Beverage sales should set records at the theatres this weekend because the audience for Magic Mike promises to be extra thirsty.
Opening at both the Whistler Village 8 and Squamptown's Garibaldi 5, Magic Mike is, of course, the new male-stripper movie starring Channing Tatum and based (loosely) on Channing Tatum's real life experiences as a stripper before he hit it big as a model/dancer/actor. (That's right girls, Tatum is a quadruple threat).
Channing (21 Jump Street, Step Up, Dear John) stars as the handy, likeable guy who, even with a stripper's income, can't get the banks to finance his entrepreneurial dreams. Matthew McConaughey also stars (and apparently also kills it) as the calculating ex-stripper-turned-club-owner while Alex Pettyfer rounds things out playing "The Kid," a wide-eyed young kid with a little swing in his own routine. There's a chick in there too, the sister of the kid/love interest for Tatum. I'm sure the audience will hate her.
Steven Soderberg (Contagion, Traffic) directs Mike with panache, looking like he's ready for some fun after a stint of films with more thematic and tonal punch (but less meaty thwack). From what I understand, Soderberg and the cast deliver, the stripping is top notch and Magic Mike is an incredibly fun romp for the ladies —envision a smarte Showgirls, but with dudes.
Magic Mike is a dance movie, so I'll still be sitting this one out. Unlike my friends Hot Kel and Amy, who say the only way they could possibly be more excited is if they could find it playing in 3D somewhere.
For the dudes, the highlight of the weekend is undoubtedly Ted, Seth (Family Guy) MacFarlane's first feature about a boy who magically wishes his stuffed bear to life, and then they both grow up into pot-smoking, trash talking best buds.
It's a genius high concept but the humour is more lowbrow (albeit relentless) and the hijinks kick in when always-gorgeous Mila Kunis, the belaboured girlfriend of four years, attempts to come between the man and his foul-minded bear.
Mark Walberg and Kunis perform adeptly but never truly elevate the lines they're given and some believe Ted, a film about letting go of childish things, ought to have more sophisticated, grown-up comedic chops. I think that not having those might kinda be the point — you don't need Woody Allen when you have a bong-smoking stuffed animal dry humping a grocery store checkout till. Ted works fine.
The other big news this weekend is that Amazing Spider-Man comes out on Monday, July 2 at midnight. Even though it's essentially a prequel/origins reboot of what's really only a decade-old franchise, this one still looks pretty awesome and the talent involved is all next-gen and top notch. Andrew Garfield (The Social Network) steps into the skin-tight red-and-blues while the always appealing Emma Stone (Zombieland, Superbad) fills the original love-interest role of Gwen Stacey. Rhys Ifans (Twin Town) steps in as Doctor Conner (a.k.a. The Lizard) and the franchise now rests in the hands of director Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer) who definitely has Spidey's McFarlane-era mid-air contortions and webslinging bang on.
I haven't seen this one yet but it's guaranteed to be better than Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 3 (one of the biggest letdowns of the millennium) but let's see if Webb can handle action as well as he does romance. Word around the campfire is that it lacks humour, a staple of the Spidey character. Stay tuned.