Film Friday #237

Magic Mike XXL (2015)

It’s been three years since Mike (Channing Tatum) gave up stripping to start his own furniture business and things are going okay but he still has to work flat out just to make ends meet. When his former troupe tricks him into meeting up with them he decides to escape from work for one week and join them on one last hurrah to a stripping convention in Myrtle Beach before they all start new, “respectable” lives. Along the way the guys bond, party and talk about following their dreams, which also means developing new routines. They also have several opportunities to show off their “skillz” along the way from convenience stores to exclusive clubs because of course all it takes to make any woman smile is rock hard abs. And that’s about the entirety of the plot of this movie. I quite liked the first Magic Mike because it it lifted the curtain somewhat to the dark side of stripping and how unfulfilling shagging loads of women and taking a mountain of drugs can be. In this one they have dispensed with all of that and just focused on what a male director thinks women want. Now I am not going to pretend that women are above objectifying men, that we never make off colour comments to our friends when checking out a good looking guy or that we can’t  be blinded by beauty. What I can tell you though is that what very few women want is your dick in their face. Unless a woman has within the last five minutes offered to fellate you, your penis should be nowhere near the vicinity of her face. This film should have been called For the love of god, get your dick out of my face. For the most part it left me cringing with horror far more than it left me excited. Maybe that’s because I don’t actually find any of the men who make up Mike’s troupe attractive – I mean Tarzan (??) looks like Dog the Bounty Hunter and Matt Bomer is practically a Ken doll in both the fact that he is plastically pretty an in the way that he probably has no actual penis, just a smooth bump to shove in strange woman’s faces. Add this to the implication that all a woman needs to be fulfilled is for an attractive man to pretend to pay her attention and I was totally turned off. Anyway if you just want to see men in thongs go and see this. If you want any kind of story then don’t. 1/5

Hey baby, take this ring... so I can put my dick in your face

Hey baby, take this ring… so I can put my dick in your face… legally

A Long Way Down (2014)

On new Year’s Eve four strangers meet at the top of a building known as Suicide Towers. Surprise, surprise they all want to kill themselves. Martin (Pierce Brosnan) is a disgraced TV show host who was caught sleeping with an underage girl. Jess (Imogen Poots) is an abrasive politician’s daughter struggling to cope with the disappearance of her sister. Maureen (Toni Colette) feels trapped caring for her severely disabled son alone. And JJ (Aaron Paul), a failed musician is suffering from brain cancer. Together they agree to a pact to hold out until Valentine’s Day and see if anything changes but with Martin’s notoriety a media circus ensues and they unlikely foursome decides to escape on a group holiday. Unfortunately you can’t run from your problems and soon tensions are running sky high, will the unlikely friendship survive? A Long Way Down has some heartfelt moments and I always enjoy Imogen Poots but it’s very hard to take a lighthearted look at mental illness without coming across as trite. I also wasn’t sure that Martin’s “offence” should have been treated like such a minor thing. It’s not bad, it’s just not anything special. 2.5/5

JJ always liked it when Jess washed her hair in beer

JJ always liked it when Jess washed her hair in beer

Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)

Eddy (Nick Moran) and his three best mates Bacon (Jason Statham), Soap (Dexter Fletcher) and Tom (Jason Flemyng) have got a plan that’s going to set them up for life. They’ve been saving all their money so that Eddy can take part in a high stakes poker game that he’s guaranteed to win… because Eddy is an expert at reading other people’s cues. Unfortunately the game is fixed and the foursome end up very deep in debt to Hatchet Harry (P.H. Moriarty), a man you do not want to be in debt to. Fortunately Eddy has a plan that involves robbing his neighbours just after they’ve robbed a bunch of public school weed farmers who are doing a cracking trade. If only things were that easy. It’s not long before a tangled web of chaos has been woven, one that Eddy and friends will be lucky to get out alive. Be prepared for fast talking East End gangsters, violence, terrible language and whole lot of crazy action and humour. When Guy Ritchie bust onto the scene with Lock, Stock it was a bit of a revelation that introduced us not only to his talents but a then unknown Jason Statham. Not only is it hilarious but it’s just twisty and turny enough to keep you on the edge of the seat but no so much that you can’t keep track of the story. It’s packed with brilliant over the top characters, especially an absolutely fabulous Vas Blackwood as Rory Bremner a man whose afro is only overshadowed by his temper.  As a Londoner of eleven years I can’t attest to how accurate a portrayal of the underbelly of the East End it is but it’s hard not to wish that it is. An absolute heist classic and a must-see. 5/5

