A Rigged Game

Last evening I had a chance to meet up with a friend and a friend of a friend to have a girl’s night out. Our respective spouses were together at the baseball game and so we fell to conventions and did a boys night/girls night thing.

The ladies decided that dinner and a movie sounded all right, so we stopped off at a fabulous San Francisco restaurant that served a very nice sangria and happy hour soft tacos. The prawn and also the pulled pork tacos were divine.

And then off to the movie theatre across the street from the restaurant where we got three tickets to see Magic Mike.

Now, the IMDB summary of “A male stripper teaches a younger performer how to party, pick up women, and make easy money” didn’t make this seem like my kind of show, but it the film was directed by Stephen Soderbergh. He does good stuff. And the film gets a 79% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

So we decided to give it a try.

Let me cut to the chase: It was awful. The acting was terrible. The script was embarrassing and even the editing was terrible. In one scene the main actress had a tattoo. Then she didn’t. In one scene a supporting character had a full bottle of Pepsi, then it was empty, then it was full again. Sheesh!

Walking out of the theatre we wondered aloud how this crap movie could get such good reviews.

Which reminded me of the kerfuffle around the movie John Carter. The Good Man is a fan of the books and went to see the movie in the theatre. He genuinely liked it.

He said then that he felt the poor reviews were unfair. John Carter only gets a measly 52% on Rotten Tomatoes.

On the plane to London with time to kill, I decided to watch John Carter. I’m not a huge sci-fi fan, but I love a well told story in any genre.

I have to say, it’s a pretty good movie. Solid story line, well defined characters. The acting was a little sketchy here and there, but what rollicking lasers blasting sci-fi film has perfect acting, eh?

So after watching John Carter, I commented to The Good Man that the producers must not have paid off the right people to get the good reviews. I said it facetiously but after this whole Magic Mike debacle, it’s become my full on conspiracy theory.

Did the Magic Mike team pay off the right people while the John Carter crew did not?

Are movie reviews really bought and sold like trinkets on eBay?

Are movie reviewers on the take?

Could the whole movie industry maybe possibly be entirely completely corrupt?

Is the truth really out there?


Image by Abdulhamid AlFadhly and used royalty free from stock.xchng.

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  • Peter

    I think it is just a form of “mob justice”.

    A movie like John Carter sails in the stratosphere with nine figures to make the movie and nine figures for the advertising budget. Do you think they could not find the right persons to hand a suitcase of cash, if only it guaranteed success?

    The mob likes to see a giant Disney fail. The big budget justifies calling it a failure even if the movie itself could be called a modest success on its own merits.

    Ditto Costner’s Waterworld. Not a bad movie of that genre. I can hardly give it a strong recommendation, but I paid my $10 and got pretty much exactly what I expected. Am I supposed to care what the movie cost the studio?

    As for Magic Mike, sometimes the mob thinks its fun and/or daring to recommend a so-so movie about male strippers. The mob is mostly made of teenagers. Whatever.

    • Karen Fayeth

      Peter – Best line of the whole comment, “The mob is mostly made of teenagers. Whatever.”

      Too right and too true.

      And you think the mob likes to see Disney fail? I thought the mob is what made Disney rich? I figured they could do a movie of the Mouse farting rhythmically and it would do a billion in box office.

  • Scott

    No it’s true–we have a peculiar thing in Hollyweird where we want to build them up if they’re the underdog and knock them down if they get too “proud.” Until, of course, you become “untouchable” ala James Cameron, Lucas, Spielberg. But yes, it alllll revolves around money. Reviewers have fallen out of fashion and are panicking in the face of losing their gigs, everyone else follows suit. “John Carter” was a snowball effect–word got out early and everyone jumped on the bandwagon…I’ve never heard a single “normal” person say they thought it was “bad,” quite the opposite. You saw it a little bit with “Prometheus” too–a real confusion over whether it was any ‘good’ or not, so people turn to the publicity machines. Every now and then Hollyweird thinks, “we can force public opinion!!” and again and again are proven wrong when The People Speak.

    I had another thought–it seems like “Magic Mike” qualifies in most peoples’ minds as bad enough to stand next to “Showgirls” as an example of a big, messy flop (albeit less expensive I’m guessing) that could have an afterlife as a cult film–wonder if it will? Showgirls was not really campy, more dull than anything (not to mention poorly made on all levels) but somehow became an “anti-sensation.” Seems like poor “Mike” is destined to just be forgotten, ha ha.

    I wonder if Mr. Tatum has yet looked in the mirror and said, “Wow–my ass just wasn’t enough.” :)

    • Karen Fayeth

      Scott – Last line, utterly perfect!

      Read recently that Mr Tatum decided to “thrill” some girls at a bachelorette party by allowing them his presence. Seems his hit butt wagglin’ movie isn’t quite enough, as you say. LOL!

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