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18 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

What a great change

Author: Twisted_SNL_Babe from United States
14 January 2005

Now, the stereotypical Disney Channel movie is some "Hooray for everything!"-themed movie about a young girl/guy struggling to get through middle school/high school. This is still about a young boy (around 16) and a girl (same age) trying to help him master his magic.

Alyson Michalka doesn't stray far from her character on Phil of the Future with Alyson (wow, what a stretch with the name), perky, fun, and inquisitive. Yet her character in this movie has slightly more "oompf" than Keely.

Johnny Pacar is very good at portraying Danny, struggling to keep his powers secret and under control.

This movie strays slightly from the Disney Channel movie mold. It's a little more dark than past Disney movies, and I like the change. The writing is very good for a kid/teen movie, and the casting is done very well. The main idea of the movie is that Allyson (Michalka) is a teen producer on a new reality show trying to find the "World's Greatest Kid Magician." But all her prospects are a flop. Until she finds Danny (Pacar), that is. They move to the magic mansion, which leads to mystery, drama, and even betrayal. Well, as much betrayal as can be shown on the Disney Channel.

All in all, I commend Disney on at least trying to break out of their stereotypes with this movie. It's entertaining, and you should at least try to check it out. Michalka and Bacar have great on-screen friend chemistry, even in the beginning, when they're less than friends.

7/10

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18 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

Great Movie!

10/10
Author: Colloquial_Expressions from Anaheim, Timbucktoo, Swaziland
15 January 2005

Now You See It... This movie was awesome. I have always wanted Disnwey Channel to put out on some kind of fantasy show, and they did a great one. This movie is about a aspiring teen producer, Allyson Miller (Michalka) who is in search for the world's greatest kid magician, Danny Sinclair (Pacar). Allyson hopes that Danny is her first shot at winning a magic contest. During some of Danny's tricks, weird things out of the ordinary appear. It turns out that Danny has magical powers, but can't control them. He then consults Max, the lead magician and a man who also has magical powers. Max is evil and since Danny's magic is too powerful, Max wants to drain it from him and take control. What happens next?

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12 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Awesome Disney Movie

8/10
Author: joshening from United States
7 July 2005

I like it, and every time I watch it, it always has it's 'charm.' I love watching it again and again, some movies on Disney gets annoying when played over and over again, but this movie isn't one of them. Every time I watch it, it always has the same suspense. I always panic when I know the male character (Pacar) is about to die or something even though I know he isn't. The acting is great too. Pacar and Michalka acts well when they're doing a serious scene. They're facial expression to the way they talk, it's all good. Great to watch, and watch again. For those of you who hasn't seen it and thinks it's JUST a 'Disney movie,' you're wrong =P Watch it.

I give it an eight out of ten. The story is good, but isn't realistic. The acting is good.

-Josh

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8 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Now You See It

10/10
Author: girlsonly2003 from United States
17 January 2005

Now You See It, is an awesome movie about a girl, Alyson who wants to find the world's greatest kid magician. Along the way she finds a great magician named Danny who wants to find his way to stardom. She also finds about an evil magician planning a deadly plot. Will Danny die? Will Alyson be hurt? Who will be the greatest kid magician? What kind of tricks will the magicians perform? Will anything go wrong? Will there be any silly tricks?Will Danny perform extraordinary tricks or not?I can only say that Danny is cute . WOW Stop reading my questions and what'll happen? Well, There is only one way to find out what'll happen. All you have to do is watch!!

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Patches of clunkiness, but still slightly recommended

7/10
Author: Brandt Sponseller from New York City
29 March 2005

As reality television shows are all the rage in the early 21st Century, this film posits an interesting fictional one: "The World's Best Kid Magician". Adding to the novelty, the producers are hiring "kid producers" for individual segments. Each kid producer's job is to find then follow around a candidate for the best kid magician. Allyson (Alyson Michalka), a smart, perky (maybe too perky) teen, has been hired as one of the segment producers. We follow her as she tries out a succession of horrible kid magicians before finding Danny Sinclair (Johnny Pacar), who at first seems like another disaster. It turns out that he has ability but just can't control it. Will he be able to hone his craft and win the show? And just how does he do his mind-boggling yet "accidental" tricks?

