Movie Blog Post: NOW YOU SEE ME

Friday, May 31, 2013

Magic is all about challenging people's realities and what they think is possible...

It's another way to categorize human perception, similarly to - do you see the glass as half full or half empty? With magic, it's - do you want to believe or do you want to see the trick?

What's great about Now You See Me directed by Louis Leterrier (Incredible Hulk reboot, Clash of the Titans) and produced by Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman (Star Trek, Fringe) is that the movie shows you both outlooks - there's something up it's sleeve and there's just enough unexplained for those like me who want to believe there's more than meets the eye.

The opening scenes quickly establish the singular talents of each magician/illusionist: J. Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg) cock-sure card tricks with larger reaching payoff. Merritt McKinney (Woody Harrelson) an irreverent mentalist and hypnotist. Jack Wilder (Dave Franco) Young street punk with great slight of hand and "The Elaine" of the group Henley Reeves (really like that name) (Isla Fisher) an escape artist. (see video clip of the opening sequence below): 

Separately, these four person's of magic have only been moderately successful, but when brought together by an unknown force, they become superheroes of illusion, calling themselves The Four Horsemen, ending each show by
pulling off an incredibly daring, high-tech, high-profile heist, right from the stage; much to the spectator's delight, as this band of magical Merry Men give the money to those in the audience.

But just as Robin Hood was still pursued by the Sheriff of Nottingham for his "generosity", so are The Four Horsemen. FBI Street Detective Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) will stop at nothing in pursuit of the bandits. Only his refusal to look at the case from the mind-set of a magician has him, at one point literally, chasing his own tail.

I love the fast pace and showmanship of the movie.  There's some incredibly complex sequences and a good high speed car chase.  Morgan Freeman's character Thaddeus Bradley is used effectively; he's a turncoat magician who now makes millions selling videos debunking magic and illusion, however, his keen insight predicting what the Horsemen will do next, keeps you guessing about his possible involvement in the scheme.

The script was penned by two sets of writing partners and I think some of the original dialog was kept from the early scenes like when Rhodes meets Interpol detective Alma Dray (hate that name) (Mélanie Laurent) and when the Four Horsemen are first brought together, both these scenes have terribly corny lines, which is not true of the rest of the movie. I also think in an earlier draft the 4 knew something of the person that summons them, by their reactions upon receiving the invitation, as if they had been waiting to be inducted by someone or something. But upon arrival, it's as if they know nothing at all.  Later we hear about the legend of the eye of Horus being the pinnacle of a magician's aspirations, but this should have been a clearer motive from the onset.

I also think if the relationships between Atlas, Mckinney, Wilder and Reeves were expanded upon just a touch farther, it would have made for a more engrossing movie. But then again, that would have thrown off the tight pacing and polish of the film; sometimes it's hard to achieve both slick and satisfying. Still, on the whole, I enjoyed it and suggest you see it opening weekend so as not to find out the impossible to see it coming ending twist!

LAMB Score: 3 out of  5

TRAILER FOR NOW YOU SEE ME 2 out this Summer 2016!

Can'tMiss.TV sent me this embed to commemorate Morgan Freeman's June 1st Birthday


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About This Blog

is about discovering what I find pleasing in screening & eating - in case you missed it, the name is a play on Tinseltown using the Tines of a Fork.

Feel free to send me info on a film or new restaurant you'd like me to highlight.

Will there ever be a cap on movie prices?

Will we one day pay $20 a pop?

Why don't we pay on a scale?

A crap movie like everything Adam Sandler has ever done should cost about $4.50.
Big action movies like"Lord of the Rings", "Iron Man," "Transformers" are worth $10.
Woody Allen movie or something like "Silver Linings Playbook" $6-$7.
A chick flick or light comedy $5.75 and most Indie Films $5.25.

You could even do it by seasons - all summer block busters from May to August - $10
Sept - November 15th $3.50 - $4
Back to $10 for Thanksgiving and Christmas etc...

Or you can do it by A Actors ($9 - $10), B Actors ($6 - $7) TV actors on the big screen ($3.50 - $4)

Surely I'm not the first person to realize this makes sense. Has it been voted on in the Motion Picture Industry and then vetoed? If so, why?

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