Friday, June 15, 2012

Hot Guys Who Cook: The Revealing "Magic Mike" Trailer That Leaves Me Wanting (to See) More of Channing Tatum & Co.!

I've had hot guys who cook on the brain lately, thanks to the TV show of that name. It appears to be Top Chef meets The Bachelorette -- without the bachelorette and with a cast of hunky guys from around Asia -- and it's about to premiere on the Universal channel in Bangkok on June 25.

I'm not sure whether Hot Guys Who Cook is trying to appeal to fans of cooking shows, or non-fans, like me, who can now tolerate the likes of Top Chef in small doses because of all the hot and spicy dishes -- the cooks, not the cooked. Whoever the target audience might be, I, for one, am so there!

The hot guys are far more A-list (or at least headed toward that vicinity), and they're cooking in an entirely different way in the upcoming stripper flick Magic Mike, which opens in the U.S. on June 29. It's not the sort of subject matter I'd expect from director Steven Soderbergh, and it certainly isn't the cast, which is what makes it all the more intriguing. Something tells me I'll be seeing Magic Mike via one of those bootleg-DVD merchants on Silom Road because I can't imagine this one ever making it to Bangkok theaters!

But about that cast... I've been expecting big things from Channing Tatum, 32, for years now, and so far he hasn't disappointed, steadily building his reputation as a major box-office draw the old-fashioned way, one film at a time, without squeezing into superhero tights. (Would G.I. Joe qualify as a man in tights?) I've always thought he had a stripper's swagger (possibly because he used to disrobe for pay), so it feels so right that he's finally playing one. If his naked backside on display in the "red band" Magic Mike trailer that's circulating in the UK doesn't get asses into those movie theater seats, nothing will.

I know absolutely nothing about second-billed Alex Pettyfer, 22, but I'm looking forward to seeing more. Naked guy No. 3 Matt Bomer, 34, has come a long way in the past year, and perhaps he'll soon be living proof that a gay man can also be a movie star. (Bring on the one-letter-from-"boner" jokes!) Alas, he's the only one who isn't shirtless when his credit rolls in the red band trailer. Read what you will into that.

I've been in love with Joe Manganiello, 35, since his recurring role as Marshall's pal Brad on How I Met Your Mother, and I'm predicting a Channing Tatum-style breakout for him any movie now. And Matthew McConaughey? Well, with his headlining role in The Paperboy, the next film from Oscar-nominated director Lee Daniels (Precious), and Magic Mike (in which he gets the prestigious "and" billing), it's nice to see my pick for the sexiest man alive in Hollywood branching out from Kate Hudson's shadow in romantic comedies, even if he now risks being overshadowed by Zac Efron and Nicole Kidman (in The Paperboy) and Tatum.

I'm happy to report, though, that after watching the red band trailer over and over (and over), that McConaughey, 42, is as much of a shirtless attraction as his decade-younger costars. As someone who was born in the same year as McConaughey, someone who recently won a shirtless competition at a gay bar in Melbourne but just yesterday still had to listen to a 23-year-old friend gloat about telling 40-something suitors to their faces that they are "too old" for him, this is truly a reason to celebrate -- and see the movie.

I won't lie. Judging strictly from the trailer evidence, Magic Mike doesn't appear to have much going for it besides those hot guys who cook. But if The Full Monty can get a Best Picture Oscar nomination, there's always hope. And even if Soderbergh is truly slumming for once, what a deliciously low place to go.

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