‘White House Down’ Trailer: Let’s Keep Blowin’ Up the White House!

Roland Emmerich, director of such brilliant films such as Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow, 2012, and Godzilla, presumably does not want to blow up the White House. After all, the whole point of his apparent obsession with blowing up the White House is that America gets together, following the blowing-up of the White House, to blow up whoever blew up the White House, because whoever would do such a terrible thing (blowing up the White House) must be punished. At the same time, Roland Emmerich really loves blowing up the White House. And pretty much everything else. Nothing is too sacred to blow up! Anyway, for those of us who didn’t get enough explosions in the recent blown-up-White-House epic Olympus Has Fallen, here’s the trailer for White House Down, in which President Jamie Foxx (sure) is saved by Channing Tatum (why not). No aliens this time, unfortunately.

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Diablo Cody Calls Out Some Sexist Bullshit About Her & Channing Tatum’s Sex Work Pasts

Juno screenwriter Diablo Cody calls out sexist bullshit where she sees it, which is precisely why I love her. Chatting with NYmag.com’s Vulture blog about the third annual Athena Film Festival, which showcases the work of women in film. Cody is a co-chair of this year’s Athena festival along with actress Greta Gerwig, filmmaker Mira Nair, and others. But after chatting about the plight of women in mainstream Hollywood film, Cody discussed the topic one always seems to get to in a Diablo Cody interview: stripping.

Specifically, the screenwriter — whose forthcoming film about a conservative in Las Vegas will be called Paradise — addressed the double standard between how she and Channing Tatum have been handled in the press. Diablo Cody first got on a lot of people’s radar in her 2006 memoir, Candy Girl: A Year In The Life Of An Unlikely Stripper. A year later, her film Juno hit the big screen and she won an Academy Award for screenwriting. (Her other films, Jennifer’s Body and Young Adult, were slightly less popular, to put ti mildly.) Throughout her career, people have been all too happy to fixate on Cody’s past employment as a stripper, both positively and negatively. In fact, when I interviewed her years ago for TheFrisky.com about Jennifer’s Body, she said it "sucks" being part of the story more than her film — although we could certainly have a long debate about whether she has pushed some of that narrative herself.

Magic Mike star and beefcake hunk Channing Tatum also worked as a stripper early in his career … yet somehow, he’s seen as more randy and less trashy for doing so.  

The Vulture blogger asked Cody, "What do you make of all the love Channing Tatum’s gotten for turning his stripper past into a film, possibly a franchise?" Her response:

… I find it very interesting that a man can be a stripper, talk about it openly, go on SNL and parody it in several sketches, and nobody accuses him of leveraging his sexuality to get ahead. They applaud it. And he did make a quality film, and it obviously did really well, and it had a certain pedigree — it wasn’t trashy — but I do not think a woman would be treated the same way. I’m living proof of that. A woman’s sexuality is dangerous and threatening and dirty, and for Channing, it’s a charming tool in his arsenal. And I love Magic Mike. I love Channing. This is in no way a diss on him.

Diablo Cody has a point, a strong one. No one has ever told me that Channing Tatum "drives them crazy" or "is so annoying" or "wants attention for being a stripper." And I’ve watched the man give Ellen DeGeneres a lap dance.

I also appreciate Cody clarified she doesn’t mean to diss Tatum or his film. I would love to hear a response from him.

Contact the author of this post at Jessica.Wakeman@Gmail.com. Follow me on Twitter.

Check Out the Thrilling New UK Trailer for Steven Soderbergh’s ‘Side Effects’

Steven Soderbegh really knows how to churn ’em out. Fresh off the heat of this summer’s Magic Mike, his latest feature, the psycho-pharmaceutical thriller Side Effects, is set to open on February 8th in the U.S. We’ve seen a trailer for the film and slew of promotional material, but with the release of a new UK trailer we get a peak at a wealth of new footage, previewing the narrative more coherently while showing off the provocative, more disturbed aspects of the film. Starring Rooney Mara, Channign Tatum, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Jude Law, Side Effects tells the story of successful young couple Emily and Martin (Mara and Tatum), whose world begins to unravel when Emily is prescribed a new drug intended to treat her anxiety. The side effects in question lead the story down a dark path as they become entangled in a web of psychological turmoil.

