Adam Tod Brown

Movie: 'Magic Mike'


Ted may have been the most successful comedy of the year, but Magic Mike has my vote for the funniest movie of the year. It wasn't funny in an intentional kind of way, but rather in that accidental way that turns any M. Night Shyamalan film into a comedy romp.

The hilarity began before filming even commenced with the decision to cast Cody Horn as the female lead. Throughout the entire film, Horn seems to have one job, and that's to stare blankly into space.

If there were an Oscar for the most aggressive attempt to not act at all in a supporting role, Cody Horn would win uncontested.


The robots from Battlestar Galactica showed more emotion.

You know how some movie trailers show every good scene of a movie? This trailer contains every instance of Cody Horn breaking from her trademark stare of disinterest in Magic Mike.

I doubt you could string together two solid minutes of Magic Mike footage showing that woman looking any way other than borderline catatonic. It takes a lot to make Channing Tatum seem like the one with all the personality, but time and again, she somehow makes it happen. Her bullheaded determination to show absolutely no emotion at all makes Kristen Stewart's performance in the Twilight series look more like Kristen Wiig's tenure on Saturday Night Live. It's not the kind of thing that's supposed to be hilarious. It just is. She doesn't carry the comedy load by herself, though. This is a team effort. Take the pivotal bank scene, for example.

After watching it, all but the dimmest of bulbs in the audience should be wondering why Channing Tatum so desperately needs a bank loan if he's got this much available cash ...

... and the intent to go into business building furniture out of stuff that washes up on the shores of Tampa. I'm not even kind of joking about that, people. That's his business plan.


Who wouldn't want this? Aside from people with eyes.

The book he's using to present his business plan has to be the most expensive part of that business plan, right? There can't be much else to it. Yet, for reasons I'll never understand, his ability to secure this loan is one of the central conflicts of the film. Those beach-trash coffee tables are Channing Tatum's ticket to keeping his erotic dancing where it belongs ... in the bedroom.

I think my favorite thing about Magic Mike, though, is how unabashedly enamored critics were with this proverbial shit sandwich. Right now, its average score among critics on Rotten Tomatoes is a mind-boggling 80 percent.

Via Rotten Tomatoes

Look, every single word in the middle section of the above image is a damn lie. The direction is nonexistent, the screenplay is the opposite of smart and the only strong performance involves the bodybuilding werewolf from True Blood lifting soccer moms over his head. This shit is a train wreck of epic proportions, and for some reason people treat it like it's the Rocky of male stripper movies.

Oh, and get this: There was apparently tons of Oscar buzz for Matthew McConaughey's portrayal of Dallas, the club owner/team coach who inserts himself as the "villain" of the movie when he demands that Channing Tatum wear a sailor costume onstage instead of the ATF agent ensemble he's got the gall to think he's going to go out there and dance in. Not with all those Navy wives in the audience, muchacho!


"And remember: There's a sniper with a half-hard dick in the rafters just waiting for you to miss one dance step."

Back to that Oscar buzz for a second, though -- if I had to put my finger on why Matt Mac's performance in this flick is so beloved, it's likely because actors give their best performance when they're playing a role that closely resembles who they really are as a person. Magic Mike is as close as most of us will ever come to knowing the real Matthew McConaughey.

Tweet: Celeb Boutique Jumps the Gun

Twitter

So here's everything that's wrong with the Internet in one convenient tweet. Well, not everything -- there's no tentacle porn. But you do have two very distinct sides of the Internet perfectly encapsulated in those 140 characters.

On one side, there's that quick-to-react segment of the Internet population who see a fact they disagree with in a post and immediately head to the comments to express their displeasure, even if the point they're making is literally the next sentence they would have read in the thing they're disagreeing with, if they weren't such ADD-addled hotheads. These are the people who see that the word "Aurora" is trending on Twitter and, because stopping to find out why is what old people do, immediately begin crafting a cynical tweet to promote whatever bullshit they have going on.

Getty
"Finally, people are catching on."

That's basically what happened here. The faceless social media person who handles the Twitter side of things for Celeb Boutique (who happened to be based in England) saw a trend and jumped on it without investigating it properly.

And that's when the other half of the Internet swung into action: the half that views any slip-up, transgression or lapse in judgment as an excuse to burn down the entire building. In the wake of this unfortunate tweet, protests erupted online calling for boycotts of the company and worse.

