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MAGIC MIKE: XXL
Blu-ray Edition

Review by Gordon Justesen

Stars: Channing Tatum, Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello, Kevin Nash, Adam Rodriguez, Gabriel Iglesias, Amber Heard, Donald Glover, Andie MacDowell, Elizabeth Banks, Jada Pinkett Smith
Director: Gregory Jacobs
Audio: DTS HD 5.1
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 2.40:1
Studio: Warner Bros.
Features: See Review
Length: 115 Minutes
Release Date: October 6, 2015

ďItís not bro time, itís show time!Ē

Film **

Were it not for the fact that Steven Soderbergh was the director, I would have gone nowhere near 2012ís Magic Mike. And for all itís flaws, I donít regret seeing it. Soderbergh delivered a portrait of the Miami male stripper scene with a unique style all his own.

And hey, I did get to see several actresses bare it, including the gorgeous Olivia Munn!

Soderbergh has stepped away from the directorís chair for the sequel, Magic Mike XXL, and it definitely shows. Whereas the first movie was more of a character based drama, XXL is more along the lines of a bro-mantic road comedy, and much more sluggishly paced. Not that Iím demanding to see male strippers in my face but unlike the previous movie, which got right to the dancing almost right away, the sequel takes a good 45 minutes before any such action takes place.

And yet, from what I could tell, everyone I know who saw it (also being part of the core targeted audience) found this to be even better than the first movie, including my girlfriend. It goes without saying that Iím the absolute wrong person to review this movie. But alas, here we are.

Once again, we have the titular Mike (Channing Tatum), who left the world of male stripping at the end of the last movie. But a chance reunion with his fellow stripping crew, also known as the ďKings of TampaĒ, somehow fuel a desire for one last dancing gig as they travel from Miami to Myrtle Beach for a male entertainer convention. Itís the most contrived excuse for a sequel, and yet somehow the movie comes close to acknowledging it.

I will say that despite the sluggish and nearly off putting first half, the second half does somewhat make up for it. The climatic series of dances at the convention are entertaining and even hilarious at times. And if youíre a female hungry for the chance to gaze upon the male physique, you will probably feel on cloud nine after watching this movie.

Iím not a female, so therefore I wasnít.

Video ****

Steven Soderbergh actually served as cinematographer on the movie, which will explain why itís so exquisitely shot and also why it looks super sharp on this WB Blu-ray release. Colors come off nothing short of fantastic, and both light and darkly lit sequences show off terrifically as well. Myrtle Beach looks pretty damn awesome, as well!

Audio ****

Music is frequent throughout the movie, resulting in a DTS HD mix that is given a lot to work with. The climatic collection of dances is backed up by a series of songs (including everything from Nine Inch Nails to R. Kelly) that will bring any surround sound system to life instantly. Dialogue delivery is terrifically handled, as well, and is balanced out perfectly with the other sound elements.

Features *

We get two very brief featurettes; ďThe Moves of Magic Mike XXLĒ and ďGeorgiaĒ, as well as an extended dance scene.

Summary:

Magic Mike XXL is a movie where nothing I say will influence you to see it. You already know if you want to based on what itís offering. But having seen the first one, I can definitely say the sudden shift in tone and bad pacing does make this a step down in quality.

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