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Set in the world of male strippers, Mike takes a young dancer called The Kid under his wing and schools him in the fine arts of partying, picking up women, and making easy money.
For more about Magic Mike and the Magic Mike Blu-ray release, see Magic Mike Blu-ray Review published by Kenneth Brown on October 19, 2012 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.
Starring: Channing Tatum, Matthew McConaughey, Matt Bomer, Olivia Munn, Alex Pettyfer, James Martin Kelly
Director: Steven Soderbergh
» See full cast & crew
Magic Mike Blu-ray Review
"Alright, alright, alright!"
Reviewed by Kenneth Brown, October 19, 2012
2012 has been quite the year for Step Up alum Channing Tatum. Slick, sinewy surprise Haywire featured the actor in a small but explosive role. Sleepy, sappy romance The Vow broke Valentine's Day records and pulled in $200 million worldwide. Blindingly funny action-comedy 21 Jump Street left audiences in stitches, killed at the box office, and easily stands as one of the best comedies of the year. Which brings us to Magic Mike, Tatum's loosely autobiographical male stripper opus. As much of a surprise as Haywire, as successful as The Vow, as memorable as 21 Jump Street, and produced on a $7 million dime, director Steven Soderbergh's spin on his leading man's experiences and Reid Carolin's screenplay isn't at all what you might expect. Whether or not that's a good thing is another matter entirely.
Ladies, ladies, ladies! Welcome Magic Mike to the stage! Or just Mike Lane (Channing Tatum) to those who know him outside of work. And where would that be? Xquisite, a rowdy Florida strip club owned by his friend and mentor Dallas (Matthew McConaughey, The Lincoln Lawyer) and staffed with a full squad of male strippers, among them Big Dick Richie (Joe Manganiello, True Blood), Ken (White Collar), Tito (Adam Rodríguez, CSI: Miami) and Tarzan (Kevin Nash, Rock of Ages). Mike is at the top of his game but dreams of a better life; one in which he's a furniture designer rather than a part-time jack of all trades moonlighting as one of Florida's most talented exotic dancers. That doesn't stop him from giving someone else a shot, though, and that hand-selected protégé is Adam (Alex Pettyfer, Beastly), a young man Dallas dubs "The Kid," shoves on stage in front of a hungry audience, and watches develop a skillset The Kid didn't know he had in him. Adam's sister Brooke (Cody Horn, Twelve) is none too pleased, naturally, but that doesn't stop her from ogling Mike, or keeping a few doors open to a few possibilities. Mike in turn has to choose between Brooke and current fling Joanna (Olivia Munn, Newsroom), figure out if owning his own business is worth the hassle and heartache, and finally decide what he wants to be when he grows up.
Tatum isn't in his element, at least not in the way his enthusiasm, winning grin and pure electric, near-inhuman dancing might suggest. He's being liberated from it, right in front of our eyes. It must be immensely satisfying as an artist to walk away from your past, achieve something great and then call upon that past to create something revealing, something honest. Something potentially extraordinary. And Tatum is an artist secure enough in his past and confident enough in his future to do just that. Magic Mike could have been a dark, anguished lament or a backstage exploration of a lurid profession sullied by sex, drugs and ego. And while it is to some small degree, it's also much more. Tatum, Soderbergh and all involved serve up seven men who, in many regards, absolutely love what they do. Mike loves what he does. Loves the power he wields, the magnetism he possesses, the worship he elicits from his shrieking audience. He gets a thrill out of it, and not a cheap thrill either. Even when Dallas is at his sleaziest or the gig is at its most demeaning, walking away from it all requires real sacrifice. Mike is a nice guy, a smart guy, and he doesn't fit the mold most screenwriters and filmmakers would have fashioned. And it's in those moments that Magic Mike comes alive. Watching The Kid lose himself in the throes of excess is irritating and, frankly, beneath Soderbergh, who rarely dabbles in genre convention. Watching Mike embrace then slowly begin to resist his lifestyle, though, all while navigating endless temptations to accept his lot, is exhilarating.
