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The Prestige (2006)

prestige

Never show anyone. They’ll beg you and they’ll flatter you for the secret, but as soon as you give it up… you’ll be nothing to them.

— Alfred Borden

After seeing the craptacular spectacle that was X-Men Origins: Wolverine, I wanted to see a better Hugh Jackman movie. I thought that I might see The Prestige. This movie came out in 2006 with the double bill of it’s companion piece, The Illusionist with Ed Norton, Paul Giamatti and Jessica Biel.

This movie is currently #82 of the Top 250 of All Time on IMDB. I think that this movie is overrated. I love Christopher Nolan, but this movie is a mess. When you get the twist, the rest of the movie makes no sense. I will discuss the ending in the spoiler section.

Based on the novel of the same name by Christopher Priest, brothers Christopher and Jonathan Nolan tried to make another Memento, but Memento was more clever than this movie. It was contrived to say the least.

It is almost the turn of the 19th century, Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman) and Alfred Borden (Christian Bale) are rival magicians that are trying to upstage each other.

After a freak accident that leads to the death of Robert’s wife, Julia (Piper Perabo), Robert is determined to make Alfred pay from his crime.

The movie mainly focuses on “The Transporting Man” trick with the magician disappearing from one door and appears at another door when an flying object is at play.

Angier’s mentor, Cutter (Michael Caine), the assistant, Olivia (Scarlett Johansson) tell Alfred not to pursue upstaging Borden. It would only lead to disaster. Angier doesn’t want to hear it. His hard-headness leads into bizarre obsessive stalker territory.

Next, Angier is so consumed with his determination to beat Borden that he enlists a mad scientist, Nikola Tesla (David Bowie) and his assistant, Alley (Andy Serkis) to make a device to replicate himself. (This is not a spoiler. It’s revealed at the beginning of the movie.) Even Tesla tells Angier not to go ahead with the trick.

I was bored throughout the movie. It was over two hours long. It felt even longer. The plot is ridiculous and improbable for turn-of-the-century London.

Judgment: Avoid this movie like the plague.

Rating: **

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Coyote Ugly (2000)

The Party Never Ends.

Flipping through the channels, I caught the middle part of Coyote Ugly yesterday morning. This is another movie that I love that it is so campy and fun. It’s not Oscar-caliber material, but it’s fun fluff.

It tells the story of Violet Sanford (Piper Perabo. What a name, huh?), an aspiring songwriter with a debilitating case of stage fright, struggling to make it big in New York City. When she moves to the city, she gets robbed and the money she has been saving was stolen as well.

She needs a way to make money. When she is at a diner, she overhears at the next table that one of the Coyotes, Zoe (Tyra Banks) is leaving to go to college to become a lawyer.

She seeks out the place called “Coyote Ugly”. She sees that it is a bar run by women. Violet is hired by Lil (Maria Bello) to replace Zoe. She meets the other Coyotes; the seductress, Cammie (Izabella Miko), the gruff Rachel (Bridget Moynahan), who thinks that Violet doesn’t have to chops to stay.

Violet’s inevitable love interest is Kevin O’Donnell, played by the delicious Adam Garcia. On first impression, she thinks that he is a big-time music manager, but it turns out that he is a short order cook. He tries to coax her out of her shell by the end of the movie.

The ending is predictable, but it’s fun. They try to make the impossible dream possible. It’s just a movie. Not everything is going to work out in the end.

Judgment: If you want to see a nice, fluffy movie, then check this one out.

Rating: ***

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