[caption id="attachment_133369" align="alignleft" width="300"] Warner Bros.[/caption]
This week: Before he became an actor, Channing Tatum worked as a male stripper, which inspired Steven Soderbergh to direct "Magic Mike," a behind-the-scenes look at a troupe of male strippers taking it off nightly at a club in Florida.
Also new this week is the self-explanatory horror thriller "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter," the sweet-natured apocalyptic romance "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World" and a definitive anniversary edition of "Blade Runner" on Blu-ray.
[caption id="attachment_151598" align="alignright" width="220"] Warner Bros.[/caption]
Box Office: $114 million
Rotten Tomatoes: 79% Fresh
Storyline: Inspired by Channing Tatum's real-life occupation as a male stripper, this Steven Soderbergh-directed drama (that's right — this isn't a fluffy chick flick) stars Tatum as the titular character who takes a young dancer called The Kid (Alex Pettyfer) under his wing and teaches the teenager how to shake his moneymaker, pick up women and make gobs of money. Matthew McConaughey stars as the owner of the joint where the guys — including Matt Bomer and Joe Manganiello — strip for rowdy female audiences.
Extras! The Fully Extended Edition has a "Backstage on 'Magic Mike'" featurette in which Tatum exposes the finer details of being a male stripper — from manscaping to hip shaking — and the transformation of his co-stars. The Blu-ray also has exclusive extended dance sequences.
We Say: If you just want to see good-looking guys take it all off and gyrate for women's delight, read no further — this movie has the bare butts you require. But surrounding the parade of man meat is a more compelling story about having access to too much while too young and how real dreams are worth pursuing.
'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter'
[caption id="attachment_151599" align="alignright" width="220"] Fox[/caption]
Box Office: $38 million
Rotten Tomatoes: 35% Rotten
Storyline: Based on the novel of the same name, this action-horror film imagines the 16th President of the United States as someone who — when he's not worried about emancipating the slaves — moonlights as a vampire hunter after having witnessed his mother being killed by a bloodsucker. Benjamin Walker plays Abe, Mary Elizabeth Winstead plays his wife, Dominic Cooper plays the president's mentor and Rufus Sewell heads up an order of vampires.
Extras! The five-part making-of feature includes details about the transition from book to screen, choreography, makeup effects and a peek behind the scenes. The full combo pack includes the movie in 3-D (as it was in theaters), although the 3-D effect is not one of the better conversions out there.
We Say: Although the silly premise is at odds with the serious performances by everyone involved, viewers who can get beyond that might find themselves rooting for Honest Abe to rid our country of a fanged scourge.
'Seeking a Friend for the End of the World'
[caption id="attachment_151600" align="alignright" width="220"] Focus Features[/caption]
Box Office: $7 million
Rotten Tomatoes: 55% Rotten
Storyline: When news of a world-ending asteroid hurtling towards Earth breaks, Dodge's (Steve Carell) wife ditches him and he decides to seek out his high school sweetheart before the world ends. Accompanying him on his journey is Penny (Keira Knightley), the neighbor he never really knew whose impact on his life will be greater than any space rock.
Extras! Both the DVD and Blu-ray contain several behind-the-scenes featurettes, including one in which Carell, Knightley and other stars of the film discuss what songs would make their playlist if the world were to end.
We Say: There are plenty of unexpected romance movies out there, but this one has the pressure of a ticking clock, which makes matters more interesting. Carell and Knightley sell it with their charming banter and easy chemistry.
'Blade Runner' 30th Anniversary Collector's Edition Blu-ray
[caption id="attachment_151601" align="alignright" width="220"] Warner Bros.[/caption]
Box Office: $33 million
Rotten Tomatoes: 92% Fresh
Storyline: Ridley Scott's seminal sci-fi masterpiece stars Harrison Ford as Deckard, the titular cop assigned to hunt down several rogue Replicants (synthetic humans with a four-year lifespan) that have escaped from the Off-World colonies and returned to a rain-soaked, neon-lit Los Angeles in 2019 in search of more life from their creator, Dr. Tyrell. Rutger Hauer, Daryl Hannah, Joanna Cassidy and Sean Young appear as the Tyrell Corporation-created "more human than human" beings that force Deckard to reconsider the meaning of life.
Extras! This new Blu-ray edition features all four versions of the film on one seamless-branching disc and Ultraviolet digital copies for the first time. All the previous extras are included on a separate bonus disc, plus this Collector's Edition comes packaged with a new Spinner car and a 72-page art production book with never-before-seen Scott sketches, poster art and photos from the set.
We Say: Although underappreciated during its initial release in 1982, "Blade Runner" has become one of the most influential science-fiction films of all time and Scott's darkly beautiful vision of a futuristic Los Angeles will still take your breath away. The movie has been on a ten-month moratorium from home video, but Warner Bros. has brought it back with an out-of-this-world new package that "you people wouldn't believe."
Also New This Week:
"Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection"
"Secret of the Wings"
"I, Robot" Blu-ray 3D
"Wrong Turn 5: Bloodlines"
"Take This Waltz"