The Prestige (2007, DVD)
British director Christopher Nolan's (BATMAN BEGINS) eclectic resume gains another interesting entry with THE PRESTIGE. The basic plot, which concerns the rivalry between two magicians in early 20th-century London, closely resembles a fellow 2006 movie--Edward Norton's THE ILLUSIONIST--and the two films are sure to be closely compared. In Nolan's film, Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale bring the characters of Robert Angier and Alfred Bordon to life. Robert and Alfred were young magician apprentices together, but became bitter rivals as their careers began to shape their adult lives and a terrible accident claimed the life of Robert's wife. In the subsequent years Robert has become wildly jealous of Alfred's superior talents, so in a last ditch attempt to steal some artistic ground he sends his assistant, Olivia (Scarlett Johansson), to infiltrate his rival's lair and steal the secret to a spectacular trick called "The Transported Man." Nolan's film twists and turns down a number of unexpected avenues as it flits back and forth between numerous time periods, creating a movie that needs to be watched as closely as the tricks his leading characters perform. Bale and Jackman perfectly execute their roles, winding up the tension to an unbearable degree as they willfully enter into some dangerously competitive patterns of behavior. Michael Caine makes his second appearance in a Nolan film, almost reprising his role of Alfred in BATMAN BEGINS by playing Cutter, Jackman's mentor; and Johansson pouts and flounces across the elaborate sets like a classic Hollywood screen siren. Stylistically, THE PRESTIGE is full of dark, gloomy colors and a palpable feeling of menace, which is an impeccable visual match for the viewer's growing unease as the protagonists push each other to increasingly ridiculous lengths. It's not an easy film to digest, but Nolan's movie offers intelligent and challenging fare that will likely reveal further cinematic magic on repeated viewings.
AN AWESOME DVD!! GREAT VALUE FOR YOUR MONEY! A MUST HAVE!!! :)
A MUST HAVE FOR YOUR DVD COLLECTION!!! YOU CAN WATCH THIS MOVIE MORE THAN ONCE!!! ITS AN AWESOME MOVIE............................
Nolan's film twists and turns down a number of unexpected avenues as it flits back and forth between numerous time periods, creating a movie that needs to be watched as closely as the tricks his leading characters perform. Bale and Jackman perfectly execute their roles, winding up the tension to an unbearable degree as they willfully enter into some dangerously competitive patterns of behavior. Michael Caine makes his second appearance in a Nolan film, almost reprising his role of Alfred in BATMAN BEGINS by playing Cutter, Jackman's mentor; and Johansson pouts and flounces across the elaborate sets like a classic Hollywood screen siren. Stylistically, THE PRESTIGE is full of dark, gloomy colors and a palpable feeling of menace, which is an impeccable visual match for the viewer's growing unease as the protagonists push each other to increasingly ridiculous lengths. It's not an easy film to digest, but Nolan's movie offers intelligent and challenging fare that will likely reveal further cinematic magic on repeated viewings.
Sleight Of Hand - Sleight Of Eye !!!! Stunning Portrait
"The Prestige" is a frequently dazzling display of cinematic sleight-of-hand from Writer/Director Christopher Nolan ("Batman Begins").
"The Prestige" is an entertaining, handsomely produced period thriller that mostly holds you in its grip, engulfed in a narrative structure that's ultimately satisfying. This faithful adaptation of Christopher Priest's 1996, Prize-Winning Novel has so much atmospheric style, wit and dramatic intrigue that you ultimately surrender to the cinematic flawlessness of "The Prestige", which depicts a festering grudge between two Victorian-Era Stage Magicians that escalates to deadly heights.
As Cutter (Michael Caine), the ingeneur, (illusion designer), to both magicians (explained via voiceover), "The Prestige" refers to the third act, or pay-off in every magic trick. It follows "The Pledge" (set-up) and "The Turn," the actual performance of the illusion.
According to the press notes, Nolan and his brother, Co-Screenwriter Jonathan Nolan, used the three-part structure of a magic trick as their narrative guide in adapting Priest's densely layered, epistolary novel, which flashes back and forth in time between turn-of-the-century London and faraway Colorado.
For the bitter rivalry between elegant master showman Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman) and the unpolished but equally gifted Alfred Borden (Christian Bale) will unfold on both the stages of London's Music Halls; and in the snowbound Colorado Springs Laboratory of Scientist Nikola Tesla (David Bowie).
The visionary inventor, and despised rival of Thomas Alva Edison, represents Angier's best chance of topping Borden's signature trick: "The Transported Man." Blending radical science and traditional magic, Angier briefly gains an advantage; but Borden refuses to concede defeat, even as their lethal feud eventually ensnares Cutter, Borden's fragile Wife (Rebecca Hall), and the gorgeous stage assistant Olivia Wenscombe (Scarlett Johansson).
To reveal any more details about "The Prestige" would spoil its many surprises and nifty plot twists; the majority of which catch you off-guard—like any good magic trick.
That "The Prestige" has narrative ingenuity to spare makes for a film that's often exhilarating to watch. For a story ostensibly set in motion by a devastating tragedy that consumes both men and wreaks havoc with their intimates, there's entwined an emotional pull to "The Prestige". Loaded with betrayals, double-crosses, and surprises provides sufficient time to flesh out the characters. The final revelation may not "surprise" anyone who "watches closely," to quote the advertising tagline. However, this absolutely isn't to say that the resolution is blatantly obvious from the start. Nolan is much too sly and skillful a filmmaker to show us all the tricks up his directorial sleeve and retain that delicious shiver of surprise.
That said, the movie is an eminently enjoyable and clever period thriller, graced with charismatic leads (Jackman is particularly impressive; as is Christian Bale); blended aside an excellent supporting cast; and the bravura filmmaking from Nolan - the Cinematic Magician of "The Prestige".
SEE THIS !!!! A True Eye-Pleaser & Assured Entertainment - Start-To-Finish with Top-Shelf Cinematography and Acting.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
A Powerfully Enthralling--But Dark--Film.
I bought this partly because of the story line, and mostly because of the three leading male stars, Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale and Michael Caine. A First Class, highly detailed period piece set in the most part in the UK, it portrays at first the professional friendship, then the falling-out of that friendship becoming a battle between two fanatically ambitious--and sometimes unscrupulous--magicians each trying desparately to be the "Top Billing" in the field. A mistaken effort at daring-do takes the life of Jackman's wife on stage in a Houdini-like "water escape" illusion which causes the falling-out between Jackman and Bale. Then the conflict begins between the two in one after the other "new" on stage illusions as one magician upstages the other, learning the "secret" of the other's trick and improves on it which only makes the rivalry more intense and ultimately more criminal in nature. The script writers partnered with the director really did a class-act job on this film using a finely crafted "flashback" technique, leaving VERY subtle hints/links throughout the story line that--if you've been paying attention--all come together at the wholly unexpected plot twist during the climax. Michael Caine should get a Best Supporting Actor for his part in The Prestige, which is more than entertainment because of the intense rivalry, darkening as the film progress until the "Film Noire" shock ending which leaves but one magician going forward BUT without learning the secret of his rival's better illusion..."The Prestige". HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for ADULTS ONLY, this is a DVD to both view and buy for your own collection.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
With flashbacks/forwards the movie tells its story out of sequence, with details hinting at things that have already happened but that we have not seen yet.
Two magicians, Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman) and Alfred Borden (Christian Bale), began as friends, working together as another illusionist's assistants, but were driven apart when Angier's wife was killed during a trick. Before you can say Presto Chango, a bitter rivalry is born between them – each willing to go to great lengths to sabotage the career of the other. They use deception, disguises, and even a woman they both care for (Scarlett Johansson) as a pawn in this game of one-upmanship. Michael Caine warns us that you have to get your hands dirty to be a great magician – and these guys do.
Nikola Tesla (David Bowie), is even drawn into their competition, as he's sought after to create the ultimate "transported man" trick involving a frightening electrical apparatus.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.