Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

Plot: Childhood friends Burt (Steve Carell) and Anton (Steve Buscemi) learn magic as kids and grow up to have a show in Vegas. They grow old and get stale, and upstart magician Steve Gray (Jim Carrey) comes to town with a bold street magician act. Soon Burt and Anton are booted out and are doing birthday parties and old folk's homes. At one home they meet old-time great magician Rance (Alan Arkin). Rance re-inspires Burt about the wonder of magic, and soon they are back out hustling. In the end there is a magical face-off with rival Steve Gray.  [imdb]    [photos]

Review: The funny parts are funny, but the majority is dry and a bit dumb. Overall, I was glad I saw it, because it was light and likable. 

Highlights are the intro scenes with kid actor Mason Cook as young Burt. Those scenes were very evocative. Any scene with Jim Carrey was good. Jim Carrey was so intense that his stupid tricks seemed great. I loved the swollen cheek trick. 

I liked the soundtrack too, but sadly the pop songs were left off the soundtrack album. 

Cast: Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi, Jim Carrey, Olivia Wilde, Alan Arkin

Directed by: Don Scardino

Rating: 2.0+ stars: Some parts are very funny, and maybe that makes it 2.5, but mostly its just a little too dumb. A little life from Steve Carrell might have kicked it up a rating point. I am glad I saw it on this relatively weak movie weekend.

More: The guy in the poster just doesn't look like Steve Correll. There has never been such a poor likeness. 

Even More: Real magic shows are more fun than movies about magic because all the tricks in a movie are special effects.  The illusionist aspect of magic is missing, and that makes magic seem retro.