AN HONEST LIAR is a feature documentary about the world-famous magician, escape artist, and world-renowned enemy of deception, James 'The Amazing' Randi. The film brings to life Randi's intricate investigations that publicly exposed psychics, faith healers, and con-artists with quasi-religious fervor. A master deceiver who came out of the closet at the age of 81, Randi created fictional characters, fake psychics, and even turned his partner of 25 years, the artist Jose Alvarez, into a sham guru named Carlos. But when a shocking revelation in Randi's personal life is discovered, it isn't clear whether Randi is still the deceiver - or the deceived.Written by
The cunning, combative career of James "The Amazing" Randi, slightly better known as a professional disprover of psychics and faith healers than as an escape artist and illusionist of his own right. His career arc is an unexpectedly exciting one - he rubbed elbows with Johnny Carson and Alice Cooper in his prime - and as showy as one might expect from a lifelong performer. I found his transition right from the stage into the professional debunking game to be a natural one, not to mention noble (he considers work as a magician to be entertainment, while paranormal hoaxes are just thievery) but some see hypocrisy there. While it stays on the subject of his career, the documentary is a fascinating one. It switches gears in the final half-hour to focus on his personal life, where he's ironically caught by a private swindle during production, but apart from the obvious parallels to his working life I didn't find that long aside terribly interesting. Still, a good story, though perhaps not one that needed a feature-length documentary to explore.
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