Thursday, November 23, 2006

Casino Royale and The Prestige Review

Normally I think Owen Gleiberman, movie critic for Entertainment Weekly, is a colossal dork. He will give a movie a phenomenal review, but knock off a full letter grade to a letter grade and a half simply because the movie is a genre flick (ie: sci-fi or fantasy film). Conversely, he falls into the movie reviewer trap of giving extra points to a lot of movies merely for being foreign language or indie films. And I have never forgiven him the "F" he gave a prescient "Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy".

However, I thought his review of Casino Royale said pretty much what I wanted to say, so why should I write up my thoughts when he has done it for me?


Last Friday night Jamie and I went and caught The Prestige. Directed by "Batman Begins" director Chrisptopher Nolan and featuring an all-star cast, including Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Piper Perabo, David Bowie (as Nikola Tesla, no less), Andy Serkis, and, human special effect, Scarlett Johansson.

The movie is beautifully produced, wonderfully acted, well shot... and I guessed the ending at least half an hour before the end of the movie. Which, in a suspense story like this that fancies itself to be a magic trick, in and of itself, is sort of like seeing the wires making the magician float during their big show-stopper.

I noticed the book from which the story was taken was written by a Christopher Priest, and knowing a Christopher Priest writes occasionally for comics, and then noting several comic-like plot elements, I did some quick checking. Same guy.


Anyway, it has Scarlett Johansson, and I might pay to see her sit in a chair and chew gum for 90 minutes. So, there you go.

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