The Movie: 6/10
Magic and heist’s, how is that not compelling? It is. The illusion and trickery of magicians continues to keep us entertained, even in an age of easy debunking. The thing about Now You See Me is that they mix the fantasy version of doing stage magic with movie magic, and top it off with our desire to believe in any kind of magic whatsoever. For the trickery side of it, I was convinced beyond the understanding that it was all Hollywood effects. That was a fun way to watch the movie, just let it happen and not try to pick it apart very much.
To the point of picking the movie apart, yes, let me repeat, DO NOT PICK IT APART or you will have nothing left after a few minutes. Just enjoy it for the spectacle of it all, and leave it at that. Trust me on this. Some of the negatives are in line with what naturally happens in my brain, the picking apart. While I’m here I’ll give you a few things that fell out while I was picking and picking subconsciously. First, the characters are about as shallow as you can get. They are cardboard cut out people, but walking and talking. They have no depth whatsoever. This makes me not care about them, makes me not care about what happens to them. The thing that saves that aspect of the movie is that the cast is pretty awesome. I particularly liked Melanie Laurent. She’s a French actress who made every scene more authentic and compelling than any of the other actors could do with the characters they were given.
I enjoyed the movie overall. It had so much misdirection and “Tada” about it that my mind didn’t always have time to find the faults, even though there are a lot. I guess the enjoyment of most of the moments overrides the suspicious moments that let my skeptical mind start taking a walk through the movie debunking park.
The things that cannot be denied are the plot holes, and I’m not the “plot hole finding” type. This movie has so many it’s hard to ignore. Why characters make the choices they make, that’s a BIG one. How the “ta da” moment came about is a head scratcher, but not in a good stimulating way. How certain things are accomplished, well, pretty darn most things, are cool to watch and experience but shortly after each one my mind was like “Huh?” that was kind of lame. Kind of a shame really when having a good time with the movie and that pesky brain interferes.
I describe it as empty calories, good to enjoy and indulge in the moment, and then afterwards it’s very unsatisfying. But let’s be honest, that Twinkie was FINE and dandy, so watching Now You See Me while having a Twinkie (or two) will give you the empty calorie satisfaction you might be craving:)
- Audio Commentary By Producer & Director – This is a very good commentary that really discusses everything about the production. From technical details to on the set stories if you are a fan of the movie you will be very entertained.
- Now You See Me Revealed – A EPK style featurette that features interviews with all of the talent from the movie. Louis Leterrier seems to be missing from all the publicity on the movie.
- A Brief History Of Magic – David Kwong the magician consultant used on the movie takes you through a very short look at how Magicians came to be. He totally misses David Copperfield in his history though which seems like a large oversight to me.
- Deleted Scenes – Over 30 minutes of deleted scenes including a alternate ending.
- DVD & UV Digital Copy
Cover Art and Menus: 6/10
I don’t get the looking up fetish it seems a lot of photographers have these days. It’s completely indulgent and has nothing to do with the style or content of the movie at all. So, that’s the first thing that I do not like about the image on the cover. Keep in mind I gave it a 6 out of 10, so I don’t REALLY REALLY dislike it. I just think it’s tepid, blah, boring for the glitz and glamour of the story. Overall though, mingling the text with the people is kind of almost interesting, so good effort. I wouldn’t have it as a poster, but maybe a mini-poster. The menu is a bit more dynamic than most, so they get credit for that effort as well.
Audio & Video: 8/10
It’s no illusion that the quality of this 1080P AVC transfer looks better than a magicians assistant. This is an almost flawless transfer that really captures the glossy feel of the high-end magic shows it covers. Black levels are perfect with fine detail on faces really showing up well. There are a couple of issues with ringing and it happens during the stage shows where bright lights are shining directly into the camera. These issues are there but are not too distracting as to ruin the whole experience.
The lossless 7.1 DTS-HD Master audio mix brings this magic show completely to life. The movie has a large-scale car chase in the third act that uses a lot of spacial awareness and interesting pans across the rear channels. Dialog is crisp clear and centered and LFE response is very good with lots of activity in the bass speaker.
To buy this Blu-ray you are looking at about $20. That’s too much. For a couple of hours of mindless fun, this movie falls right into the glamorous category of renting. I don’t need it on my shelf because it doesn’t tug at me to watch it again and again, or even just again. I would watch it if it’s on late night cable (if I had cable) but a one time view for about 5 bucks is worth the price.
Overall Score 6/10