Monday, August 19, 2013

Now You See Me

Now You See Me – 115min – PG-13

Now You See Me is a great reimagination on the heist movie genre. Instead of taking you through the plan and build the tension as the night of crime draws near, you are given a front row seat to the heist and experiences along with the dumbfounded FBI agents who are assigned to the case. The pace and tension of this film make excellent entertainment. Even when you are given the answer you are still unsure of you knew the right question.

I might have a skewed view of this movie as it was the first movie that I saw while I was in London. We went to the VUE Theater. As a movie buff I make it a point to go to as many movies in as many different theaters as I can, just to see what the experience is like. This will be my first movie in a different country. HUZZAH LONDON!!

I recommend if you are ever in Westfield Mall and you are looking to go to a movie, go to the Vue and at least once splurge on the VIP seats. They are comfortable and in the sweet spot of the theater (seven rows up and eight across) and you can reserve them. I will have to do an IMHO on my global movie going experiences.

What I like about this movie is how it blends traditional magic and a wee bit of mysticism. You get an answer to some of the tricks but you are still just not quite sure if they are witches that need to have their hearts boiled.

My advice on movies with a hook is to never look for it. Looking just removes the splendor of what you are watching. The same holds true for magic tricks: don’t think, just enjoy. If you are working so hard trying to out think the spectacular illusion you are going to miss the magic. This movie is well written and a prime example of missing the point if you are too busy trying to leap ahead of the story. Just hang on and enjoy the ride.

The movie starts off introducing us to different magicians coming from different back grounds and different disciplines. They are all called together by a mysterious figure who presents them with a tarot card and a date and a location. J Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg) is a young performer playing smallish shows making a name for himself like a David Copperfield young flashy magician. He has a high opinion of himself with an “its not bragging if you can pull it off” mentality and he can. Merritt McKinney (Woody Harrelson), is a mentalist and hypnotist working at resorts. His character uses hypnosis to present his marks with a choice, expose their secrets to their loved ones or give a large tip. Kind of harsh but he is exposing the letchy guy, so it’s all good. Henley Reeves (Isla Fisher), a woman escape artist holding her own in the magic field. She is tough and can perform just as hard at the men in her field. She’s had a past relationship with Atlas, but nobody is perfect. Rounding out the pack is Jack Wilder (Dave Franco), a street performer in the vein of David Blane before Blane had his stints as a sideshow in a box .

They are sponsored by Arthur Tressler (Michael Caine) and are now named The Four Horseman. They pull off a bank robbery halfway around the world. FBI Agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) tries to catch them with the help of Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman), a magic expert.

Louis Leterrier has a great understanding of how to balance all the complicated elements of this story. I have enjoyed his work from the start. Leterrier’s Unleashed is one of my favorite movies. He understands that an action movie is about the characters more than the explosions. We have to feel a part of what is going on. If we can’t get behind your characters we are just watching empty images. Most action movies seem like a long string of death and destruction. Now don’t get me wrong, I can enjoy that but it’s empty without the emotional connection.

Another person worth mentioning is the actress Mélanie Laurent who plays a member of Interpol assisting with the case. The last time I saw her, she was running from Nazis and burning down theaters. Her performance in this movie is like the beautiful girl assistants in a magic trick. You are looking at her and not the trick. She is beautiful and talented but keep your eyes on the things going on around her.

There’s a slight technical gaff in the scene where The Horsemen are switching out the money. They pop out of the bottom of the truck like nothing is on them -- except a few million Euros. Large bundles of money have to weigh about as much as a pallet of paper and that’s heavy. They would not be popping out of anywhere except the hospital. Oh wait I know, I know…it’s Magic.

Oh and I saw the bridge they were at in France. Very cool.

What is your favorite Leterrier Film and why?

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