Magicians (2000) Poster


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One of my Favorite Movies
Chris Severn9 July 2002
I rented this movie from blockbuster on a whim .. i like alan arkin and the cover was catching ... i read the back and knew right away it was going to either be the best or the worst movie i have ever seen ... i guess i got lucky .. i laughed from beginning to end .. alan arkin brings a great character to this movie. i have since bought a used rental copy for my own collection and watch it all the time .. i have recommeded this movie to loads of people and they all enjoyed it as much as i did ... i see complaints about the menus and dvd functions .. but it doesn't take away from the movie .. the disk was authored for Blockbuster exculsivley which is why they didn't allow you to skip past the previews .. aside from that you shouldn't let the functions of the DVD to deterr you from watching the excellent film.
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On The Road to Vegas
Don-13629 August 2001
I stumbled across this DVD at my local Blockbuster and was pleasantly surprised with the production qualities along with the acting. The script was a little weak in places but overall it is a nice little fun film about a couple of would be magicians, their assistant and mentor (Alan Arkin)who travel to Las Vegas to make it big.

Being a magician myself, I got a kick out of the film and what these people go through.
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Some high moments, but mostly a disappointment, I rate it "5" of 10, not bad, not good.
TxMike3 June 2001
I keep a "list" of movies I want to see, and somehow - I don't exactly recall - "The Magicians" ended up on it. While it had a cute concept, and some good actors, it just didn't "work" for me. A lot of the scenes looked like they were shot on a set, a look not unlike "One From The Heart", that abomination of a film made by Coppola in 1982, entirely on a soundstage. "Magicians" even used cute "roadsigns" on a miniature set looking like a road into Vegas for the opening credits. I saw it on DVD - no digital sound source, no menu, no extras, perhaps the poorest DVD I've seen so far.

The biggest gripe I have with the story is this -- Hugo is a masterful thief, and that's how the movie starts. Then he steals a van for 4 of them to go from NYC to Vegas. The movie ends up with all of them apparently happy, smiling, with no restitution for the crimes. A clear message that it is OK to be a thief, as long as you are charming. To me this is a serious flaw, and part of the reason I can rate it no higher than "5".

The bulk of the movie is about these 4 flawed people getting together to make an act and make it big in LasVegas. Max (Til Schweizer) is flamboyant but without much talent. Hugo (Fabrizio Bentiviglio) is a "loner" who hustles a living as a pickpocket and grifter, has amazing talents but just wants to be left alone. Lydia (Claire Forlani) is the cute, blonde waitress who has "nothing to lose" by quitting her job and becoming a magician's assistance. Milo (Alan Alda) manages magic acts and sees potential, especially in Hugo.

They head out west, and develop their magic act "on the road", usually in the evening at the motel stops. The film is a comedy. The magic act is not very good. The combination of characters is like mixing oil and water. There is a humorous encounter with a cop looking for the stolen van. The actors did as good as they could with the script, but this writer/director is just not up to the standards being set by the better ones. Although this film can be enjoyed by certain people, I believe it has very limited appeal and could not in clear conscience recommend it to anyone.
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A funny feature
lvillalt999 April 2002
This is one of the funniest movies I have seen. I watched it on DVD, and the disc does not have any special features, or even a menu, but that is not necessarily what I care about.

I tend to judge movies on a case by case basis, depending on, among other things, if it is a big studio production or a smaller film. This is a smaller film and I am willing to forgive minor things. That said, I believe it has one of the most imaginative and original title sequences that I have seen.

I enjoyed the acting of all of the major players. I especially enjoyed Til Schweiger and Alan Arkin. Alan Arkin has most of the funniest lines. The character portrayed by Claire Forlani might come across as unrealistic to some people, but I have personally known real people with emotional problems that very readily look at life's decisions as her character does. That helped me pick up the nuances where her hurts could come out through the veneer of her humor.

This is not a movie for children, obviously, but it does NOT engage in gratuitous sex and nudity. There is quite a bit of adult language, though, but it can sometimes be very funny. (In particular, Alan Arkin's character, who can't even swear correctly.)

Also watch for the cameos from known character actors.
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Quirky Acting
tedg16 June 2001
Yup, some quirky acting here from Arkin. This is his film, and he is a double allusionist. In playing the illusion-master he acts like Pacino playing Paul Newman's role in "The Color of Money."

