Magic Mike is a lively surprise, writes Kurt Loder. Like Darren Aronofsky's The Wrestler, Steven Soderbergh's new film takes us into a barely-known world, and in focusing on one of its denizens—an aging male stripper—clears a new space for the playing out of human dreams and desires.
The Amazing Spider-Man, on the other hand, rests on an all too familiar premise: Teenage dweeb Peter Parker gets bitten by some kind of magical spider and starts shooting sticky webs out of his hands and scampering up walls. Do we really need to sit through this story all over again? Sony and Marvel Enterprises are hoping so, Loder writes, they've sunk an estimated $215-million into "rebooting" the familiar superhero saga. If only they'd invested in some new ideas as well.