Pony up, ladies! This weekend sees the release of the hunk-tastic “Magic Mike.”
As promised, the Steven Soderbergh-directed film delves into the world of male stripping and boasts plenty of eye candy: Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer, Matthew McConaughey, Joe Manganiello, Matt Bomer and Adam Rodriguez.
There’s no doubt that audiences will be lining up in droves for this titillating flick, but how does “Magic Mike” really measure up? Let’s take a look in this week’s Pro-Con. (MILD SPOILERS FOLLOW)
PRO: Matthew McConaughey
Let’s just get this out of the way right now: Matthew McConaughey was perfect as the perma-shirtless emcee, Dallas. He was able to capitalize on his nude, bongo-playing persona (he actually played the bongos at one point), but with a wink. You’ve never heard the ubiquitous “all right, all right, all right!” until you’ve heard McConaughey say it while in stripper-garb.
PRO: The Spectacle
I’d put “Magic Mike’s” fictional club, Xquisite, against just about any stripper joint around. Sure, it’s hard to not enjoy Hollywood’s hunkiest parading around shirtless, pant-less, chap-less, etc., but these fellas can dance! From Western-style shoot-outs, hip-hop break dancing and umbrella-wielding numbers, the “Cock-Rocking Kings of Tampa” are much more than pretty faces.
CON: Rihanna’s “We Found Love” was nowhere to be found
I mean, that made the trailer!
PRO: Channing Tatum
It’s kind of startling what this man can do on stage. As the eponymous Mike, he is like a mythical stripping figure (the every stripper, if you will); his skills are mind-boggling, and that body! Ladies, get out a big wad of ones and prepare to fan yourself for two hours.
CON: The length
Heyo! No, but seriously, after an hour and a half, we’ve had our fill. (Heyo again!)
PRO: Channing Tatum wearing glasses
AW. He wants to be taken seriously!
CON: Channing Tatum being serious
Tatum is having a well-deserved moment. This guy came from the hot-man-abyss and, in the last year alone, went onto out funny Jonah Hill in “21 Jump Street” and star in two Steven Soderbergh films. For most of the movie — even clothed — he’s a real charmer. But! When Mike loses his magic (sorry) and starts in on a little weep-fest, it’s kind of cringe-worthy.
PRO: Steven Soderbergh directed this
This could have been really cheesy in someone else’s hands. Although the world of male strippers seemed too ridiculous for a versatile director like Soderbergh, his signature sleek style and close-up character portraits made it work.
PRO: Logistical accuracy
As a native Floridian, I know that it’s the center of national depravity and completely ridiculous. “Magic Mike” is set in Tampa, Florida. There are SUVs and beach trips; they have a hurricane party. It’s just good research.
CON: Olivia Munn’s storyline
Olivia Munn plays Joanna, the pansexual bookish girl (what?) who plays Tatum’s hookup buddy. She’s far from a competitor to his real crush, Brooke (newcomer Cody Horn) nor does she represent the dysfunctional warmth of the stripper community. She studies psychology and comes over for quickies and complains when he asks questions (again, what?). So, I mean, that’s nice?
PRO: Joe Manganiello as “Big Dick Richie”
The “True Blood” stud was blessed with more than his name reveals: He’s easily the funniest stripper in the bunch.
PRO: Alex Pettyfer’s stripper cinderella story
Even though he seems like THE last person to ever be interested in stripping — in loose boxers and a worn-out hoodie — Pettyfer’s Adam (a.k.a. The Kid) takes to the stage like a duck to water.
CON: Alex Pettyfer’s character development
Drugs? How predictable.
PRO: The love story
We knew it was coming from the get-go: Mike and Brooke were destined for romance. But this was far from the focal point of the film — Soderbergh consciously staved off the inevitable as to avoid any rom-com pitfalls.
CON: The love story
The fact that the romance was left until the very end of the film only made it that much more frustrating. There was no way it was not going to happen, so why not just own it?
RELATED: Matthew McConaughey’s 19 Greatest Quotes
On why he never wears a shirt
“<a href=”http://www.celebitchy.com/8623/matthew_mcconaughey_doesnt_like_to_wear_shirts_lost_his_virginity_at_15_/” target=”_hplink”>Well, I grew up in the country and didn’t wear shirts or shoes</a>. My mom didn’t even put a bathing suit on us in the country club until we were nine.”
On not checking whether a dragon is a male or a female
“When I’m running for my life I generally don’t look back at the plumbing.” — Denton Van Zan in “Reign of Fire”
On naming male appendages
“If you are gonna name my… member, you have to name it something hyper-masculine. Something like Spike or Butch or Krull the Warrior King!” — Ben in “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days”
On turning his back on romance
“The pain you feel will never compare to the regret that comes from walking away from love. And from someone who’s felt a lot of both trust me. Regret beats pain everyday of the week and twice on Sunday.” — “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past”
On his plans for the afterlife
“<a href=”http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-548229/Matthew-McConaughhey-My-nude-bongo-playing-days-far-over.html” target=”_hplink”>I want to be reincarnated as a jaguar</a>. They’re the coolest animals in the world. I came across one very briefly in the Manú National Park in Peru. I followed its tracks and got close enough to realize how beautifully self-contained it was. Jaguars are keen and they’re perfectly poised. I’d sure love to be that well-designed.”
