All posts tagged: Jesse Eisenberg

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10 Movies…About Magicians (To Prepare You For ‘Now You See Me’)

I’m not sure Now You See Me is a real movie—I’m pretty sure it’s part of the massive viral marketing campaign for last weekend’s huge Arrested Development revival. Evidence: it stars Michael Cera look-alike Jesse Eisenberg, new A.D. cast member Isla Fisher, and the plot concerns both the theft of money and cheesy, Vegas-style magic—I mean illusions. (“A trick is something a whore does for money. Or cocaine.” — GOB Bluth.) Here then are 10 certifiably real movies about magic anyway. The Incredible Burt Wonderstone If they’d made that Arrested Development movie, and it was solely about GOB and his rival magician, Tony Wonder, this would be that movie.   Scoop The ghost of a man played by a notable actor hamming it up (Ian McShane) helps a cute young girl (Scarlett Johansson) and her bumbling friend (Woody Allen) solve a mystery. Fun fact: Woody Allen wrote this in 1971 as a Scooby-Doo spec script.   Hugo It’s about movies, and magic…but really the “magic” of “movies.” Awww….   The Geisha Boy Jerry Lewis stars …

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10 Movies…Directed By Rock and Pop Stars (To Prepare You for Rob Zombie’s ‘The Lords of Salem’)

Lots of musicians decide they are famous and attractive enough to act, but it takes a special kind of hubris to take a break from making music to direct a movie. Sometimes it works out, as with the fruitful horror filmmaking career of Rob Zombie, whose The Lords of Salem comes out this week. Here are some others who gave it a shot. The Education of Charlie Banks The guy who got an Oscar nomination for The Social Network was once directed by Fred Durst, the guy who wrote the line “gimme somethin’ to break / how ‘bout your fuckin’ face.” But he does know what it’s like to be a violent thug, so there’s that. Yentl Streisand has one of the greatest voices ever, and she’s a good actress, too. And then there’s this literal vanity project, in which the 41-year-old Streisand directs her own performance as a teenager, who disguises herself as a boy to attend a yeshiva. Falling From Grace Ol’ John Cougar made himself up a movie-film real good like, with …

DVD Reviews: A Couple of SOBs — “Harry Brown” and “Solitary Man”

Film legends Michael Caine and Michael Douglas return with two diversely different films. Both men, each two-time Academy Award winners, no longer have anything to prove and could easily rest on their laurels and fade from view, or churn out the same supporting roles time and again. However, both Caine and Douglas show a need to be challenged, a need to keep their muses alive, as the lead roles offered to them become fewer and fewer, particularly in a youth obsessed movie culture that cares more about effects and numbers of screens rather than story and content. Michael Caine stars in Harry Brown, a tense English thriller written by Gary Young and directed by Daniel Barber released earlier this year (and reviewed by our esteemed Mr. Cashill).  Caine is the titular character, a quiet man suffering from emphysema, living in a run down apartment complex in South London. From his window he watches youths terrorize the neighborhood, yet he does nothing. He appears resigned to live out his days without getting involved. Each day, Brown …

DVD Review: “Adventureland”

Back in the day, I spent part of every summer in the vicinity of the Seaside Heights amusement park on the Jersey Shore. The log flume, the Tilt-A-Whirl, the Himalaya ride…magic. The fried and frozen food was to die (and it may kill me yet). If I’d kept all those quarters and dollars spent trying to win tapes, CDs, and stuffed animals I’d be in the chips today. But I wouldn’t trade the fun I had with my family on those vacations for anything, and I look forward to taking my daughter someday (mom will however have to escort her on the rollercoasters; dad’s always been kind of a wuss in that regard). I always thought it would be cool to run the water balloon races or activate the spinning wheels, all while breathlessly announcing the action. But according to Adventureland, which bows on DVD today, I had it wrong. The rides are where the heat is; the games are for losers, a half-step up from the dunking booth geeks. It’s this ninth circle of …