Friday, June 29, 2012


Carole Mallory


Review: Magic Mike Brings It On

Posted: 06/26/2012 7:24 pm

Compassion for a male sex symbol. Steve Soderbergh delivers this to Magic Mike,, which is partially the story of Channing Tatum. Yes, it is predictable and yes, it is enjoyable. How refreshing to see men disrobe in a movie instead of women. Oh, there are a few semi-naked women, but Magic Mike celebrates the male anatomy. It's a good story and a true story. It addresses the feelings of a male stripper with a body that rivals Adonis. Matthew McConaughey plays Dallas, the owner and lead stripper of the Club Xquisite, but this film belongs to Channing Tatum.
Who listens to sex symbols? People love to look at them, then dismiss them for being empty vessels, vacuous, shallow -- all qualities attributed to beautiful supermodels. Rarely is compassion given to movie-star-handsome men.

How lonely it is to be looked at and not listened to.
After Mike has had sex with an intelligent psychology student, Joanna (Olivia Munn), she tells him, "You ask a lot of questions. You don't need to talk. Just look pretty." After a pause she says, "Look, I'm going to go. I'll give you a call." While her words are patronizing, her acting is so genuine, it seems to be the natural way to relate to Mike. On a subsequent chance meeting, she is with another man at a bar whom she introduces to Mike as her fiancé.
Mike subtly shows his feelings of being dismissed as an object, rather than as a lover with intense feelings.
Written by Reid Carolin and produced by Nick Weschler, Gregory Jacobs, Reid Carolin and Channing Tatum, Magic Mike's plot is thin and revolves around Dallas's strip club where Magic Mike is the lead dancer. Mike discovers Adam (Alex Pettyfer) and takes him under his wing. Adam has a sister, Brooke (Cody Horn) who does not give Mike the attention he craves. While stripping he is idolized by his female audience, but when he tries to talk to Brooke, the conversation is awkward. He cannot manipulate her with his charms the way he does the clients of Dallas's club, Xquisite. Ecstasy becomes part of the plot, but dissolves like the pill it is.
This film is fun especially during the stripping when it was impossible to distinguish between the hoots and hollers of the actors in the film and the audience in the movie theatre. It's Raining Men is the first song to which Mike strips and it ended too soon.
Joe Manganiello, Matt Bomer and Adam Rodgriguez are some of Magic Mike's fellow dancers and while Dallas bares more than Mike, Dallas's flagrant nudity only serves to leave this viewer wanting to see more of Mike. Sorry Matthew McConaughey, but while your acting deserves respect and you deserve credit for stripping in the same film as Channing Tatum, you ain't no Magic Mike.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


'Brave' and My Audition to be Madame Picasso

Published: June 27, 2012 @ 2:12 pm
By Carole Mallory
“Brave” brought back my feelings of being engaged to Pablo Picasso’s son Claude, whom I wanted to marry. My father, my mother and my sister had wanted me to marry him as well. Of course money, property and prestige and their desire for my well-being were their motivations, just as Queen and King Magus’s in "Brave" were for their daughter Merida.
When Picasso died in 1973, under the moonlight in the graveyard of the Chateau des Vauvenauges, Claude asked me to be his wife. At this time, Claude’s mother began a massive lawsuit for Picasso’s estate, all of his paintings and seven castles. 
When I met Claude in 1971, he was penniless, while I was a top model photographed for the covers of Newsweek, Cosmopolitan and New York. I was a success financially. Feeling sorry for Claude, whose father had tried to arrest him as a young teenager and had exiled Claude from his life, I offered to support him. His grandmother was wealthy but gave him no money.   Claude wore my ex-husband’s clothing -- and some of mine. 
In 1974, Francoise Gilot bought me a wedding dress and won her lawsuit against the French government. Claude, Paloma and Maya would be rich. Still, the flow-through from the government did not happen quickly, and for one year we lived off of my savings.
Claude began to change. I began to feel pressure from the family Picasso to dress a certain way and to be careful not to do anything that would tarnish the Picasso image. In "Brave,"  Merida felt pressure from her parents, the King and Queen. But the Picasso family’s image was one of illegitimate children not recognized by Picasso. This reason I disclose in my new memoir. Suddenly the clothing I bought for myself had to be approved by Claude, yet I was paying for this clothing with my money. Like Merida, my freedom was being erased.
In 1975, my wedding dress was dusty. From Paris, I called home to my mother in Philadelphia to find out about my father. In 1955, my father had been given a needless lobotomy to find out the reason for an uncontrollable twitch. During the operation the doctors discovered he had been suffering from Parkinson’s and apologized. My father, Herbert Emile Wagner, had worked at the Philadelphia National Bank and been known as an employee who never made a mistake. "Death of a Salesman" could have been his story.
“How’s Pop?”, I asked mother.
“Didn’t you get my letter?  He tried to commit suicide. Carbon monoxide. He’s in the Lankenau Hospital.”
“I’ll be home tomorrow,” I said through my tears.
I turned to Claude and asked, ”When are we getting married?”
He was silent.
“You’re doing to me what Picasso did to your mother!", I shouted.
He slammed his fist into the wall.
“If you want me, I’ll be in New York,” I said as I grabbed our toy poodle, Tutu, and boarded the first plane in the morning.