“What if what I think is great really is great, but not as great as something greater?” — Steve in “The Wedding Planner”
“I’ve had a lot of girlfriends. Sometimes I’m the rebound guy. Other times, I’m the ‘explore new areas of your sexuality’ guy. But every single time, we have fun. I have fun, they have fun. It’s good for me, it’s good for them, and I would argue that it’s damn good for civilization as a whole.” — Tripp in “Failure to Launch”
“Love is magic comfort food for the weak and uneducated!” — Connor Mead in “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past”
On women’s purses
“Guys, a woman’s purse, all right, it’s her secret source of power. There are many dark and dangerous things in there, that we, the male species, should know nothing about.” — Ben in “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days”
<a href=”http://www.esquire.com/features/matthew-mcconaughey-interview-0411″ target=”_hplink”>”Life is a series of commas, not periods.”</a>
On his bongo scene in “Magic Mike”
“Now <a href=”http://www.hollywood.com/news/Matthew_McConaughey_requested_Magic_Mike_bongo_scene/31492439″ target=”_hplink”>it’s a pretty good scene</a>, but it probably won’t be as well-remembered as my October, 1999, <a href=”http://www.thesmokinggun.com/documents/crime/actor-mcconaughey-nude-bongo-bust-0″ target=”_hplink”>get-arrested-for-playing-the-congas-in-the-birthday-suit scene</a>.”
On wrestling cows as practice
“<a href=”http://www.elle.com/Pop-Culture/Celebrity-Spotlight/Easy-Rider/Men-We-Love-Cherchez-La-Femme-Easy-Rider-ELLE.com” target=”_hplink”>If you can catch eye contact with a mammal, you can buy yourself some time</a>–because as another mammal, you can communicate. You can’t trust a reptile… I have dreams about this kind of shit. I don’t want to wrestle any of these things, but I’m just saying, that’s what I’d do if the situation arose where I’m just sitting there and I go, ‘Oh, look there. That grizzly has got my girl and child. How we gonna work this out?’”
“I love to travel to different countries where there is no electricity or where I don’t know the language, there is no hot food, there is no clean water, where all of a sudden you go through withdrawals. And then you come back home to America and, oh man, that just tastes beautiful and that hot water just feels great, that soft bed feels good. <a href=”http://www.iofilm.co.uk/feats/interviews/m/matthew_mcconaughey.shtml” target=”_hplink”>I don’t notice sometimes the luxuries I have until I leave them</a>.”
On being a minimalist
“<a href=”http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-548229/Matthew-McConaughhey-My-nude-bongo-playing-days-far-over.html” target=”_hplink”>I’ve lived in big houses</a> and a big space gave me too many options. I had this amazing chair that I loved but I’d go months without sitting on it. I had some nice paintings on the walls but I’d hardly ever look at them. I realized I didn’t need those things. My Airstream trailer is 28″ by 7″ and it’s got everything I need. My living space is so small that I can sit on the toilet and scramble eggs at the same time. How cool is that?”
On dealing with wild animals
“<a href=”http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-548229/Matthew-McConaughhey-My-nude-bongo-playing-days-far-over.html” target=”_hplink”>It’s amazing how quickly you shower when you think there might be a python in your room</a>. There were heaps of weird creatures around in Queensland when we were shooting ‘Fool’s Gold.’ I had an eight-foot python in the coconut tree in my backyard and a six-foot python in my shed. With pythons about, you quickly get used to sleeping with one eye open.”
On being from Texas
<a href=”http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-548229/Matthew-McConaughhey-My-nude-bongo-playing-days-far-over.html” target=”_hplink”>”To understand me, you need to understand Texan logic</a>. If you come from Texas, you’re 100 percent American but you’ll do things the Texan way. We’re independent. We’ve got our own way of doing things. Try to build fences round us and we’ll run you out of town.”
On his favorite meal
“<a href=”http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-548229/Matthew-McConaughhey-My-nude-bongo-playing-days-far-over.html” target=”_hplink”>You haven’t lived until you’ve tasted my butt chicken</a>. You get a can of beer and leave half of the liquid inside it. Throw a bunch of spices into the can, then stick that in the chicken and stand it up on the grill. The beer will start to boil and the spices begin to lubricate the chicken. Do it right and nothing on this earth tastes better I cooked it up for Al Pacino while we were making ‘Two for the Money.’ He dug it, man. All the proof I need.”
On sticking it to the man
“The older you get, the more rules they are going to try and get you to follow. You just gotta keep on livin’, man. L-I-V-I-N.” — Wooderson in “Dazed and Confused”
On underage sex
“That’s what I like about these high school girls, I keep getting older, they stay the same age.” — Wooderson in “Dazed and Confused.”
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