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Movie Reviews: ‘Ice Age: Continental Drift,’ ‘Magic Mike’ and ‘Madea’s Witness Protection’
BY ROB HEDELT
THE FREE LANCE-STAR
“ICE AGE: CONTINENTAL DRIFT” (PG)
2.5 out of 4 stars
VOICES OF RAY ROMANO, DENIS LEARY, JOHN LEGUIZAMO AND QUEEN LATIFAH
There are enough silly moments in this Ice Age outing to entertain youngsters, but older viewers will find this less entertaining than the others in the series.
This is basically one long road trip, with Manny, Diego and Sid taking off on an iceberg after they’re separated from the others when continents divide.
All because (we learn way after the fact) that that goofy little squirrel named Scrat chased an acorn all the way to the planet’s core. Who knew?
Ray Romano, Queen Latifah and Denis Leary voice the main characters, and thanks to plenty of goofy action from Sid and lots of other little critters who either accompany or chase the trio, it’s one challenge after another. It was enough to make the film grow tiresome in spots, at least for this adult.
The big pirate ape who’s the bad guy is equally wearisome, and less interesting than the villains from the previous films in the series. He’s not all that funny, he’s not that scary, and you can’t help but wonder why the elephant-sized Manny doesn’t just squash him like a bug.
There are sweet, funny and interesting moments woven into the trip, from the sirens who tempt the trio to worlds of ice and fern they flock to and flee from.
Perhaps the lack of enthusiasm for this film and others can be partly explained by cartoon overload. It feels like every week has delivered another animated feature to the big screen.
Some find that magic balance of material that interests both younger viewers and the parents who bring them.
This, unfortunately, isn’t one of those, though youngsters will still like it.
Rated PG for mild rude humor, and action/peril. 94 min. [MC, RA, RF]
“MAGIC MIKE” (R)
2.5 out of 4 stars
MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY, CHANNING TATUM, OLIVIA MUNN, ALEX PETTYFER, JOE MANGANIELLO
I assume plenty of ladies will never darken the door of a strip club, but this movie could inspire throngs of women to hit the theaters for a similar thrill, complete with titilating male semi-stripping and erotic dancing from some of Hollywood’s hottest (looking) stars.
But this Steven Soderbergh film is more than hunks in break-away pants. There is an unexpected and oddly compelling story here.
The biggest surprise for this reviewer: Channing Tatum. He of generally middling acting talent delivers an interesting performance, and not just when he’s dancing, which the former underwear model does as well as any on the club’s stage. He also shines in a relationship with a woman who helps him realize he can be more than a piece of beefcake in front of a screaming throng of tipsy women.
The other thing that saves the film from being just a one-note wonder: the dancing onstage comes in short snippets. There’s enough to titillate and make it all feel real, but not so much that it would offend those looking for more than pelvic thrusts and skimpy chaps.
Matthew McConaughey is so convincing as the sleazy club owner that you wonder if he has a bit of that exhibitionism in his DNA.
Also interesting is relative newcomer Cody Horn as Brooke, the young woman who sees Tatum’s “Magic Mike” as more than just the club’s hunky headliner.
Rated R for pervasive sexual content, brief graphic nudity, language and some drug use. 110 min. [MC, RA, RF]
“MADEA’S WITNESS PROTECTION” (PG–13) (R)
2.5 out of 4 stars
TYLER PERRY, EUGENE LEVY, DENISE RICHARDS, DORIS ROBERTS
Those of us who never want to miss Tyler Perry’s Madea movies would probably admit that the films themselves aren’t all that unique or spectacular.
But we just get a kick out of this big actor playing the large, overbearing and politically incorrect character who says all the things we wish more people would say.
And who doesn’t long to pop a smart-mouthed kid in the behind if they deserve it?
The silly thread at the film’s center—Eugene Levy as a CFO duped into taking the fall for a crooked company—isn’t all that hilarious. But it does allow Madea to hide and interact with a spoiled white family.
Regular viewers will not be a bit surprised by the fact that she teaches them a thing or two in the process. And that’s enough to make us all laugh.
Rated PG–13 for some crude sexual remarks, brief drug references. 114 min. [MC, RA, RF]