Tagged: Stephen Boss

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:

Step Up All In

Summary: All-stars from the previous Step Up installments come together in glittering Las Vegas, battling for a victory that could define their dreams and their careers.

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: 11th September, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Trish Sie

Screenwriter: John Swetnam, Duane Adler (characters)

Cast: Chaton Anderson (Sophie), Leslie Arcos (Santana Gomez), Stephen Boss (Jason), Jay Brazeau (Mr. McGowan), Celestina (herself), Frank Crudele (Boris), Briana Evigan (Andie), Parris Goebel (Violet), Ryan Guzman (Sean), Misha Gabriel Hamilton (Eddy), Stephen Stevo Jones (Jasper), Mari Koda (Jenny Kido), Karin Konoval (Ana), Facundo Lombard (Marcos Santiago), Martin Lombard (Martin Santiago), Izabella Miko (Alexxa Brava), Luis Rosado (Monster), Christopher Scott (Hair), Adam Sevani (Moose), David Shreibman (Chad), Chadd Smith (Vladd), Cyrus Spencer (Gauge), Alyson Stoner (Camille), Dzajna ‘Jaja’ Vankova (Robot Girl)

Runtime: 112 mins

Classification: PG

 

OUR STEP UP ALL IN REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Greg King: You can check out Greg’s Step Up All In review on www.filmreviews.net.au

Stars(2.5)

 

David Griffiths:

Yes it is the franchise that just won’t die, no matter how much film lovers rant and rave over it or wish for its demise. But seriously who can blame the executive producers for keeping it going now that they have discovered that these dance films cost very little to make and thanks to teenage girls right around the world end up making hundreds of millions of dollars at the box office.

Step Up All In is supposed to be the All-Star Game of this franchise as the best characters/dancers from the previous films line up under the guidance of Sean (Ryan Guzman), Andie (Briana Evigan) and of course the lovable Moose (Adam Sevani) as they try to not only take out the prize offered by a reality show called The Vortex, but prove that dancing can be a fulltime job.

Now I’m actually going to go in and bat for this film a little because despite some of this franchise’s clichéd, recycled storylines and one-dimensional characters creeping in the film does more than enough to please its demographic. The film’s dance sequences are spectacular (despite the fact we are led to believe the characters came up with the finale in just a few hours), and there is more than enough Guzman flesh to keep the teeny boppers happy.

Step Up All In also take a fair swipe at reality television labelling it scripted and corrupt… so it needs to be congratulated for passing that message across to its’ audience. While the storyline revolving around television host Alexxa Brava was let down by Izabella Miko’s acting (was she trying to channel Lady Gaga and the crazy host from The Hunger Games?) at least it tried to make a good point, something that has been rare in Step Up films of the past.

Of course I could also write an entire essay on the weakness of the cast’s acting abilities (is that Asian actress one of the worst actresses to ever hit the big screen???) but of course people don’t go see a Step Up movie to see a Shakespearian performance do they? They’re here for the dancing and that’s about it. Oh, and talking about the Step Up cast, if you’re wondering whether Channing Tatum decides to return to the franchise that made him a name, no he doesn’t, he obviously thinks he is above all this now.

Step Up All In isn’t going to win any awards, but to its credit it also won’t bore its audience to death like some other dance movies have in the past. Now we just have to all sit back and watch as the producers once again count all the cash that comes in.

Stars(2.5)

 

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):  Stars(2.5)

 

IMDB Rating: Step Up All In (2014) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Reviews of ‘Step Up All In′: For our full Step Up All In review please check The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #96 . You can also read Dave’s Step Up All In review on The Book The Film The T-Shirt.

Trailer:

Summary: STEP UP 4 is the next installment in the worldwide smash Step Up franchise, which sets the dancing against the vibrant backdrop of Miami. Emily, the daughter of a wealthy businessman, arrives in Miami with aspirations of becoming a professional dancer, but soon falls in love with Sean, a young man who leads a dance crew in elaborate, cutting-edge flash mobs. The crew, called the MOB, strives to win a contest for a major sponsorship opportunity, but soon Emilys father threatens to develop the MOBs historic neighborhood and displace thousands of people. Emily must band together with Sean and the MOB to turn their performance mobs into protest mobs, and risk losing their dreams to fight for a greater cause.

