Three years out of the stripper life, broken up with his girl, running his own furniture company Mike (Channing Tatum) is drawn back into the fold with the remaining Kings of Tampa. Their goal, to make one last road trip to Myrtle Beach for the stripper convention, prove they’re still kings, and, figure out what they’re going to do with the rest of their lives– a tall order that will take some special help from some old friends. And, what about the queens to these kings? Heavily influenced by Steven Soderbergh’s Magic Mike (2012) Director Gregory Jacobs leans directly on Soderbergh as Cinematographer and Editor for this latest installment maintaining a continuity and feel to the previous film. Although, act one of XXL does seem to languish in character study and plot development and instead leaves more than enough room for pregnant pauses and awkward stares, get on with it already. Meanwhile, almost like a musical on Broadway, the film’s call for dancing, erotic or otherwise often feels forced or shoehorned into the script, ala the Step Up franchise…but then again, we’re here to see dancing so is that wrong? Speaking of the dancing, once again Hip Hop is on top and the work of Stephen Boss and Tatum along with Joe Manganiello is loaded with enough material to raise eyebrows, well played men…well played indeed. But seriously, a montage to set the whole thing up again? A montage? On the positive, Jada Pinkett Smith’s character, Rome, adds a new and interesting dynamic into the world of Male Entertainers, the eyes of a woman. All told, we’re not talking a balanced and nutritious meal, and the film does get off to a slow start, but once aloft, well, please stay safely buckled in for the ride. Date night? Magic Mike XXL is rated R.
John Connor (Jason Clarke), leader of the rebel resistance, sends his right hand man, Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) back in time to the year 1984 with the intention of training and protecting Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke), John’s mother. However, upon arrival, it would appear timelines have shifted, stopping Skynet will take a mind bending and time jumping effort by all players, will humanity ever stand a chance? Implausible time travel plot lines that collapse upon themselves from square one, check. Impossible thrills, chills, and spills, check. Chance for Arnold Schwarzenegger to recite some of his most famous lines ever, check. Humans fighting robot and technology enslavement again, check. Ah yes, we must be talking about the latest Terminator film in the Terminator franchise. Never a franchise known for it’s sharp prose or syntax, we’re not challenged this go round either; but, stepping beyond the norm, the possibility of love is a new addition, hackneyed as it is. Cheese Whiz scripting does little to improve the overall film here. Meanwhile, from an action, explosion, boom boom boom perspective, the film does manage to achieve all of its goals, everything does manage to blow up, if only films were screened in 4D with the heat of real Flame Feel to bring you closer to the explosion experience, now there’s a marketing idea, patent pending. To their credit, the CGI wizards that make this film wholly possible have managed to build upon the earlier and already established look of the previous films, plenty of hat tips to kill shots gone by. Still, the film registers on the forgettable scale pretty high, there’s just not enough “new” in this old idea. Matinee or rental? Maybe. Terminator Genisys is rated PG-13.
Struggling to find their love again, newlyweds Ted the bear (Seth MacFarlane) and rough around the edges Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth) set out to have a baby of their own; unfortunately for Ted it’s a quest that ultimately results in the loss of his status as a person. Now qualified as “property” Ted and his best pal in the world John (Mark Wahlberg) set out to regain his rights. This new quest will take the assistance of doe eyed lawyer Samantha (Amanda Seyfried), but will the courts be swayed before the goons of Hasbro get their hands on Ted for more research and development? Directed and partially written by Seth MacFarlane, well pointed satire continues to drive a brakeless charter bus of angry bees down a twisty mountainous range resulting in high highs a few lows and a few lulls. Now well known for signature song and dance, pop culture jokes that pull no punches, and quick asides as seen in Family Guy, American Dad, and the Oscars, MacFarlane mines for more ore and comes up with some gold but also manages to return to the same pseudo-homophobic well of comedy a little too frequently; and, for a film that’s largely based around human rights and equality, that’s a little odd, but maybe that’s the point? Still, I surmise this question will be of little issue for fans; perhaps the bigger issue will be the slow start to the film, taking almost 30 minutes before we really get up to speed, just peeling out in the comedic parking lot for the sake of being goofy. And to that, I suppose there are worse offenders of this crime, Anchor Man 2 I’m looking at you, horrible. Bottom line, the foul mouthed little bear continued to make me laugh, or at least chuckle enough to justify one more revisit. Why not this weekend? Ted 2 is rated R.