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 leave a comment here If it does not display within 10 seconds, please refresh the page
Related Movie Reviews News
Movie reviewer Kam Williams says the film. The Calling is tarnished slightly by periodic displays of grisly crime scenes apt to upset audience members averse to gratuitous gore.
Jeff Bridges eulogy for Robin Williams, plus James Scully reading at a Santa Cruz cafe, introduced by Adrienne Rich. Chris Butters reports.
Movie reviewer Kam Williams shares this week's Week's DVD Releases. Some of the titles are 'The Empty Hours', 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' and 'Boardwalk Empire: The Complete Fourth Season'.
Movie reviewer Kam Williams shares his Top Ten DVD List for the week of August 12, 2014
Kam Williams reviews If I Stay, in which a bright 17 year-old cello-playing girl full of the bloom of youth is irreversibly altered by a head-on crash
A conversation with Super Size Me filmmaker Morgan Spurlock about his new television series. And related thoughts on greed, gluttony, Hitchcock, Creep Show, Lonesome Rhodes, participatory journalism, homelessness, couch surfing