Year: 2012

Australian Cinema Release Date: 2nd August, 2012

Australian DVD Release Date: 5th December, 2012

Country: United States

Director: Scott Speer

Screenwriter: Duane Adler (characters), Amanda Brody

Cast: Kevin Anthony (Bob Cooper), Dominique Bell (Sarah), Megan Boone (Claire), Stephen Boss (Jason), Cleopatra Coleman (Penelope), Tangi Colombel (Tommy), Tommy Dewey (Trip), Emiliano Diez (Mayor Fernandez), Danielle Dominguez (Vera), Misha Gabriel (Eddy), Peter Gallagher (Mr. Anderson), Ryan Guzman (Sean), Misha Gabriel Hamilton (Eddy), Mari Koda (Jenny Kido), Brandy Lamkin (Brittany), Michael ‘Xeno’ Langebeck (Mercury), Kathryn McCormick (Emily), Mia Michaels (Olivia), Claudio Pinto (Francisco), Mario Ernesto Sanchez (Ricky), Adam Sevani (Moose), Chadd Smith (Vladd), Kevin A. Walton (Bob Cooper), Steve Zurk (Councilman Casey)

Runtime: 99 mins

Classification:PG

Dave Griffiths’s ‘Step Up 4: Miami Heat’ Review:

Thank goodness, finally a breath of fresh air in the Dance Film world. Somebody finally listened to the criticism and as a result Step Up 4: Miami Heat has a storyline that isn’t an exact mirror image of every other Step Up or Streetdance movie made. And because of this you actually have a pretty good dance film at hand.

Set in Miami Step Up 4: Miami Heat follows close buddies Sean (Ryan Guzman – newcomer) and Eddy (Misha Gabriel Hamilton – Centre Stage: Turn It Up, Clerks II ) who have formed a Dance Group known as The Mob. Currently The Mob is taking part in a competition on YouTube which will see them net some cash if they can land ten million viewers.

In a bid to do so The Mob have been conducting a stream of public flash dances that now have the authorities on their scent. Then along comes Emily Anderson (Kathryn McCormick – Fame, TV’S Chasing 8’s) who instantly takes Sean’s breath away.

While things look rosy for the new couple things, but then Emily’s father (Pete Gallagher – TV’S Covert Affairs & Whitney) announces that his property development company will be demolishing the neighborhood that The Mob calls home.

Screenwriter Amanda Brody (newcomer) does deserve credit for being a little adventurous with the storyline but does still need a massive rap of the knuckles due to the fact that while the characters in the film use up a lot of time fighting against commercialism they agree to something at the end of the film that you feel people with such morals would say ‘no’… as a result the film finishes on a bit of a downer and you are left wondering just how much Brody actually knows about characterization.

But what makes Step Up 4: Miami Heat work so well is the work of director, Scott Speer (The LXD: The Secrets Of The Ra, There’s Something About Ashley: The Story Of Headstrong) who captures Miami and the dancing with so unique camera angels that do actually bring real style to the film and make it a joy to watch. A great soundtrack also helps out in that department as well.

Even the acting in Step Up 4: Miami Heat seems better than in the last films. Misha Gabriel Hamilton and Ryan Guzman do good jobs as leading men and while Kathryn McCormick does have a couple of weak moments she does remarkably well for someone who is a dancer and not an actor.

This fourth installment in the Step Up series of films is by far one of the better ones, at least this time you can’t always predict what is going to happen next.

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Step Up 4: Miami Heat’: http://www.helium.com/items/2355536-movie-reviews-step-up-4-miami-heat

Rating: 2.5/5 Stars

IMDB Rating: Step Up Revolution (2012) on IMDb