Twists and Turns
by Jay Scott

Sometimes I see a film and think “Holy Jebus, that was awful.” The following films gave me the opposite reaction. I recently watched two of what I would consider the best films of the year. What you say. Yeah, well I want to talk about them. You MUST see these two films.

  1. 334332.jpgThe Prestige. (Christian Bale, Hugh Jackman, Michael Caine, Scarlett Johansson David Bowie) WOW. This is filmmaking. This is how you tell a story. It from Christopher Nolen, who brought us the oh so clever Memento. The Prestige is a unique story with a familiar theme, revenge and obsession. It follows the lives of two men, Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman, who once worked together as magicians in early 19th century. When a tragedy comes between them, their entire lives are spent trying to ruin and steal from the other. On the surface, it’s a tale of two very driven men obsessed with being the best. One of them, well he’s the real deal. The best there is, and nobody knows how he does it. Any of it. He’s got an air of mystery and a strange manner of doing things. Driven by a deep seated anger and desire to ruin each other, even better is the one upping and treachery and the thing is, these two are willing to go to any extreme to bring bad things to the other. When you can really do magic, that makes it more interesting. And did I mention David Bowie flawlessly and creepily plays Nikola Tesla. Yeah, this film is amazing.

The story is flawless. Some films try and shove twists and turns down are throat, this film, like a great slight of hand trick, does not, it simply shows us everything, but we focus of the trick being shown. This film doesn’t force anything on us, it just does what it does and is much better than others like it. This is a real mystery. I could not recommend this film enough. See it. I have given you a vague outline of the story, because I don’t want to spoil anything. Just see it. And don’t get interrupted during the time you watch it. Start to finish, this is a masterpiece.

2. The Illusionist. (Ed Norton, Paul Giamatti, Jessica Biel, Rufus Sewell) Edward Norton has to be one of the greatest actors of our time. Period. He has very few peers, and without exception, brings a sense of truth and depth to every role he plays. the-illusionist_f.jpgThis is no different. Its nothing like The Prestige, this is part love story, a bit of a thriller and mystery, and a story of truth set in turn of the century Vienna. Let me start by saying, Nortons Character, Eisenheim the Illusionist, is the real thing. The story makes it clear. When he was a kid, he met a magician, the story goes, and soon after that meeting could do amazing things and tricks. As a kid, he and the soon to be Duchess played by Biel, are childhood lovers, and the well to do family of Beil will not have it. So they of course threaten to jail his family if he sees her again. So off in the world he goes seeking out the mysteries of the universe. The next time we see him, he is a successful performer. With one notable difference. He performs on an empty stage. Nothing but a chair and occasion prop. Behind the scenes playing out is the politics of the story, where the Crown Prince, played masterfully by Sewell and all around evil fellow, is setting himself up to overthrow the king. Guess who he is set to marry. Yup, Biel. So they attend Nortons show, and the rest is love lost love found. But that’s just on the surface. The murder, intrigue and plot twists have only begun. Like I said, anything more would spoil this. Just watch it, and I can promise you wont be disappointed. It’s an amazing film, shot with a subtle air of the first films ever made, it has this soft glow about it that doesn’t bother you, but gives it an amazing look. Its almost like the whole thing was lit like a turn of the century theatre and that’s what they shot. The story is wonderful, and I just cant say enough about these tow film. I rarely get the chance to add new favorites to my list, these two went on it faster than anything I can remember. I think you will enjoy them.


I highly recommend The Departed. And to be clear; I liked it before it won Best Picture.


You had me at Jessica Biel...


I'm going to rent the Prestige tonight. I can't fucking wait. The Illusionist was a kickass film too.


I was kind of on the fence about renting The Prestige, but it's in my queue now. It's kinda nice to see they're still making movies with plots and acting rather than explosions, car chases Will Ferrell or full frontal. Not that there's anything wrong with full frontal!


Thanks. I wasn't sure if they were as good as they looked.

We really liked The Departed too but some of the actors didn't look like they had to do a thing but play themselves, which made DiCaprio look that much better.


ya i gotta see these... and i gotta stop taking the word of my friends about films... i need to learn that people have no taste.

as if the fact that wild hogs was #1 at the box office wasn't enough...


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