The Illusionist

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Postby Guest » 07/12/06 05:29 PM

Though some of you chaps might be interested in this link:

http://www.moviesonline.ca/movienews_9278.html
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Postby Guest » 09/01/06 08:50 AM

The Illusionist was named by goodmorning america as best date movie for the end of the summer and one of the best 10 movies for the whole year.
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Postby Pete Biro » 09/03/06 10:29 AM

Went to the movie last night and it was SOLD OUT... argh... maybe later.
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Postby Guest » 09/03/06 01:27 PM

A beautifully made movie. Well shot, OK dialogue, a movie I would send anybody too.
Next up Scoop.
Any comments?
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Postby Guest » 09/03/06 02:45 PM

It is a good plot (audience actually applauded at the showing I attended) and almost accurately reflects the way magic and spiritualism was presented in the time period.

I say almost - because no modern movie audience would sit through a real-time performance including the silences and waits.

I feel Norton captured the part well - and feel a directors cut (maybe in the future) might have more "magic colour) to it......or at least hope so.
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Postby Guest » 09/03/06 11:24 PM

My wife and I saw this today and enjoyed it very much. The place was nearly full -- has to be good for magic in general.
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Postby Terry » 09/04/06 06:03 AM

I agree with C.H.Mara's post.

They portray magic very seriously and not trivialized.

My wife and I saw it Saturday and she is still talking about it.

Norton and the movie should get a look come Oscar time.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 09/04/06 02:06 PM

The Illusionist was selected as a "Hot Item" or something like that in the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly (which I read on the plane back from the TAOM in Dallas earlier today).
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Postby Guest » 09/04/06 03:43 PM

My friends and I went last week and everyone enjoyed it. Like other posters stated, the audience in the showing I attended applauded at the end. In fact the only negative I heard was that in he wanted to see more of the classical magic in the first half.
It was very nice to see magic portrayed as a serious and adult form of entertainment.

Gord
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Postby Pete Biro » 09/04/06 04:05 PM

Finally found some seats here in Hollywood and will see tonigght. Been selling out.
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Postby Guest » 09/04/06 06:44 PM

I heard a girl in the theatre saying that the Orange Tree trick couldn't possibly be done in real life.

I enjoyed the film very much - but ever since "The 6th Sense" it's very difficult for filmmakers to pull the wool over our eyes and surprise us at the end.
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Postby Pete Biro » 09/04/06 10:38 PM

NOt only was it great, to me, but my wife, who is a real movie critic loved it. The ending NAILED ME big time. Great casting and the locations in the Czech Republic reminded me so much of our trip there a couple of years ago.

Hollywood audience applauded at the end.

Ricky and Weber deserve a big thank you for working out things so nicely to fit the time.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 09/05/06 09:09 AM

As you'll see in our article in the October issue where we go behind the scenes in the shooting of this film, British magician/pickpocket James Freedman was the technical advsior on set in Prague and did a lot of work on the film.
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Postby Jerry Harrell » 09/05/06 09:33 AM

My wife and I finally made it to a matinee over the Labor Day holiday. Afterwards, I overheard a conversation between two gentlemen in the lobby who both thought this was supposed to be a film about two magicians in a rivalry to outdo each other. They must have recently seen a preview for The Prestige, which opens next month. Funny how this stuff runs in cycles. Entertainment for adults with magic as a theme, taken seriously. Who'd have thought?
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Postby Steve Bryant » 09/05/06 09:58 AM

I thought Ed Norton in particular was great. His ball juggling/manip early in the film looked like the real deal.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 09/05/06 12:03 PM

I too finally saw the movie this weekend. In a word: Fantastic.

Did anyone else notice the slight resemblance of Eisenheims home to that of Robert-Houdins Priory? I cant but wonder if this was coincidence or by design.

In my mind, it is Paul Giamatti who should get any award considerations. Though the entire cast was wonderful, Giamatti was incredible. I also suspect that, from an actors point of view, the Chief Inspector Uhl character was the most challenging and the most fun!

Great stuff: I want to go see it again!

Dustin
(Yes: he had to see Snakes on a Plane too: worst movie hes ever seen.)
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Postby Guest » 09/05/06 12:23 PM

According to IMDB news, The Illusionist came in fifth this week with a total take of $8 Million.
Good news indeed.

Gord
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Postby Guest » 09/05/06 01:07 PM

Originally posted by DustinStinett:

In my mind, it is Paul Giamatti who should get any award considerations. Though the entire cast was wonderful, Giamatti was incredible. I also suspect that, from an actors point of view, the Chief Inspector Uhl character was the most challenging and the most fun!

