HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Human Voice, The
Guns Akimbo
Being a Human Person
Giants and Toys
Millionaires Express
Bringing Up Baby
World to Come, The
Air Conditioner
Fear and Loathing in Aspen
Kandisha
Riders of Justice
Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki, The
For Those Who Think Young
Justice League: War
Fuzzy Pink Nightgown, The
Plurality
Scooby-Doo! Moon Monster Madness
Night of the Sharks
Werewolves Within
Honeymoon
King and Four Queens, The
Stray Dolls
Diana's Wedding
Deerskin
Toll, The
Two of Us
Nowhere Special
Rainbow Jacket, The
Crazy Samurai: 400 vs 1
First Cow
Undiscovered Tomb
Being Frank
Occupation: Rainfall
Jeanette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc
Pariah
Weapon, The
Godzilla vs. Kong
Love and Monsters
Tove
Young Wives' Tale
   
 
Newest Articles
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
   
 
  Magicians For Their Next Trick...
Year: 2007
Director: Andrew O'Connor
Stars: David Mitchell, Robert Webb, Jessica Hynes, Darren Boyd, Andrea Riseborough, Peter Capaldi, Steve Edge, Marek Larwood, Tim Plester, Rose Keegan, Alex MacQueen, Sarah Hadland, Rasmus Hardiker, Miranda Hart, Geoffrey McGivern, Robin Weaver, James Smith
Genre: ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  3 (from 2 votes)
Review: Four years back, stage magicians Harry Kane (David Mitchell) and Karl Allen (Robert Webb) were unbeatable in their chosen field, and after one especially successful night Harry went to see the theatre manager where he was asked to stay on for another few weeks. He eagerly accepted, but when he went backstage to get Karl's consent, he found more than he bargained for as their assistant, Carol (Sarah Hadland) was getting intimate with his partner in their magic box. Making matters worse was the fact that Carol was Harry's wife, so when it next came time to perform the guillotine trick - oh dear.

That accident which opens the film is never really cleared up, so we don't know why Carol ended up with her head permanently separated from the rest of her body; it's doubtful that Harry messed up the trick on purpose, but we can understand why he wouldn't have been concentrating, subconsciously leading to the incident transpiring the way it did. Whatever, it was the cue for the creators of hit Channel 4 sitcom Peep Show to make their first movie together, and be welcomed by cinema audiences with a largely deafening silence. Seems that what they liked to see at home might not have been what they liked to see when they went out.

But if Magicians wound up a footnote in the careers of some very successful talents, was it really worth the lacklustre reception it won on initial release? Well, it's true it wasn't great, and partly seemed fuelled by its director Andrew O'Connor, no stranger to magic shows, and his desire to somehow expose the whole world of conjuring and illusion. This was odd in that he had brought one of the most successful "magic" acts, if you could call him that, to the attention of the public in Derren Brown, so you might have thought he'd be more sympathetic to the concerns of your average magician and far less scathing as he turns out to be here.

Certainly one of Brown's usual targets was well and truly taken down with a vengeance here, and that was the more disreputable side of illusions, the popular psychic shows that brought the afterlife to theatres across the land, not to mention television screens. By the end of this, you're in no doubt that O'Connor and his cohorts were of the belief that mediums were a bad thing, and exploiting the feelings of the vulnerable and not simply a harmless parlour trick on a grander scale. The Karl character is the one roped into posing as a medium through no real fault of his own, which gets him into all sorts of bother when people actually believe he has otherworldly powers, including a potential girlfriend (Andrea Riseborough).

Meanwhile Harry is living with the knowledge that everyone thinks he's some kind of criminal, in spite of being acquitted of any wrongdoing by an enquiry into the incident which killed his wife. He sees a chance to get back into the profession after a period of low paid jobs and unemployment when a magicians' contest is held on Jersey, with big prize money to boot, and gives Karl an awkward phone call to suggest that they reunite to win this thing. He agrees, but once they are there they fall out and end up competing separately, with Harry recruiting Linda (Jessica Hynes) who he met at work to be his assistant, reluctant to mention the whole head chopping off accident. You can see why this would appeal to the writers as a potential for comedy gold, but it doesn't quite play that way, with every character painted with the same "they're all completely rubbish" brush, which means there's a dejected air in spite of the sweet ending. Full marks to Darren Boyd as Karl's closeted manager, however, gaining some laughs where the others fail. Music by Paul Englishby.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2275 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: