Magic Mike (Blu-ray) (2012)

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Released 26-Nov-2012

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Backstage on Magic Mike (6:55) : Interviews and excerpts.
Additional Footage-Extended strip scenes w Bomer and Manganiello (6:09)
Additional Footage-Extended strip scene w Rodriguez (2:35)
Music Highlights-Dance Play Mode (18:40) : Collection of strip scenes.
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2012
Running Time 110:21
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Steven Soderbergh
Studio
Distributor
Filmation
Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Channing Tatum
Matthew McConaughey
Matt Bomer
Alex Pettyfer
Joe Manganiello
Adam Rodriguez
Cody Horn
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI $49.95 Music Jack Rayner


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (448Kb/s)
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.40:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking Yes, Appropriate for setting of story.
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, Credits at end of movie.

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

†††† Magic Mike, the latest from director Steven Soderbergh (Haywire), is a surprisingly tame affair, despite the fact that it is set in the world of the male stripper. This is not to say that the film is not enjoyable or entertaining. It is, but it seems a pity that such a capable filmmaker has delivered such a "safe" depiction of this world of male striptease, a world I can't recall being explored before in mainstream cinema.

†††† Recently crowned The Sexiest Man in the World, Channing Tatum (21 Jump Street), stars as Magic Mike, a Tampa, Florida, labourer by day and a headlining male stripper by night. Harbouring a dream to design and manufacture high-end custom furniture, Mike strips as star member of a troupe presided over by Dallas, played by a superbly buffed Matthew McConaughey (Killer Joe). Also in the troupe are Ken (Matt Bomer from TV's White Collar), Tito (Adam Rodriguez of TV's CSI : Miami), Big Dick Richie (Joe Manganiello, the muscular werewolf from True Blood) and Tarzan (Kevin Nash from Rock of Ages). On his construction job, Mike meets nineteen-year old Adam (Alex Pettyfer / Beastly), but Adam's employment is cut short when he is found to be light fingered. Mike takes Adam bar hopping to recruit an audience for the strip show, and the young man is intrigued when he realises that Mike is a stripper. Before you can say "Ruby Keeler", Adam is almost naked on stage delighting the female audience at Dallas's venue. Adam has an older sister, Brooke (Cody Horn), who disapproves of her brother's new friends, especially Mike, but she is mightily impressed when she sees a stripped Mike gyrating on stage. This all reminded me of an old Betty Grable Fox effort from the 40s, with Betty the new chorine in a line-up of experienced hoofers. Only here we have studly young - or youngish - males and they are wearing considerably less than Betty ever wore in any of her movies.

†††† Soderbergh's movie is all very shallow and superficial, which is the pity. The cast is good. Channing Tatum acts well, better than in those dreary Dear John type concoctions, looks magnificent in a g-string, and can actually dance. Before breaking into acting Tatum evidently worked as a stripper, so the experience no doubt helps. Matthew McConaughey is very strong in his one dimensional role, while displaying more rippling musculature than any of his younger co-stars. Alex Pettyfer is effective, but the script fails to develop his character. Which is more than I can say for the material handed to Bomer, Rodriguez and Manganiello. These three have built followings with their very strong TV roles in their respective series, but here they are merely cardboard cut-outs, with minimal dialogue. In the only important female role, Cody Horn, with minor TV credentials, scores well. It would be interesting to know why such a soft approach was made to the story and the characters in the movie. In an early scene a p**** pump is glimpsed being used by one of the performers preparing for his act. That was a jolting image, but an isolated second in the almost two hour running time. The superficiality of the storytelling is emphasised by the look of the film. Soderbergh - director and, under pseudonyms, also photographer and editor - has chosen to use two colour palettes. The everyday scenes are all presented in an overexposed, goldenish haze, like the end of a hot and smoky summer's day. At times the entire image is orange - sky, skin tones, the lot. Then when we go inside the strip venue we get brilliant colour, with strong and vibrant primary hues. It seems evident that Soderbergh is making a statement about these two worlds, contrasting the realism of everyday life with the idealised fantasy world on stage. Unfortunately, this is not evident in what is portrayed dramatically on the screen. Mike is the same Mike, be it day or night, beach or club. The conceit of the two different colour palettes is merely a phony bit of artiness imposed onto a screenplay which does not make the distinction between the two worlds.

