Tagged: Juan Piedrahita

Magic Mike XXL

Summary: Mike (Channing Tatum) has been out of the stripper lifestyle for three years, and while his furniture job is doing well it’s not exactly flourishing. Add that to the fact that he is having some personal problems and it doesn’t take Tarzan (Kevin Nash) and Richie (Joe Manganiello) much to convince him to join them once again for their last hurrah.

It seems like Dallas has left the group for good and now the boys have decided that they will go out with a bang at a stripper convention. But not all are pleased to see Mike return, and some are downright insulted that he wants to ‘freshen up’ their routine for the last performance. With not everything going right though Mike soon finds himself on a road trip that sees him become attracted to Zoe (Amber Heard) while also having to come face to face with a ghost from his past, the powerful but seductive, Rome (Jada Pinkett Smith).

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: 9th July 2015

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: United States

Director: Gregory Jacobs

Screenwriter: Reid Carolin

Cast: Elizabeth Banks (Paris), Matt Bomer (Ken), Stephen Boss (Malik), Kimberly Drummond (Caroline), Alison Faulk (White Shadow), Donald Glover (Andre), Raeden Greer (Charlotte), Rhoda Griffis (Julia), Ann Hamilton (Diane), Amber Heard (Zoe), Carrie Anne Hunt (Megan Davidson), Crystal Hunt (Lauren), Gabriel Iglasias (Tobias), Patrick Kearns (Slick Willy), Mary Kraft (Jessica), Andie MacDowell (Nancy Davidson), Joe Manganiello (Big Dick Richie), Jane McNeill (Mae), Kevin Nash (Tarzan), Juan Piedrahita (Salvador), Adam Rodriguez (Tito), Carla Shinall (herself), David Silverman (Scott), Jada Pinkett Smith (Rome), Michael Strahan (Augustus), Channing Tatum (Mike), Vicky Vox (Tori Snatch)

Runtime: 115 mins

Classification: MA15+

 

OUR MAGIC MIKE XXL REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

David Griffiths:

When the first Magic Mike film was announced way back in 2012 a fear (and much laughter) spread across the film loving world. Channing Tatum was starring in a movie about male strippers, it seemed like it would end up being a storyless excuse to get some male flesh on the screen and would end up being one of the worst films of the year. Yet it proved to be something very different as director Steven Soderbergh made it a gritty film exploring the sex industry and the personal make-up of those involved in it. Now comes Magic Mike XXL the sequel which has a lot less fear revolving around it, but sadly if you are expecting a film like the original you are going to be sorely disappointed because this film has everything wrong with it that people were expecting could have gone wrong with the first film.

Really alarm bells should have been ringing before walking into the cinema. No Steven Soderbergh in charge this time round, instead he acts as cinematographer while Gregory Jacobs (a man with two B-Grade movies on his directional resume), and then the news that neither Matthew McConaughey, Cody Horn or Alex Pettyfer were returning either. Then just to add insult to injury Aussie star-on-the-rise Margot Robbie pulled out of her role before shooting began. So why was there such an A-List avoidance of the sequel, because obviously those stars picked up the script and read it.

To be blunt Magic Mike XXL is simply a bunch of music videos with male grinding joined together by a flimsy bus trip that tries in vain to make it seem like the screenwriter didn’t just write lines like “Mike takes his clothes while women throw cash at him.” The screenplay here is lame at best and it seems that both director and screenwriter knew that and instead just tried to do overlong scenes of dialogue in the near-drowning bid to try and give this film some artistic credibility. But the scenes are so long they become boring, the characters so under-developed that become disinteresting while the lack of any sexual chemistry between Mike and his supposed love interest Zoe means the film just fizzles out with no resistance.

In fact the lack of character development in this film is frightening. Screenwriter Reid Carolin (who did funnily enough write the original film) sets up all these interesting little titbits about the various characters but then never fully cashes in on them. I mean come on, a stripper who wants to be a singer, the moment of realization that Mike has danced with Tarzan and didn’t even know he was a Gulf War veteran, both plotlines are a goldmine for a screenwriter but here Carolin just seems to throw them up in casual conversation and then forgets about them.

The weak script here also dangerously lets down the cast. Recently people have been uttering lines like ‘hey maybe Channing Tatum can act’ well here his only worth seems to be to look pouty and take his top off. As a result Tatum comes across looking like a a dumb himbo who has nothing to offer Hollywood at all, it’s like he has flashed back in time and is once again the type of actor who is only hired for his good looks and not his acting ability. Still at least he comes off a little better than the female cast because sadly Amber Heard, Andie MacDowell and Elizabeth Banks are all wasted in their roles and you can only wonder why they agreed to do the film in the first place. The only actress that does get a meaty role is Jada Pinkett Smith whose character of Rome is interesting enough for her own film, especially considering once again the screenwriter here leaves us asking more questions about her than what are answered.

