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Magical Movies

Back in 2006, two movies came out. (Okay, a lot more than two movies came out. But I'm only looking at two of them today.)

The Prestige

and The Illusionist.

I remember watching The Prestige and loving it. Four years later, I've finally watched The Illusionist. Also loved it (thank you, Jonathan for a great Christmas gift two years ago!). They're surprisingly similar for movies that came out within two months of each other:

  • Period pieces set in 19th century Europe.
  • Magicians are the main characters.
  • Women complicate things. (Two actresses I wish were classier, for the record.*)
  • Illusions are amazing and stupefying.
  • Plot twists abound.

I'm not sure what it is that sucked me in to both flicks. Perhaps the lovely costumes. Perhaps the thrill of illusions and wondering how it all works. Perhaps because the stories aren't as easy to predict as most. I like having to try.

I'm ill-qualified to review either movies with any more critical thought than this...and feel like I'm not thinking with my best brain-power either (I blame this lingering malaise).

But I will comment that Amelia is one of my favourite friends to watch movies with, because she is so agreeable when it comes to my random remarks and commentary.

THAT is a lovely dress.
- Yup.

That scene? Entirely so that we'll like Eisenheim. So when he gets in trouble, we want him to win.
- Hm. I can see that. He IS a good man.
That's what they want us to think!

You know, I've never found a goatee so attractive before.
- Yeah, it does look good.
(we admire Edward Norton's facial hair for a moment)

You know, she's quite beautiful.
- Yup. Makes me feel great...
(we admire Jessica Biel's perfection for a moment)
(why are we girls like this?)

Ooh, she's wearing pants!
- She's very democratic, remember?

Amelia hates magic because she knows that it's a trick. I like magic for that very reason. I find it fascinating (and sometimes creepy) that we can be deceived so thoroughly. To get really deep for just a moment, how do we know can we trust our experiences?

I think too much.

I need to end this ramble somewhere, so I will ask two questions.
1. If you've seen both movies, which do you like better? Why?
2. What are your thoughts on magic/illusion - like/dislike? Are magicians charlatans or masters of a craft?

*I think what makes me less than enthused about Jessica Biel and Scarlett Johansson is that they both seem happy with their status and reputations as sex thoughts on which could easily turn into another entry altogether. Perhaps someday soon.


J.r. Fisher said…
First off for any who haven't seen either. . . .


I personally enjoyed the Illusionist better. Alot fewer of the minor illusions are revealed, and the ones that are, are merely illusions, and nothing more, as well the the major plot involves one massive trick, an illusion of mind blowing proportins.

The Prestige on the other hand (if I recall correctly, it's been a while since I've watched it) revealed many of their minor illusions, and their major illusions turned out to be, (at least on one side) actual supernatural, un-realistic feats.

The Illusionist seemed much more believeable and real, yet still maintaing some level of mysticism and un-revealed trickery, making it my personal favorite. That being said, The Prestige was also a great movie, had me on the edge of my seat, I just think The Illusionist was better.

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