Now you (can) see first few minutes

Discussions of new films, books, television shows, and media indirectly related to magic and magicians. For example, there may be a book on mnemonics or theatrical technique we should know or at least know about.
Jonathan Townsend
Posts: 8210
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Westchester, NY
Contact:

Now you (can) see first few minutes

Postby Jonathan Townsend » May 9th, 2013, 8:32 am

The studio posted the first few minutes of

Now You See Me

online as a trailer and to introduce the characters

http://www.filmofilia.com/now-you-see-m ... ce-149963/

www.youtube.com/watch?v=5R9XgEBoup4 (posted by summit group - the film producers)

enjoy
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

Anthony Vinson
Posts: 295
Joined: July 10th, 2010, 12:34 pm
Location: Georgia

Re: Now you (can) see first few minutes

Postby Anthony Vinson » May 9th, 2013, 9:47 am

Mixed feelings here... I think it's going to be a slick flick with lots of action and fun to watch - A real summertime popcorn movie. But I also get the feeling that we magicians will once again be painted as arrogant, dishonest (as opposed to entertainingly deceptive, of course), and slimy. But then again, who's to blame for that?! :shock:

Ted M
Posts: 1016
Joined: January 24th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Dani DaOrtiz
Location: Madison, WI

Re: Now you (can) see first few minutes

Postby Ted M » May 10th, 2013, 12:38 am

Science fiction nerd site IO9.com gives this preview clip a favorable early response:

The first four minutes of Now You See Me is actually kind of badass

Dear sweet kabbalah monster, there is nothing we love more than street magic, and this new "David Blaine and his Gang of Sexy Thieves" magic movie is filled with street-rat trickery. Watch the first few minutes of Now You See Me right now, and maybe reconsider the sex ban you put on all magicians back in 2007.

http://io9.com/i-assume-there-was-some- ... -499112825

User avatar
Doug Thornton
Posts: 523
Joined: January 18th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: David Copperfield, Penn & Teller, Harry Anderson, Derren Brown, Mac King
Location: Gorgeous New Jersey USA
Contact:

Re: Now you (can) see first few minutes

Postby Doug Thornton » May 17th, 2013, 10:51 pm

Jesse Eisenberg, one of the actors in "Now You See Me" was on Letterman last night. He did a card trick that was disappointingly poor. Very sad. :?
Smiles all around
https://www.facebook.com/groups/SAM161CALENDAR/
SAM 161 - The David Copperfield Assembly
https://www.sam161.com/

Steve Hook
Posts: 808
Joined: October 21st, 2008, 11:50 am
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina, USA

Re: Now you (can) see first few minutes

Postby Steve Hook » May 17th, 2013, 11:15 pm

Doug, you were NOT exaggerating.

At least Jesse was self-effacingly funny while he not only stumbled and performed poorly but also while he had to put up with Letterman at his embarrassingly worst:

http://www.cbs.com/shows/late_show/video/q9mr6Wma501oNyg5reVQg_CNbN9ROLRP/david-letterman-jesse-eisenberg-s-magic-card-trick/

NYCJoePItt
Posts: 66
Joined: April 26th, 2011, 7:41 am

Re: Now you (can) see first few minutes

Postby NYCJoePItt » May 19th, 2013, 5:18 pm

I saw a preview of the film last week. It's not a horrible film, but has relatively little to do with magic. The movie kind of struggles to make up its mind on what it wants to be. Sort of a summer thriller - mystery - minor love kinda story. Definitely a wait for cable film. :mrgreen:

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 25238
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: Now you (can) see first few minutes

Postby Richard Kaufman » May 19th, 2013, 6:43 pm

Yikes. Letterman is such a d*ck. And the performer was equally inept, and it would have been a good idea to rehearse with the cameraman first!

And ...

And ...

Jeez. How pathetic.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

Anthony Vinson
Posts: 295
Joined: July 10th, 2010, 12:34 pm
Location: Georgia

Re: Now you (can) see first few minutes

Postby Anthony Vinson » May 19th, 2013, 9:32 pm

Don't think this is what Robert-Houdin meant when he wrote about an actor playing the part of a magician... :?

brianarudolph
Posts: 401
Joined: February 26th, 2012, 9:22 pm

Re: Now you (can) see first few minutes

Postby brianarudolph » May 24th, 2013, 1:47 pm

WARNING!!! Very minor spoilers ahead ...

