04th Jul2015

Magic Mike XXL (Film)

by timbaros

images-377The Kings of Tampa are back! These men, the strippers from Magic Mike, return with a sequel – Magic Mike XXL – they are back with a bang!

Magic Mike XXL reunites Channing Tatum, Joe Manganiello, Matt Bomer and the rest of the cast from the hit 2012 about male strippers and picks up the story three years later after Mike left the world of stripping. He’s got his own furniture business but it’s not doing too well. So when the former Kings of Tampa look him up on the way to a stripper convention in Myrtle Beach, California, Mike (Tatum) can’t resist the pull to go back to stripping, and to reunite with his buddies. So what takes place is a male stripper road movie with scenes that allow all of the men to display their physical goods.

And these scenes are hot. In one, reminiscent of Jennifer Beal’s dance scene in flashdance with sparks flying around, Mike does the same in his garage, to prove that he’s still got it, and what a dance it is. Once on the road, we’re treated to their adventures, to be voyeurs in their exhibitionism. First stop, a gay bar where the drag queen emceeing asks any members of the audience if they want to participate in an amateur strip contest. Of course our men enter and wow the crowd. They then find themselves at a beach party, where Mike has an encounter with Zoe (Amber Heard).

Then Big Dick (Manganiello) performs for a shocked but very lucky gas station attendant. You’ll never look at a bag of Cheetos the same way again.

A stop at Domina, Mike’s pre-Tampa stomping ground which is now a private club for women, transforms the movie into a very sexual, breathless sexually arousing film. You see, Domina treats it’s’ female customers to male strip shows, and they are strip shows you’ve never ever seen before on film. It’s here that Mike re-encounters Rome (Jada Pinkett Smith) the proprietress and a woman from Mike’s past.

It you’re out of breath at this point (trust me, you will be) there’s lots more. The men wind up at the home of Nancy (Andie MacDowell), a recently divorced woman in her early 50’s, still sexy and flirty, and the rapport between and Nancy’s female friends and the men is very palpable, real, you can cut the sexual tension between them with a knife.

Destination of Myrtle Beach reached, and once at the stripper convention each man gets to perform his own unique dance, for a room full of ladies, and perform they do, and Tatum strips all the way down to a shiny jockstrap, with the other men doing their own special routines choosing various lucky ladies from the audience to perform on them. And Tatum chooses Zoe to perform on her, in every position possible.

While Magic Mike XXL won’t win any awards, the male stars of this film really put themselves out there. And the female actresses who were chosen to be performed on in various stages of their road trip, one can presume they weren’t acting, they were really just enjoying it immensely.

04th Jul2015

Bend it Like Beckham (Theatre)

by timbaros

Atk5oQTJwl8oES88UQibHk6goVimhO_4iMzbr3f_GlsDoes a musical version of the hit film “Bend it Like Beckham” work? You bet it does!

The plot from the film is successfully transformed into a fantastic singing and dancing musical with a clever set, memorable songs, superb costumes and an excellent cast.

Natalie Dew is amazing as Jess, a young woman coming of age in a Sikh household in the Asian community of Southall, London in 2002. She loves the game of football, enough so that she’s got two large posters of David Beckham in her bedroom. One day Jess is spotted playing football by Jules (Lauren Samuels, playing the Keira Knightley role from the film) who plays for the Hounslow Harriers team. Jess goes along to one of the team’s practices where coach Joe (Jamie Campbell Bowen) takes in interest in her playing, as well as in her, and Jess decides to play for the team, without telling her parents. She knows that her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Bhamra (Tony Jayawardena and Natasha Jayetileke), will forbid her from playing the game that she absolutely loves. Coach Joe feels that Jess is good enough to make the England team, and along with Jules, they urge her to stay in the game, even after her parents do find out. Meanwhile, Jess’s older sister Pinky (Preeya Kalidas) is about to get married to a man whose family thinks that Pinky is not suitable for their son. But all Mr. and Mrs. Bhamra want is the best for their daughters, they worked hard and have provided a good life for them and they want them to continue to live, and follow, their traditional Sikh life. But Jesse has a dream, and she wants to play for England, but will her parents stop her from fulfilling this dream?


To say the Bend it Like Beckham is a feel good show is an understatement. From start to finish we are treated to a very vibrant and colorful spectacle, the likes which we haven’t seen in the West End in a long time. And the cast is perfect. Drew brings just the right amount of vulnerability and youthness to the role of Jess – it’s like the part was specifically written for her. Kalidas as Pinky brings the show punch, sass, and vavavoom. Jamel Andreas is very good as Jess’s best friend Tony who is perfect for Jess, perhaps too perfect. Other standouts include Sophie-Louise Dann as Jule’s blond mom, she’s sassy, funny and a blond bombshell. And Rekha Sawhney beautifully sings a traditional wedding song called “Sadaa Chardhdi Kalaa” that will mesmerize you. Gurinder Chadha, who wrote and directed the movie, which is set in the pre 9/11 era, also wrote (with Paul Mayeda Berges) and directed this stage version. She’s captured the spirit of Jess and her love of the game that most British people can relate to, and has given us a show that at no point gets boring or drags – it’s dialogue is very witty yet very dramatic. And the whole cast do wonders with it, and with the set that changes from a shopping street, to Mr. and Mrs. Bhamra’s living room, to an actual football field, all cleverly done. And the show wouldn’t have the name ‘Beckham’ in it if he didn’t make an appearance. The actual David Beckham is NOT in the show, but a lookalike is (along with a Victoria Beckham lookalike). Let’s hope the real David Beckham goes to see it, he will absolutely love it.

Bend it Like Beckham is playing at The Phoenix Theatre.