The one and only time my non-cinephile girlfriends have ever seemed truly jealous of my job is when I mentioned in passing that I’d reviewing Magic Mike. “The male stripper movie!” they exclaimed. “Oh my God, I can’t wait to see that.” The appeal was obvious: Magic Mike promised to dish out cheese, sleaze, and glitter a-plenty, not to mention a hot, heaping dose of mostly naked men (among them Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer, Matthew McConaughey, Matt Bomer, and Joe Mangianello) busting out their best dance moves.

Unfortunately for them, it turns out that Magic Mike is not that movie. Or rather, it is, but only intermittently. The rest of the time, Magic Mike is a Steven Soderbergh drama that just so happens to be set in the world of male stripping. That mostly turns out to be a good thing, although I suspect the guys and gals who come looking for a “male Showgirls,” as one of my pals put it, won’t necessarily agree.

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At this point I don’t think Steven Soderbergh‘s new film Magic Mike needs a whole lot of introduction. For those just catching up, the film is based on Channing Tatum‘s late-teens experience as a male exotic dancer, and features Tatum, Alex Pettyfer, Matthew McConaughey, and more beefy guys as the dancers in a Florida club.

We’ve seen a couple trailers and clips for the film that suggest it has some real comic heart in addition to the obvious selling point of ripped guys taking off their shirts.

But as this new (and rather short) red-band clip shows, the guys also take off their pants. This is pretty tame as red-band clips go, but if you’re put off by the sight of muscled guys in thongs, probably best not to click through. Read More »

Now this is what I’m talking about. Whereas the first U.S. trailer for Steven Soderbergh‘s male stripper flick Magic Mike took pains to frame Mike (Channing Tatum) as just a sensitive furniture maker searching for something more than the seedy life of an exotic dancer, the new U.K. trailer plays up the sheer entertainment value of watching these guys get down and dirty. And along the way, it even reveals a bit more about the mentor-protege relationship between Mike and The Kid (Alex Pettyfer) that comprises the main storyline. Watch it after the jump.

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When Steven Soderbergh announced that he would make a film based on experiences Channing Tatum had in his youth as a male stripper, there was some collective eye-rolling and giggling. But Tatum’s image has changed a lot in the last few months thanks to 21 Jump Street. We knew the guy had beefcake dance moves (thanks to Step Up) and that he could act (Stop Loss), but films like Dear John kept many from really taking to him.After his effective comic work in 21 Jump Street, however, I think this trailer for Magic Mike will go over a lot better.

Here we see Tatum as a confident guy who knows how to work the stage, but has his ambitions outside the club as well. There isn’t much time given to Alex Pettyfer, who plays a protege of Tatum; rather we see his developing romance with a young woman played by relative newcomer Cody Horn.

The good news is: the trailer makes the film look entertaining. It is recognizably in Soderbergh’s style, but the sort of work he’s been doing lately seems to lend itself well to this story. Check out the footage below. Read More »

Briefly: Steven Soderbergh has already wrapped his movie Magic Mike, which stars Channing Tatum and is based on Tatum’s own youthful experience as a male exotic dancer. Because Soderbergh works fast he’s already got a cut of the film, and Warner Bros. has picked up the movie for distribution next summer. Magic Mike will hit theaters on June 29, 2012, when it will provide counter-programming against G.I. Joe: Retaliation, which also stars Tatum. Read More »

Briefly: Steven Soderbergh‘s Magic Mike is going to shoot soon, with Alex Pettyfer playing a male exotic dancer under the hustling tutelage of Channing Tatum, whose real-life dancing experience informed the script. Matthew McConaughey, Matt Bomer, Joe Mangianello, Cody Horn, Riley Keough and Olivia Munn co-star, but the project isn’t done adding actors.

THR reports that Wendi McLendon-Covey, a longtime staple on Reno 911! and one of the attention-getting talents in Bridesmaids, now has a part in the film. No word on her role. Perhaps she’s a regular at the club that is central to the film’s story?

And then Deadline announces that CSI: Miami actor Adam Rodriguez has picked up a part not only in Magic Mike, as a male stripper, but that he’ll be in The Dark Knight Rises as well. No word on his specific role in Nolan’s third Batman movie, however.

This is kind of a catch-all casting break, as it goes all over the map. I’d love to tie the four stories that follow to a theme beyond ‘these people are all in new movies,’ but if that theme exists, I’m afraid it escapes me now. So, after the break you’ll find:

  • Sienna Guillory appears to be confirmed to return as Jill Valentine in the fifth Resident Evil film,
  • comedian Gabriel Iglesias will spin records (or CDs, more likely) in Soderbergh’s Magic Mike,
  • Olivia Wilde takes what formerly belonged to Jennifer Garner,
  • and James Hong will play Ryan Reynolds, sort of, in R.I.P.D.

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I’d like to make this the ‘leading lady’ edition of Casting Bits, but I don’t think Caleb Landry Jones would like that very much. (Jason Segel would probably be OK with it.) Still, after the break you’ll find that two films have chosen their lead actresses, while Jones joins Jordan. Ahem. To wit:

  • Alexandra Maria Lara (above) takes the (female) lead in Ron Howard’s racing movie Rush,
  • Cody Horn will be the leading lady in Soderbergh’s Magic Mike,
  • Caleb Landry Jones, aka the First Class version of Banshee, joins Neil Jordan’s Byzantium,
  • and, as a final note, Jason Segel appears to be confirmed for Judd Apatow’s This is Forty.

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