Saw a very well-attended preview of Now You See Me last night in St. Louis. It was a fun ride. Sorry to Steves Carell and Buscemi, but I enjoyed NYSM much much more than The Not-As-Incredible-As-I-Was-Hoping Burt Wonderstone.

In NYSM, from a magic/magician's perspective, there are a few "exposures" including palming to achieve a force (not of a playing card) and the classic mirror box. There are also some larger "exposures" but I would term them more properly "explanations" since we are not speaking about things presented as magic (think more like a detective explaining how something happened.)

"Misdirection" is also a key element of the story and its applications to magic are discussed at a high level, although there is no real demonstration/exposure of misdirection in actual performance of magic in the film per se that I recall.

There is also an element of "Does real magic exist?" that pops in and out. I'd say you're better off not really worrying about that until you need to.

If you leave any urge to do some magic-nitpicking (tiny or gigantic) at home, drive to the theatre, go in, sit down, relax, and get ready to see caper picture in which the principles often employ techniques drawn from the world of magic to accomplish their goals, you'll have a good time.

The two bits of advice I will offer (and believe me, I've offered two-bit advice before):

1. Focus on the characters, who they are and what they are doing. Constantly. Think about why they are doing what they are doing. Constantly.

2. The trailers for most films are misleading, making it appear that certain events happen in certain sequence or are connected in a certain way. The trailer for this film is even more so.

Jonathan Townsend
Posts: 8210
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Westchester, NY
Contact:

Re: Now you (can) see first few minutes

Postby Jonathan Townsend » May 24th, 2013, 1:59 pm

How was the film to watch - early summer movie - muggle eye view?

Were any of the characters likeable/interesting? Was the caper fun/motivated? Did the story keep your attention through to the ending?

Any character development? ( even Keaton's movie Multiplicity had some of that :D )
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

brianarudolph
Posts: 401
Joined: February 26th, 2012, 9:22 pm

Re: Now you (can) see first few minutes

Postby brianarudolph » May 24th, 2013, 3:13 pm

The muggles in the audience enjoyed it immensely. Granted, it's not on the scale of an Iron Man, Superman or Star Trek Into Dumbness, but the preview audience gave it a good long round of applause at the end (although not a standing ovation.)

Hopefully this doesn't add any more spoilers, but IMNSHO some of the characters I thought I would like I didn't like (or ended up not liking.) If I had to pick my favorite one of The Four Horsemen, it would be Jack Wilder (Dave Franco's character.) Oddly enough, I really do like Jesse Eisenberg but I couldn't help but think "Oh sh*t - now Mark Zuckerberg thinks he's a magician" many times throughout the film.

Motivation? A big part of the fun is trying to figure out exactly what the caper IS motivated by ... and that did hold my attention for the duration. Was I riveted to the screen at all times? No. But I was far, far closer to riveted than falling asleep or wishing I told them I left my cell phone in the car (instead of giving it to the security people when I walked in) so I could squeeze in a few rounds of Angry Birds

There was some character development, but any more about it could lead me down the spoiler path again, so I will refrain from going there at this time.

brianarudolph
Posts: 401
Joined: February 26th, 2012, 9:22 pm

Re: Now you (can) see first few minutes

Postby brianarudolph » May 24th, 2013, 3:24 pm

Also, the links given in the original post are edited-down versions of the four sequences used to introduce the characters in the film - they run a little longer than that. Plus Woody isn't quite exactly as cheap as portrayed. :)

Anthony Vinson
Posts: 295
Joined: July 10th, 2010, 12:34 pm
Location: Georgia

Re: Now you (can) see first few minutes

Postby Anthony Vinson » May 30th, 2013, 6:10 pm

The movie is currently at 41% on Rotten Tomatoes... Too bad.

brianarudolph
Posts: 401
Joined: February 26th, 2012, 9:22 pm

Re: Now you (can) see first few minutes

Postby brianarudolph » May 30th, 2013, 7:25 pm

Hopefully it will go reasonably higher once it opens officially tomorrow.

But again (with the minor spoiler caveat flag firmly raised) IMNSHO:

- Is it a stunning achievement in cinema? No.
- Is it a fun movie? Yes.
- Is it something that could "really happen?" Not likely.
- Is it worth seeing for your time and money? I would have felt more than sufficiently entertained for my time and the price of a ticket had I walked in knowing little about it and little about magic ahead of time.
- Is it better than The Incredible Burt Wonderstone? Yes, but for the same reason I personally prefer any caper film to a buddy film.
- OK then. But what about comparing the magic in the two films? Wonderstone focused primarily on traditional effects (Jim Carrey's character notwithstanding) encountered in the lives of the magician buddies principles. Now You See Me focuses on the effects, the methods and the reasoning that the particular effects are being chosen/executed/showcased in the first place.
- Is it about bank robbers who use magic (in the sense that we know and love) to rob banks? No. It's about people with skill in magic and the related arts who are brought together and who employ principles drawn from the fields of magic and illusion to complete tasks with a purpose. The characters have NOT decided to become career bank robbers with their skills. Only one actual bank is robbed.
- Is there a lot of magic exposure? Not too much as per my earlier post. Also be prepared for some slightly over-the-top/not-as-likely-to-be-a-method-a-person-or-team-would-actually-employ type of exposures.

Had the film been written, cast, produced and directed by people first and foremost with magic in their blood (Max, Buck Twins, Richard, etc.) rather than movies it would have no doubt been better and truer film from the magic perspective. But this is Hollywood and quite often that means we get the camel when we were really hoping for the horse (to borrow from that oft quoted nugget that "a camel is a horse built by a committee."

I'm interested to hear everyone else's thoughts once they have seen it, and especially from folks who came away with different thoughts/takes than I did (bearing in mind that this post is now a week after the screening I attended and my memory of many details has already faded.)

Jonathan Townsend
Posts: 8210
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Westchester, NY
Contact:

Re: Now you (can) see first few minutes

Postby Jonathan Townsend » June 1st, 2013, 12:12 pm

Observations from the film community:

http://www.aintitcool.com/node/62661

spoilers - Vernon hasn't changed his opinion and Peter Pan wants a new shadow.
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

Jon Racherbaumer
Posts: 843
Joined: January 22nd, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: New Orleans

Re: Now you (can) see first few minutes

Postby Jon Racherbaumer » June 1st, 2013, 3:48 pm

This gloss-over was cobbled together on the day “Now You See Me” opened in theaters across the nation.

As cyberspace momentarily gets windy and gaseous in certain tight quarters, it won’t take long for everybody who cares a whit about magic to weigh in about this film. All kinds of tweet twitching will occur. Thumbs-up and thumbs-down assessments will then fly through the ether.

Trailers for the film promised a lot, accomplishing what good trailers do…namely to jack hammer messages along with rat-a-tat images, all suggesting epic-sized stuff. I knew that director Louis Leterrier was no slouch when it comes to action. (Tutored by Luc Bresson, he knows how to dazzle and drive by using reflexive editing, constantly moving cameras, and bone-vibrating music. He also can (when he wants to) create illusions of plausible coherency. I attended an advance screening and, as usual, I tend to accent positive aspects and otherwise resist opining about deficiencies. Who cares what I think anyway? After all, everyone will formulate their own opinions and takes on the “good, bad, and ugly.”

Meanwhile, thought, let me toss out this “crumb” in the form of a question:

Because I believe that filmgoers must have “skin in the game” and have someone (or something) to root for, if these elements are missing, will a film succeed in the long run?

Quandary: Boaz Yakin was one of the writers of "Now You see Me." He also wrote and directed a Jason Stratham film called “Safe.” Granted: “Safe” is a popcorn-chomping thriller that has preposterous aspects….BUT…there are a couple of characters to root for. This puts skin in a rock-em-sock-em game.

