All posts tagged: Magic

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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 …

Song-Off Jr.: Magical Modes of Transportation

Nighttime and an electrical storm in the Mexican heat flashes, high on acid, the lightning breaking out – there! – there! – and the electricity flows through him and out of him, a second skin, a suit of electricity, and if the time was ever now it is – Now! – and he hurls his hand toward the sky to make the lightning break out where he points – Now! – we’ve got to close it, the gap between the flash and the eye, and make it, the reentry into Now … as Superheroes … open … until he falls to the beach and Mountain Girl finds him holding his throat and choking as if he is gagging on sand … Beyond acid. They have made the trip now, closed the circle, all of them, and they either emerge as superheroes, closing the door behind them, and soaring through the hole in the sapling sky, or just lollygag in the loop – the loop of the lag – Almost clear! Presque vu! – many good …

Farkakte Film Flashback: Strange Magic

There is a new Harry Potter movie out this week, which millions of fans are extremely excited about, even though they’ve all read the books and know exactly what’s going to happen. Also, they don’t seem to mind that it’s based on the one that was mostly flashbacks, meaning there’s less Harry than in the other movies – although we do get to see young Dumbledore, who, rumor has it, looks exactly like Chris Pine. I’ve read all the books, and one thing I enjoyed about them was the way J.K. Rowling wove the world of magic so cleverly in with our own. Somehow, the wizardry practiced and taught at Hogwarts seems to make logical sense – it propels the story while at the same time serving as a sharp satire of academia, and as an added plus it steers unsuspecting young readers toward godless occult practices. Wait, wasn’t that the idea? Regardless, in the Harry Potter films, such a rich and layered portrayal of the existence of magic is unusual for cinema – mainly …

Film Review: “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”

I’ll admit, first and foremost, that I’ve been more a fan of the Harry Potter films than I have the books. While I admit the books are enjoyable (I’ve read the first four), I find them rather repetitive and not quite as fleshed out in some ways as I think they could be–which is saying something, considering the epic lengths at which they mark off. I’ve enjoyed the films more, I guess, because I can appreciate the fact that while they are more condensed versions of the books (every film has to have some type of limit before audience members begin laying across other seats in search of a brief respite in dreamland), they are still the most faithful cinematic adaptations of the material that will ever exist, and it’s just a fun experience to watch Daniel Radcliffe (My Boy Jack, December Boys) and the other young actors in the cast bring J.K. Rowling’s characters to full-fledged life. It’s also beginning to make me feel a little old, in a bittersweet way, to watch these kids grow up before …

Listening Booth: Bruce Springsteen, “Working On a Dream”

Bona fides: I’m a Jersey boy, and a fan. I’ve got more than 50 Springsteen concerts under my belt. I’ve even met him once or twice, and no, I never call him The Boss. Now on with the show. Someone on Twitter (follow us @popdose) recently wrote that Bruce Springsteen’s Oscar snub by the Motion Picture Academy was his punishment for “Outlaw Pete.” Maybe. I do know that the failure of the Academy to include Springsteen’s title song from The Wrestler in the Best Song category is one of the most egregious oversights I’ve ever seen in my years of following the Oscars. Are the Academy voters allowed to write in their choices? I do understand the sentiment about “Outlaw Pete,” though. The song’s placement as the leadoff track on Working on a Dream (Columbia) is one of he most curious decisions in rock history. First of all, the thing is more than eight minutes long. Second, the story doesn’t make much sense. I suppose, based on his acknowledged respect for the iconic western films …

Radio Nowhere: Is Clear Channel Sandbagging the Boss’ New Album?

It was recently reported (by Fox News, of all places) that Clear Channel radio stations had been instructed not to play tracks from Bruce Springsteen’s new album, Magic. It’s been impossible to ignore all the praise the album has received; it even picked up a solid review from Pitchfork Media, which is pretty unusual for an artist that you, your parents, and your children (if you’re old enough to have them) have all heard of. I’d imagine someone around here even had nice things to say about it. There aren’t too many artists with broader appeal to Americans than Bruce Springsteen. The steel-town nostalgia, the solid rock guitar riffs, the voice that at times seems drenched in whiskey, other times coated with coal dust, all of these add up to one of the most easily marketable stars in music history. And yet Bruce has had no trouble remaining wedded to his populist sentiment and progressive politics. Bruce is the Warren Buffet of the rock and roll world –- someone who hit it big, but truly …