Published: January 05, 2007
Mediocre Magic Movie Makes It to DVD: DVD Review
By Kam Williams
The Illusionist: DVD Review
Unless I'm missing something, magicians aren't really able to perform supernatural feats. Their acts, relying on sleight of hand and other distractions, are every bit as phony as that of psychics and professional wrestlers. As a result, most magicians nowadays ply their trade at kiddie's birthday parties, while some of the more successful ones, such as Penn and Teller, hold an adult audience's attention only by exposing the basis of their astounding feat with their audiences.
So, excuse me for having a hard time swallowing the premise of a film like The Illusionist
, a flick predicated on the notion that people were a lot more gullible a hundred years ago. Set in Vienna in 1900, the plot revolves around the great Eisenheim (Ed Norton), an expert magician who has people convinced his tricks aren't tricks.
In fact, he's so good, a cop (Paul Giamatti) and a prince (Rufus Sewell) collaborate to expose him as a fraud. The plot thickens when the prince's fiancee' (Jessica Biel) volunteers to come up on stage to participate in a bit but falls for the dashing Eisenheim, who just happens to be a long-lost love.
This adds an unexpected layer of complication, but still, the essential question this mediocre mystery is designed to discern is whether or not the illusionist has super human powers.
A proposition strictly for the sort of folks who find pro wrestling fascinating.
Fair (1 star)
Rated PG-13 for sexuality and violence.
Running time: 110 minutes
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
DVD Extras: Jessica Biel Interview, "The Making of" featurette, and theatrical trailers.
Please click this
button to be notified about future stories, and please leave a comment below.
Please leave a comment here If it does not display within 10 seconds, please refresh the page
Related Movie Reviews News
When Hollywood releases a violent action film, 'loosely-based' on truth, it's certain that Hollywood is about to play fast and loose with the historical record.
Prairie Miller has a conversation with Will Smith, David Morse and Concussion director, Peter Landesman, plus news of the Zomba Prison project and Star Wars.
The Women Film Critics Circle is a gathering of national and international women's voices presenting a fresh and differently experienced viewpoint from the primarily white male dominated film criticism world.
Surreal sequences instead of theme, and pretentious vinaigrettes replace what should be a slice-of-life experience. It is art house, without the art, tedious to watch.
This true story about a transgender man suffers badly from overkill. At two hours, it's too long; the music is too dramatic; the actors try too hard and there's much too much crying.
Prairie Miller talks to Elizabeth Hurley about The Royals, and to Nina Paley, artist, filmmaker, animator, cartoonist and free culture copyright activist.