Magic Mike: Can you say “ShowMANship?”

The summer movies are here, and over the next few day we’ll give a look at some of the best ones. For some, you’ll need to hunt a bit….the art house theater or the nearest big city, but our first popcorn possibility, Magic Mike, is certainly playing at your nearest multi-screen

The stripper with a heart of gold is a literary and cinematic chestnut. The twist here, the stripper is a guy.

Matthew McConaughey plays Dallas, a deliciously sleazy older stripper, the guy with the unrealistic dreams and triple tacky costumes. Channing Tatum, in the title role inspired by his eight months of real-life stripping in Tampa, is Mike, the super hunky, super nice lead dancer with even bigger dreams of his own.

No acting stretch, playing the hunky part. Nor the dancing part.

Magic Mike is directed by quality director Steven Soderberg, of Michael Clayton and Traffic. Only bit that didn’t sweep me in was the roofing sequence up top (dancer earning few hundred a night works days on a roof for $17.50 and hour?)…but it’s there so Channing can meet, and take under his wing, a young no-account fellow… played by Alex Pettyfer, and, just as important, meet his (rightfully, righteously, suspicious) sister played by Cody Horn.

There’s plenty of great dancing here…is it an embarrassment to admit I’ve never been to a club like this myself?…but I’m guessing what we’ve got here is way better choreographed, lighted, and danced than the real thing…plus, no cooties anywhere…

And there is real story, not a surprising story, but a real story, no tidy endings.

Only tidiness is in the male grooming.

A four-bikini movie.

About Karen Ray

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