While the premise is awfully interesting, this is one of Disney's lesser live action films. However, as I think most Disney films (live action as well as animated) are spectacular, a lesser Disney film isn't too bad. There are a number of problems, but I ended up giving Now You See It . . . a 7, or a "C".

As I often prefer to do, I'll get the problems out of the way first. Director Duwayne Johnson (who has been an editor on three David Lynch films, including Blue Velvet (1986), and who directed three episodes of the "Twin Peaks" (1990) television series--an odd pedigree for a Disney helmer) makes two moves that do not work very well. One is obvious--parts of the film seem like a reality show, complete with the cheesy music that those usually have, and the over-dramatic dilemmas and "challenges". We could argue that the intention was to spoof such shows, but those sequences do not play very satirically. They just seem like an especially low budget reality show. Maybe this stuff would work for you if you're a fan of such shows, but I tend to hate a lot of them (I've only liked the Andy Kaufman-like practical joke ones, which seem much more mocking of the genre than Now You See It . . . does).

The second problem for me, although this was much slighter, was that as an extension of the reality show mentality, Dunham shoots a few sequences in a faux documentary cinéma vérité style, ala The Blair Witch Project (1999). Most of the material closest to that style (such as the kids walking down the hall towards the "secret chamber") is very brief, and some of it even works, but the interview-style bumpers of Allyson seem too much like telling instead of showing.

The production design is quite impressive. I love idea of the "Magic Mansion", which is where the bulk of the film is set. (A similar setting was also used to great effect in Clive Barker's 1995 film, Lord of Illusions.) Especially the library, and the secret room in what amounts to the mansion's "dungeon", accessible only through a bank vault-styled door, have a strong Harry Potter vibe to them.

The magical performances, while occasionally banal, were just as often intriguing and well staged. Besides, some of them were supposed to be banal--the idea is that these are mostly inexperienced young kids on the upward slope of the learning (and skill) curve, after all.

The overarching plot, which involves a few twists and which is occasionally quite nefarious, is very well written by Bill Fritz, who was a story producer and story editor on the legitimate reality shows, "Fear Factor" (2001) and "House Rules" (2003), making him an apt choice.

The film is also well acted by the two principals, Michalka and Pacar. The third principal is Frank Langella as Max, who is at least very bizarre and interesting here. I couldn't recall seeing Langella since 1979's Dracula (at least I hadn't seen him in a starring role), so suddenly seeing him 25 years down the pike was strange in itself, now that he's much paunchier and he's adopted a tight-cropped, graying Anton LaVey look to accommodate his receding hairline. As Max, he tends to have an odd smirk, maybe a smarminess, which comes across as fairly campy/cheesy at first but that turns out to be appropriate for the character in retrospect. However, it seems a bit inexplicable why the other people interacting with Max on a regular basis wouldn't think he's a bit loopy. So maybe Langella is being a bit over the top and hammy, just not in a scenery-chewing way. But, I like those qualities. Heck, I thought that Jon Voight should have won an Oscar for Anaconda (1997)!

While it's not one of the better Disney live action films, Now You See It . . . is without a doubt one of the more unusual ones. It even has some interesting subtextual layering of the appearance/reality distinction that's the heart of magic. Enjoyable despite its flaws, you shouldn't miss this one if you see it airing again. It would also be worth picking up on DVD if it makes it to that format and you are a huge Disney fan, as I am.