I think Giamatti is easily one of the best actors out there today. I think he's destined for greater and greater things.
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Postby Guest » 09/05/06 01:10 PM

Originally posted by Jerry Harrell:
...two gentlemen in the lobby who both thought this was supposed to be a film about two magicians in a rivalry to outdo each other. They must have recently seen a preview for The Prestige...
I agree they likely confused the two films. But some here may be interested to know that while The Illusionist screenplay omits any element of magicians' rivalry, Eisenheim has two rivals in the original story, "Eisenheim the Illusionist" by Steven Millhauser.

The first, Benedetti, is a mere imitator of Eisenheim's effects and is easily dispatched. The second, Passauer, is far more formidable, fully Eisenheim's match. A teaser:

"Passauer's final performance was one of frightening brilliance; it was well attended by professional magicians, who agreed later that as a single performance it outshone the greatest of Eisenheim's evenings. Passauer began by flinging into the air a handful of coins that assumed the shape of a bird and flew out over the heads of the audience, flapping its jingling wings of coins; from a silver thimble held in the flat of his hand he removed a tablecloth, a small mahogany table, and a silver salver on which sat a steaming roast duck. At the climax of the evening, he caused the properties of the stage to vanish one by one: the magician's table, the beautiful assistant, the far wall, the curtain..."
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 09/05/06 02:00 PM

Originally posted by T. Joseph O'Malley:
I think Giamatti is easily one of the best actors out there today. I think he's destined for greater and greater things.
I agree. I cant think of a role hes done that was poor (movies maybe, his performance in them, no). Pig Vomit (Private Parts) was well done; his portrayal of Bob Zmuda in Man on the Moon was inspired; and even the very small role he played in Donnie Brasco was memorable (Fugetaboutit!); and there are so many more. He and Philip Seymour Hoffman prove that a fine actor doesnt need Brad Pitt looks to help make a movie successful.

Now that hes in the position to choose, I hope he continues to select roles that challenge his skills. I have no doubt that he will equal to it. His character in this film was very conflicted and thats not always easy to play convincingly, with most actors depending purely on dialogue to do it. He does an incredible job!
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Postby Guest » 09/05/06 02:37 PM

He first came to my notice in Duets. I though that he was superb in that film.

Dave
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Postby Guest » 09/05/06 03:18 PM

Does "Sideways" count?
Academy Award nomination? which he should've gotten.
A fine gifted actor.
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Postby Guest » 09/05/06 03:22 PM

I agree I think it is Paul Giamatti that should be up for award consideration. and don't forget his character is interested in magic, which I thought added to his character's depth.
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Postby Guest » 09/05/06 03:28 PM

Originally posted by Camilla Sage:
... and don't forget his character is interested in magic, which I thought added to his character's depth.
My feeling was that the butcher's son was interested in guile and the cleverness by which others bettered themselves. Hence his reaction to discovering that he was entertained by the magician.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 09/05/06 03:52 PM

Very early plot points that were published in various magazines (regarding The Illusionist) also had the "two magicians dueling over the affections of a woman" connection. So, the writers could have been confusing it with The Prestige or with the original story by Millhauser.

The Prestige trailer made it look, to me, like a comic book movie without any superheroes. And, as I was recently reminded in a discussion, none of Christopher Nolen's movies have made decent money, so while I think his movies have all been damn good, this one could easily tank at the box office (despite the cast). The Illusionist has been released smartly, allowing word of mouth to build slowly as they open it in more theaters.
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Postby Guest » 09/05/06 04:21 PM

I was disappointed in the novel Prestige and found it too far-fetched and over-the-top. I guess I was looking for something more realistic. I'm sure it will make a good popcorn movie.

And what's with the title - a residue left after a magician's trick? :D

p.s. Oh. And can't wait to see Giamatti as John Adams in David McCullough's TV mini-series directed by Tom Hanks.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 09/05/06 04:33 PM

Originally posted by dwmagic:
Does "Sideways" count?
Academy Award nomination? which he should've gotten.
A fine gifted actor.
Of course Sideways counts! But, unfortunately, he wasnt nominated for an Oscar for that film (though he should have been). Thomas Haden Church and Virginia Madsen were. You might be confusing Mr. Giamattis Golden Globe nomination which he didnt win (but should have). He did win a SAG award along with the rest of the cast and was nominated for Best Male Actor, but alas, did not win that one either

He will have his day.

Dustin
(No; not a Paul Giamatti fan just because his late father was Major League Baseballs commissioner.)
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Postby Guest » 09/05/06 04:37 PM

What did Ricky Jay and Michael Weber contribute to the movie?
First thing that comes naturally to mind is as magic history consultants... but since most of the movie was cgi (well done by the way), did they contribute in the special effects like they have done in the past?

