Now You See Me

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Now You See Me movie poster

Now You See Me movie poster

Warning: Contains spoilers

Now You See Me is a crime/thriller/magician movie released May 31. The film is directed by Louis Leterrier. It is rated PG-13 for language, some action, and some sexual content. The film has a 7.5 out of 10 on IMDb.com and a 48% on Rotten Tomatoes.

When I first saw the trailer for this film I definitely knew I was going to see it and it did not disappoint. I really liked this film. It has a great cast (Woody Harrelson is one of my favorite actors) and interesting story. Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine also have parts in this film; Michael Caine also appeared in The Prestige, which is also a magic-themed film.

The story revolves around four magicians, J. Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg), Merritt McKinney (Woody Harrelson), Henley Reeves (Isla Fisher), and Jack Wilder (Dave Franco). The group are brought together (mysteriously) and end up becoming known as The Four Horseman. The group is sponsored by Arthur Tressler (Michael Caine). For the finale at their performance in Las Vegas, the Four Horseman invite a man from the audience to help with their last trick–rob a bank. The man is teleported to a bank in Paris and the money is then vacuumed up by an air duct that ends up “raining” down on the crowd at the show in Vegas.

The Four Horseman (from left to right): Henley Reeves, J. Daniel Atlas, Merritt McKinney, and Jack Wilder

The Four Horseman (from left to right): Henley Reeves, J. Daniel Atlas, Merritt McKinney, and Jack Wilder

FBI agent, Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) is partnered up with Interpol agent, Alma Dray (Melanie Laurent) to investigate the robbery. The Four Horseman are taken into custody and interrogated, but are eventually released. Dylan meets with ex-magician Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman). Thaddeus makes a living out of revealing magician’s secrets behind the tricks they perform. Thaddeus believes that the Four Horseman actually stole the money before the show and somehow tricked the audience into believing it all happened in real time.

The Four Horseman’s next show is in New Orleans; Dylan, Alma, and Thaddeus attend. The finale for this show involves stealing money out of Arthur’s bank account and giving it to members of the audience. Dylan attempts to arrest the Four Horseman, but they get away. Alma does some research on the Four Horseman and learns about a secret society of magicians called “The Eye”  and she suggests to Dylan that all this might somehow be connected to the magician Lionel Shrike that was exposed by Thaddeus and that Lionel was so embarrassed by being exposed that he attempted a underwater stunt and drowned.

The Four Horseman’s last performance is in New York City. Before the performance, Dylan and Alma find the Four Horseman’s secret hideout. Jack is there. He escapes and a car chase ensues. However, Jack’s car ends up flipping over and explodes. At this point, it begins to look like Alma might actually be involved with the Four Horseman; she definitely seems suspicious. The Four Horseman have targeted a particular safe which has been under surveillance by another FBI team that has taken over the case. The safe is intercepted, but is found empty. Dylan begins to suspect there must be a fifth member of the Four Horseman, thinking that Alma or Bradley are in on it.

The Four Horseman (which consist of only J. Daniel, Henley, and Merritt at this point) are almost arrested, but they jump from the rooftop of 5 Pointz and seem to turn into money (the money from the safe) that again “rains” down on the crowd. However, it is discovered that the money is actually fake; pictures of the Four Horseman appear on the money. Thaddeus, returning to his car, discovers that it is filled with the real, stolen money. He is then arrested and taken to prison. While there, Dylan visits him and it is revealed how each trick was performed. Here comes the big reveal: Dylan is the fifth member of the Four Horseman. Dylan is the mysterious person that brought together the Four Horseman in the beginning, he is the mastermind behind everything.

Dylan leaves the prison and meets up with the Four Horseman (Jack is there too; he faked his death earlier) and they are surprised to learn he is the one behind it all. He initiates them into The Eye. Later, Dylan visits France where he meets up with Alma. He reveals he is the son of Lionel Shrike. He came up with the Four Horseman idea to get revenge on those that were the cause for his father’s humiliation and death. Dylan admits to being in love with Alma and Alma decides not to turn Dylan in.

FBI AgeThe closer you look, the less you see...

The closer you look, the less you see…

 

I have to admit, the reveal that Dylan was behind it all did surprise me; I really didn’t see it coming. Of course, looking back on the film, I feel like I should have been able to figure it out. I can’t wait to be able to watch this movie again and it will be interesting to see if I can pick out certain moments that might hint at Dylan being behind everything since I now know that he is the mysterious benefactor. Another thing, when Jack gets into the accident I kind of had a feeling that he somehow wasn’t really dead. Especially considering just before the car flips, Jack smiles and says something along the lines of “A-ha!” And now looking back on that scene, he reacts that way because he knows he outsmarted the FBI and that the plan is working out. This film really kept me engrossed throughout. The acting is great, although Jesse Eisenberg still has that somewhat annoying persona that he tends to have in some of his other films. Sometimes when I see movies I check the time just to get an idea of how long the movie has been playing, but with this film I didn’t do that once; I didn’t care about how long the film had been playing because I didn’t want it to end. If you like magic/caper type films, I highly suggest you watch this film.

