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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Movie Review: The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

So I came up with a book review template I'm happy with so now I want to work on my movie reviews. I am very passionate about story, as you may or may not have noticed.
Yeah. I'm weird that way.

I love books and fiction because it gives us a way to study and comprehend human nature. Rather than just reading through a scientific paper with observations and commentary, we can actually experience the breakdown of human emotions from love to hate; agony to ecstasy; joy to despair... it's awesome. By relating to a fictional character we can develop compassion and understanding for real people. Have you ever wondered why so many people who read books are so well-adjusted, open-minded and ... Okay, got me, I'm just kidding. But generally speaking, Readers are a different breed and depending on your reading/viewing choices (much like music) it can say a lot about you.

I am a bit of a genre-whore. That's not a very flattering term but it's as close to the truth as anything. That being said, here is my review of an off-beat movie with Steve Carell & Jim Carrey.

Director: Don Scardino (known for a variety of TV projects from the Soap, Another World to hit comedy 30 Rock)

Writers: Jonathan Goldstein (known for a variety of TV comedies) and John Francis Daley (Dr. Sweets! from Bones, and also played the Young Tommy in the national and international tour of The Who's Tommy!, or you might know him from Freaks and Geeks)

Starring: Steve Carell, Olivia Wilde, Steve Buscemi and Jim Carrey... also featuring James Gandolfini, Alan Arkin & a cameo by THE David Copperfield, himself.

When a street magician's stunts begins to make their show look stale, superstar magicians Burt Wonderstone and Anton Marvelton look to salvage on their act - and their friendship - by staging their own daring stunt.

Review With Spoilers
I am just going to start off by saying I liked this movie. It is a Steve Carell show and that's okay with me. Jim Carrey is in it but his role is more of a foil to Steve Carell's Wonderstone character. I am a huge fan (fan-addict) of Steve Carell, Jim Carrey, Steve Buscemi, Alan Arkin and John Francis Daley. Olivia Wilde I can take or leave, she's a pretty redhead with a hot body... not exactly my motivator, IYKWIM... Anyway, the premise is two friends (by default) that learn magic together as youngsters and grow up to be the biggest show in Vegas (think Siegfried and Roy, minus the tigers--which is what you're supposed to think, right down to the spray-tans and fluffy hair).

Along comes Steve Gray, a street "performer" with a cable reality show (think Criss Angel) called Brain Rape (Mindfreak anyone?) that pretty much eliminates Burt & Anton's stale show. With declining audience attendance their show is threatened to be closed so they try to create a publicity stunt... that goes awry and Burt & Anton dissolve their partnership and friendship. Things don't get much better from there as Burt hits rock-bottom and eventually gets a gig at a nursing home where he meets his childhood idol, Alan Arkin! This is a turning point in the story and Burt's life and the rest is predictable but entertaining.

If you love Steve Carell then you will be entertained. If you tolerate him, then avoid this movie. Jim Carrey's character is neither likable nor entertaining, in my most humble opinion. And I love Jim Carrey. The parodies of Criss Angel, Siegfried & Roy, even Steve Wynn were semi-entertaining. If you're into that kind of thing. Overall, I liked the movie, as I said before, but I won't be buying it.

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