The rest is ordinary or less, but I like films where the actors act about acting.
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Atypical road movie.......
merklekranz4 August 2008
Wrapping a road movie around a misfit group of wannabe magicians is unique, and this creativity drives "Magicians" into above average territory. With interesting dialog, good character development, and a reasonable story, the film succeeds in maintaining interest. The clunky magic acts are sometimes quite funny. All the participants, though flawed, never give up. Almost everyone will be left with a positive experience after seeing a disheveled bunch of losers transform into believers, and ultimately succeed in accomplishing their dream. "Magicians" is good uplifting entertainment, and recommended viewing. - MERK
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A very good surprise
CremeFraiche22 July 2007
This movie is awesome for three main reasons. It is esthetically beautiful. I absolutely loved that. There is a bold color theme throughout the movie with extraordinary costumes and picturesque sets. A photography which looks very costly (and probably was not) completes the look . I always enjoy those stories about groups of misfits/loners coming together and becoming a family . Sometimes they fall into clichés but this one does not. This group of actors really portrays well flawed, yet extremely likable characters. Alan Larkin is the best (between him , the van and the road movie theme, I could not help but remember my favorite movie of last year Little Miss Sunshine…) . I discovered Fabrizio Bentivoglio , very interesting actor, and just got annoyed a tiny little bit by Til Schweiger performance at times . The opening scene, all the scenes where they mess up their tricks are very funny. There is a mix of humor and emotion throughout the film. I like the end a lot. And of course it is all about the Magician theme . A good magician is making the audience look where he wants them to, to create an illusion. Which happens to be exactly what a movie director does and that's why they call it movie magic.
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Wonderful ride -- one of the best
bluesman-92 March 2001
Magicians is a wonderful ride from start to finish, thanks in large part to the magic that is generated by the stars. Alan Arkin is fantastic in one of his best roles in decades. Like any really fine film, it's a journey in which the theme is redemption and the results of dreaming. I can't believe this film is SO difficult to find -- I'd buy it on DVD in a heartbeat but have yet to find an outlet.
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quirky but fun
pixsmith22 August 2006
This is a quirky little movie, and I have to agree that there is some quirky acting in it as well.

It follows the adventures of a young man who decides that he wants to become a famous Las Vegas illusionist, and is partly about following his dream, partly about the dreams of others, and all about the travails of showbiz. I thought the movie was charming, and it has a moment or two of real magic that make the whole thing worthwhile.

Alan Arkin is terrific as the magician who never was, and his mentoring of Max makes for a funny and touching relationship.

Not for everyone, probably, but if you like movies about the journey, then I think you'll like this one.
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Largely disappointed
laptopslow11 January 2001
I viewed this movie in DVD format. My copy may have been affected but I was disappointed with the lack of menu screen for the DVD. I will say that my initial reason for viewing this movie was Claire Forlani. While fun to watch, I feel she didn't live up to my expectations that I have so far found from her other films. I actually was equally pleased to see Arkin turn in a humorous performance. The other two actors I wasn't very familiar with so I can't compare their performance, however they were fairly enjoyable also. The acting is the only endearing quality of this movie in my opinion. The story line, while some could say slightly compelling, lacked direction. I feel that the main problem stems from the script and not the direction of this film. If you enjoy any of these actors to a fair extent then I recommend this film, but otherwise leave it alone.
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Best opening to a film i've ever seen!!
BankyTheHack27 April 2001
I have wanted to see this for the longest time, James Merendino is a great director. SLC Punk is one of my favorite movies, and in the first ten minutes of this film I thought that it was a great follow up after that though, it begins to drag. The acting and direction were terrific. In fact everything in the film seemed to flow except for the script. At times, the only thing keeping my attention was the fact that in the cast was the most beautiful woman in the world, Claire Forlani. This film was good, but I expected more.

P.S. Look for great cameos by Chi McBride, and Chris McDonald.
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Surprisingly good movie I'd never even heard of.
battleangel9912 January 2001
The quintessential road movie...if your idea of a road movie involves three would-be magicians with Eastern European accents and Claire Forlani. (Well, one out of four ain't bad...) A no-talent magician with an eye for showmanship (Max) watches a very skilled pickpocket (Hugo) plying his trade in New York. After convincing Hugo that he (Max) is a) mental and b) desperately in need of a partner to make his dreams of being a stage magician come alive, the not-so-dynamic duo enlist the managerial expertise of an inventor of illusions (Milo) and the, ah, gentler attributes of a lovely waitress (Lydia). The unlikely four pile into a van (obtained by guess where it came from) and head to Vegas. Havoc ensues. Anyhow, it's funny, it's well-written, and the ending is surprisingly good. A solid comedy with a warm heart, and all the better that it was totally unexpected.
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Magic, Love, Friendship and Loyalty
kgdeleo12 August 2005
The only reason that I did not give this 10 stars was the DVD format-no menus, extras, etc. However, if you have ever had a dream to do something with your life, this film is for you. If you believe in yourself and your dream do not let anyone or anything stop you. This is one of the most life-affirming films that I have ever seen. And magical. The acting is superb, the plot serves the purpose, and the opening sequence is fantastic. This is one of those films that "cult" status used to be about. I have recommended this film to all of my friends. Some love it, some can't finish it. Whenever I think, or feel , that something is impossible I think about Alan Arkin's role in this film. Sure wish he'd make more films.
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