A quote that is said in the film, “The more you look, the less you see,” really fits well with the whole plot of the film. As the audience you are looking closely (in my case, really thinking that Alma and/or Thaddeus were involved somehow), but you end up seeing less (Dylan, the least likely to be involved, actually is responsible to everything).

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Evil Dead

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Warning: Contains some spoilers

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“The Evil Dead” 1981 poster

At the beginning of April, the film “Evil Dead” was released. For those that do not know, this film is actually a remake of a film from 1981: “The Evil Dead” Now, if you have seen both films you will notice some similarities, but overall they are kind of two completely different films. The original one was made on a low budget, about $350,000. The film was directed by Sam Raimi who would go on to direct major films such as Spider-Man (2002) and starred Bruce Campbell who has acted in a couple of cult classic films, some of them B-movies, but he has remained a popular actor, especially among horror film fans. The Evil Dead was released in 1981 and all these years later it has become a cult classic. There’s even an Evil Dead musical. The acting in the film is…not that great. Some scenes are overdone. It’s supposed to be a horror film, but seems more like a comedy. Also, the make-up on the possessed characters is not the best; there are moments where you can see the actor’s real skin color. There’s a scene where the character Cheryl has been possessed and the other characters proceed to get her down into the basement. Before they close the door of the basement one of the male characters is beating up Cheryl and you can clearly see it’s a dummy. That scene made me laugh so hard. However, these faults are kind of what make the movie. I mean, most cult movies tend to be movies that didn’t do well in theaters, but gained popularity among a certain group of people. I watched the original Evil Dead film on Netflix the other day and even though it was by no means the best movie I’ve ever seen, I do know that I will be watching again in the future, possibly around Halloween 🙂

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“Evil Dead” 2013 poster

Now, time to talk about the new Evil Dead film. Like I said in the beginning, there are a few similarities between the old and new movie, but overall they are different. The new Evil Dead is more of a reboot than a remake. One of the main things that makes this movie so different from the original is the violence. This movie was disgusting. I don’t necessarily mean that in a bad way, it just had a lot of scenes that were really bloody, graphic, and gruesome. There are definitely people who will watch this that will be scared and grossed out. If you don’t get scared you will at least be a little grossed out by at least one scene. The movie starts out with a group of 20-somethings on their way to a remote cabin. Now, unlike the original where it was just a group of people going to a cabin for a fun weekend, in the new film the characters are there to help out their friend, Mia (Jane Levy) who is a heroin addict. During this film I found myself not really caring about the characters, I didn’t really care if they died or not. The characters are, David (Shiloh Fernandez), Mia’s brother, Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci), Olivia (Jessica Lucas), and Natalie (Elizabeth Blackmore), David’s girlfriend. The character Eric was not that interesting and he especially annoyed me when he began to read from the Book of the Dead aloud. If I remember correctly, wasn’t Eric a teacher? Shouldn’t he be smart enough not to be reading out of a book where someone has clearly written in it saying not to read the book at all?? Natalie seemed out of place to me. She was just David’s girlfriend, she wasn’t really friends with those people. At first I kind of felt bad for her because if she wasn’t with David, she wouldn’t be there and end up dead, but then I got to the point where I didn’t really care about her anymore. I didn’t really care all that much for Olivia either. Overall, it just seemed that most of the characters lacked any common sense/intelligence and as the audience we weren’t really given much of an opportunity to really get to know the characters. Although, Mia and David didn’t really bother me that much compared to the other characters. One thing I think could have been done differently was the opening scene. I felt like it kind of spoiled what was going to end up happening to Mia. In my opinion, that scene should have appeared later on in the film. When David and Eric discover the basement with cats hanging from the ceiling and the burnt wooden post, as I’m watching that scene all I could think was how it wasn’t anything new or creepy because as the audience we already know what happened down there–it was the very first scene in the movie! To have the audience connect better with the characters when they are discovering the basement and feel creeped out like the characters and have us wondering what happened there, the opening scene should have maybe happened when Eric starts looking through the Book of Dead as a flashback scene. However, this movie is really fast-paced. Bad stuff starts happening somewhat early on in the film. The make-up of the possessed characters is top-notch and those yellow eyes…real creepy! Is this a movie I’d watch again? Yeah, I think I will watch it again sometime. If you don’t like bloody, gory movies don’t watch this film. There are multiple gruesome scenes–there’s a scene where a character tries to cut their face off. The tagline on the poster says: “The most terrifying film you will experience”…more like “the most gruesome film you will experience”
One last thing that I thought was interesting…the first letter of the names of the characters spell out the word DEMON.