February Blind Spot Review: Magic Mike (2012)

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“You are the husband they never had! You are that dreamboat guy that never came along!”
– Dallas

SYNOPSIS: A male stripper teaches a younger performer how to party, pick up women, and make easy money. – via IMDB

magic mike hmmmmmmmmmmmmmatt-bomer-magic-mike

Not even remotely my cup of tea (though it seems I am very much in the minority with this), but this is specially for my bestie, even though she made me watch this, and even though this drives her to contemplate whether it would be worth burning her house down or not:

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GRADE 6Alrighty, so this was a selection that made my list because, when I sent my final few Blind Spot possibilities, Natasha absolutely jumped on this one. I was unsure as to whether this was because it was crap, because there was a lot of flesh all over for perviness, because the plot was so non-existent I might murder my TV, if she just wanted to hear my bitch session live, or because again, more flesh. So anyway, back to Magic Mike. The movie was… okay. Actually, it was significantly better than I thought it would be, what with all the negative feedback on it, but it is still a far cry from a masterpiece. It was shot very well and had music, while not my favourite, that was well suited for the film. The cast came with relatively impressive names attached to it, but they were criminally underused. I am looking specifically here at Matt Bomer and Matthew McConaughey. I expected more from them. It would have been nice. On the flesh front, however, there was a lot (and by this I mean extremely little clothing) going on. The movie successfully managed to never cross over into tacky territory, which was good – nice job, Soderbergh – but covered up the lack of story by stripping and dancing its way through everything. Magic Mike is a great watch for a girls night: few cuties, lots of flesh, every girl’s secret fantasy to be dominated and plucked out of chairs and just carried off like that thrown up on screen, you get it all – but again, absolutely no story. Ticks all the boxes. However, I must admit, while I might have enjoyed certain, erm, aspects of the film, I don’t know how much the male appreciation for this will be. Again, I didn’t think the story was particularly amazing or anything like that, but it was enough to string it all together (even if done so weakly). The ladies didn’t really need that much to sell this to them, but I just wonder how the male demographic feels about it? I really enjoy Channing Tatum, for comedy and for drama (though apparently not many agree with me on the latter), and I liked seeing him here. I thought he worked well with Alex Pettyfer here, they shared pretty good chemistry. Cody Horn seemed like such a bitchy and flat character, though, which was a real pity, and as an actress she was also underwhelming. Also, I am going to take a moment here to mention that I thought she had the world’s most annoying laugh. The movie knows it is a fluff piece, which also works for it, it doesn’t try to be some revolutionary drama film or anything, and has fun with what it is doing. I can think of plenty superior movies to watch, but I can also think of many more that are an utter waste of time. This was alright… although I honestly think if the stripping was taken out it would be a very dull affair indeed.

Review: 22 Jump Street (2014)

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SYNOPSIS: After making their way through high school (twice), big changes are in store for officers Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) when they go deep undercover at a local college. But when Jenko meets a kindred spirit on the football team, and Schmidt infiltrates the bohemian art major scene, they begin to question their partnership. Now they don’t have to just crack the case – they have to figure out if they can have a mature relationship. If these two overgrown adolescents can grow from freshmen into real men, college might be the best thing that ever happened to them. – via IMDB

Well, the boys are back for a second outing, and I have been looking forward to this for months, since I saw the first one. I was duly rewarded for my wait, too!

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It played relentlessly on the fact that it was not about to offer up anything new.

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Getting into some more ludicrous situations.

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Definitely still have the moves!

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This whole argument of Jenko was just a thing of beauty… though by the end of it they had to run away, anyway!

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Dickson was really not a fan of Schmidt. Ever.

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The inability to even co-ordinate a door correctly.

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The inability of these two to think through what they say or how they demonstrated has not changed much at all.

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Their little bromance was hitting a snag again.

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They might be making the realisation that they aren’t as young as they used to be anymore.

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The epic prepare to kick ass.

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Getting roped into another hairy situation by Schmidt – Jenko cannot win.

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The extremely expensive getaway chase.

