MMT Quick Review of MAGIC MIKE XXL and interview with Stephen ‘tWitch’ Boss

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Happy Tuesday MMT Family!  So there are some big films coming out tomorrow, July 1 and I had the extremely good fortune to sit and chat with a star from one of them! Last week I sat with Stephen “tWitch”Boss – more readily known from So You Think You Can Dance, Step Up film series, and The Ellen Degeneres Show – from the highly anticipated Warner Bros. film MAGIC MIKE XXL.  Now let me be very clear, take that XXL as a warning because if you saw the first movie please know that all things are on a grander scale in this one – including the very hot dance routines!

If you read my examiner article, you know Boss shared that his character, Malik, contributes to taking things to that next level – by encouraging lead character Mike (played by Channing Tatum) to elevate his dance game,

“It isn’t until (Mike) encounters Malik that he’s like “okay I have to show you what’s up!” That was a really important part that I took pride in. And I was like if I have to dance before Channing Tatum, I’m about to show out because once he starts (mimics women in audience screaming)!”

Boss, who is a noted choreographer and dance instructor, shared being enamored with dance since childhood. When I inquired what he would advise to kids, young African-American males in particular, without resources but an affinity to dance he offered, “The moment that you decide this is what I’m going to do,- no matter what – things start to re-arrange. Don’t be afraid to venture out and ask for help.” Understanding that can be easier said than done for children who don’t have the resources, including an immediate support base, tWitch added,

“It’s that decision to say no matter what this is what I’m going to do, and no matter what it’s going to happen. Even though the (access to) resources aren’t as clear, they are out there. But it is a catch 22, when you don’t have someone to help you with that paradigm shift.”

And speaking of support, when I asked Boss – who hadn’t yet seen the film – if he’d prepped his wife and who in his family he may not want to see it he replied,

“My mother, grandparents, her mother, her grandparents – any of my in-laws actually!  We had to let them know there will be other movies – don’t go see this.  And also don’t let your kids fool you, this movie does not have magic in it!  And my mom’s not going to see this movie – last time she saw my booty cheeks was probably when I was four. (laughs)”

So, I will again warn you MMT family that this movie is for “grown folk,” and really is about five guys travelling to a stripper convention for their last “hoorah.” And the XXL moniker is true to its name – so expect way more debauchery than the first. If you enjoyed the story in the first one, yeah that’s pretty much changed and “all bets are off,” LOL.

I did not see the first Magic Mike in theaters, caught it on cable, but I actually thought the story was pretty good. This one, it’s so not about the narrative! But you will get a bunch of laughs and surely be entertained – especially during the group’s Savannah, Georgia stop, which is where Jada Pinkett-Smith, tWitch, and Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino make their entrance into the film (along with another cameo that I won’t spoil!).

But I can’t front, I screened it twice – listen, the second time I took a friend…honest! Okay, it was still all about tWitch for me at that second screening! 🙂  All of the men look great, especially Joe Manganiello – who must have found some type of Greek statue morphing-potion that he surely needs to market. And he and Andie MacDowell, who also looks great, had good chemistry and an extremely funny scene together.

And for those questioning why Pinkett-Smith, a sex-trafficking awareness advocate, would venture to play in a film primarily about stripping – which has been a gateway for many into the sex slave trade – I read an interesting article at The Root where she fully addresses it (click here). In short, she believes in bringing more responsibility to the adult entertainment business – which she believes isn’t going anywhere because of the work she does. Pinkett-Smith felt portraying her character (Rome) was a great opportunity “to show that a woman can have a sense of self-respect, dignity and demand that from whoever she’s dealing with in a sexually charged environment.”

Lastly, and on a less serious note, I didn’t forget about you during my interview MMT family – although looking at tWitch in person for approximately a half hour made that feat very difficult for me!  When asked the MMT signature question, he advised that he would love to portray Sammy Davis Jr. or Jackie Wilson, the legendary dancers/singers/performers, if given the opportunity. I would certainly like to see him at least paying homage to Davis, Jr. with a routine or two – let’s make that happen Ellen!

Magic Mike XXL opens in theaters everywhere tomorrow July 1. Stop back and share your thoughts in the comments if you see it.

Until next thought family, Thomasena


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