Magic Mike Blu-ray Review
Although we’ve seen plenty of movies about female strippers over the years, male stripping seems to have been an overlooked profession for Hollywood. As it turns out, male strippers are a lot like the female strippers we’ve seen in Hollywood in that they’re young, immature, drug-addicted individuals with loose…morals. And that’s really the problem when you make a film about a seedy profession; people can’t always relate and therefore it’s hard to establish characters that audiences can root for or care about. MAGIC MIKE suffered from the same problems but thanks to a great performance from Channing Tatum and good direction from Steven Soderbergh, those problems were minimized.
Drawing inspiration from his days as a young stripper in Tampa, FL, Channing Tatum gives us the story of Magic Mike; a 26 year-old stripper working at a strip club owned by Dallas (Matthew McConaughey). Mike is the lone character in the film that we can get behind because although he is a stripper, he shuns the drugs and is working on saving up money so he can open his own furniture business. Early on in the film, he meets Adam (Alex Pettyfer) and agrees to take him under his wing and teach him the male stripping business. Adam is a very unlikeable character, but it’s tough to tell if he was written that way or if the natural unlike-ability of Alex Pettyfer just emanated from the screen. Thankfully, Soderbergh focused more on Mike than Adam, probably because Alex Pettyfer has zero screen presence and was completely washed out by every other star.
I wouldn’t say Channing Tatum is a good actor by any means, but he has a niche and when he gets the right role, he turns out to be a very charming and enigmatic actor. MAGIC MIKE was a good role for him as he was able to pour his trademarked mixture of obnoxiousness and likeability into a character that we were able to root for. Unfortunately, every other actor fell into one of two categories; they were either underutilized or they completely failed in their roles. As for the underutilized, Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello and Adam Rodriguez were fellow male strippers that had no purpose other than to take their shirt off and dance around. I’ve liked them in everything I’ve seen them in previously, so it would have been nice to at least lay some basic groundwork as to who they were. As for the complete failure bucket, the aforementioned Pettyfer is the perfect example, but Cody Horn gives him a run for his money. She’s a poor-man’s Kristen Stewart and she delivered all of her lines with an emotionless, empty manner that made it difficult to understand why Mike liked her so much. That love story was a key part of the film, especially towards the end and we needed a stronger, more charming actress to make it work.
With all of that said, I completely understand why the film has found so much success. The dance/strip sequences are fun to watch and if there was a similar movie with some of my favorite actresses, it would immediately go to the top of my re-watch list. However, when you step back and look at the movie for what it is, it falls a little short. But even with its shortcomings, the movie is fun and with the right audience, it could definitely be a crowd pleaser.
Video: MAGIC MIKE was a huge success, thanks in large part to women getting together in groups to go see it in theaters. If you’re planning on doing that with the Blu-ray release, then I suggest you pick the friend with the biggest screen and go to her house. The video quality is typical Soderbergh (meaning, washed out, orange-y tint), but the dance sequences look great.
Audio: The audio was also impressive, with the surround sound kicking in during all of the dance sequences.
Backstage on Magic Mike (6:57): A behind-the-scenes featurette featuring interviews from the cast and crew.
Dance Play Mode (19:01): This is a montage of the dances sequences featured in the film.
Extended Dance Sequences (8:58): Extended dance sequences for three of the scenes.