Commentary

July 13, 2012

In theaters

Fly Over: Magic Mike: In Florida, male strippers earn their keep

by Capt. Tristan Hinderliter

When Channing Tatum was 19, he worked for a while as an exotic dancer in Tampa, Fla., going by the moniker “Chan Crawford,” and wow, does this dude have some moves. With a 6’1” frame and built like a linebacker, he moves with the grace and athleticism of a gymnast.

Tatum uses that background and body to full advantage in “Magic Mike,” a funny, serious film directed by Steven Soderbergh (who also directed Tatum in the 2011 mixed martial arts slugfest “Haywire”) based on a screenplay by Reid Carolin.

Soderbergh masterfully marshals the ripped abs and gyrating hips of a tremendous ensemble cast, including Matthew McConaughey, who is in top form here as Dallas, who manages (and performs at) the male strip club Xquisite in Tampa. Clad in nothing but black leather chaps, vest and cowboy hat, McConaughey has never been more charismatic on-screen (which is saying a lot).

He has five men working for him, Ken (Matt Bomer), Tarzan (Kevin Nash), Tito (Adam Rodriguez of “CSI: Miami”), and a gentleman played by Joe Manganiello whose “nom de strip,” as it were, I cannot repeat in this family-friendly newspaper.

But the superstar is Tatum, who goes by the nickname “Magic Mike.” Mike also works in construction, runs a mobile detailing service, and has dreams of opening his own custom-furniture store.

One day on the construction site, he meets Adam (Alex Pettyfer), a 19-year-old slacker who has just moved to Tampa to live with his sister, Brooke (Cody Horn). Adam gets fired his first day on the job when the foreman accuses him of stealing. His car won’t start, so Mike gives him a ride home.

The following evening, Adam is out in the bar district when he runs into Mike outside a club. Even though he is underdressed in jeans and a hoodie, Mike gets him in and puts him up to approaching a couple of girls standing at the bar. When he does, Mike swoops in to tell the girls he will be performing that night at Xquisite.

Adam, who has just learned of Mike’s other occupation, accompanies him to the club. Despite the fact that he is underage, Dallas agrees to pay him to help with the night’s show. When one of the regular performers overdoses, Adam is pushed out on stage in his place. It turns out “The Kid,” as he comes to be called, is a natural.

Over the next few weeks, Adam and Mike become friends, and Mike hits it off with Brooke. As Mike takes Adam under his wing, he shows him the ropes of stripping, takes him to parties and introduces him to women. Brooke isn’t happy with Adam’s new lifestyle, but Mike promises to take care of him.

When drugs are introduced into the equation, however, things take a bad turn. Ultimately, this film is more a morality tale than buddy comedy movie, and in fact has some parallels to “Boogie Nights,” Paul Thomas Anderson’s magnificent 1997 movie set in California’s adult entertainment industry of the 1970s and 80s.

Soderberg, whose credits include the “Ocean’s Eleven” movies and “Traffic,” has experience directing charismatic actors in an ensemble cast, which he does superbly in this movie. And while Tatum and Pettyfur may not be Pitt and Clooney, “Magic Mike” definitely holds its own with the big boys.

Chan Crawford, I’m guessing, would be proud.

“Magic Mike” is rated R for sexuality and some violence.



About the Author

Capt. Tristan Hinderliter
Capt. Tristan Hinderliter
Tristan Hinderliter is a full-time Public Affairs Officer and part-time pop culture critic. When he's not listening to the Adam Carolla Podcast, he's usually watching movies. His favorite directors include David Lynch, Paul Thomas Anderson, the Coen Brothers, Martin Scorsese, David Fincher and Alexander Payne.


All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Resource management — Doing more with less

Since I joined the Air Force in 1992, our manpower and resources have been gradually reduced with no obvious change to the mission we support. While this has been labeled “doing more with less,” I don’t believe we’re truly doing any more than we did when I entered the military 22 years ago. We seem...
 
 

Situational awareness

Throughout my career, the importance of situational awareness has been driven into my head. This became exceedingly clear to me when I landed in Tabuk, Saudi Arabia. It was March 17, 2003, about 48 hours until Operation Iraqi Freedom kicked off. We were busy building tents, making bunkers and preparing to execute the mission. Doing...
 
 

Chaplain’s thoughts …

There are times in our lives which are marked by a flash of inspiration. Some coincidental event takes place that brings new insight or understanding. One such event happened for me this past fall at the funeral Mass of one of Luke’s longtime friends, Katie Gillen. Miss Katie served as our base librarian for many...
 

 
Kingdom_Hearts_II_(PS2)

Fly Over: ‘Kingdom Hearts II’ and ‘Coaching Bad′

For Play Station II: ‘Kingdom Hearts II’ “Kingdom Hearts II” was released in 2005 for the Play Station 2 gaming console. The game is the sequel to “Kingdom Hearts” but the third in the series published by Square Eni...
 
 

Don’t get ‘Promotion Remorse’

The day I closed on my first house, my realtor and I did a final walk through to ensure there were no last-minute issues that needed addressing. Since I was a first-time home buyer, I didn’t know what to look for, so I finished my walk-through in 20 minutes. My realtor insisted on staying to...
 
 

Keep military records in check

A common issue we see at the 56th Force Support Squadron Military Personnel Section is that our military customers wait until the last minute to check their records. This can become an issue that can cause hardship on the member when it comes to promotion boards, permanent changes of station, retirement and separation. One scenario...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin