December 31, 2013.

This blog is now closed. After three years and 311 posts, I have decided to end this blog. I have enjoyed watching the films, reviewing them, and interacting with global readers.

If you are interested in contacting me, you can do so by commenting on any of the posts. The blog will remain live on the web.
Thank you to all the readers for your comments, ideas, and thoughts. They were helpful, stimulating, and enriching. This is Alene, signing off.

October 7, 2013

Now You See Me (2013)

When it’s over, I did not see the end coming. An FBI agent (Mark Ruffalo) and an Interpol Agent (Melanie Laurent) must find proof that the Four Horsemen (Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco) are robbers, but the road to proof and answers leads them down a path of dark secrets and illusions. The story is quite simple – revenge and justice. The backdrop is the hook, as the illusions are really, really cool. Even if the film had no story, I think the magic would be enough to sustain my attention. But, the film does have a clever story, thanks to veteran writers, Ed Solomon and Boaz Yakin, and new screenwriter, Edward Ricourt. I like the twists and turns, where characters and situations are not what they seem. In the tradition of “illusionist” films, such as The Prestige (2006) and The Illusionists (2006), the viewer is led down a path of what appears to be truth, only to be fooled in the end. The casting is great throughout, in particular Woody Harrelson and Mark Ruffalo, who are both so good at making their characters unique and memorable. Jesse Eisenberg is a huge surprise, and I like his turn towards more mature roles. Romance? There is just a tip of one, which never gets its full due. It does not blossom, but rather, just happens. Despite this disadvantage, the film tries to please and succeeds on many levels, by appealing to a wide audience. Part magic show, part heist film, Now You See Me surprises me at every turn, where "the closer you look, the less you see."

My rating: 4 out of 5

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