Rave: Magic Mike

When we were offered tickets to check out the premiere of Magic Mike (courtesy of Warner Bros.) we jumped at the opportunity. A rom-com combined with a good-looking cast about an all-male revue? We’re in. 



Off we went, popcorn in hand along with our good friend Paul to check out the flick. Below we give you a he said/we said review of various aspects of the show – as we don’t want to give too much away!

On Channing Tatum:
He said: “Loads of charm,
and a hint of that deceiving bad boy-actually-good attitude that just
won’t quit, much like his ass. Obviously, the best dancer and, yes, when he
dances it’s like you’re watching Step Up 2: The Streets one though.”

We said: “We didn’t blink. Between his dancing and abs, he had us at ‘hello’. Well done, Channing. Well done. Now, take your shirt off.” 

On Cody Horn: 
He said: “The role of Brooke (Cody Horn), The Kid’s sister and
Mike’s love interest, might as well have been cast with Kristin Cavallari. I
mean, I just can’t deal. Olivia Munn, who plays risky bisexual Joanna and has
an affair with Mike pre-Brooke, might as well have taken the entire lead to
herself.” 


We said: “Meh. She didn’t do it for us as a female lead. Between her permanent frown/scowl and no-fun attitude, we just couldn’t figure out why this (hot) stripper with a heart of gold was going for a girl like that.” 
Nudity:
He said: “There is a ton of butt cheeks, and bare chests. A few
boobs for good measure. But sadly, the only penis you get to see is almost out
of focus and in a pump. (Yes, a penis pump.)” 


We said: “It was done as tastefully as possible. There was serious eye candy and come on, we are talking about male strippers here.”


Performance
sequences: 
He said: “The ‘performances’ keep the movie afloat because – hah
– as if you would come for anything else. There are some bigger numbers, and
none will bore you. A big plus: smaller montages give a glimpse into the
various acts they perform, each based on traditional male archetypes:
firefighter, doctor, cop, basketball player, etc. Sometimes, you don’t even see
them take anything off. Expect something like this
 and this.
Actually, it’s more like male burlesque, and heavy on the funny factor because,
well, assless leather chaps.”


We said: “There was a great variation in the routines, which, as dance-based movie aficionados, we can appreciate.  We were particularly fond of their ‘It’s Raining Men‘ routine, with Channing’s solo act to Ginuwine as a close second. We went on a cross-country journey with these guys as we saw cowboys, Tarzan, and hip-hop dancers, (oh my!).” 



Story and script:

He said: Mike describes the appeal of stripping as ‘women,
money and a good time.’ That basically sums up the movie. What they don’t tell
you is that it’s set to a soundtrack of drugs, booze and dubstep. And the
conflict is forced at best because, well, just wait until you see the
ending.” 


We said: “Again, it was a story about a male stripper who discovered friendship and good times but more importantly, himself. Aww.”


Does
it live up to the hype/trailer:

He said: “In the era of easy access Internet porn, the trailer
promised the flick would be visually stimulating. And yeah, it lived up to that
promise in spades but with no real climax. There was no promise of a real story
either, so that checks out. But once it’s over, it’s over – just like the
trailer.”



We said: “We went in with lowered expectations, especially in relation to the story line. While the plot followed your standard rom-com format, it was a fun flick to watch, despite the whole Cody Horn element.”

Overall
sexiness:

He said: “I would have liked more screen time with the other
guys. Tatum is hot, sure, but you can only look at his face for so long. Also,
director 
Soderbergh sorely under-used Pettyfer and Rodriguez’s sex symbol
potential. And, as I’ve found with male stripping, sexiness is sacrificed for
humor because, well, you decide.” 

We said: “We agree with Paul. More Manganiello, Bomer and McConaughey would have been nice. We also thought Munn was lovely and would have been a better fit for the female lead.”


Final
thoughts:

He said: Soderbergh is Soderbergh, and he tries to
bring his trademark mix of depth, intrigue and action to a script
that simply can’t support it. You can tell he really tries to stylize the film
in his own way with his sequencing and camera choices, but he’s trying to reach
a level of intellect that no one ends up caring about because – hello! – ABS.
If Gus Van Sant directed this, now that would be some grimy hot realness and
we’d be seeing the full frontal. Still, it was fun in a way that Showgirls and
Striptease and Burlesque was fun.”



We said: “It was fun! Soderbergh brought us some good laughs, we danced in our seats, we (almost) cried and we had a good time watching theses abs. We mean dancers. Just don’t expect a sequel. However, we will want to interview Matthew McConaughey’s children once they watch it.” 


Haven’t seen the trailer yet? Check it out here.









Rave: Learn to like running

We have a love-hate relationship with running here on the fourth floor. Love: being completely energized and refreshed post-run (and post-shower), knowing you just burned a couple hundred calories, and that muscles-are-sore-in-the-best-way-possible feeling. Hate: being a sweaty, red-faced mess in public, being unable to catch your breath, and feeling like you may die at any moment. Some of us are newbie and/or wannabe runners, and wanted to share our tips for how to actually like running… or at least stop hating it.

First thing’s first: Don’t underestimate the power of a brisk walk to warm up and post-run stretching. This article from the Globe and Mail notes pre-run stretching can be counter-productive and compares stretching to piece of gum. “You put it in your mouth and chew it for 10 minutes – then take it out and stretch it. Voila! It stretches with ease. Take that same piece of gum out of your mouth and put it on a table, then try to stretch it 10 minutes later when it’s cold. It stretches with resistance and snaps. Muscles work very much the same way.” Try these post-run stretches from Huffington Post.





Next, have realistic expectations and set a goal. You will not be able to run 5k right off the bat, and if you try, you will most likely never run again. Ease yourself into it with an app like Couch to 5k, a running program designed to get just about anyone from the couch to running five kilometers or 30 minutes in just nine weeks. It alternates walking and running intervals, gradually increasing the run over nine weeks, until you are able to run 5k or 30 minutes non-stop. RunKeeper is another cool app that lets you enter a target pace at the start of your activity and get coached on whether you are ahead/behind that pace through your headphones, along with tracking how far you went, how long it took you, and the route you travelled. 







RunKeeper app.

Running is easy on the wallet given it’s free and you can do it just about anywhere, but we do recommend investing in a quality pair of shoes, if nothing else. A good pair of shoes will absorb the impact on your bones and joints, saving your knees and shins. We like Reebok Runtone – the airpods on the outsole create micro-instability, activating your muscles as you stabilize yourself, while the synthetic mesh offers breathability for your feet.

Something else worth investing in, especially for our larger-chested friends, is a decent sports bra. Our friend at Happy or Hungry who has big nungas herself (as she calls them), has done the research and recos the Ta Ta Tamer from Lululemon. Cheaper bras are okay for strength training and yoga, etc. but you’ll definitely want to keep strapped in on the run, so it’s worth the trip to Lulu.

Ta Ta Tamer II from Lululemon.


Some other easy ways to enjoy your run include making a killer playlist (try not to listen to these songs until your run so you are pumped when you hear them!), listening to an audio book, or catching up on Mad Men (when on the treadmill). Basically, make your run interesting so you’re not focused on the hard parts. Switching from the treadmill to an outdoor jaunt can help too – a change of scenery can do wonders.


We’d run every day if this was our view: shirtless Matthew McConaughey.

And remember: You don’t have to run fast. You just have to run.