My central interest in watching “Now You see Me” was to see how magicians (as fictional characters) were portrayed. (I was more or less pleased.) On the other hand, my partner who went to the screening with me was underwhelmed. She thought the film was a slog rather than a sprint. The running time of 116 minutes felt like three hours. She says, “Characters should develop. Plots should thicken. Otherwise a Squirm Factor takes hold.I'll take 'Justified,' 'Game of Thrones,' and 'House of Games' any time!”

Her review of "Now You See Me" was short and savage:

YES, I SEE YOU.
DO I CARE?
NOPE!

Ouch!

My extended commentary, which is more positive, will appear on my blog.

Onward...

Eric Fry
Posts: 110
Joined: March 17th, 2008, 8:45 pm

Re: Now you (can) see first few minutes

Postby Eric Fry » June 4th, 2013, 2:24 pm

It's not so bad. It's an action movie. A bit long. Mediocre script. No characterization except what Woody Harrelson can create out of nothing. Maybe his acting is the only magic here.

Nice to see a very old technique put to good use in the card trick. I'll bet a lot of people in the theater mentally chose the force card, as well.

Perhaps the most hilarious gaffe is the idea that a wealthy man would put $140 million in an uninsured bank account rather than investing it.

User avatar
Travis
Posts: 495
Joined: March 13th, 2008, 8:02 pm
Location: Macao

Re: Now you (can) see first few minutes

Postby Travis » June 4th, 2013, 2:45 pm

The opening trick, which is indirectly done on the theater audience (indirectly in that it's being shown to a person on the street within the framework of the story, but is shot with her POV so that it allows the audience to participate) is arguably the best thing in the movie, and the reveal is quite cool.

Essentially, the filmmakers simply lifted the opening of David Blaine's first television special, right down to "Oh, that too fast, let me do it again." It most definitely works on the audience; I heard people around me whisper the card to one another.

I think it would've been cool to lace these sorts of interactive things throughout the film, allowing the viewers to take part, if they choose to.

Bill Mullins
Posts: 5285
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: Now you (can) see first few minutes

Postby Bill Mullins » June 5th, 2013, 12:11 am

Eisenberg redeems himself somewhat here as he is interviewed on a junket by a clueless reporter.

Jonathan Townsend
Posts: 8210
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Westchester, NY
Contact:

Re: Now you (can) see first few minutes

Postby Jonathan Townsend » June 5th, 2013, 11:17 am

@JonR
Meanwhile, thought, let me toss out this “crumb” in the form of a question:

Because I believe that filmgoers must have “skin in the game” and have someone (or something) to root for...


In Present Shock, the Rushkoff book you mentioned recently, the notion of narrative collapse is discussed. Family Guy seems to have trumped Joseph Campbell's journey of the hero these days. From the page quoted earlier:
Epic poems and, later, theater, followed the more linear progression we might better associate with a scroll or bound book. There’s a beginning and there’s an end. Wherever we are in the story, we are aware that there are pages preceding and pages to come. Our place in the scroll or book indicates how close we are to finishing, and our emotional experience is entirely bound up in time.
Aristotle was the first, but certainly not the last, to identify the main parts of this kind of story, and he analyzed them as if he were a hacker reverse-engineering the function of a computer program. The story mechanics he discovered are very important for us to understand, as they are still in use by governments, corporations, religions, and educators today as they attempt to teach us and influence our behaviors. They are all the more important for the way they have ceased to work on members of a society who have gained the ability to resist their spell. This has put the storytellers into present shock.


or as Doug the Dog from Up might have observed... squirel!

was that a real mirror in that scene or just CGI?
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

brianarudolph
Posts: 401
Joined: February 26th, 2012, 9:22 pm

Re: Now you (can) see first few minutes

Postby brianarudolph » June 5th, 2013, 1:33 pm

Yikes!

If that Romina "interview" of Jesse was somewhat of a redemption for him, he needs to whack a few million more moles to earn a lot more tickets to turn in.

It would have been nice if during these sessions, be it with Letterman or Romina or anyone in between or beyond, that they at least tried to keep up the illusion that Jesse could be an illusionist/magician of some sort - beside the absolutely horrid sort.

From "I'm going to take the top card ..." to the "oh look there's a card behind my card" angles of the camera ... wow. Just wow.