†††† Forget my grumblings about the film. This was a big hit in its cinema release, and I guess most sitting down at home to watch are looking for a bit of raunchy male nudity - but you don't get it - starring one of the major hunks of the age. Channing Tatum certainly delivers the goods - and to give him his due, so does Matthew McConaughey. It all sounds great, with excellent use made of catalogue music, including Foreigner, Martha Wash's It's Raining Men, Big and Rich's Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy) and Kissís Calling Dr. Love. Mike is certainly not "magic", but it is enjoyable, attractive entertainment. The highlight of a Betty Grable film was when she flashed those million dollar legs. Has anything really changed ?

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Transfer Quality

Video

†††† The film is given a high-def transfer which, while undoubtedly doing justice to the filmmaker's vision, may disappoint some.

†††† The feature is presented at the original ratio of 2.40:1.

†††† The orange dominated scenes lose in clarity and detail, and the interiors of the strip club, rather like a Vegas casino in decadent glory, also lack the detail we get from the best discs. Although this is not a dazzling disc, the film is rendered well. The lack of detail is somewhat compensated for by the excellent photography, with excellent use of the widescreen image employing interesting angles and compositions. There is one angle used in a car that I can't get out of my head. Colour is variable, with the use of the two palettes. I very much dislike the dominance of orange in so many of today's films. However, the image looks strong and solid, and delivers a cinematic feel to the viewing experience.

†††† I could see no sign of video artefacts.

†††† The Descriptive Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired were sampled and found to be very good. All dialogue is white and centred at the base of the image, with any effects described in yellow.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

†††† This disc contains three audio streams : English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround Encoded and the English Dolby Digital audio description stream.

†††† Dialogue is basically front and centred with every syllable crystal clear. There are no sync problems.

†††† Although there is no noticeable movement across the fronts, the surround channels are given an exhaustive workout. Ambience is particularly strong in the club sequences and the catalogue music sounds tremendous. The LFE channel adds enormously to the music, thumping and driving the dance sequences with real excitement. Although not as strong, the original score by Jack Rayner is also given excellent surround treatment.

†††† The Descriptive Narration for the Vision Impaired is delivered in the usual flat youngish male tone, which sounded very funny at times. It is very odd listening to this detached, reserved voice describing the self-groping of the strippers when in action.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

†††† The extras here are light on, basically delivering more of the on-stage gyrations from the athletic, near naked, male cast.

Menu

†††† The menu is presented over a montage of strip scenes featuring Feels Like the First Time on the soundtrack.

Featurette: Backstage on Magic Mike (6:55)

†††† With a mixture of interview footage at 1.78:1 and excerpts from the movie at the 2.40:1, all in high-def , this is pure fluff. The choreographer is amazed at the ability of the guys, particularly Channing Tatum, and all of the actors involved express their discomfort with the partial nudity. Hmmmm . Tatum has little to say considering his real life experience in the art.

Extended Scenes: Gold and Ken Doll Extended Scenes (6:09)

†††† Here we are given two extended dance sequences, without the final audio processing. It all seems so much tamer without the revved up music and audience hysteria - almost embarrassing. We see Joe Manganiello as a gold g-stringed Michelangelo's David having sex with a table, and Matthew Bomer as Malibu Ken, doing his doll dance, and stripping for his final thrusts.

Extended Scenes: Navy Extended Scene (2:31)

†††† Here is more as above, this time with Adam Rodriguez, resplendent in his navy whites before he strips for some raunchy shore leave recreation.

Compilation of Strip Sequences: Dance Play Mode (18:40)

†††† For all us connoisseurs of good acting, here we can enjoy twenty minutes of the strip club action without having to bother with all the drama, and that arty bleached out colour.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

††† The local release misses out on French and Spanish dubbed Dolby Digital 5.1 audio, and French and Spanish subtitles.

Summary

†††† Magic Mike is a superficial entertainment, with an old tale given a new, sexual twist. Male flesh, almost naked, abounds and the performances, in a paper thin screenplay, are sound. Channing Tatum looks like a star, stunning in his dance strip performances and convincing in his dramatic scenes. Matthew McConaughey is very strong also, but the rest of the male cast merely add background eye candy. This could have been much worse - and, with a stronger approach to the subject matter, it also could have been very much better. As it stands, it is an enjoyable bit of light entertainment - the meagre extras focussing on what is the core of the film, male pulchritude.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Garry Armstrong (BioGarry)
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Review Equipment
DVDSONY BLU RAY BDP-S350, using HDMI output
DisplaySamsung LA55A950D1F : 55 inch LCD HD. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-DS777
SpeakersVAF DC-X fronts; VAF DC-6 center; VAF DC-2 rears; LFE-07subwoofer (80W X 2)

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