The Illusionist or The Prestige?

The Illusionist or The Prestige?

The Illusionist
The Prestige
Total votes: 30

The Original BJ
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Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2003 8:49 pm

Postby The Original BJ » Sun Oct 22, 2006 2:01 am

The Prestige.

Both have unsatisfying endings that rely WAAAAAAAY too much on Big Twists that ultimately undermine much of their films. I'm so glad these films have given me a great metaphor for why I tend to dislike twist endings. Watching films like this is like watching a magic trick, in which you are initially fascinated by how the pieces of these puzzles will fit together. But upon discovery of the ending, it feels like the secret to the magic trick has been revealed and then . . . what? I admire the intricate construction of both films, but at the end of the day, to what ends do their elaborate plots ultimately serve?

I was more surprised by the ending to The Illusionist; I bought the ending to The Prestige more. And I had much more fun watching The Prestige. The performances are better (save for a curiously miscast Scarlett Johansson -- that's three in a row for her!), it's far more stylishly directed, and I actually enjoyed its splintered plot line a great deal, as it lead to some very satisfying twists along the way. It's definitely shallow, but for much of its running time, it's fun.

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Sonic Youth
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Location: USA

Postby Sonic Youth » Sat Oct 21, 2006 9:09 pm

Which is better?

We were supposed to have a themed double-feature today, but unfortunately I came down with a headache and had to cut it short. But I couldn't wait to post this.

The Illusionist is a very minor film, to be sure, but I quite enjoyed it. It's old-fashioned, and in this case that term is a virture. It's a good, strong classical narrative, with the visuals and atmosphere complimenting the story, and vice versa. It's like two other relatively recent films, [SPOILER][color=white]The Sixth Sense and The Usual Suspects, in the way it's ultimately a mystery story that doesn't reveal itself as one until the climactic scene.
The story itself... well, ultimately it's asking us to accept more than can be reasonably accepted. But it's a solid film that feels like a good read. And since our multiplexes are devoid of this sort of storytelling, maybe that's why it's a sleeper hit.

I'll see The Prestige tomorrow.[/color]
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