User avatar
MManchester
Posts: 228
Joined: October 24th, 2012, 4:07 pm
Location: Ontario, Canada
Contact:

Re: Now you (can) see first few minutes

Postby MManchester » June 5th, 2013, 2:52 pm

Wherever we are in the story, we are aware that there are pages preceding and pages to come. Our place in the scroll or book indicates how close we are to finishing, and our emotional experience is entirely bound up in time.


Hence the problem with e-readers.

In the bookstore where I work, a customer who owns an e-reader complained that a novel she finished was unsatisfying because she was unable to anticipate the end. It was just over at some point. I have very little experience with e-readers, so I don't know if there is any visible indication of the page count while reading.

When I am done my reading for the day, I always tip the top toward me so I can see how far I have advanced as a way to gauge progress. It gives me a sense of accomplishment.
Michael Manchester
Literacy magic for library and school performances - http://www.librarylegerdemain.com

P.T. Murphy
Posts: 179
Joined: April 21st, 2008, 3:52 pm
Contact:

Re: Now you (can) see first few minutes

Postby P.T. Murphy » July 2nd, 2013, 4:47 pm

Disclaimer: I am not a film critic but I play one on the internet.

Begin review:

I just saw "Now You See Me".

I thought it was great fun.

I think magicians will enjoy it.

End of review.
"Those who do not believe in magic
will never find it. " -Roald Dahl

Edwin Corrie
Posts: 494
Joined: January 18th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Geneva, Switzerland

Re: Now you (can) see first few minutes

Postby Edwin Corrie » July 4th, 2013, 3:45 am

An interesting article about Now You See Me and the general resurgence of magic in the movies:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-23143524

Mariano Tomatis
Posts: 28
Joined: March 27th, 2010, 1:55 pm
Location: Italy
Contact:

Re: Now you (can) see first few minutes

Postby Mariano Tomatis » July 22nd, 2013, 5:39 pm

The scene with money falling from the ceiling is very similar to the one described by Michail Bulgakov in his novel "The Master and Margarita". Here some excerpts from the book.

Andres Reynoso
Posts: 240
Joined: December 22nd, 2010, 10:38 am
Location: Mexico D.F.

Re: Now you (can) see first few minutes

Postby Andres Reynoso » August 7th, 2013, 5:52 pm

Finally last friday Noy You See Me was premiered in Mexico. I watched it the first day at nigth, nearly sold out. There were some free seats in the fisrt two rows, where nobody want to seat, too near the screan. As the cinema uses numbered tickets, when you were purchasing, the vendors was advising people: Only first two rows, do you like it or wait the next show?

As was said before by other people, So do I like the first trick, the card force that works with the audience and would enjoyed more than that. I was interested all the movie, is entertaining but the end is so loose.

Sometimes the explanations was too fast (and forced) that I was lost within all the words. I think Jesse performed one more time as Zuckerberg, I mean I watch the same character.

The audience was happy, when Jesse realeses himself of the handcuffs and secures Ruffalo people around me said "wooow!!!, incredible!!!" and while leaving the movie theater everybody saying things like "a magic pass and you disappear" "maybe can we reach home faster with some magic?" One person said "bad story" but I think the majority enjoyed it.

When they talk about a great hall with a mirror I could not avoid to smile and remembered that story Jim Steinmeyer narrates in "Art and Artifice" about the disapearing donkey and the most spectacular mirror accident he has witnessed.

How much could cost a hugh cargo of flash paper bills?
Andres Reynoso

User avatar
Doug Thornton
Posts: 523
Joined: January 18th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: David Copperfield, Penn & Teller, Harry Anderson, Derren Brown, Mac King
Location: Gorgeous New Jersey USA
Contact:

Re: Now you (can) see first few minutes

Postby Doug Thornton » September 7th, 2013, 4:34 pm

David Copperfield, re: "Now You See Me"
http://www.aintitcool.com/node/63981
Smiles all around
https://www.facebook.com/groups/SAM161CALENDAR/
SAM 161 - The David Copperfield Assembly
https://www.sam161.com/


Return to “Alternative Media”