Magic Mike (Blu-ray)

October 19, 2012 8 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

My wife must not know what to think of me. I mean really, her husband has been looking forward to a movie about male strippers!  Male strippers!  All kidding aside, I really am a fan of pretty much anything Stephen Soderbergh puts out.  Even his lesser-known films have intrigued me.  So when I saw the previews for Magic Mike, starring Channing Tatum (whose been in just about every movie in the last two years), I really didn’t know what to think.  Stephen Soderbergh, who has given us films like Traffic, Ocean’s Eleven and Out of Sight is now tackling a project with male strippers as the main plot point?  Ok, now this I’ve got to see.  After reading Roger Ebert’s review of the film, he did have several valid points (as he usually does), but one that resonated with me was this “…I imagine that any profession where you’re paid in cash to have others touch your genitals is, at the very least, demeaning…”  Is the life of a stripper, male or female, really glamorous?  Hollywood doesn’t seem to think so.

Mike (Channing Tatum) is an uneducated entrepreneur who has fallen into the profession of a male stripper.  In truth, he only does this a few days a week, but it’s given him the financial freedom to pursue some of his other interests; namely creating one-of-a-kind furniture.  He works construction on his “off days” and as fate would have it, meets Adam (Alex Pettyfer) who he refers to as “the kid.”  Adam is quickly thrust, pardon the pun, into this crazy world that Mike knows all about and isn’t quite sure how to handle it all.  Of course Mike’s long term plans involve financial independence, which is what he hopes to get by partnering with the club’s owner, Dallas (Matthew McConaughey).  Naturally there’s a love interest for Mike and when he can’t count on his reliable booty call, Joanna (Olivia Munn) he’s pursuing Brooke (Cody Horn), who just so happens to be “the kid’s” sister. Things will all work out for Mike, right?

Magic Mike was a box office hit this last summer, bringing in over $100 million.  I’m assuming that most of the core demographic were females, but who really knows?  Putting the subject matter aside, it’s really a well-crafted movie.  Is it really so much different than, say, Pretty Woman?  I doubt it.  Certainly it’s not Soderbergh’s best, but I credit him for tackling the film that could have been loaded with cliches and just been, well, a total mess.  Make no mistake about it, there are three stars in the film: Channing Tatum, Matthew McConaughey and Alex Pettyfer.  Though the background “strippers” are all well-known actors themselves: Joe Manganiello (True Blood), Matt Bomer (White Collar) and Alex Rodriguez (CSI: Miami). While it’s true that there are those out there that simply won’t see this movie due to the subject matter, it’s a shame.  For those that do, they’ll be rewarded with a great script, acting and, for the men, physiques that most will never be able to achieve.

Video: How does it look?

Stunning.  Really.  Stunning!  Magic Mike comes to Blu-ray presented in a 2.40:1 AVC HD image that’s second to none.  I suppose there’s no other way to view oiled-up men, right?  Truthfully, though, I was hard-pressed to find anything wrong with the way this looked.  The clarity is such that it has a 3D like effect.  As he so often does, Soderbergh uses a lot of yellowish filters for the outdoor scenes, giving Tampa (where the film takes place) a very tropical and glossy feel.  Soderbergh also served as the film’s cinematographer and editor (albeit under two different names).  Contrasting with the outdoor scenes are the scenes in the club, baked in darkness save for what’s happening on stage.  The outfits sparkle, the abs are oiled and if it’s lots of male skin you want to see – you’ve come to the right place.  In truth, we don’t see “everything” and that was fine by me.  There’s also some female nudity thrown in for good measure.  Warner has done this title right, even down to the old school Warner logo that opens the film.  A spectacular transfer.

Audio: How does it sound?

Damn, this sounds amazing.  My wife and I watched the film and I cranked up the receiver to “11”, so to speak.  Let’s start out with the vocals, very strong and crisp.  Channing Tatum does tend to mumble a bit, though his voice sounds clear throughout.  Matthew McConaughey’s booming southern twang sounds amazing all the way through, but it’s the dance scenes that take center stage (again, pardon the pun).  This Blu-ray even has a “Dance Play Mode” that allows you to play the dance scenes back to back.  While I didn’t do that, I can say without a doubt, that this is some of the most robust audio I’ve heard in a while.  The LFE make the room thump, the surrounds make you feel like you’re in the middle of a club and the entire experience is so immersive, I can’t really say any more. It’s a top notch effort and this lossless DTS HD Master Audio soundtrack is amazing in every sense of the word.

Supplements: What are the extras?

The supplements are actually a bit on the lighter side.  I was surprised at the lack of supplements and given the success of the film, was expecting a bit more.  At the very least a commentary track by Soderbergh.  No such luck.  What we do get are a bit superficial, the EPK “Backstage on Magic Mike” isn’t too enlightening, it’s an interview with the choreographer who tells us that Channing Tatum is the only one who could dance (he was a stripper for a brief time about ten years ago).  As previously mentioned, there’s a “Dance Play Mode” that lets you play all the dance scenes back to back.  There are some extended dance scenes that do show a bit more skin.  Other than that, that’s all we get.  The second disc is a DVD of the film and an Ultraviolet copy is there as well.

See a slideshow for Magic Mike!

Magic Mike available on Blu-ray Combo pack, DVD and for download 10/23!

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