Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The other magician movie

What is it with Hollywood? Two magician movies at the same time? This could lead to confusion.

On Friday we went to see The Illusionist. I was confused because none of the posters mentioned Christian Bale, they just mentioned Ed Norton and Jessica Biel and Paul Giamatti. The reason for that was that Christian Bale is in the other magician movie with Hugh Jackman, The Prestige. When I figured that out, just minutes before the movie, I almost walked out to get my money back and wait for The Prestige to come out. We convinced ourselves that the Illusionist would be worth seeing and steeled ourselves to go in.

The movie was actually entertaining and worth the ticket price, which is high praise these days. Edward Norton is a convincing illusionist with some of the intensity of his other roles while Paul Giamatti plays a morally conflicted police inspector well. Since the movie was about an illusionist, it doesn't take much imagination to figure out there was going to be a trick of some sort, and so it was predictable in some ways.

Jessica Biel is just alright, and this movie seems to be her serious movie break. I haven't really liked her since they tarted her up when she was on Seventh Heaven, ruining her and eventually the show. She seemed unable to keep to one accent in the Illusionist, veering from English accent to German accent in a single scene. The movie was set in Vienna (Prague was the real life stand-in). Why didn't everyone speak German? Mainly because that would be a hard sell for a movie. The convention is to give everyone German accents to set the mood. Too bad not everyone in the movie could manage one.

So this fall we are left with dueling magician movies (The Prestige is actually about dueling magicians). Next discussion after I see The Prestige.

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1 comment:

Grace said...

I did the exact same thing. And as I was sitting in the darkening theatre a conversation I had overheard at some point came to mind. It revolved around someone who had gone to see a movie about dueling magicians and ended up at one about a love story. "I couldn't have done the same thing," I thought. Ah, but it seems so have others. I have been trying to figure out the name of the ACTUAL dualing magicians movie so that is how i ended up at your blog. Thanks for the info! Looking forward to your review of Prestige.