Category Archives: 0.5 of 5

Magic Mike (2012)

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Magic Mike

Magic Mike

Set in the world of male strippers, Magic Mike is directed by Steven Soderbergh and stars Channing Tatum in a story inspired by his real life. The film follows Mike (Tatum) as he takes a young dancer called The Kid (Pettyfer) under his wing and schools him in the fine arts of partying, picking up women, and making easy money. — (C) Warner Bros.

I figured I’d watch this one eventually, though I was in no hurry. Still, it got some great reviews so I assumed it would be worth the time. I was wrong.

There is not enough dancing to make this a fun, musical romp. Were it to focus more on the club & dance routines, I could at least appreciate it on that level. By trying to add some deeper, dramatic narrative, they set the bar higher . . .

. . . and fell far short.

This is not a convincing drama. It is not compelling love story. Perhaps if they had spent less time on the club & dance routines, they could have focused on telling a good story.

In far too many scenes the dialogue just d-r-a-g-s along, as if the actors are doing a lazy table-reading and keep losing their places on the page. There are some fine actors in this cast, yet they are so poorly used that McConaughey (who built his career on wooden, one-dimensional characters) actually gives the most convincing performance.

The major players in this drama repeatedly make bad decisions, making it very difficult to care what happens to them in the end. Even our “hero” is unlovable for any reason beyond his ripped body and accomplished dance moves.

We are supposed to care that Mike wants to make furniture out of junk, but we never see enough of that side of him to believe it – and the finished pieces they show are pretty blah. We are to feel for his plight trying to save money for, and get a loan toward, this dream – but we don’t know what he actually needs money for. More junk? We are to just accept that while he is alley catting around, he is somehow finding love with a chick that he repeatedly disappoints – and with whom he has zero in common.

Can’t really imagine recommending it to many folks, so based on the Word of Mouth Scale it get half a star.


Rotten Tomatoes: Critics 80%; Audience 63%

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Shadowboxer (2005)

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Shadowboxer

A late-career change of heart leads to a dangerous life on the run for two seasoned assassins whose complex relationship masks a dark past in Shadowboxer, Lee Daniels‘ pulpy film noir. But when Rose is diagnosed with terminal cancer; she decides to carry out one final killing.

Sounds like a good idea and a great cast; Helen Mirren, Cuba Gooding, Stephen Dorff.

Unfortunately, it fails miserably. Even the fine acting can’t save this creepy, icky flick.

I’d sooner sit through 32 hours of Congressional committee testimony about imported yarn than watch “Shadowboxer” again.

Violence, sex….it only merits the half star on the Word of Mouth Scale because of the great cast…and Cuba Gooding’s great backside


Rotten Tomatoes: Critics 19%; Audience 40%

Beyond The Sea (2004)

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Beyond The Sea

It gets half a lip for the times it made me laugh, even if it was unintentional

I was intrigued when I heard Kevin Spacey was making a movie about Bobby Darin – Spacey is a good actor, Darin is an interesting subject..ought to be good, right? WRONG!

Beyond The Sea is possibly the worst movie I have seen in the last 10 years. Possibly worse than a bunch of movies I haven’t seen. In fact, I think the only way to make this movie worse would have been to cast Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez in it.

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