Check out the new trailer for the film below.



Channing Tatum Is The Sexiest Man Alive

I know that last week’s big election might have been what most people assumed to be the major news event of November. Ha ha, joke’s on you! Today People has announced its annual Sexiest Man Alive issue, and Channing Tatum—former stripper, star of tear-jerkers and action films, owner of that thick neck—graces the cover. 

I will say, he may not compete against last year’s honoree, Bradley Cooper (that hair! those eyes!), but I will admit that I’m glad that, once again, Ryan Gosling, who I still think looks like a Pixar character, did not get the cover of the supermarket mag. I hope there will be protests today

Check out the cover below. (OMG, BTW: Can you believe that Justin and Selena are totes over???)

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‘Magic Mike’-Themed Bar is a Go-Go

Now I can finally properly justify all the time spent perfecting my pitcher’s arm in the junior softball league: a Magic Mike-themed bar will be opening in New Orleans, opened by none other than that luscious piece of man-meat, Channing Tatum.

According to InStyle, the 32-year-old strip-star bought brothel-style pub Saints and Sinners (fitting, no?) along with best friend Keith Kurtz, with plans to renovate it in time for a blowout party in November.

Ladies, get your Benjamins ready, because it’s about to go down-down-down in the Big Easy! This means I’m that much closer to crossing “me as the meat in a Manganiello—McConaughey sandwich” off my bucket list.

There’s Going to Be a ‘Magic Mike’ Sequel

Magic Mike! Ladies love it! Gay guys love it! James Franco loves it! Everybody loves Magic Mike! (I still have not seen it! Whoops!) If that’s not enough exclamation points for you, here are a couple more: There will be a Magic Mike sequel!!!!! More abs! More jock straps! More butts! More of Channing Tatum’s thick neck! It looks like Hollywood is finally doing something right, everyone! 

In a Twitter interview with Glamour U.K., which is apparently a thing (the Twitter interview, not the British Glamour), the movie’s leading meathead confirmed, sort of, that a second stripper film is in the works. "Yes, yes and yes! We’re working on the concept now. We want to flip the script and make it bigger." I can only assume he’s talking about dicks. 

Could a Magic Mike franchise be director Steven Soderbergh’s new Ocean’s Eleven series? With other Soderbergh mainstays Brad Pitt, George Clooney, and Matt Damon hop on stage as aging male strippers eager to get back in the game? Will there be a montage in which Matthew McConaughey and Channing Tatum teach Don Cheadle some hip-hop moves? Oh, please let this happen. 

James Franco Has Deep Thoughts On ‘Magic Mike’

I hate it when James Franco has a point, don’t you? It detracts from how his everywhere-at-once performance art, fiction writing, octuple Masters degrees, and, you know, acting, are a bit annoying. But in a new blog post on the Huffington Post, Franco gets thinkpiece-y about Magic Mike and actually makes a lot of sense.

Firstly, its not lost on the attractive male blogger how Magic Mike has captured a zeitgeisty moment in our culture in which women are increasingly voracious for, even exploitative of, male sexuality in a way men have been about us for so long. Whether its the raunchy popularity of comedians like Chelsea Handler and Whitney Cummings, the 16-million-and-counting sales of BDSM erotica novel 50 Shades Of Grey, or something else entirely, lustful ladies are having a moment. With that moment, there is a flip in the role of who is being objectified. I personally don’t that is an entirely terrible thing and neither does Franco (despite the fact he’s the one in Hollywood who is not getting any younger). The actor writes, "it’s cool that the guys are now on display, in roles that formerly would go to women; the skin that is going to sell the tickets is primarily male skin."

However, the meat of James Franco’s post addresses Channing Tatum’s business savvy. I would have thought that "serious" actors like Franco would write off Tatum as nothing more than a beefcake in romance flicks. But Franco seems to be saying Tatum could be the next Ryan Gosling — who himself starred in a movie based off a schmoopy Nicholas Sparks novel — and the means to that end is trafficking in his sex appeal. Magic Mike is not only a funny and well-done film, but the fact ex-stripper Tatum co-produced it is a sign the flick is a meta-commentary on Tatum’s own ambitions:

It can be read as a veiled representation of his time in Hollywood as a pretty boy leading man searching for artistic validity. If Magic Mike needs to use his body and good looks (stripping) in order to pay for the art he really cares about (furniture design), can’t this be read as Tatum going through the motions of Dear John and The Vow to become a creator of his own destiny as the producer and champion of Magic Mike, a film that capitalizes on his beauty while at the same time frames it as a curse? … The real underdog story is not about a stripper trying to get out of the game; it’s about a talented actor trying to take control of his career. And he’s smart enough to know how to use his strengths in a film of his own creation with enough aplomb to go head to head with the studio fare of the summer.

Clearly "serious" James Franco has respect for Channing Tatum as an actor, producer and creative visionary. I don’t know why that fact surprises me so much. Maybe the continuing appeal of Franco, annoying as he can be, is that he’s full of surprises.

Today In Channing Tatum: A ‘Magic Mike’ Musical and Channeling His Inner Tween

Good people, this weekend is nigh. Last night, Magic Mike, the joyous, goofy, Channing Tatum-fronted flick about male strippers and possibly the greatest gay movie ever made (except for Brave, because if a strong female heroine is into non-gender-conforming activities and not interested in courting a dude right now she’s obvs probably a lesbian, amirite guys?) made its way to a theater near you.

The film has been met with mostly positive reviews so far, and it looks as though Tatum and director Steven Soderbergh aren’t stopping there. Yesterday, Deadline reported that Tatum and Soderbergh have announced plans for Magic Mike: The Musical. The two will co-produce the show and hope to have it on the stage by the summer of 2013. Producer Reid Carolin will write the book for the show. And so begins the anticipation, as well as the dread for New Yorkers whose out-of-town relatives will demand the procurement of tickets. 

Tatum and co. have been pretty busy promoting Magic Mike, and last night, he stopped on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon for a different matter of playing dress-up, joining Fallon for his ‘tween girl talk show, "Ew!" The nasal tween-girl voices will be grating to some, but Tatum’s arsenal of goofy facial expressions and willingness to go all-out with the "hip-hop dance routine" are pretty great. Also, if you need a drinking game for your weekend shenanigans, you could always knock one back any time anyone says "Ew!" 

Is ‘Magic Mike’ the Greatest Gay Movie Ever Made?

Magic Mike is the purest reflection of the “It Gets Better” sentiment—a movie so gleefully homoerotic, it can give a boost to bullied teens everywhere. And for those of us who grew up on the bland, heteronormative softcore offerings of Cinemax and Showtime, it’s a stirring reminder that our culture is headed in the right direction. Deadmau5 may see Paris Hilton’s DJing as a sign of the Mayan apocalypse, but if 2012 truly is the end of the world, at least we’re going out in a blaze of bare-assed glory.

On the surface, Magic Mike isn’t a gay movie—it’s about male strippers and the women who love them. There’s even a romance, in which Channing Tatum’s titular meathead struggles to articulate himself to Brooke (Cody Horn). But Magic Mike is for women the same way Playgirl is for women: it’s sort of an open secret that gay men look, too. And for all its offbeat rom-com content, it’s also a bromantic love story between Mike and his protégée Adam (Alex Pettyfer). Not to mention a stunning look at Matt Bomer’s abs, Matthew McConaughey’s nipples, and Joe Manganiello’s enormous prosthetic cock. (We only catch glimpses of it, but it casts a long shadow.)

There is something—I’ll just say it—magical about a film like Magic Mike, which feels like gay porn without actually containing any explicit gay content. It is a charmed production, in which I believed Matt Bomer as a heterosexual and didn’t hate Olivia Munn. I also recognize that Magic Mike is not for everyone, in the same way that I recognize Tree of Life was an overblown piece of shit, but surely even the dissenters will appreciate some of Magic Mike’s more impressive feats. How often does a movie about male strippers manage subtlety? It all feels like a trick: abracadabra, and your reservations are gone.

