LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Film critic Josh Bell takes a look at the latest Vegas connections onscreen.
First up is the reality show Finding Magic Mike, streaming on HBO Max. Finding Magic Mike spotlights the Magic Mike Live stage show in Las Vegas at the Sahara, which was in turn inspired by the Magic Mike movies starring Channing Tatum as a male exotic dancer. The reality show takes a group of so-called ordinary guys ands puts them through training to become Magic Mike Live dancers, helping them find new personal confidence along the way. The entire season was filmed locally at the Sahara, and the various competitions and challenges highlight the time-honored Vegas art form of the striptease show. The entire first season of Finding Magic Mike is streaming on HBO Max.
Crime thriller American Sicario, now available for video on demand rental, showcases Las Vegas without ever mentioning Las Vegas, which proves an able stand-in for the story’s Mexico setting. Danny Trejo co-stars in the story of an American-born cartel boss in Mexico, who faces attacks from rivals as law enforcement closes in on him. It's an impressive demonstration of the versatility of Las Vegas and Nevada as a filming location. That's American Sicario, now on VOD.
Also available for video on demand rental is The Scary of Sixty-First, the directorial debut from actress and semi-controversial podcaster Dasha Nekrasova, who grew up in Las Vegas and graduated from the Las Vegas Academy of the Arts. The Scary of Sixty-First is set in New York City, where a pair of aimless slackers move into a too-good-to-be-true Manhattan apartment that they soon discover was previously owned by billionaire sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein. The bizarre horror movie is deliberately shocking and offensive, but it's also a distinctive and memorable filmmaking debut. That's The Scary of Sixty-First, now on VOD.
Also on VOD as well as streaming for free on Tubi is The Immortal Wars: Rebirth, the latest installment in local filmmaker Joe Lujan's Ravage Reign superhero universe. Lujan has created an intricate Marvel-style universe on an indie budget, and Rebirth is the third movie in the Immortal Wars series, set in a dystopian future that's a bit Hunger Games, a bit X-Men. Rebirth takes place alongside the second Immortal Wars movie, introducing new superheroes and fleshing out the origins of some of the characters. That's The Immortal Wars: Rebirth, on VOD and Tubi.
For more movie talk with Josh Bell, check out Awesome Movie Year, the podcast he co-hosts with comedian Jason Harris, at awesomemovieyear.com, or wherever you listen to podcasts.