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8 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Great Movie

10/10
Author: taylor_encarta23 from United States
16 January 2005

This is one of only a couple high quality Disney Channel movies. I was really looking forward to this movie ever since I saw the preview for this movie. Might I say, I was shocked. It was so much better than I expected. The plot was very high quality for a Disney Channel movie. The magic was pretty cool too. There was a few good jokes in this move as well. It had a good amount of mystery and puzzle solving in this movie. I tried to figure out how they did some of the magic tricks, too. Allyson was kind of annoying at the beginning of the movie. Max creeped me out some of the times. This is probably my favorite Disney Channel movie. Second would be Tiger Cruise, and third would be Stuck in the Suburbs. I highly recommend this movie to any one out there. 5 Magic Stars

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7 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

One of the best DCOM movies I've ever seen this year!

10/10
Author: Pevensies from United States
8 July 2005

I watch Disney almost everyday of the week. Since I saw the previews of this movie, I was dying to see the premiere. But for some reason, something happened and I don't remember what it was. All I know is that I missed most of the premiere. But I did know that Disney does premieres Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I just couldn't wait. I finally got to watch it some time in Februaury. Oh my goodness! I just loved it. I still love it. It's one of the best Disney movies I've ever seen.

I just hope it becomes a DCOM movie because there was a Halloween-type movie last year, or the year before, and it didn't become a movie at all. Earlier this year, I tried looking up the Halloween movie on Disney and they didn't have it. I'm glad I recorded it. Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't tell the title. It is called "Scream Team." I think I will try it again. Hang on just a minute. Nope, nothing, nada. Well, I think I might-. Nevermind, I don't want to cause an influence on kids if they are reading this. "Scream Team" is an awesome movie, too.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Pretty Good

8/10
Author: FasterThanChris
16 January 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I was surprised how good this movie was. It's not the best movie I've seen but was pretty good. Some of the magic tricks could have been done a little better. Neat effects in some parts though. I would recommend this movie to anyone wondering if they should see it. Especially if they like magic. Almost of the actors gave a great performance. The main plot line is pretty far fetched in that magic is real. One way they could have greatly improved this movie was to have a few more magic tricks. The magic also doesn't have the feel of watching a performer on the street where there is no preparation. I'd say that only about half of the tricks were done right there on camera. The rest involved film tricks and such. It was a pretty good story line. If you've like the other Disney Channel shows, you'll like this one.

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Not too bad for a Disney movie

6/10
Author: Shopaholic35 from Australia
1 February 2014

This movie is slow to begin with but as it progresses it turns into a pretty good effort from the team behind Disney original movies. It's something new that hasn't been done before and although it has a few clumsy moments it is still a reasonably good movie to watch.

The cast did a pretty good job with the script and direction they were given although there were no real standouts. I think what drags this movie down is that some of the ideas are so far fetched and out there. I found myself thinking who honestly came up with this idea because in some parts it just doesn't make sense. Magical movies are about fanciful things taking place in your wildest imagine but this felt like nobody would bother dreaming about this because it wasn't worth it.

The good thing is that the movie finished strong and held your interest. I know my review was all over the place but it is a tricky one to describe. Overall a perfectly watchable movie with some storyline and theme flaws.

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- You never know how strong your magic is until you test it. ©

8/10
Author: Tatyana Chadwick from Russia
6 February 2011

I decided to watch this movie one week ago because of Alyson Michalka. I like her very much as a singer and twice I saw her as an actress. I wanted to make sure that I really like this girl. I like Disney movies because they are very bright and colorful. This one was also very good! It is a story about magic, about television and teenagers, who think that they can become great magicians. Her name is Alyson and she was there - she saw everything by her own eyes. It is not so simple as it can seem to be. A mysterious secret which was hidden by the great magician can be revealed. Alyson was very good at her role. Why? She was very-very active and I saw a lot of emotions on her face! She is really talented! A good job! "Now you see it" - one of the best Disney movies for family, very magical, real and interesting. Movie about friendship and rivalry. I recommend it to everybody!

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