Aside from its soundtrack Magic Mike XXL is a complete let down. Gone are the edginess and the witty script that made the first film so different and instead we are left with a film void of much storyline and just held together by a few dance sequences that aren’t even as impressive as what you would get in a Step Up movie. Avoid, especially if you loved the first one.

 

 

 

Stars(2)

 

 

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):  Stars(2)

 

IMDB Rating: Magic Mike XXL (2015) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Magic Mike XXL reviews: You can also read our Magic Mike XXL review on The Book The Film The T-Shirt.

Trailer:

Safe Haven

Summary: When a mysterious young woman named Katie washes up in the small North Carolina town of Southport, she is determined not to make personal relationships. That is, until she meets Alex, a kind-hearted widowed store owner, struggling to raise his two children. When Katie feels herself falling for him, she must choose between familar safety and the perils that come with love. Based on the acclaimed novel by Nicholas Sparks.

Year: 2013

Australian Cinema Release Date: 14th February, 2013

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Lasse Hallstrom

Screenwriter: Leslie Bohem, Dana Stevens, Nicholas Sparks (book)

Cast: George Dawe (Lt. Blakely), Daniel Cochran Donovan (Mr. Feldman), Josh Duhamel (Alex), Julianne Hough (Katie), Mimi Kirkland (Lexie), Noah Lomax (Josh), David Lyons (Tierney), Cullen Moss (Police Officer Bass), Robin Mullens (Maddie), Juan Piedrahita (Jr. Detective Ramirez), Mike Pniewski (Lieutenant Robinson), Ric Reitz (Police Chief Mulligan), Cobie Smulders (Jo), Red West (Roger), Irene Ziegler (Mrs. Feldman)

Runtime: 118 mins

Classification:M

Dave Griffiths’s ‘Safe Haven’ Review: 

Romantic dramas are always designed for woman and poor men dragged along to see them have to sit them and get bored, right? Wrong! Author Nicholas Sparks seems to have been on a one man mission over the last few years to change that very perception. Certainly his film ‘The Notebook’ seemed to affect men more than woman and now he has delivered ‘Safe Haven’ a film that is a romance at heart but also features a suspense/thriller storyline that is guaranteed to impress film goers of both sexes.

Based on Nicholas Sparks’ best-selling novel of the same name ‘Safe Haven’ starts with young Katie (Julianne Hough – ‘Rock Of Ages’, ‘Footloose’) desperate to find a bus anywhere as she seeks to escape from Detective Tierney (David Lyons – ‘Save Your Legs’, ‘Swerve’), who highlights her as a murder suspect. Katie jumps onto the first bus she can get onto and soon finds herself in the small coastal town of Southport (in North Carolina) where she decides she can hideout.

Katie quickly finds a house and a job and she plans to try and keep herself as ‘out-of-sight’ as possible, but that plan fails as she soon as her next-door neighbour Jo (Cobie Smulders – ‘The Avengers’, TV’S ‘How I Met Your Mother’) while she finds herself drawing closer to the local shopkeeper, Alex (Josh Duhamel – ‘Movie 43’, ‘New Year’s Eve’) and his two children Josh (Noah Lomax – ‘Playing For Keeps’, TV’S ‘Mad Love’) and Lexie (Mimi Kirkland – newcomer). But no matter what Katie tries to do with her life she soon discovers that you can’t just run from your past.

Director Lasse Hallstrom (The Hypnotist, Salmon Fishing In The Yemen) does a great job making sure the romance and suspense genres flow together brilliantly in this film. OF course he is helped out by a wonderful script that not only sees a great set-up of characters but also delivers a powerful twist that comes out of nowhere, although be warned before this occurs those who love a good crime thriller may be questioning some of the things that are happening but the twist answers everything.

The other thing that the screenwriting team have done so well is create characters that are believable and more importantly ones that are easy to care about. While there are a lot questions you want to ask about Katie early on she is still likable, while Alex and his kids never put a foot wrong so you certainly don’t want to see anything happen to them.

‘Safe Haven’ also gives the cast an amazing chance to show what they are really capable of. In Hollywood Julianne Hough is known for her singing and dancing but her she plays a dramatic role with ease and she makes the perfect couple with Josh Duhamel who shows that he more than capable than just fighting large robots in ‘Transformers’. Aussie David Lyons (who most would remember from ‘Sea Patrol’ also does a sensational job in a testing role, while youngster Mimi Kirkland does enough to suggest that she is one of the most talented child actors going around.

This is one romantic drama that is certainly worth the price of admission and is proof that when a film is done right in this genre, it can work really well.

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Save Haven′: Check Episode #20 of our The Good The Bad The Ugly Podcast for a more in-depth review of ‘Safe Haven’. Dave’s other review of Safe Haven can also be read on the Helium Entertainment Channel.

Rating: 4/5

IMDB Rating: Safe Haven (2013) on IMDb