The genesis of Magic Mike came from conversations between Tatum and Soderbergh while filming Haywire. Tatum let slip that for about two years he was a male stripper while he struggled to become an actor. Soderbergh thought it would make for a good movie so he enlisted the help of screenwriter Reid Carolin and the three men began formulating a story around an all-male dance revue.
There’s a fine line between criticising a show and simply describing the show you think it should have been, but when a satire so deliberately tones down reality I reckon we’re entitled to ask questions.
It rather sums up the problem which I noted last episode (and which will appear even more strongly when we turn to look at the show’s treatment of Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London) that Twenty Twelve hovers oddly between making fun of the games and treating them as Unquestionably A Good Thing.
Still, nice to know the BBC’s independence is sufficiently robust (despite the continual brickbats cast at is as a state broadcaster) to put on a show like this. Even if one does wonder at times why they didn’t either do the thing rather more viciously, or not bother.
As environmental writer Bill McKibben noted on Twitter, the evacuation of the nation’s center for research into global warming in response to a wildfire fueled by drought conditions and an unprecedented heat wave, is “beyond irony.”
While the acting is choppy and sometimes overly dramatic in The Valachi Papers, the story stays close to actual events. It offers an easily digestible history lesson about Cosa Nostra and its origins in America.
Hitler’s Final Solution was not a separate campaign of mass murder, parallel to the fighting on the battlefronts. Instead, the Nazi assault on the Jews was characteristic of the depraved nature of the entire war. Daring commando raids and tank attacks were the stuff of movie newsreels. The “real” war was prosecuted with civilian-targeted aerial bombardments, starvation as a weapon, orgies of rape and torture and other government-sanctioned acts of mass homicide.
“The way I see it,” says Solano, “is that the endorphins kick in and make you feel happy, love dancing, and you want to share it. Your mental ability is improved, and it helps the memory, calms you, and whatever anxieties you have accumulated can be turned around.”
The Newsroom is smart, energetic and definitely going to keep audiences’ attention. Too bad we have to wait a whole week for another episode.
Dark Horse is Todd Solondz’ most accessible movie since his masterpiece Happiness, but that doesn’t mean that the Welcome to the Dollhouse creator is mainstreaming. No, Dark Horse retains the writer-director’s penchant for New York/New Jersey family dynamics, isolation, severely dark humor, painfully uncomfortable awkwardness, and keen insight into human beings.
Tucker’s resignation is the two-headed calf or woman giving birth to rabbits of the modern era: it is demonstrably not natural and probably portends something really very dicey from some quarter or other.
At first glance it seems absolutely obvious what is going on here: to whit, some pretty repulsive misogyny. The potion with Catrina has to take to keep her looking beautiful has a lot in common with the centuries-old anxiety around cosmetics, a handy stand-in for the ideas that women are liars, that they spend their time trying to trap men and that there is something inherently repulsive about women’s bodies.
One of the real points of interest in Merlin is watching the way the show takes medieval/legendary events and tweaks them to fit into the high-school-drama format.
The director’s signature speedy, frenetic zooms punctuate a film that’s smoothly paced and winkingly earnest. The characters perform impossible deeds in stylized slow motion so that we’re too enamored of how cool it looks to care that it’s impossible.
This is not your typical Disney princess rendition of romance. In fact, it has no essential connection to losing one’s heart to a prince. Adventure is Merida’s first love, and above all she longs for the freedom to determine her own fate. Her high spirits make her the apple of her father’s eye, but also bring her into constant clashes with her mother, whose sole aim is to cultivate some courtly bearing in the fiery young lass.