Monday, January 27, 2020     Volume: 20, Issue: 47
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Santa Maria Sun / Film

This weeks review
A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD
AD ASTRA
AVENGERS: ENDGAME
BAD BOYS FOR LIFE
BINGEABLE: Barry
BINGEABLE: CASA DE LAS FLORES
BINGEABLE: FLEABAG
BINGEABLE: GRACE AND FRANKIE
BINGEABLE: INTO THE DARK
BINGEABLE: MAGIC FOR HUMANS
BINGEABLE: NATHAN FOR YOU
BINGEABLE: RUSSIAN DOLL
BINGEABLE: STRANGER THINGS 3
BINGEABLE: THE PEOPLE V. O.J. SIMPSON: AMERICAN CRIME STORY
BINGEABLE: THE SINNER (SEASON 2)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: COOL RUNNINGS (1993)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: FISH TANK (2009)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: FRIENDS
BLAST FROM THE PAST: HOUSE
BLAST FROM THE PAST: LONE WOLF MCQUADE
BLAST FROM THE PAST: OLDBOY
BLAST FROM THE PAST: RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK
BLAST FROM THE PAST: ROBOCOP
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE MATRIX
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE PRESTIGE (2006)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: UNDER SIEGE 2: DARK TERRITORY
BLAST FROM THE PAST: WILD AT HEART
BLAST FROM THE PAST: YOU’VE GOT MAIL
BOMBSHELL
BRITTANY RUNS A MARATHON
CATS
DARK WATERS
DOCTOR SLEEP
DOLITTLE
DOWNTON ABBEY
FORD V FERRARI
FROZEN II
GUILTY PLEASURE: THE HANGOVER
GUILTY PLEASURES: BARBIE LIFE IN THE DREAMHOUSE
GUILTY PLEASURES: GIRL MEETS WORLD (2014-2017)
HAEWATCH: THE WITCHER (2019)
HATEWATCH: CHOPPED
HATEWATCH: FRANKENSTEIN’S MONSTER’S MONSTER, FRANKENSTEIN
HATEWATCH: NAILED IT!
HEARST CASTLE: BUILDING THE DREAM
JOJO RABBIT
JOKER
JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL
KNIVES OUT
LIKE A BOSS
LITTLE WOMEN
MILES DAVIS: BIRTH OF THE COOL
MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN
ONCE UPON A TIME … IN HOLLYWOOD
RICHARD JEWELL
SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME (EXTENDED CUT)
SPIES IN DISGUISE
STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER
THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN
THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM
THE GRUDGE
THE LIGHTHOUSE
THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON
THE TURNING
UNCUT GEMS
UNDERRATED: BATMAN BEGINS
UNDERRATED: INSOMNIA
UNDERRATED: SHUTTER ISLAND
UNDERRATED: THE BATTERED BASTARDS OF BASEBALL
UNDERRATED: THE FALLING
UNDERWATER
YESTERDAY
ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP

BINGEABLE: MAGIC FOR HUMANS

PHOTO BY IMAGE COURTESY NETFLIX

BINGEABLE: MAGIC FOR HUMANS


Where is it playing?: Netflix

What's it rated?: TV-14

User Rating: 7.50 (1 Votes)

Fake or real, staged or authentic, Magic for Humans is an entertaining combination of an on-the-street magic series and sketch-comedy show.

Magician and comedian Justin Willman hosts the show, which just aired its second season on Netflix in December. Each season has six episodes of less than 30 minutes each, making it extremely easy to breeze through without overstaying its welcome and becoming redundant.

Produced by Abso Lutely Productions—the company behind Nathan for You—the show centers each episode on different human-based themes, like love, guilt, and wonder. The show comes across as heartfelt, but thankfully it never gets too serious or too full of itself. 

Willman, who is incredibly charming and charismatic throughout, performs illusions for random people on the street or in the park that often involve cards or making objects appear in sealed containers. These fast-paced shorter segments are shown in between larger, more elaborate illusions that somehow relate to that episode’s theme.

For example, in the fourth episode of the first season, titled “Seeing is Believing,” Willman uses a crowd of people to convince two people that he’s turned them invisible. It’s incredibly entertaining to watch one of the participants absolutely lose it while Willman steps away for a phone call in the middle of the stunt, leaving the dude to continue thinking he’s invisible.

Because this is a TV show and not an in-person performance, there’s always the lingering suspicion that stunts, such as making people believe they’re invisible, are only possible through actors and fancy camera tricks. Willman states this isn’t true during the episodes, but that hasn’t stopped a lot of people from discrediting the work. Browsing through the reviews on IMDb returns a plethora of one-star reviews slamming the show for relying on green screens and camera editing.

Willman has continued to deny this is the case and has even responded to people on Reddit backing up his assertion. During an illusion in the second episode of the second season, he doubles down on the claim that the show is totally authentic while brilliantly trolling his critics.

As a reporter, I come equipped with a healthy dose of skepticism, so I understand where these critics are coming from. In one episode, Willman throws a glass bottle tied to a string into the ocean, and then throws somebody’s cell phone in the water shortly after. When he pulls on the rope and retrieves the bottle, the phone is somehow inside it. I genuinely don’t understand how that’s possible.

But regardless, I’ve chosen to believe Willman is telling the truth, if only because it makes the show much more entertaining. Besides, with all of the serious shit we have to deal with on a daily basis, it’s nice to just sit back and allow ourselves to be amazed every once in a while. 

—Zac Ezzone




Weekly Poll
How often would you see a health care provider such as a chiropractor, acupuncturist, or massage therapist if they're not covered by your health insurance?

Not at all. That stuff doesn't work.
Only when my ailment is really bothering me.
As often as possible.
I avoid it. Self-care like exercise and stretching are enough.

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