Friday, June 29, 2012

Now playing: Magic Mike and a new generation of "bad news"

Posted By on 06.29.12 at 10:10 AM

They work hard for the money--so hard, honey honey.
  • They work hard for the money—so hard, honey honey.
Steven Soderbergh seems to have modeled this crowd-pleasing tale about male strippers in Tampa on such gritty 1970s comedies as Bob Rafelson's Stay Hungry and Michael Ritchie's The Bad News Bears, whose broad comedy was undercut by an unsentimental view of economic recession. The primary characters here are a vain up-and-coming stripper (Alex Pettyfer) who sleeps on his sister's couch because he can't afford his own place, a burgeoning entrepreneur (Channing Tatum) who manages three separate businesses when he isn't stripping, and a seemingly dimwitted emcee (Matthew McConaughey, often hilarious) who turns out to be a shrewd accountant. The dance numbers, choreographed by Allison Faulk, are inventive and athletic, but not really erotic; Soderbergh never lets you forget that, for these men, dancing is above all a job.

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