October 21, 2013

Now You See Me: How to work magic on the big screen
by Tom
Tom

by Tom Goodwyn

hmv London; 21/10/2013

Bio

hmv.com Editor. Peanut butter, punk rock and pillows.

Now You See Me: How to work magic on the big screen

Taut thriller Now You See Me has proved to be one of the surprise hits of the summer, grabbing over $300 million at the box office. The Louis Leterrier (Incredible Hulk, Clash Of The Titans) directed flick told the story of a team of magicians who pull off a series of daring heists and has proved to be a real favourite, with a sequel already on the way.

Starring Jesse Eisenberg (Zombieland, The Social Network), Isla Fisher (The Great Gatsby, Confessions Of A Shopaholic), Woody Harrelson (No Country For Old Men, Natural Born Killers) and Dave Franco (21 Jump Street, Warm Bodies) as the four magicians with Mark Ruffalo (Avengers Assemble, Zodiac) and Melanie Laurent (Inglorious Basterds) as the FBI types on their tail, the film wowed audiences with its stunning spectacle and endless twists and turns.

Hollywood and magic have not got on famously over the years, but there have been a few gems that have captured the wonder and mystery of magic and become cult classics. These are five of the best of them:

The Prestige

The Prestige

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During his time between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, director Christopher Nolan turned his attention to the seedy world of 19th century magicians. Starring Hugh Jackman (Wolverine, Les Miserables) and Christian Bale (The Dark Knight Trilogy, The Fighter) as rival illusionists, this is a dark, twisted journey fuelled by obsession, secrecy and sacrifice. A must watch. 

Magic

Magic

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This is 1978 psychological thriller starred Anthony Hopkins (The Silence Of The Lambs, Thor) as mentally disturbed magician/ventriloquist Charles ‘Corky’ Withers. Once a struggling magician, Withers soon discovers he can wow audiences with the help of his foul-mouthed dummy ‘Fats’. But, when it comes to women, friends and ambitions, he soon discovers that ‘Fats’ has a mind of his own…

The Illusionist

The Illusionist

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Often overlooked as it was released very soon after The Prestige, this dark twisted tale of a conjuror who seems to summon the spirits of the dead remains well worth looking up. Starring Edward Norton (Fight Club, American History X) as the enigmatic Eisenheim, this thriller will keep you guessing until the closing credits.

Houdini

Houdini

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Starring then husband and wife Tony Curtis (The Prince Who Was A Thief, The Great Race) and Janet Leigh (Psycho, A Touch Of Evil) as the great magician Houdini and his wife Beth and their journey from the vaudeville tents of Coney Island to the world fame that followed his ever more daring stunts.

The Wizard of Gore

The Wizard Of Gore

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This 1970 splatter film is one for the stronger of stomach. The story of the dreadful ‘Montag the Magnificent’, a twisted stage magician who delights in hectoring his audience before sawing his assistants in half…for real. Created by Herschell Gordon Lewis, who was also responsible for Scum Of The Earth and Two Thousand Maniacs, this has gone down in history as a cult –horror classic.