rediscovery magically involve realizing that 'gotting & flaunting it' weren't such bad life choices after all!?! Or will we get a new set of strippers? I'm hoping for the latter because -- and I mean this both artistically and literally and lustfully for the success of the franchise and my pants -- FRESH MEAT!

CAST THIS!
Let's pretend they don't get lazy and think part two of two but instead think long-term prospects with continually rotating cast and semi-annual strip-a-thons. If you were on scripting and casting couch duty, which characters would you keep and which actors would you be approaching for new roles?

Think realistically. Last time they used rising or underexploited TV and film actors with hot bodies, rather than fully fledged "stars" (apart from McConaughey who was still in Career Rehabilitation Mode and completely deserved the Oscar though he wasn't even nominated. CURSE THEM). So they aren't going to be all "Hey Brad & Clooney & Matt, join our little strip-a-thon! Ewan, learn to love getting naked again!" however badly you might like them to. Think unexpected but just right. Ready, Set, (Cue Music / Lights / Fog Machine)... Go!

Friday
Jan182013

Best of the Year: Nathaniel's Top Ten

Previously: The Honorable Mentions

Often during the calendar-straddling list-making frenzy of "top ten season" a scene or a line of dialogue or even a whole film will refuse to dislodge itself from any internal conversation you may have with oneself about the year. That moment for me this year was Kylie Minogue's cameo late in Holy Motors when she arrives in a trenchcoat, like some lost Casablanca love, to sing:

Who were we. When we were. Who we were back then?

It'd be ineloquent bathos, too crudely and redundantly stated, if it weren't sung. But this heightened musical longing for a lost identity, lifts and soars with pathos instead. The year's best films kept reinforcing this most interior of questions as they wrestled with their past selves towards an uncertain future.

Nathaniel's Top Ten of 2012
From all movies screened that received US theatrical releases...

ZERO DARK THIRTY (Kathryn Bigelow)
Sony/Columbia. December 21st 

[SPOILERS FOLLOW] My favorite exchange in Mark Boal's dense script occurs between a government official and a CIA operative. "What the fuck does that mean?" "It's a tautology". I laughed at the wordplay in the film but wasn't expecting the widespread tautological eruptions that followed the film's premiere as everyone bent themselves into self-affirming pretzels to debate its portrayal of torture in the film's opening scenes as if there were only one way to look at the damn movie... as if torture were the only thing worth discussing about the film! To Zero Dark Thirty's credit, though I too was discomfited by its suggestion that torture yielded useful intel, there's nary a comfortable or pandering moment in the film. Like The Hurt Locker before it, ZDT attempts something like an apolitical stance though how successful that is (or ever can be) will be left to each viewer to decide. In my mind, Bigelow doesn't suggest that you're meant to enjoy torture or even embrace the mission's success, exactly...

more on Zero Dark and 9 more triumphs after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jan182013

Best Director. My Choices and Theirs.

This is one of those awards seasons in which I curse my time management skills. I prefer to post my annual Film Bitch Awards in the traditional Oscar categories before the nominations to avoid undue influence from the west coast, however subtle that influence may be. I didn't manage in time this year, partially due to Oscar's rushed schedule. Imagine my joy when both Benh Zeitlin and Michael Haneke were nominated for an astonishing debut and a culmination of gifts respectively for Oscar's Best Director list. Then imagine my frustration when I realized that nominating them both a week later -- though they'd been irreplaceable factors in every lineup I considered naming -- would seem like sloppy seconds. I had predicted that Haneke's decade long ascendance as a World Great would be enough for Oscar's Director's Branch to recognize him this year but I was genuinely surprised to see Zeitlin's work on Beasts of the Southern Wild recognized instead of big Hollywood names. I personally don't care who they had to shove aside to make room for him because he absolutely deserved the kudos. If it looks like I am only copying AMPAS's two most brilliantly fringe nominations this year, so be it. They're the only Oscar choices that show up on in my nominated director's field.

No really. To me Soderbergh is an OBVIOUS choice for any lineup this year

I imagine that my most controversial choice will be Steven Soderbergh but that strikes me as madness and typical of the dearth of imagination that most awards bodies (and, yes, to their shame critics groups) suffer once you've dropped them anywhere outside a 5 mile radius of "prestige". Consider how wrong Magic Mike could have gone in any number of ways but instead it's this beautifully subtle and earnest slice-of-life drama and character/ milieu study despite the pelvic thrusts and plentiful ass cheeks. (But points to Soderbergh for not skimping on those either for the sake of "reputable" filmmaking.)

MY NOMINEES FOR BEST DIRECTOR

Have you voted on the Oscar poll yet in this category?