We’ve complained before about how magicians seem to get the shaft in movies — odd, considering that moviemakers and magicians are practically married. The movies about magicians that get it right are few and far between.
According to advance reviews from magicians, “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” appears to be one of the movies that gets it right. Steve Carell and Jim Carrey do admirable jobs portraying a magician who struggles to reclaim former glory from an upstart competitor. We’ll probably try to catch a showing down the road — our schedules are pretty packed with projects and gigs right now.
But just in case it lets us all down, however, these are four movies that we know don’t disappoint. In case you suffer a letdown at the theater, pick one of these movies up to have your faith in movie magic restored.
Magicians: Robert Webb and David Mitchell play two former partners split up by an intentional affair and an accidental beheading. The resulting competition satires the rivalry between magicians brilliantly as the two try to revive their careers. It features great cameos from Ali Bongo, Aladin, Patrick Page and Scott Penrose, and is HILARIOUS.
The Escape Artist: Known more as a cult hit among Coppola fans, Griffin O’Neal does what we all wish we could do: Take down corrupt city officials with the power of our magic. The movie has great performances from Raul Julia, Terri Garr and Desi Arnaz as it tells the story of a young magician following in the footsteps of his dead father — played by Harry Anderson.
The Great Buck Howard: Is this a sendup of The Amazing Kreskin? Who cares? It’s a great movie with powerful acting and great magic cameos, including David Blaine and Ricky Jay. Also in the cast are Colin Hanks, Emily Blunt, Steve Zahn and the titular character is played brilliantly by John Malkovich. The movie’s message is that the only important thing is the performance.
The Prestige: One of the greatest tricks this movie performs is convincing the world that we magicians actually use the terms “pledge,” “turn” and “prestige.” That being said, this is probably our favorite movie about magicians. Featuring outstanding acting, outstanding directing and a plot that makes us immediately watch again, “The Prestige” captures the thrill of magic perfectly.
Bonus point — The Illusionist: It hit the theaters at about the same time as 2006’s “The Prestige,” and it uses some computer animation in place of actual magic, so “The Illusionist” gets overshadowed. But it’s a compelling story about performing an elaborate magic tricks for an audience of one.
FOUR POINTS is a regular feature that celebrates magicians’ favorite number by highlighting four critical bits of importance, awesomeness or otherwise. Send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org