Tuesday, July 03, 2007

A new movie review? No! Really?

Okay, so it's the review that's new, not the movie. I have a two year-old and a 6 month-old. I don't go to movies at the theater. It just doesn't happen, man. And, in fact, it took two separate viewings over two different evenings to get through this one film. Ah, life as a parent.

I finally got to see The Illusionist, which was out in theaters close to a year ago now. (The Prestige, which came out around the same time, will probably take close to another month to arrive from on hold at the library.) It wasn't a bad movie. I don't think Jessica Biel is a great actress, and I don't think she's stunningly beautiful either, but I am a fan of Paul Giamatti and Edward Norton who figured largely in the film and I think Rufus Sewell has been quite good in the few films in which I have seen him. He seems to get typecast as a villain, unfortunately, because his turn as the hero was interesting in the under-appreciated Dark City (which also featured Kiefer Sutherland in a role very unlike that of Jack Bauer).

The Illusionist wasn't a bad film, as I said, but it suffered from what I thought was a weak plot and ill-defined characters. The actors mentioned above did the best they could, and the magic was enjoyable (particularly in that it wasn't all just explained away, I do like not knowing how the tricks are done, for the most part), and the twist might have surprised me more if I hadn't had time between seeing the beginning and the end to puzzle out what was going to happen. It's worth a rental for the fun of the movie, but it isn't worth adding it to your shelf.