Early on in "Magic Mike XXL," a movie that is exactly what you expect it might be but with less nudity (sorry, thought I'd better get that out of the way), Mike (Channing Tatum) performs an irresistible welding moonwalk. He is now, as he dreamed of being back in the innocent days of "Magic Mike," a designer of fairly hideous-looking furniture, and he's busily welding something (shades of "Flashdance"!) in his studio. Suddenly, he hears music - Ginuwine's "Pony," a callback to the earlier film - and dance he must, in slithery, snake-hipped fashion, like he's just been freshly oiled. A mere mortal welder would not do this (wouldn't his pants catch on fire? Isn't this some sort of violation of welding safety code?), but Mike, as we know, is magic.
Alison Faulk is the lucky woman who made the moves for the hunks of "Magic Mike XXL," the second Channing Tatum film about the trials and triumphs of male strippers, inspired by Tatum's own bump and grind time in Tampa, Fla. The film, now in theaters, also stars Joe Manganiello, Matt Bomer and Jada Pinkett-Smith. Faulk, who choreographed the first "Magic Mike," as well as moves for J.Lo, Madonna and Pink, says it took a combination of trust, humor and female instinct.
Ratings by the Motion Picture Association of America are: (G) for general audiences; (PG) parental guidance urged because of material possibly unsuitable for children; (PG-13) parents are strongly cautioned to give guidance for attendance of children younger than 13; (R) restricted, younger than 17 admitted only with parent or adult guardian; (NC-17) no one 17 and younger admitted.
Early in his career, Lance Henriksen worked for six months with influential French filmmaker Francois Truffaut when both men acted in director Steven Spielberg's classic 1977 sci-fi fantasy, "Close Encounters of the Third Kind."
It was the rare film of Graham Greene's work that the novelist was happy with, the only example of Orson Welles' that the actor liked well enough to watch on television. A film of brilliant pieces that coalesce into a superb whole, it could only be "The Third Man," and it is back in the best shape of its life.
Humanity gets a do-over in "Terminator Genisys," the fifth in the franchise begun in 1984 with "The Terminator." But this screwy revision of the previous "Terminator" movies is so muddled and yakky, you may find yourself rooting for the apocalypse. At one point Arnold Schwarzenegger is thrown through a wall into a Pepsi Max vending machine (if the rise of the machines means the fall of product placement, I'm all for it), and for a second I was pulling for a slugfest between the former bodybuilder and the Pepsi dispenser. Just to see who'd win.
"Magic Mike XXL" comes up a little short compared to the original, director Steven Soderbergh's blithe and bonny Channing Tatum showcase inspired by Tatum's salad days as a male stripper. This time the jokes are heavier, more on-the-nose, though a surprising percentage of them work anyway.
"Faith of Our Fathers," the latest offering in the growing faith-based film market, gets high points for good intentions but loses most of them for execution. The writers got so wrapped up in the spiritual aspects of the story that the mechanics fall apart.
James Cameron's 1984 science fiction classic, "The Terminator," blended the perfect touches of comedy, action and characters to become one of the best offerings in the genre. It not only solidified Arnold Schwarzenegger as one of the top action film stars on the planet; it also spawned sequels, a TV show, books and lines of toys.
An endless revival featuring endless revivals, "Terminator" truly is the franchise that will not die. But, hey, considering the country's much-discussed fixation on technology, the suggestion that the Cloud secretly contains the system that will one day rise up and overtake mankind should be kinda scary.