Magic Mike – Tastefully Done

There are two types of audience for the male strippers movie Magic Mike, I think.  The ones who like to stare at men’s near naked body down to their bare butts.  Or men who bring their girlfriends or wives to watch this film hoping to get them horny.  I, on the record, have vehemently said no to this movie.  But Cynthia insisted and kept on saying the magic word ‘Magic Mike’ every morning.  Magic Mike, Magic Mike, Magic Mike.  I gave in, on the condition that my buddy TK would agree to watch a male strippers show.  It was almost a flawless plan.  No way he would agree to it.  Except, TK had no idea what Magic Mike was and eagerly said yes, a tad too fast on Whatsapp.  The rest was history.

In the opening sense, when the perfectly oiled body of Matthew McConaughey came on stage and danced in front of a house full of cheering girl and as he slowly peeled away pieces of his costume one by one leaving only the – I presume – buffed up crotch garment on, I almost fainted.  STOP, right there!  Fortunately he left that essential piece of clothes on, like Adam and Eve and the hanging green leaves.

To my surprise, I enjoyed watching Magic Mike.  The story is original.  McConaughey plays Dallas who runs a male strip club.  One day, Mike (Channing Tatum) introduces Adam, a 19 years old teenage heartthrob played by Alex Pettyfer to the business.  Dallas dubs Adam as The Kid and Adam is an immediate success.  Money, women, and a sense of freedom – to a slacker like Adam who has thrown away his football scholarship, this new lifestyle is irresistible.  I can sense that Mike can see a younger version of him in Adam whenever he looks at Adam.

Meanwhile, there is another side of Mike who sees being a male stripper is only a mean to an end.  But to what end?  It is one man’s journey to finding his worth.  Meeting Adam’s sister  Brooke (Cody Horn) may have awaken something within him.  Dallas’s club is going big hitting Miami.  Adam being the new kid in the block has now become Dallas’s new favorite threatening Mike as Dallas’s right hand man.  What is Mike going to do?

Channing Tatum plays a charming character.  Not only on stage, but also off the stage.  I know he can dance.  It is good to see that he can act convincingly as well.  I also happen to enjoy Cody Horn’s acting.  So innocent and pure.  Matthew McConaughey has a commanding presence that is a major contributor to the theme of this show.  There is a lot of entertainment on stage.  Some of the dance sequences are hilarious.  There are a fair bit of sex scenes too.  But like the stripping act, they are tastefully done.  Magic Mike is way more than stripping.  You would end up liking every single characters, like I do.  I also like how the filmmakers handle the film’s ending.

Now, if there was a film called Magic Maggie with female strippers and all, I wonder how that would work out.

The Lincoln Lawyer – Now, That Lawyer Has Style

I am usually not a big fan of crime movies that involves lawyers.  I don’t even watch CSI on TV.  Lately, or rather for the longest history in time, TK and Cynthia are pretty much in sync when it comes down to the choice of movie.  So when they picked “The Lincoln Lawyer”, I tugged along.

Matthew McConaughey plays a criminal defense attorney who drives a Lincoln with a number plate NTGUILTY.  Does he believe that his clients are innocent?  Does he merely go through the justice process and make sure that his clients get the best of it?  Or does he negotiate settlement for his presumed innocence clients thinking that most probably, that is what they deserve?  In the movie, Matthew is well networked with either side of the law and that seems to have made him one effective lawyer.  Even a cool one.  The story is pretty straightforward, a good one no doubt.  While I do not practice law – and I often wonder what if I do – this movie got me thinking about work in general.

At work, I facilitate a process.  Internal “clients” would come to me with work requests and we have to work together, package the ideas up, and present them to the management team as business cases.  If these cases are not being shot down, it is a green light to move ahead to the next stage.  Some cases go into KIV mode.  Others get thrown out of the window.  Not all the approved cases get everything they have asked for.  At times, we have to settle for less.  And hence, I do rounds and rounds of negotiations on behalf on my internal “clients”.  Having good networks from all sorts of sources aids the process, of course.  I have colleagues who more often than not form their opinions on these requests that affect their actions.  This is not wrong, I suppose, although in our job scope, we are not here to judge the cases.  We push these cases through a process that presents them in the best possible light.  I, for one, am trying very hard to be impartial to whether some of these ideas deserve a hearing or what they ask for.  Sure, looking back, there are cases whereby I wish I had not given away hope before they have a chance to go through the proper process.  But I am only human, still learning my way.  In that sense, I can relate to some aspects of “The Lincoln Lawyer”.