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Weekend Picks: ‘Magic Mike,’ ‘Ted,’ ‘Madea’s Witness Protection’ & ‘People Like Us’

Meriah Doty
Movie Talk
June 28, 2012

The popularity of "Madagascar 3" and " Brave" tilted the early summer box office in the heavy favor of kids. But this is the weekend we grownups take back the movies.

From Steven Soderbergh's hilarious and cerebral depiction of male strippers to a fowl-mouthed teddy bear to a modern dysfunctional family drama to the latest in Tyler Perry-branded comedy, there really is something for everyone -- except for the little ones.

Spin the wheel of new weekend movie releases and see which one suits you best. (And, as a reminder, "The Amazing Spider-Man" swings into theaters on an unusual day -- this coming Tuesday, July 3.):

[Related: Find showtimes and tickets for movies near you]

Magic Mike

Rated R for pervasive sexual content, brief graphic nudity, language and some drug use.

What's the story?

Is Mike a stripper-entrepreneur or an entrepreneur-stripper? That question, and much much more is answered in this seemingly fluff film that winds up having a lot of heart, soul and swagger. Mike, a guy who wears many hats -- including a hard one for a construction day job -- welcomes newly-aimless college football dropout Adam to the world of male erotic dance. Mike battles his own demons as well as the judgment of Adam's sister, who desperately wants her brother to find his way. Sorority parties gone terribly awry, manscaped skin, reflective moments, hard partying, and many chuckle-inspiring costume changes are just some of the highlights of this visually-and-plot-rich tale, loosely based on the star Channing Tatum's life.

Who will dig it?

Everyone has been saying that straight women and gay men will flock to this film -- and understandably so. But remember, this is a Soderbergh film -- told from a man's perspective. So guys, don't let the sexy Channing Tatum dance clip (below) dissuade you. You. Will. Like. This. Film. Too. (Not to sound crass, but amid all the hairless, tanned, shaking man booties, there are also, ahem, boobs.) The story, the cinematography, the refreshingly well-developed characters -- it's all there.

[Related: Find local showtimes & tickets for 'Magic Mike']

Ted

Rated R for crude and sexual content, pervasive language, and some drug use.

What's the story?

[DISCLAIMER: Just because a teddy bear stars in this film does not mean it is for kids. It is most definitely NOT for kids.] Now that I have that out of the way... Mark Wahlberg plays John Bennett -- an adult whose best friend is a talking bear he has known since he was a child. Both grew up together but now that John is a grown man, the emotionally-stunted bear proves problematic -- especially regarding his relationship with his love interest, played by Mila Kunis.

Who will dig it?

"Family Guy" fans (this is the first live-action film by the show's creator Seth MacFarlane), furries, guys who used to position their sisters' Barbie dolls in compromising positions.

[Related: Find local showtimes & tickets for 'Ted']

Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection

Rated PG-13 for some crude sexual remarks and brief drug references.

What's the story?

Madea is back, but this time *said in my best Haley Joel Osment voice circa "The Sixth Sense"* I see white people. Namely, Eugene Levy and Denise Richards. And yeah, Medea has been chosen to house a family hiding from the mob.

Who will dig it?

Fans of Tyler Perry's trademark blend of slapstick comedy and emotional uplift. And sassy, tough-talking, no-nonsense grandmas.

[Related: Find local showtimes & tickets for 'Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection']

People Like Us

Rated PG-13 for language, some drug use and brief sexuality.

What's the story?

I've been describing this one as if Cameron Crowe remade Robert Redford's 1980 dysfunctional family drama "Ordinary People." Even the title is a bit of a giveaway. And this is not necessarily a bad thing: The two creative aesthetics at play in this film mesh really well. Filled with winks to great musical taste -- from the soundtrack to a poignant scene in a record store where Chris Pine's character shows his nephew (who doesn't yet know he's his nephew) the essential albums of any respectable collection. Pine's character Sam discovers after the death of his music industry dad that he has a half sister, played by Elizabeth Banks. He grapples with his father's estate, this new information and whether to tell his mom (Michelle Pfeiffer). The way each family member's story fuses together rings of truth, heart ache and heart warmth.

Who will dig it?

People who like movies that artfully infuse music and music history, also people who like heartwarming family stories of redemption that are based on true life events.

[Related: Find local showtimes & tickets for 'People Like Us']

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