We Bought a Zoo
A widowed father played by Matt Damon moves to the South Californian country and purchases a zoo with his family
On Film4: 6 Sep 6:25PM
When Mike (Channing Tatum) takes Adam (Alex Pettyfer) under his wing at the Xquisite All-Male Revue, "The Kid" is a huge success. But life soon becomes more complex... Drama from Steven Soderbergh
As of summer 2012, Magic Mike probably represents Channing Tatum's finest hour. He proved in the riotous 21 Jump Street that he's got comic chops to match his more obvious physical charms, and here he's given convincing emotional depth to play with too - that is, when the script isn't having too much fun beguiling us with a genuinely smart and funny sort-of musical.
Although it's certainly enjoyable on a hen night level - in the same way that you could enjoy, say, The Avengers simply for the spectacle - Steven Soderbergh's sexual commodification drama is actually a little smarter than that. Not brain surgery smart, but pop-culture smart. Putting it another way, the strippers at the Xquisite revue aren't the sharpest tools in the box, but they certainly know how to hammer home a point.
It helps that the performances are universally game toppers for the actors involved. Matthew McConaughey has always seemed to project a slightly sleazy screen persona, making some of his rom-com roles dubious, but here, he's perfect as the madam of the stable. Putting it kindly, Alex Pettyfer hasn't been blessed with brilliance, script-wise, but here, he's a revelation, delivering a believable and absorbing snapshot of a young man enjoying himself that bit too much. And Channing Tatum is a natural, which is to be expected given the whole film was his idea, based on his own experiences as a 19 year old stripper in Tampa.
In a nutshell: Musings on the nature of capitalism wrapped in a very pretty package, with plenty to say about bromantic relationships too, Magic Mike is a film for adventurous audiences of all persuasions.
By Catherine Bray
The 59th BFI London Film Festival runs 7th ¿ 18th October ¿ here are Film4 editorial assistant Beth Webb's top 12 picks. We've been a bit spoiled at Film4 this year with six excellent films showing a
The 59th BFI London Film Festival runs 7th ¿ 18th October ¿ here are Film4 editorial director Catherine Bray¿s 20 top picks. Including fiction and documentary, there are 238 features playing at the 59
A summary of the critics and film professionals who voted for the top 50 Horror films of the 21st Century
As voted for by a panel of horror experts and friends of Film4 & FrightFest