*** Official The Prestige Review Thread

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Chuck Mayer, Oct 20, 2006.

  1. Chuck Mayer

    Chuck Mayer Lead Actor

    Aug 6, 2001
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    Northern Virginia
    Real Name:
    Chuck Mayer
    I wasn't terribly sure what to expect. The film opened my eyes to the world of magicians and their secrets, and it's a very interesting world to visit. but this is a pretty dark visit. And it goes a bit farther than expected.

    There are several mysteries in the film, and Nolan provides AMPLE evidence to the audience to figure them out...well ahead of the characters, I might add. So much so, I feel the trick is looking deeper and seeing the craft in them. I won't go into any of those mysteries (except one at the end) here, except to say they are telegraphed, but professionally and with style.

    The craft behind the film is exceptional. One of the notable things about Batman Begins was how good it looked, how solid and well-structured it was. Nolan brought Nathan Crowley back as the production designer for The Prestige. Wise decision. The casting is a reunion of sorts, with a few new players. All acquit themselves excellently. Fans of Memento will enjoy the editing in The Prestige...it flows back and forth through multiple journals and secrets and events, across several years, showcasing a rivalry gone beyond profession. As for the cast, beautiful. Men and women.

    It's a film Hitchcock would have been proud of, and one that was thoroughly enjoyable to experience, before and after the secrets are known.

    Spoiler ahead...gives away a major plot point, so skip until you've seen the film:
    In the flashback where Angier (Jackman) first tests the device, note what he says (starts to say) before he is shot and where the device places the "copies". I believe Angier dies in that scene, killed by his "copy".

    An excellent film, a fun puzzle box, and a pleasure.

  2. Joe D

    Joe D Supporting Actor

    May 21, 1999
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    Fours Stars / Four Stars

    Excellent. Nolan directs another great new film in both story and structure.

    The film switches time periods rapidly through the telling of the story, yet the film is easy to follow.

    All of the actors do a great job, the editing is superb, the locations are great, and the story moves along at a binding speed.

    Nolan has emerged as the best new filmaker in his generation, as a man that can direct across multiple genres with the skill of a seasoned veteran.

    The film will be very re-watchable, and I can't wait for it to come on DVD!
  3. Cory S.

    Cory S. Supporting Actor

    Sep 7, 2004
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    "Are you watching closely?" is the absolute right way to describe this film. About midway through, I had the film figured out and yet, the film made me disbelieve certain things about it, even though it's all right there...in front of you! And that's the trick of the film and the trick of magicians themselves.

    But, the real story is about the obsession and devotion to the work and life of a magician that these two characters portray.

    Another great and entertaining film from Christopher Nolan.
  4. J-EL

    J-EL Stunt Coordinator

    Oct 18, 2006
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    Absolutely brilliant. It's so rare to see a film that is completely original and daring, while not being heavy-handed or pretentious. But Nolan always manages to find a strong balance and I believe this film might be his strongest yet. It's pure magic.

    One thing's for sure, I can't wait to see it again! [​IMG]

  5. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator

    Jun 30, 1999
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    I found this film a little long (or I was a little tired when viewing it). I got ahead of the film, so the reveal was a little anticlimactic for me, but it got even more supernaturally convoluted than I had initially suspected, which makes me neutral on the ending. Perhaps another viewing will elevate my appreciation for the film, but for now:

    I give it 3 stars, or a grade of B.
  6. Chris Atkins

    Chris Atkins Producer

    May 9, 2002
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    Christopher Nolan is amazing. He consistently makes films with fascinating visual palettes, interesting stories and characters, and strong performances from his actors. Furthermore, he weaves his tales together in such a way that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, leaving a sense of discovery at the end of every single one of his films. We don't watch his movies so much as we go on a journey, and always an amazing one at that.

    The Prestige is no different, and is just what you would expect from Nolan. Both my wife and I were amazed at the film, and both of us want to watch it at least two more times. There is so much there that it almost demands another viewing.
  7. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator

    Dec 9, 1998
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    This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "The Prestige". Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread.

    Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning!

    If you need to discuss those type of issues then I have designated an Official Discussion Thread.

  8. MielR

    MielR Advanced Member

    Jun 14, 2006
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    Wow! I just saw this film and it is the best movie I've seen in a loooooooooooooong time!!!!!!

    I was just about to give up on the movie industry, having sat through the nearly-3-hour-numb-ass-torture-fest that was "Pirates of the Carribean II", the laughably dreadful "Black Dahlia", etc., etc. But Fortunately, this movie really had me on the edge of my seat the whole time. I totally understand the critic(s) who've said that it's the kind of movie you want to see again as soon as it ends. I felt the same way, and I can't remember the last time that happened to me with a movie!

    It's not a 'perfect' movie, but it was entertaining enough for me to suspend disbelief enough to overlook the flaws.

    Seriously, if you haven't yet seen this film, do so while it's still on the big screen. [​IMG]
  9. Kirk Tsai

    Kirk Tsai Screenwriter

    Nov 1, 2000
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    I concur with some of the opinion above--that I figured out the Turns and Prestiges of the movie before the characters did--and it did not effect my enjoyment of the movie at all. Nolan and co. have made a movie that is less about gimmickery than actively encouraging the audience to participate.

    The way the Nolans juggle different timelines is startling, yet so very clear. After the more traditional narratives of Insomnia and Batman Begins, The Prestige shows once again their interest in creative narratives that was evident in Following and Memento.

    Among the performances, I thought Rebecca Hall as Sarah was the most breathing and alive character. This in a possible throw away role is quite an achievement. Really enjoyed this movie. She is the equivalant of Vera Farmiga in The Departed and Running Scared, and Mia Kirshner in The Black Dahlia.

    Nolan continues to be among my favorite young directors in the game. Here's hoping The Dark Knight rules.
  10. Pete-D

    Pete-D Screenwriter

    May 30, 2000
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    I have to disagree ... this is one of the biggest duds of the year in my opinion.

    As I mentioned in my other thread ... it's a story that seems to go nowhere with a pretty lame final act and a overwrought 2nd act. But what truly sinks the movie are the characters. You feel no connection to any of them.

    Over plotted all around, no real likable characters (except maybe David Bowie's little role), and Hugh Jackman just cannot carry a movie for the life of him.

    I like the guy as Wolverine, but he just has zero charisma in this role. The film is only interesting when they're doing the magic tricks for me, otherwise it turned into a bore. Yes the film has some twists and turns ... but in the end it's just a case of "who cares?". The stakes aren't really that high, the motivations of the characters are contrived, and the plot (and pacing) is all over the place. The non-linear style narrative doesn't do a whole lot for the film other than making it needlessly confusing.

    Nolan needs to get back to Batman ASAP. If you want to see a magic movie, go see the far superior The Illusionist instead.


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