Tuesday, May 17, 2022     Volume: 23, Issue: 11
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Santa Maria Sun / Film

This weeks review
A QUIET PLACE PART II
ANOTHER ROUND
BINGEABLE: 100 FOOT WAVE (2021)
BINGEABLE: ABBOTT ELEMENTARY (2021-present)
BINGEABLE: ANATOMY OF A SCANDAL (2022)
BINGEABLE: BARRY (2018-present)
BINGEABLE: CASTLEVANIA (2017-2021)
BINGEABLE: CHEER (2020-present)
BINGEABLE: FLEABAG (2016-2019)
BINGEABLE: INVENTING ANNA (2022)
BINGEABLE: KUNG FU (2021)
BINGEABLE: LIFE & BETH (2022)
BINGEABLE: MAID (2021)
BINGEABLE: MIDNIGHT MASS (2021)
BINGEABLE: ONLY MURDERS IN THE BUILDING (2021)
BINGEABLE: SOMEBODY SOMEWHERE (2022-)
BINGEABLE: SQUID GAME (2021)
BINGEABLE: STATION ELEVEN (2021)
BINGEABLE: SWEET TOOTH
BINGEABLE: TELL ME YOUR SECRETS (2021)
BINGEABLE: THE GREAT (2020-present)
BINGEABLE: THE THING ABOUT PAM (2022)
BINGEABLE: THE WOMAN IN THE HOUSE ACROSS THE STREET FROM THE GIRL IN THE WINDOW (2022)
BINGEABLE: TOKYO VICE (2022)
BINGEABLE: UNDERCURRENT: THE DISAPPEARANCE OF KIM WALL (2022)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: COWBOY BEBOP (1998)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE MATRIX (1999)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE PRESTIGE (2006)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE SHOOTING (1966)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: WILD AT HEART (1990)
BOSS LEVEL
C’MON C’MON
EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE
GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE
GUILTY PLEASURES: GUNPOWDER MILKSHAKE
GUILTY PLEASURES: JOLT
HAVE A GOOD TRIP: ADVENTURES IN PSYCHEDELICS
HEARST CASTLE: BUILDING THE DREAM (1996)
I CARE A LOT
I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS
LICORICE PIZZA
NEW FLICKS: ANTLERS
NEW FLICKS: ARMY OF THIEVES
NEW FLICKS: CRUELLA
NEW FLICKS: DON’T LOOK UP
NEW FLICKS: ENCOUNTER
NEW FLICKS: FINCH
NEW FLICKS: FRESH
NEW FLICKS: I WANT YOU BACK
NEW FLICKS: KATE
NEW FLICKS: KIMI
NEW FLICKS: RED NOTICE
NEW FLICKS: RIDERS OF JUSTICE
NEW FLICKS: SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS
NEW FLICKS: THE FOREVER PRISONER (2021)
NEW FLICKS: THE NORTHMAN
NEW FLICKS: VIVARIUM
NINE DAYS
NINE PERFECT STRANGERS (2021)
PIG
SOUL
SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME
THE ADAM PROJECT
THE BATMAN
THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM (2019)
THE HARDER THEY FALL
THE LOST CITY
THE LOST DAUGHTER
THE MAP OF TINY PERFECT THINGS
THE NEW MUTANTS
THE PAPER TIGERS
THE POWER OF THE DOG
THE PROFESSOR AND THE MADMAN
THE SUNLIT NIGHT
THE TENDER BAR
THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH
THE UNBEARABLE WEIGHT OF MASSIVE TALENT
TV REVIEW: BATES MOTEL
TV REVIEW: DEFENDING JACOB
TV REVIEW: EXTERMINATE ALL THE BRUTES (2021)
TV REVIEW: HOMECOMING
TV REVIEW: HOW TO WITH JOHN WILSON
TV REVIEW: I KNOW THIS MUCH IS TRUE
TV REVIEW: I MAY DESTROY YOU
TV REVIEW: LENOX HILL
TV REVIEW: LITTLE AMERICA
TV REVIEW: MARE OF EASTTOWN
TV REVIEW: MRS. AMERICA
TV REVIEW: ONE MISSISSIPPI
TV REVIEW: PAINTING WITH JOHN (2021)
TV REVIEW: RAMY
TV REVIEW: RUN
TV REVIEW: SPACE FORCE
TV REVIEW: TABOO (2017)
TV REVIEW: TED LASSO (2020-present)
TV REVIEW: THE BOYS
TV REVIEW: THE END OF THE F***ING WORLD
TV REVIEW: THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT
TV REVIEW: THE LAST KINGDOM
TV REVIEW: THE MIDNIGHT GOSPEL
TV REVIEW: THE PLOT AGAINST AMERICA
TV REVIEW: THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT
TV REVIEW: UNDONE
TV REVIEW: WARRIOR
TV REVIEW: WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS
TV REVIEW: ZEROZEROZERO
UNDERRATED: BATMAN BEGINS (2005)
UNDERRATED: THE KINGDOM (2007)
YOU WON’T BE ALONE

BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE PRESTIGE (2006)

PHOTO BY PHOTO COURTESY OF TOUCHSTONE PICTURES

BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE PRESTIGE (2006)


Where is it playing?: Blu-ray, DVD, Amazon Prime, iTunes

What's it rated?: PG-13

User Rating: 7.50 (1 Votes)

Reading Zac Ezzone’s column on Magic For Humans last week inspired me to keep up the illusionist thread and revisit one of my all-time favorite psychological thrillers, 2006’s The Prestige, aka “Magic For Humans Who Like Christopher Nolan Movies.” Like many of his films, Nolan uses a non-linear story structure—jumping back and forth between the past and present, sometimes indistinguishably and, as I’ve heard from opposing opinions, at the expense of the viewer.

Having seen the film many more times than once, I can’t recall how much of The Prestige’s puzzle I was able to piece together during my first viewing. But what I do remember about seeing it for the first time was being intrigued all the way through, thanks to its increasingly foreboding atmosphere, even if I couldn’t tell what the hell was going on. It demands repeat viewings, and, in my opinion, deserves them.

The plot follows two rival magicians in 1890s London, Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman) and Alfred Borden (Christian Bale). Imagine the venomous relationship between Salieri and Mozart in Amadeus, but pitted between two men trying to pull rabbits from their top hats. Surprisingly, said trick isn’t depicted in the film (Nolan trying to avoid cliché tropes, no doubt), and neither do the men try to saw any women in half. Sure, they accidentally drown one during a freak “escape the water tank” mishap, but not a single handsaw in sight.

This horrifying incident serves as the initial spark of hatred between the two men. The film opens with youthful versions of Angier and Borden working as assistants to the same magician. Angier’s wife, Julia (Piper Perabo), worked alongside them and was the woman who tragically died during the tank trick. Convinced that Borden tied too strong of a knot around Julia’s wrists, allegedly preventing her from escaping the tank, Angier becomes obsessed with revenge.

As the two men go their separate ways to pursue becoming magicians themselves, Angier never lets go of his obsession. What unravels is a back-and-forth struggle between the two, as both men strive to either outdo the other or sabotage each other’s tricks entirely. Borden becomes just as bitter toward Angier as the conflict grows more and more hazardous to both men’s lives.

Taut atmosphere and powerful direction aside, what keeps the train moving is Jackman and Bale, who were perfectly cast, as if they were destined to play rival magicians—who wouldn’t want to see Wolverine vs. Batman? There’s also a great analogy between their feud and the historical struggle between competing inventors Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla. Tesla appears in the film as a supporting character, played fantastically by David Bowie. I won’t give away Tesla’s (the man, not the car) involvement with the plot, but I will say that top hats are involved—just no rabbits. (135 min.) 

—Caleb Wiseblood










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