What do you mean I play the same character in every film I'm in

What do you mean I play the same character in every film I’m in

All This Mayhem (2014)

At the age of 17 Tas Pappas left his home in Melbourne, Australia and traveled to Florida to try and make a name for himself on the word skateboarding circuit. Not long after his brother, Ben followed and by 1996 the two brothers were ranked number 1 and 2 in the world. Their success opened a doorway to drugs, alcohol and excess, which along with their deprived upbringing and intense personalities made for an explosive combination. This documentary explores not only the Pappas brothers’  rise to the top followed by a devastating crash down to earth but also their rivalry with Tony Hawk, the exploitation of athletes by the X-Games and various other sporting bodies. Told through home movies, interviews, skateboarding videos and competition footage it’s an intense and tragic story that is gripping to watch. I have to admit that knowing very little about skateboarding probably limited my engagement to some extent but it’s a well made documentary that’s worth watching whether you know your kickflips from your tailslide’s or not. 3.5/5

Skateboarding: you're doing it wrong

Skateboarding: you’re doing it wrong


  1. MIB

    It’s a shame Guy Ritchie hasn’t done anything to match “Lock, Stock…” since. The first Sherlock Holmes was good but very Hollywood while “Lock, Stock..” was fresh, unique and British! 😛

    Wrestler Kevin Nash is in Magic Mike XXL and while he is good nick for a 56 year-old he must look old next to the young ‘un’s even with the dye job. 😮

    1. abbiosbiston

      I thought Snatch was great but not as good as Lock, Stock and the first Sherlock Holmes was very enjoyable as well but he does seem to have lost his way a bit.

      Kevin Nash is definitely in good nick but it’s not really about age and more about his horrendous hair.

  2. You can’t beat Lock, Stock… Such a great film!

    1. abbiosbiston

      I actually remember watching it the first time before I had ever been to London and thinking this is not like anything I have ever seen and I love it. I would consider it to be one of the films that made me fall in love with cinema.

  3. Lock, Stock is such a great movie.

    1. abbiosbiston

      It’s a heist movie classic.

  4. theipc

    Lock Stock forever!

    1. abbiosbiston

      Hells yeah!

  5. I’m not even slightly interested in seeing Magic Mike XXL. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels on the other hand – EPIC!

    1. abbiosbiston

      Magic Mike XXL and Lock Stock are not even the same species.

      1. Shouldn’t even be thought of within 5 minutes of each other.

  6. I’m just not a fan of Lock Stock. Very unpopular opinion in my circle.

    1. abbiosbiston

      No movie is ever going to be for everyone.

      1. Now the smartass in me wants to make a movie and call it ‘For Everyone.’

  7. i’ve only seen lock stock and that was years ago. don’t remember it at all besides it being VERY British 🙂

    1. abbiosbiston

      More than even being very British is is incredibly London and even more specifically very, very East End.

      1. No wonder most of it went right over my head 😉

  8. I have absolutely no desire in seeing Magic Mike XXL. My coworker lent me her dvd of the first movie and I ffw-ed so much of it as I could barely watch it. I don’t care for Channing or any of the boys, they don’t appeal to me AT ALL. Give me fully-clothed Stanley Weber reading a book any day than these vapid, gross men gyrating their bodies, blechhh!

    Lock Stock is a lot of fun though, I also love Rocknrolla from Guy Ritchie!

  9. […] Abbi reviewed three films for his Film Friday series, one of which is Magic Mike XXL that I have absolutely zero interest on. I’d rather watch fully-clothed Stanley Weber reading a book for two hours than these vapid, gross men gyrating their bodies, blechhh! […]

  10. Great reviews! I was looking forward to A Long Way Down before it came out but that one sort of fizzled out. I really enjoyed Magic Mike XXL, though. Very fun and I did find it sexy at times.

    1. abbiosbiston

      Thanks! A Long Way Down is okay but very forgettable. I’m glad Magic Mike XXL. I think I just wanted a bit more of a story.

      1. I understand where you’re coming from

  11. Looks like a score medley again. Great work!

    1. abbiosbiston

      Thanks! A mixed bag indeed!

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