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GRADE 7Now, as much fun as I had with this, I cannot deny that it just didn’t tickle my fancy on the same level that 21 Jump Street did. Not to say that it wasn’t funny, because it was, it just wasn’t that amazing. The humour was great, I mean especially with Jenko’s reaction to the predicament between Schmidt and Dickson, I seriously could not stop laughing, that kicked it for me good and proper. Probably because, even though I saw it happening that way, my reaction was so similar to Jenko’s. It was not afraid to be itself, and it made jabs at the fact that it is just like its predecessor – and you know what? That doesn’t hurt it at all! Naturally Hill and Tatum are still working their bromance wonderfully, and these two are just hilarious to watch together. Sequels are usually not an easy thing to pull off, and ultimately end in disappointment, but the same cannot be said of the Jump Street films so far. They know exactly what they are, and work it to their advantage. Do not go into this thinking you are going to get some life changing event or an entire revamp of the franchise, because you will most certainly be in for a disappointment. However, if you want more of the same you got in 21 Jump Street, you have come to the right place. Instead of working against it, like it should, in all theory, you have a lot of fun and a lot of laughs once again. I loved some of the other humour in it, like Dickson’s office being a cube of ice (hehehe, small things, I know). The supporting cast was great again, which is nice. Overall, a good time if you are looking for decent comedy, which has become extremely rare, 22 Jump Street provides the good laughs and a show worth going back to at some stage.

Review: 21 Jump Street (2012)

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SYNOPSIS: A pair of underachieving cops are sent back to a local high school to blend in and bring down a synthetic drug ring. – via IMDB

Going in blind, I had no idea what was coming. Needless to say, I absolutely loved how this all came together.

These two had hopes and dreams for after the academy… and definitely a different vision of reality than what they got.

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The dream:

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The reality:

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The fact that these two are cops and didn’t even read the Miranda Rights. Watching a few movies will make you an expert on the lines!

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Schmidt’s epic prayer closer…

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How in touch Dickson was with Korean Jesus’s needs and time schedule.

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I don’t even need to say anything, they were pretty dead on.

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Jenko’s view of an epic prom was pretty funny.

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And that dream was realised.

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The worst way to start the school year was a thing of beauty for me.

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Kids thinking they’re all cool being dealers and stuff… I mean seriously?!

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Definitely not on drugs… never occurred to me…

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The absolutely desperation to get the drugs out of their system, and the nasty stuff they were prepared to do to purge themselves of it.

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I absolutely loved Jenko’s shift in what chemistry and science meant to him and what it turned out to be.

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How amazingly in tune you can get with stuff you don’t know when you’re tripping.

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How ridiculously geeky and cute Jenko was by the end of it all after clicking the whole smart thing.

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Dickson’s source.

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Eric was so emotionally weird sometimes.

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The absolutely epic and ridiculous fight between Schmidt and Jenko.

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Raiding an evidence locker really must make for a hell of a party!

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Schmidt was such a twit, but I won’t deny that him being the latest “badass” and Jenko being the loser that needed protecting was hilarious.

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Schmidt must really find other ways to deal with his issues…

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It’s a serious problem, really…

21 jump streets my socks don't match

GRADE 8.5I cannot believe that I had never though to see this until Cara told me that it was certainly worth the watch. I had never seen Channing Tatum in a comedic role (and I do enjoy him as an actor), so watching his clip with Jimmy Fallon a while ago had me giggling quite a bit, so I figured I would check this one out. I was entertained for the entire duration of the movie. It never pretends to be something it isn’t, and even makes fun of it. Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill are also just excellent together, truly working off of each other, complementing the other’s work from the get go. That bromance is just awesome, no two ways about it. There is so much ridiculous crammed into one movie, yet it all managed to work. It made me laugh, which I did not expect, just due to how ludicrous it was, embracing what it was, and putting it out there. It was definitely a breath of fresh air. I am not usually a fan of comedies because I find most of them to be really daft, but this one had fun with all that was going on, and wasn’t necessarily just stupid humour throughout. I loved the whole commentary that was delivered on how much has changed in schools about what and who is cool and what isn’t. The times are truly changing, and Jenko had a lot of difficulty accepting this. Schmidt, on the other hand, realised that he was definitely born too soon. The storyline is predictable, what with them being opposites, then the best of friends, and then being torn apart by popularity, no matter that they are adults. Never mind that, though, it never has a moment where any of this is considered boring, and the implementation is just spot on. Definitely a fan of this!