The story was good, actors were great. Im not surprised some people commented about the orange tree I heard people saying the illusions were impossible too. Even though the use of CGI seems normal in a project like that (its a movie, not a reenactment) I think they went a little far a times in distorting what could really be done (peppers ghost for instance) . Anyway, it was a real treat for all of us to see a good movie in which illusion had such an important role and treated as an art form.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 09/05/06 05:00 PM

The fact that much of the magic that was done could be done was a big plus for me. Obviously they took a lot of liberties. But I believe what we saw is how an observer of the actual illusions might describe them.

Perhapsand obviously Im speculatingthat is what Messrs. Jay and Weber offered the film?

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Postby Richard Kaufman » 09/05/06 05:42 PM

Most of the magical effects were NOT CGI. They were done live on set. A few were done with CGI.

Ricky Jay and Michael Weber were the pre-production consultants, but they did not travel to Prague where the movie was shot. Day to day, on location teching was done by James Freedman, who had to solve problems and come up with methods during shooting.
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Postby Guest » 09/05/06 05:59 PM

Then I'm curious to read about the production in my favorite magazine :)
I don't remember that many illusion through the movie and to me most were cgi (I don't want to make a list, I don't want to spoil).
As Dustin pointed out it's from an audience perspective, so I am totally ok with that. But that explains the fact that some people will say the illusions were impossible.
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Postby Guest » 09/05/06 07:12 PM

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
Most of the magical effects were NOT CGI. They were done live on set. A few were done with CGI. ...
Impressive. I look foward the article in next month's issue.
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Postby Guest » 09/05/06 07:55 PM

I saw it Labor Day and enjoyed it much more than I thought. Especially the "Usual Suspects" ending. I thought that the magic looked good, but would have rather seen the real Orange Tree rather than a CGI one.

I'm looking forward to the Prestige also. Kinda cool that Ricky got to double dip and work on both films.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 09/05/06 09:10 PM

Read more Genii Forum comments on The Illusionist HERE .

That thread is locked, so please note that if you wish to reply to a post in that thread, you need to do it here (you wont be able to use the quote function unless you are clever and now all the tricks).

Thanks!
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 09/05/06 09:14 PM

Originally posted by pepka:
Kinda cool that Ricky got to double dip and work on both films.
Not much of a surprise though. His company (with Michael Weber), Deceptive Practices, is the go-to company these days.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 09/05/06 09:23 PM

Originally posted by MaxNY (from secondary thread):
What's up with the Chinese security? Gotta digthe locket.
You have to remember that Eisenheim stayed in the Orient for most of the time he was gone. I think, maybe, that the idea here is that the viewer is supposed to think that the ghost illusions he was performing may have originated there(?). Just a thought.

Loved the locket too, but there was one bad edit when (I believe) Uhl opened it. Oh well: Nothings perfect!
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Postby Guest » 09/05/06 10:45 PM

Actually I found the locket to be the weakest part of the whole movie. I admit, it's a nifty design and would be a great keepsake, but the picture inside would get mangled.
I know I'm nit picking, but I just drove me nuts.

Gord
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 09/05/06 11:01 PM

Hmmm...Gord, you are assuming that she opened and closed the locket over the entire fifteen years. Perhaps she didnt. Ive seen lockets with photos that are decades old that look fine. So dont let the little things bug you! (Like the bad edits bug me...arrgh!)

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Postby Glenn Farrington » 09/06/06 12:24 AM

I liked the subtle things he learned in the orient...such as the elixer that was used. I wont say to who or how, it will spoil.

Unfortuneately for me, I figured everything out way before it was revealed. But not because it was presented poorly, it was because the writing and direction was good. Good writers always tip whats happening but for most its hard to pick out. 6th sense is the only movie I can think of that got me...and of course if you watch it again, the writer(s) and direction tipped what was happening.

My wife and I both enjoyed the movie. We also saw a trailer for Prestige. My wife thought it looked great (but then again I think she likes anything Hugh Jackman's in). I'll hold my thoughts until I see it, but that whole thing behind what the Prestige is...really cracks me up.
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Postby Guest » 09/06/06 05:18 AM

Originally posted by Gord Gardiner:
Actually I found the locket to be the weakest part of the whole movie. I admit, it's a nifty design and would be a great keepsake, but the picture inside would get mangled.
I know I'm nit picking, but [it] just drove me nuts.
I'm with Gord here: the picture would have been mangled with the special locket design. This bothered me, too :)

My only other complaint (and I very much enjoyed the movie, as did my wife, which says a lot), were all the anachronisms. For example, when Eisenheim walked out onto the stage with his hands in his pants/trousers pockets, my eyes rolled mightily.
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