While this wasn't necessarily an innocent mistake, and I think I could be talked into the point of view that someone deserved to be fired for this stupidity, it's still just one person who did something dumb. Settle the fuck down, Internet.

Twitter
Too late, Celeb Boutique. They stopped listening dozens of characters ago.

Person: Cecilia Gimenez


You must seize opportunity on those rare occasions when it presents itself. And once you've seized it, you must not let it go until you've wrung every last drop of personal benefit from it that you possibly can. No story in 2012 demonstrated this fundamental principle of successful living better than the tale of Cecilia Gimenez.

Gimenez had become increasingly disappointed at the advancing state of decay into which this fresco (like a painting, but fresher) of Jesus, located at the Sanctuary of Mercy Church in Spain, had fallen.

Wikipedia
That's not a crown of thorns on his head. It's moss.

So, with what she was pretty sure was the blessing of the priest, but that time has revealed to be something more along the lines of a demand to stop feeding the pigeons on the sidewalk out front, Gimenez commenced turning that ragged picture of Jesus into something special:

Wikipedia
"Special" being the operative word.

What you're looking at is Gimenez's version of her lord and savior. I think we can all agree that, if nothing else, this is a far more entertaining interpretation of the subject than what the original artist had in mind.

Unfortunately, connoisseurs of fine messiah paintings don't generally go in for fun and games, so Gimenez's Picasso-in-grade-school-esque rendering of Jesus was met with derision and ridicule. Spanish officials immediately swept in to try and figure out what sort of materials she had used to "fix" the century-old fresco in the hopes that the original could be unearthed once again.

NY Daily News
"I mostly just finger-painted it."

Within hours of the story breaking, images of the newly christened "Monkey Jesus" painting were trending on Twitter and Tumblr. Cecilia Gimenez was a laughingstock, and her well-intentioned attempt to fix a damaged piece of art was suddenly the funniest piece of unintentional comedy of the year.

And that's when Gimenez did something that skyrocketed her to the lead position in my own private "person of the year" race. Cecilia Gimenez sued to be paid for her work.


"There's a difference between money-changing in the temple and gettin' paid by the temple."

See, after all the hubbub erupted over the "damaged" fresco, the church started charging tourists to come in and see the now hugely popular work. But Cecilia Gimenez wasn't seeing a dime of that money. Not content to be the unpaid punchline of the story, she lawyered up and, if there is a father to that man in the fresco, should finally be seeing a long overdue payday for her work. And she deserves it!

Before she started, barely anyone even knew that this fresco existed (aside from the granddaughter of the painter, who had secured a grant to have the work restored by a professional mere moments prior to Gimenez putting her spin on it). After she was done, it was a worldwide sensation, a real-life version of Buddy Christ from Kevin Smith's Dogma. When Gimenez jacked up that painting, she inadvertently gave the world a personification of Jesus that both believers and non-believers alike were happy to post on their various social media pages, talk about for days on end and just generally stare at in adoration.

Getty
Go away, boring Jesus. Come back when some crazy person ruins you.

Who else could claim to bring both sides of the religious argument together with such effectiveness in 2012? Only Cecilia Gimenez, and she wasn't even trying. All she wanted to do was make that painting look pretty, and you'll never convince me that she didn't succeed. And because her inspired accident, even if just for a moment, brought the world a little bit closer together, Cecilia Gimenez is my person of the year.

Song: 'Sixteen Saltines' by Jack White


So here's how this works. Whatever year we're doing this, if Jack White puts out music that year in any way, shape, or form, something in there will be my favorite song of the year. Just write that down right now. I promise you I will not deviate from it.

I spend a lot of time on this site sharing my opinions on all sorts of music-related things. There's no way you're tired of me doing that, because I'm super good at it, but this seems like a good time to dial it back a bit.

Tim Mosenfelder / Getty
On an unrelated note, does anyone else think that Jack White looks like a pre-death Beetlejuice?

In lieu of telling you why I love "Sixteen Saltines" by Jack White so much, I'll just ask you to listen to this song, because I fucking love it.

And then watch 2013 end up being the year Jack White does absolutely nothing other than record a song with the Insane Clown Posse. Again.

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