Review: Side Effects (2013)

 

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“I won’t be able to tell the truth if I take anymore pills.”
– Emily Taylor

Martin Taylor (Channing Tatum) is released from prison after a four year sentence for insider trading. He is overjoyed to go home to his wife Emily (Rooney Mara), believing they can finally start their lives fresh together. However, Emily seems distracted and strange, and shortly after Martin’s triumphant return home she attempts suicide by driving her car into the wall in the garage of their building. At the hospital she meets with psychiatrist Dr Jonathan Banks (Jude Law), who fears for her safety and wellbeing. She convinces him that she cannot stay for observation but that she must go home to her husband and her job. Everyone seems worried about her, though she assures Banks that she will be fine. Reluctantly he lets her go under the condition that she is to come back and see him regularly. Banks is a successful psychiatrist that gets offered deals with pharmaceutical companies to run drug trials for them. This is great news for himself.

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“Depression is an inability to construct a future.” – Dr Jonathan Banks

Banks contacts Emily’s previous psychiatrist, Victoria (Catherine Zeta-Jones), to discuss Emily’s case. He tells her how he has put Emily on numerous drugs and nothing seems to be working for her. Victoria suggests he try Ablixa, a new drug in its testing phase. He is not pleased by it and will not try. Emily goes to see Bank after trying to jump onto a subway track, and Banks gives in, prescribing the medication to Emily. The medication seems to kick in and her whole life improves. Her attitude, her love life, her home life – Martin is thrilled that the medication is finally working and that his wife can have a normal life. One night he awakens to find Emily sleepwalking and completely unaware of what she is doing. Freaked out a bit, he goes with Emily to see Banks, demanding that her medication be changed. Banks is almost ready to oblige when Emily puts her foot down, citing that she finally has a normal life, the sleepwalking is no big deal. Banks prescribes her another pill to counteract the sleepwalking.

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“It’s in our best interest that you start forgetting.” – Dr Jonathan Banks

One night Martin comes home to Emily, who is sleepwalking and stabs him to death when he approaches her in the kitchen. She promptly goes back to bed and wakes later to find her husband dead in the house. In a panic she calls the police, and they arrive on the scene. Emily is taken into custody. When the police speak to Banks, they make it clear that someone will have to pay for what happened. Either he was a negligent psychologist, or Emily is truly a murderer. Banks cannot accept either option, and starts to do incredible amounts of research into the matter to exonerate them both. He is troubled by the side effects that Emily suffered, and that her whole life is over now, the moment that she was getting it together, finally living it and enjoying it. However, the courts want someone to blame, and have her plead insanity; they will declare her not guilty and put her in a mental ward. In there, when she is deemed ready, she will be let out. Banks volunteers to be her psychiatrist.

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“I’m not crazy, you know I’m not crazy.” – Emily Taylor

Banks soon becomes obsessed with Emily’s case, and starts to uncover some nasty secrets. Something is not right about the drug that Emily was taking and how everything went down. His partnership in the drug trials is pulled when he is viewed a liability, and he is pushed out of his firm, too. The more he digs, the more things in his life go wrong, including his wife Deirdre (Vinessa Shaw) leaving him. Will Banks’s career survive another hit? Will he be able to figure out exactly what happened the night that Martin died? Is Emily a victim of the pills that she was on, or did she murder her husband in cold blood?

A 7/10 for Side Effects. I have been hearing very mixed things about this film, but I must admit that I found it to be very entertaining. Jude Law impressed the hell out of me in this one; he was not annoying in the very least and delivered a damn near perfect performance. The cast was very good in here, and I enjoyed the soundtrack. The story was well presented, and starts snowballing around halfway, gaining momentum and throwing everything you thought you knew clean around. Rooney Mara played Emily very well, though I must say that Jude Law simply stole the whole show for me. Channing Tatum was in and out so quickly, though he is not a bad actor. Catherine Zeta-Jones is still a stunning woman; though there was something drastically wrong with her eyebrows in this film… they just looked really strange. Her performance was just fine! I enjoyed the whole psychiatric aspect of this, the pill popping, and circumstantial evidence as well as how people react and treat someone when things go wrong. I felt for Banks… one little thing blew out of proportion and took as much of his life with it as possible. I liked the look and feel of the movie. Overall, this is an entertaining watch and a nice little piece of work to think on, and definitely worth checking out.