The first was Neil Burger’s The Illusionist, which performed the astounding trick of disappearing almost entirely from my memory. A diverse quartet of talented amateur magicians (Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco and Woody Harrelson) are brought together via ominous, anonymous invitations. Assigned to the case is rumpled, irritable FBI agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo), who is teamed up with a sultry French Interpol agent (Melanie Laurent), much to his dismay (for reasons that are never clear).
In Victorian-era London, a dangerous magic trick goes very wrong, leaving the performer, Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman), drowned to death in a water chamber, and fellow magician Alfred Borden (Christian Bale) wrongly accused of causing it. Years earlier, Borden may or may not have accidentally caused the death of Angier’s wife Julia (Piper Perabo) during a water chamber trick that the two men were assisting. In desperation, Angier tracks down the legendary, reclusive Nikola Tesla (David Bowie, beautifully cast) and hires him to design a similar and even more impressive trick. Both movies also have endings that pull the rug out from under you and force you to rethink everything that came before. How it all went so wrong is anyone’s guess, but I suspect a once-intriguing and cerebral script (credited to Ed Solomon, Boaz Yakin and Edward Ricourt) was poorly matched with a most un-cerebral director in Leterrier who, as usual, sacrifices story and characters for spectacle. The Prestige, by contrast, is a master-class in screenwriting and directing, with Nolan doing arguably the best work of his career, clearly in complete control of his material. This entry was posted in Drama, Crime, Thriller and tagged heist, Christopher Nolan, magic, Christian Bale, Morgan Freeman, Illusionist, Scarlett Johansson, Hugh Jackman, bank, Michael Caine, Isla Fisher, Woody Harrelson, Mark Ruffalo, magician, Jesse Eisenberg, fbi agent. The end, suspense is weak but what they showed in all movie is great and overwrites the weak ending suspense. Don’t be afraid of being a strong, independent woman or that by setting the bar without compromise will have him running. Trust me when I say that a man who is really in love will move mountains to be with his woman. Now, I want you to imagine someone who RECIPROCATED your feelings, respected you, your standards, your faith and not just by his words, but by his actions. Did you imagine that when you found this person you loved and admired would be loyal to you, be there for you when you needed him, take care of you when you lost your job, honor your friends and family, wipe away your tears when you were down, fix the fixable and be proud to walk side by side with you, just as you were so very proud to do so with him? Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.
Now there’s a subject that, over the years, hasn’t gotten a great deal of cinematic attention.
Actually, more likely what happened is that it was wiped from memory the following month by The Prestige, a fascinating and one-of-a-kind mixture of historical drama, mystery, romance and sci-fi, directed by Christopher Nolan (and liberally co-adapted with his brother Jonathan from an award-winning Christopher Priest novel), apparently as his version of a vacation between Batman movies.
A year later, they are performing a sold-out show together in Las Vegas, during which they proceed to randomly select a volunteer from the audience to assist them in… robbing a bank.
His investigation leads him to Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman, in the third of the approximately seven hundred movies he’s in this month), a James Randi-like magic-exposer, who shows him how the whole trick worked.


After they both go on to embark on magic careers of their own, Angier’s hatred of Borden is compounded by his jealousy of his rival’s masterpiece trick, “The Transported Man.” His obsession with learning the trick inspires him to send his assistant and romantic partner Olivia (Scarlett Johansson, credible as a Brit) to infiltrate Borden’s lair, but Olivia betrays Angier and falls for Borden herself. The Prestige disorients us early on, throwing us right into the middle of its convoluted, non-chronological story by way of surreal imagery (a field full of top hats?) and an unexplained framing device, with the invaluable Michael Caine (who also turns up in Now You See Me) explaining the structure of every great magic trick, as well as the title. The simple litmus test for whether such an ending works is whether or not it makes you want to see the movie a second time (The Sixth Sense and The Usual Suspects being the ultimate success stories). Now You See Me is made by idiots and for nobody who actually cares about things like story logic and coherence and actors being well utilized. As a mom, I can’t help but want to share all that I can to help ease this wonderful, difficult, delicious journey we call life.
When a man approaches you, he already knows what he wants from you, but he doesn’t know what it will cost.
Instead of respecting your wishes, your faith, this man is constantly trying to wear away your standards and get you to compromise. However, a man in lust, a man addicted to the attention his ego gets from such relationships, a man who cannot control his desires, will NOT.
Reason being, one surmises, that magic acts need the immediacy of live (or at least taped live) performance to preserve their thrill… and if we’re being honest here, most of them don’t have that much thrill to preserve in the first place. And now, seven years later, we get the first challenger to its King of the Magic Movies crown (and no, Magic Mike doesn’t count) in the form of Louis Leterrier’s Now You See Me. NYSM deftly introduces its four main magicians by cross-cutting between each of them as they work their… well, you know. In the case of The Prestige, the answer is a resounding yes, with additional viewings proving amply rewarding as you spot the clues and planted seeds all along the way. The usually reliable Ruffalo has never been worse, and Freeman and Caine just look embarrassed by it all. The film was a major box office disappointment, partly due to The Illusionist beating it to theaters, but mostly due to how difficult it is to categorize or even describe without spoiling. He tells you that he loves you, that he wants to spend his life with you and even states his intentions of wanting to marry you. That is how a man and woman who are truly in love behave with one another. You must need and expect someone with backbone and character, what you need is a champion, and that is what you must be for each other.
So wouldn’t you know it, after humming along for so many years all but magic-free, in 2006, Hollywood not only coughs up two magic-themed movies within weeks of each other but two turn-of-the-century Europe magic-themed movies. Will it pull a disappearing act of its own, or can the maker of two Transporter movies actually saw The Prestige in half?
So in both cases, we’re instantly intrigued about what sort of journey we’re going on and how things all tie together.


Now You See Me, on the other hand, left me not only not wanting to see it a second time, but angry I’d seen it even once. Yes, the movie is slick and fast-paced, but it’s completely hollow and ultimately, infuriatingly baffling.
Fortunately, Nolan’s gargantuan success with the Batman franchise have enabled it to slowly gather a more worthy reputation on home video: It’s currently #67 on the IMDb top 250.
The Prestige, on the other hand, flips the story in the end and becomes science fiction instead of being rooted in reality. He will keep the addiction going as long as the supply is there and he can continue getting whatever he wants out of it. Unfortunately, where Prestige generously pays off your patience and careful attention, NYSM punishes you for it, with each scene topping the previous one for downright confusion and sheer silliness. Not that it hadn’t lost me long before then, but its final twist makes absolutely no sense and feels suspiciously like the arbitrary result of a lot of rewriting and reshoots. When the (presumed) villain finally gets his comeuppance, it’s not merely that we don’t care, it’s that we don’t even know what made him the villain.
Protection can come in many forms, such as advice, opening doors and helping you out of a car, carrying your packages, or stepping up to drive you cross-country because he fears for your safety for instance.
One could quibble with some of the reveals in Prestige as well, but at the very least, they played fair and answered all the story’s questions; the big reveals at the end of NYSM raise more questions than they answer, chief among them: WTF? However, once you have this man then it is time to allow him to step up and do his job of properly taking care of you. This kind of man is going to provide protection and leadership and even go to battle for you because there is not a real man living who will not protect what is his. The signs are all around you. Realize quickly, he is not your man — he is not in love with you. That isn’t about money or “gender roles”, but about showing his love by providing in various ways.
It means that the moment you stop giving in to him, the moment you stop showing up at the games, the moment he no longer sees you on the sidelines, he will dispose of you without a second thought and he’ll move on to his next conquest.



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