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October 11th, 2006


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11:41 pm - The Illusionist vs. The Stuff
Earlier tonight I went with theenigma42 and koriandrkitten to see The Illusionist. I haven't been watching any TV, so I've completely missed its ad campaign, but it looked interesting, and I'm glad we caught it.

Edward Norton stars as Eisenheim, a slight-of-hand artist in turn-of-the-century Vienna. His inexplicable act draws admiration, first from the public, and then from scheming Prince Leopold (Rufus Sewell) and his fiance, Sophie (Jessica Biel). Sophie and Eisenheim were childhood lovers, and their rekindled affection calls the attention of Chief Inspector Uhl (Paul Giamatti). Sophie's interest in Eisenheim puts him at odds with the prince, who demands that the subversive entertainer be shut down. Reduced to four sentences the plot sounds pretty lackluster, but it's a lot more complex than that. This is a film about secrets. This is a film about desire and revenge.

And really, the plot might not be as important as the production. The film is rendered in dark colors, but it's not a dark film. Everything about it looks and feels so mysterious, so start and high-contrast, and this is perfect. In a way it feels like an homage to early silent films (especially The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari), and I'm not sure how much of that was intentional. The ending is lackluster, and I know that saying so will make some people decide they're not interested after all, but like May or The Village, the journey to the ending is so worthwhile that the movie earns its indulgence. The soundtrack is by Phillip Glass, whom I've never felt strongly about, but it supports this movie beautifully.

Bottom line: It's not a flawless film, but in presentation it's a great film. It's on its way out of the theaters, so if you're skeptical you catch it when it comes out on DVD.

Anyway, now that I've seen a great film, I'm watching a crappy one. Specifically, I'm watching The Stuff, in which a substance that looks like marshmallow cream oozes out of the ground and people start eating it. The Stuff becomes the junk-food sensation of the year, and the people who eat it turn into violent zombies. I kid you not.
Current Mood: goodpretty damn good
Current Music: The Stuff

(15 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:koriandrkitten
Date:October 12th, 2006 02:12 pm (UTC)
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I didn't really think the ending was lackluster.
[User Picture]
From:sacredspud
Date:October 12th, 2006 02:47 pm (UTC)
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I thought it was really formulaic and kinda silly. I read a few reviews of the movie after I wrote mine and everybody has an opinion on the ending. Some of them agree with me and some of them don't. Whatever. Either way, the rest of the movie is totally worthwhile. If it were up to me I would have ended the movie a few minutes earlier, but then we wouldn't have a happy ending, would we?
[User Picture]
From:seanorange
Date:October 12th, 2006 05:20 pm (UTC)
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"The ending is lackluster, and I know that saying so will make some people decide they're not interested after all, but like May or The Village, the journey to the ending is so worthwhile that the movie earns its indulgence."

I'm glad you said that, because nobody but nobody understands why I like the Village, especially more than its bretheren (such as Signs). I was all fascinated because it was ultimately a quest narrative, but people were hung up on monsters and what the "twist" would eventually be. The secret to the story isn't that they're really living in a forest preserve in the present day, but that the main character of the story isn't Joaquin Phoenix.

~Sean
[User Picture]
From:koriandrkitten
Date:October 13th, 2006 01:11 pm (UTC)
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Do you own the Village? I still need to see it.
[User Picture]
From:sacredspud
Date:October 13th, 2006 04:17 pm (UTC)
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I own it!
[User Picture]
From:seanorange
Date:October 13th, 2006 07:35 pm (UTC)
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I can demand it. Owning is definitely better.

~Sean
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From:the_tick27
Date:October 13th, 2006 03:15 pm (UTC)
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i liked the village and hated signs
[User Picture]
From:sacredspud
Date:October 13th, 2006 04:20 pm (UTC)
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I really like M. Night Shywhatsisname (I even liked Signs). Thing is, his stuff is just as much about how human beings interact and handle adversity as it is about suprise endings.
[User Picture]
From:seanorange
Date:October 13th, 2006 07:36 pm (UTC)
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Nailed it!

I think we're gonna get along just fine.

~Sean
[User Picture]
From:rob_matsushita
Date:October 12th, 2006 05:56 pm (UTC)
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I'll have you know that I actually saw "The Stuff" in the theater.

And, yeah, it's pretty bad.
[User Picture]
From:sacredspud
Date:October 12th, 2006 06:59 pm (UTC)
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You poor, poor man.
[User Picture]
From:rob_matsushita
Date:October 12th, 2006 07:22 pm (UTC)
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As the kid I was when I saw it, I'd really hoped it would be either funnier or gorier, as opposed to kinda dull.

[User Picture]
From:fuzzyinthehead
Date:October 12th, 2006 07:09 pm (UTC)
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The title of your entry made me think of a grudge match style fight between Ed Norton and marshmellow fluff. Just so you know.
[User Picture]
From:the_tick27
Date:October 13th, 2006 04:32 am (UTC)

umm hi

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hey lindz sead we need to talk but its to late to call right now so... um ya.
[User Picture]
From:sacredspud
Date:October 13th, 2006 04:17 pm (UTC)

Re: umm hi

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What's goin' on?
The Illusionist vs. The Stuff - Garmonbozia for the soul.

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