Theatre & Cinema
Racing breathless through the movies
Posted Saturday, August 18 2012 at 01:00
Whether you are into sci-fi or factual dramas, the movies coming out lately are designed to get the best of you as you will be spoilt for choice, what with the remakes and comic book-to-movie adaptations that are busting the blocks.
For those of you who do not know me, I am a self-confessed movie nerd. I will shamelessly admit that I stood in line for close to three hours near a man dressed in full costume to watch The Avengers on opening night. Yes, I love action flicks as much as the next guy. But in a recent discussion with a close male friend of mine, he complained that he would not talk to any woman about the Avengers movie because they all saw it for the wrong reasons.
He argued that at least 95 per cent of all the women who saw The Avengers only did so to see the two Chrises (Hemsworth/Thor and Evans/Captain America). Being a woman myself, I of course immediately took offence. I had been waiting to watch that movie since the rumours circulating about its creation began in 2010.
When I saw the 30-second trailer for the movie, I damn near passed out from the excitement. I proved myself a real fan by arguing the finer points of the movie right down the implications of the appearance of Thanos in the post-credits scene. Yet deep in the back of my mind I wonder if my enthusiasm for The Avengers was somewhat augmented by the scenes of gratuitous shirtlessness from its prequels, Thor and Captain America.
I will not deny it: Chris Hemsworth is hot. I don’t know a red-blooded woman who has not secretly lusted after Chris Evans’ body since that scene in Captain America when he is revealed after having been injected with the super soldier serum.
Hotness of stars
While I may have initially set out to see those movies to satisfy the comic-book geek in me, the woman in me could not ignore all that extra skin on display. I am, after all, only human, and if you are anything like me, you will agree that this summer’s movie line-up is proof that the gods of Hollywood are indeed female.
If you like the comic book/ fairytale-turned-movie formula, you might also want to check out Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman and Tom Hardy (who put on an extra 14kg of muscle for his role as Bane) in The Dark Knight Rises or Andrew Garfield and lovable Emma Stone in the reboot of The Amazing Spiderman.
If you prefer remakes, prequels and sequels, this is the summer for you. Prometheus is Ridley Scott’s prequel to the Alien franchise and features Charlize Theron, Michael Fassbender (X-Men: First Class) and Idris Elba (yes that Idris Elba) as part of the crew of a spaceship that discovers the alien creature the franchise is named after. In Total Recall –a remake of the 1990 film of the same name- Colin Farrell plays Douglas Quaid (played by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the original), a factory worker who discovers he is a spy whose memories have been erased and replaced by a corporation that implants artificial memories into its clients’ minds.
The Bourne Legacy has the talented Jeremy Renner as Aaron Cross picking up where Jason Bourne left off after the Bourne trilogy. If you loved Renner as Clint Barton/Hawkeye in The Avengers or as IMF Agent William Brandt in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol you will want to see this movie.
If you like your men a little more mature but still badass, The Expendables 2 features just about every action star you remember from the 80s and Liam Hemsworth, Thor’s equally breath-taking little bother.
If, however, all the testosterone of summer blockbusters is a little too much for you, there are still a few options left. What to Expect When You Are Expecting features an ensemble cast of celebrities dealing with various stages of parenthood. J-Lo, Brooklyn Decker and Elizabeth Banks play opposite the likes of Matthew Morrison (Glee), Chase Crawford (Gossip Girl) and Rodrigo Santoro with gratuitous shirtlessness and shameless male sexual objectification provided by sexy True Blood werewolf, Joe Manganiello.
Think Like a Man is based on Steve Harvey’s book of the same name, which teaches women how to understand men and get the most out of their relationships.
It has all the rom-com classics: naive declarations of love, overly romantic dating montages, penitent admissions of wrong-doing, cheesy proposals, and Michael Ealy’s incredible soulful blue eyes.
But by far this summer’s greatest gift to women has to be Magic Mike. With an all-star list of Hollywood’s finest, it features names like Joe Manganiello from True Blood (again!), Matt Bomer from White Collar, Adam Rodriguez from CSI:Miami and Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself and real life stripper-turned-actor Channing Tatum from the leading male role in every romantic comedy you have seen in the last year.
Social research disclaimer
The movie is partly based on Tatum’s experience as a stripper in Tampa, Florida when he was 19 years old and was directed by the legendary Steven Soderbergh whose previous works include Ocean’s Eleven, Ocean’s Twelve and Ocean’s Thirteen.
And if going out to watch scantily clad men get down sounds too scandalous of a reason to admit in public, you can always say you were doing social research into the dangers of a life in the entertainment industry.