The Illusionist (Neil Burger, 2006)

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Fletch F. Fletch
Big fan of the former president
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 3:54 pm
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The Illusionist (Neil Burger, 2006)

#1 Post by Fletch F. Fletch » Wed Jan 10, 2007 5:27 pm

I finally caught up this one... Haven't seen The Prestige yet but I really quite enjoyed this movie... I always liked movies about magic and magicians. Thought Edward Norton was well cast as a charismatic illusionist. He certainly has the stage persona schtick down cold -- particularly in the eyes. I liked how the film presented him as this enigma early on and then gradually revealed his motivations for why he was doing what he did.

Paul Giamatti was excellent as always as the audience surrogate. He narrates the film and I thought that his character's internal conflict between the loyalty to the arrogant prince (played with moustache-twirling panache by Rufus Sewell) and his sympathies towards Norton's magician were well-played.

Hell, even Jessica Biel didn't embarass herself and actually held her own against all these other veteran thespians. It almost made me forget she was in crap like Stealth and Summer Catch.

The sepia-tone look of the film was a nice touch... gave it that look of an old, faded photograph. The extras mention that it was shot in Prague doubling for Vienna and all of that old European architecture did a great job of establishing just the right, 19th century vibe.

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a.khan
Joined: Sat May 20, 2006 3:28 am
Location: Los Angeles

#2 Post by a.khan » Wed Jan 10, 2007 5:30 pm

I had written a review of "The Illusionist" for my movie blog. Pasting it here:

Edward Norton's magician Eisenheim tells a character in the film: “Everything you have seen is an illusion.â€

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Michael
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 12:09 pm

#3 Post by Michael » Wed Jan 10, 2007 5:37 pm

The Illusionist was really spooky and intriguing. It totally "fooled" me. The cinematography was incredible as were the costumes. Paul Giamatti was fabulous and the story was damned good. A very solid feature film.

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Mr Sausage
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#4 Post by Mr Sausage » Wed Jan 10, 2007 11:45 pm

Michael wrote:The cinematography was incredible
When I saw the movie it was projected so poorly that it looked like it was shot on a DV camera bought from radioshack, all muddy and speckled with excess grain. I guess I partially assumed it was the cinematography; now I know I was just being shafted by pure incompetence.

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jt
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 9:47 am
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#5 Post by jt » Thu Jan 11, 2007 3:43 am

Nice review a.khan, cheers for that.
I had let this pass me by, figuring that one 'magic' film a year was enough but you've peaked my interest so I think I'll give it a go.
Are there enough extras/ repeat value here to warrant buying or is this a rental do you think?

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Fletch F. Fletch
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 3:54 pm
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#6 Post by Fletch F. Fletch » Thu Jan 11, 2007 10:13 am

Michael wrote:The Illusionist was really spooky and intriguing. It totally "fooled" me. The cinematography was incredible as were the costumes. Paul Giamatti was fabulous and the story was damned good. A very solid feature film.
Yeah, I was "fooled" by the story as well. And, of course, going back a second time I saw where they dropped all the clues throughout. D'oh!
jt wrote:Are there enough extras/ repeat value here to warrant buying or is this a rental do you think?
The two featurettes that are included are your standard fluff promotional stuff -- soundbites from the cast mixed with clips from the movie but Neil Burger's commentary is quite good. He's a very eloquent speaker and covers many aspects of the production, including how they pulled off the practical magic tricks in the movie!

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