Even if it doesn’t dazzle you, Magic Mike is an impressive feat—a mainstream movie with some big names behind it that doesn’t shy away from glorifying the male form. The amount of manskin exposed is something rarely seen outside of gay indies or foreign flicks about ambiguous French dudes and their foreskin. Magic Mike may be exploitation, but it’s harmless exploitation—and it relishes in exposing men, who are long overdue for this kind of overt objectification. You don’t have to be an expert on the “male gaze” to appreciate the differences between how men and women are sexualized on screen.

Nudity is a big part of it, naturally: contrast the number of women who have taken it all off on screen versus the number of men who have shown us more than a well-defined torso. Even the ass, which is basically all Magic Mike gives us, is still taboo: it’s not that we don’t see it, but it’s almost always for comedic purposes. (That holds true for full-frontal—think Jason Segel’s penis in Forgetting Sarah Marshall.) Magic Mike doesn’t just showcase ass—it showcases ass in the context of ass that is meant to be gawked at. It’s not a fleeting, post-coital glimpse; the movie is inviting you to take it all in. After all, that’s what you’re paying for.

Don’t get me wrong—there is substance to Magic Mike. I will spend the remainder of 2012 defending this movie’s non-guilty pleasure virtues to anyone foolish enough to give me a venue. But it’s those asses and pecs and arms that will bring audiences in, and Magic Mike wastes no time in getting us to the first strip scene. Nor is it restricted to a single money shot: the film spends its two-hour runtime swinging between its love story, its coming-of-age story, and the stripper known as Tarzan (Kevin Nash) swinging on a vine across the strip club stage. Magic Mike merits rewatching because of a mostly self-aware script by Reid Carolin and Steven Soderbergh’s strong directing skills. But it’s just as worth the repeat viewings for every rhythmic thrust.

Straight women deserve this showcase as much as gay men do, but I think Magic Mike will ultimately prove more relevant to the latter. The movie is coded for its gay audience: it’s not as overtly gay as Brokeback Mountain (still one of the few examples of mainstream sexualized gay entertainment, sadly) or even Albert Nobbs. And in calling Magic Mike a movie “for women,” while neither embracing nor shying away from any homoerotic subtext, the producers have all but guaranteed a cult gay following. It’s a gateway drug for those men who aren’t ready to fully commit to the “LGBT interest” genre.

Look, it’s not like a bunch of closeted guys are going to take their girlfriends to see the male stripper movie – regardless of how it’s marketed, any film with this much dude ass in it is bound to inspire some gay panic. But it’s the kind of movie sexually confused 15-year-olds torrent in secret, or something two bros might leave on HBO (you know, ironically) before they both give into it, and each other. I’m not saying that was the filmmaker’s intention—or that these theoretical scenarios aren’t odd for me to be imagining—but I don’t how else to articulate the subversive thrills of a wide-release Soderbergh film that repeatedly humps you in the face.

And for those of us who have already accepted and professed the love that dare not speak its name, Magic Mike still feels like Christmas. The movie knows there’s a thin line between the homosocial and the homoerotic, and it straddles that divide without ever really committing to one side. You get a movie where men embrace, talk intimately, come close to kissing, and even share each other’s wives—but where none of that is either overly emphasized or shocking. Magic Mike gives us exactly what it has to: we don’t need lingering glances to know two characters love each other (in whatever capacity), and we don’t need a movie to be targeted directly to the gay community to know that we’re a vital portion of its audience.

I could be wrong about Magic Mike. Perhaps I’ve been blinded by the strip-club lights, or at least the sight of McConaughey covered in bronze body paint. But I admire this movie, just as I admire the performers giving it their all. They might stand behind their “you can look but you can’t touch” rule, but they’ve committed to owning their sex appeal and exposing themselves. While Magic Mike does caution about the dangers of a party lifestyle, the stripping itself is portrayed as sweaty, lucrative fun. There is no shame here, which hopefully will convince audiences to be as uninhibited in their response. Sometimes a guilty pleasure is just a pleasure.