Unfortunately, The Kid isn't the only irritation. Soderbergh and Carolin invest very little time into fleshing out Mike's co- workers... save Dallas, a wild-eyed caricature of a veteran stripper chained to a runaway McConaughey train. McConaughey heists entire scenes from his co-stars, Tatum included, but even he isn't given a lot to work with other than a high on his own supply command of the stage and screen. Richie hurts his back while hoisting a woman into the air but no time is devoted to dissecting how an injury affects business. Tarzan is older than his chiseled brethren but his role as an aging stripper isn't mined for value. (Poor Nash had to resort to wearing a brace just to hint at the real man at the heart the cartoon stripper.) Like the others, he's reduced to mere set dressing. A prop in an arena where Mike, The Kid, Dallas and Brooke are the only characters that warrant Soderbergh's attention. It doesn't help that Pettyfer lacks prowess and presence (even at The Kid's career peak), Horn is dull and wooden, and a miscast Gabriel Iglesias struggles as Xquisite's pill-pushing DJ. But then there's Munn, who's fantastic in what few scenes she's handed. Had the Newsroom actress been awarded Horn's role, Mike and Brooke's love story would have been worth the screentime it's afforded. Ultimately, Magic Mike delivers on numerous fronts -- especially during its brilliantly and fiercely choreographed dance sequences -- but veers off course as often as it stays on target.
Magic Mike Blu-ray, Video Quality
Shot with Red Epic high definition cameras, Magic Mike has its share of striking scenes, particularly when the boys get down to business. But Soderbergh's eye for the mundane is ever at work, skewing color as he sees fit, often to almost monochromatic ends. Yellow dominates Soderbergh's palette outside of the club, with vibrant blues, reds and purples reserved for the stage. Skintones follow suit, jaundiced when Mike is about town but lifelike when he and his co-stars step in front of an audience. None of it amounts to an issue, of course, as Warner's 1080p/AVC-encoded video transfer is faithful to the filmmaker's intentions in every regard. Yes, contrast and clarity are inconsistent on the whole, and yes, darker scenes tend to be a bit murky, but that's the movie Soderbergh shot and that's the movie as it appears. Detail still impresses more often than not, with well-resolved textures, crisp edges (generally free of ringing) and, all things considered, decent delineation. There also aren't any serious instances of macroblocking, banding or aliasing, although crush and a host of inherent (but minor) anomalies crop up from time to time. Magic Mike's presentation doesn't strut its stuff as readily as Mike and his colleagues, but it looks great nonetheless.
Magic Mike Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Boom boom boom! Ba-da bum bum. Boom boom boom! Warner's infectious DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track walks away with the movie. The Xquisite dance sequences take full advantage of the entire soundfield, with pulsing, pounding low-end downbeats, aggressive rear speaker support and the roar of a hungry crowd. Directionality isn't just convincing, it's eerily realistic. Pans aren't smooth, they're disarming. Dynamics are satisfying, they're downright invigorating. Even when Soderbergh pulls back from the strip club, the only thing that drops is the volume. Ambient effects, interior acoustics and other immersive qualities of the mix are as involving as ever, they're simply less commanding and more subtle. Dialogue remains clean, clear and carefully prioritized throughout as well, even though hiss and other less than desirable room or street noise are undeterred and, every now and then, a bit distracting. No matter. The moment the music starts, whatever shortcomings the film's sound design has endured are soon forgotten.
Magic Mike Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Magic Mike Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
For all its flash and sizzle, Magic Mike will go down as a lesser film in Soderbergh's canon. It has that patented Soderbergh spark, that unconventional indie hook. But not in every regard, and certainly not when it comes to every aspect of the movie. Tatum, McConaughey, Munn and a string of impressive dance sequences defy expectation. Everything else? Not so much. Just don't tell that to Warner Bros. With an excellent video transfer and an outstanding DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track, Magic Mike's Blu-ray release is a strong one, so long as you're willing to overlook its too-close-to- barebones supplemental package. Worth a blind buy? I'd rent before purchasing. Worth picking up if you're already a fan? Absolutely.
Magic Mike: Other Editions
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Magic Mike Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Steven Soderbergh to Return for Magic Mike XXL - May 20, 2014
Director Steven Soderbergh will be back for Magic Mike XXL, the sequel to his zesty dramedy Magic Mike. However, this time Soderbergh will apparently serve as camera operator, director of photography and editor.
• This Week on Blu-ray: October 23-30 - October 21, 2012
On Tuesday, one of the year's most surprising big-screen hits arrives on Blu-ray. On the surface, Magic Mike appeared to be the kind of high-concept, low-intelligence romantic comedy that usually gets dumped in the movie doldrums of summer, but director Steven ...
• Magic Mike Blu-ray - August 29, 2012
Warner Home Entertainment has announced that it will release a combo pack edition of director Steven Soderbergh's Magic Mike (2012), starring Matthew McConaughey, Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer and Olivia Munn. The release will be available for purchase on October ...
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