HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Cryptozoo
Weathering with You
Rim of the World
Love & Basketball
JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time
Trapped
We Need to Do Something
Falbalas
Vanguard
A-X-L
Injustice
Bigfoot Hunters
Armitage III: Polymatrix
Girls Nite Out
Moxie!
Five Women for the Killer
Dolce Vita, La
Pig
I Am Belmaya
Lodger, The
Show, The
Beta Test, The
Medium, The
John and the Hole
Survivalist, The
Ape Woman, The
Black Widow
Cop Secret
Dark Eyes of London, The
V/H/S/94
Fay Grim
Night of the Animated Dead
Freshman Year
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions
Anne at 13,000 Ft.
Even Mice Belong in Heaven
Death Screams
Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr.
Demonia
East, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
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
   
 
  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 2382 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
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: