Archive for magic

Movie review for ‘Now You See Me 2’ and ‘Zootopia’ (2016)

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 3, 2016 by vincentloy

‘Now You See Me 2’ and ‘Zootopia’ are the two latest movies of the year of that I have watched recently. It’s now back to the time for movies as I had completed a majority of my works for my first semester which is going to end very soon. Time for entertainment after a week of pressure and staying overnight to complete my assignments.

‘Now You See Me 2’ is a sequel to ‘Now You See Me’ (2013) which was a surprising hit back then and was quite a major success mostly derived from its magic caper thriller theme. This latest sequel continues to that fame and it went with more tricks, actions and spectacles. The girl from the first movie is replaced and I have no issue with that as it is explained well in this sequel’s story development. The rest of the cast returned, led by Mark Ruffalo and Jesse Eisenberg (ohh, we see him in very short hair here and it reminds us of his Lex Luthor role in Batman v Superman) added with some new members like Daniel Radcliffe and Jay Chou. It’s interesting to see a boy who once portrayed a famous magician (Harry Potter) is now in a movie about magic again. Then, we have Jay Chou that would be very helpful of attracting more Chinese audiences to this movie. His scenes are unexpectedly not that short but still not a major role (typical to any Asian in any Hollywood film).

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It is still a good movie (like to see those magic tricks, especially some scenes involving long sequences of how the tricks were done which are pretty elaborate and interesting). However, this time, the sequel didn’t gave us much climax or shocking plot twists like what we have seen in its predecessor that excited us. The climax in this sequel is a bit flat and disappointing (on the way Daniel Radcliffe got exposed). Other than that, it’s still a decent movie. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Now You See Me 2’ a total of 7.0. A bit of fun but not a strong film. Anyway, it still matches the quality of the first movie.

Next one is ‘Zootopia’. It is an animated movie which details the unlikely partnership between a rabbit police officer and a red fox con artist as they uncover a conspiracy that involves the disappearance of predator civilians within a mammalian metropolis. Originally, I didn’t have any intention at all to watch this movie. However, after knowing its extreme popularity across the world as well as hearing all the critical acclaim to it, I decided to go for it. Yes, it is a wonderful film, but still not yet an epic material. Anyway, Walt Disney Studio seldom disappoints in creating very good animated movies and this is one of them. I think I’m a bit late to only have watched this one recently. It’s out on theatres since March.

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This is an unexpected hit and the movie is going to be crossing the spectacular US$ 1 billion in worldwide box office very soon. There is hardly any animated movies that could achieve the milestone (so far only Frozen, Minions and Toy Story 3 achieved that). In around a week, this movie will officially becomes the 26th film in history to join the 1-billion club. The movie has a good story but I don’t think it deserved the very high positive critics’ rating it had. Amazing but not yet spectacular. It’s fast-paced, funny, smart and thought-provoking, but at times I felt it is just another ordinary good work by Disney, not yet a masterpiece level. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Zootopia’ a total of 7.5.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

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Movie review: Now You See Me (2013)

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 2, 2013 by vincentloy

I first got to know about this movie called ‘Now You See Me’ when I first see its trailer a month earlier. It’s a caper film about magicians trying to perform a show unlike any others; rob a bank…as shown from its trailer which looked quite promising and got my eyes on it. This film which stars Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco, Isla Fisher, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Mark Ruffalo and Melanie Laurent is released two days ago to a generally mixed reviews, but I’m going to give a slightly better comments to this one. This movie had gone beyond my expectation but still I’m a bit disappointed on certain aspects.

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Robbing the bank is never the main plot of the movie as suggested from its trailer. It has already fooled or tricked us from the very beginning. It formed just a small portion at the beginning of the film. That’s one of the three big shows that the four horsemen are presenting to the audiences after a year getting a weird card from a mysterious benefactor and gets grouped together. First, a show to rob a bank in Paris while they are in Las Vegas. Second, a show to transfer or steal 140 million dollars from their boss, an insurance magnate to audiences. Third (the last), a show to deceive everyone and to reveal surprises! Real surprise. The plot is very engaging and it has some twists that will definitely surprises you. And that twists are really cool! It keeps me guessing. The plans, the tricks, the works by the magicians that leave them not captured all the time are great.

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I have leaked out some details of the storyline already, and so I won’t further expose any more spoilers here. It would be much interesting if you watch it, and listen to every words and concentrate on the development of the story. It would be fun and nice. The scenes, the dialogues, were all with meaningful points, and I learnt several famous quotes from this film; the closer you look, the lesser you will see. Magicians are always a step ahead of us, or maybe more. Another rule; magician has to be the smartest in a room. Several more lovely quotes actually. Interesting. And I find that the story is quite brilliantly delivered in this one eventhough there is a bit too much of unnecessary long and boring talking scenes particularly the ones involving Mark Ruffalo.

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There is also too much concentration on the cop (portrayed by Mark Ruffalo) who is trying to bust the crime by the four horsemen, the magicians. His acting is moderate here. On the other hand, Jesse Eisenberg is spectacular in this one eventhough his role (as Daniel Atlas, the leader of the four horsemen) here didn’t give much opportunity for him to shine unlike in his previous outstanding performance in ‘The Social Network’. There is still some sort of charm he can cast to audiences in this movie especially to girls. But he speaks too fast most of the time. It would be better if he slows down a bit. While the other two heavyweight casts, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine appeared to have add no dimension to the movie. Both were just like being called to appear on screen and say out a few words, and left with no impact. Some characters are too shallow.

Another disappointing thing I find is that there is not much of magic shown! Most of them are already in the trailer itself. It stays away from that and instead, focusing on going deep to the storyline. That is somehow good and bad at the same time. No more magic, but balanced out with some twists and added depth to the plot. However, some things remain unclear or not clearly and fully answered in the end, and I’m confused. It gets me thinking for a while, but that is good. Sometimes, everything need not to be crystal clear from a movie. It’s a movie playing with the mind of audiences. Magic! This movie is surprisingly entertaining that came with little weaknesses here and there. But I find that it’s still a good and interesting movie. It has a solid concept that worth to be explored in big screen like this one. But the director didn’t manage to pull it off to its best yet. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Now You See Me’ a total of 7.5.

(All images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)