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The Illusionist (2006)
Magical Elements and (poof!) Mediocre Movie!
When I heard that there'd be two "turn of the century magician" movies coming out this year, I was expecting the classic "Armageddon/Deep Impact" Law of Hollywood; wherein some scribe came up with a cute idea and a rival studio's mole funneled it back, causing a race to pump out 2 cruddy movies in record time.
My thoughts were waylaid, though, when I heard that this was based on an award winning short story (!)starring Edward Norton (!) Paul Giamatti (!) and featuring the supporting cast of Jessica Biel's lips(!!). Unfortunately, and perhaps unfairly since everyone is already gaging it against the trailer for "The Prestige", the result underwhelms. Not that it's not a completely capable film; Herr Direktor uses flickering film effects and irising reminiscent of silent films, Ed Norton is predictably solid, Giamatti chews scenery like succulent beef jerky, the googly-eyed mean guy from "A Night's Tale" is both googly and mean, and Biel's lips are... quite present.
However the film itself is simplistic; the magic effects are mere CGI add-ins rather than slight of hand, and the plot is a bit to easy to unravel by the half-way point. In fact, the main plot is little more than a classic Holmesian mystery that could have been told quite cleanly in 30-45 minutes.
Perhaps it is unfair to instantly judge a piece by the sum of its accomplished and well-paid parts, but as such, "The Illusionist" merely passes the grade of standard entertainment... Though the costume designer should be commended; the low slung cowl on Biel's on-stage cloak hangs to her nose, giving the audience every opportunity to enjoy her, um, y'know acting.
The Ghost Busters (1975)
Also re-ran as a cartoon in 1985....
At the success of the movie "Ghost Busters", they remade this crud of a premise into a cartoon, forcing the MOVIE version of the cartoon to call themselves "The REAL Ghost Busters"... Reitman actually had a really hard time licensing the name from these guys, they actually shot a huge scene of 300 NY extras chanting "Ghost Busters" before the had the rights.
The animation company that did the monkey version was the same that did "He-Man".
I personally hate this old '70s show. Mainly due to the fact that purposefully misleading video packaging tricked my eight-year-old self into renting this... like 3 times...