Hello out there blog fans. I’m starting a new feature here on BAM’s blog. There are some films out there that I think you need to see. None of them are new releases (BAM has those covered). Instead, I would like to remind you of some movies that you may not have thought of in a while or that you might have missed. I might even post some stuff that was unloved by the majority of critics. For this first post I thought I’d give you a double dose so you can see what I mean.
First up is a movie that I loved when I was a teenager, but that I hadn’t seen in years. Then, this past week, I found myself watching the 1985 film ”Real Genius” and remembering what a fun little movie it was. It features a very young and charming Val Kilmer (back when he was funny!) playing a brilliant but rebellious physics genius and the wonderfully villanous William Atherton as his scheming professor.
I would describe the plot more, but it is beside the point. Like many comedies from the 80′s (Ghostbusters, Caddyshack, etc…), most people enjoy this movie for its witty and quotable dialogue and its wacky characters. If you haven’t already, you need to see it. If you used to like it but haven’t seen it in years, give it another look. It’s a great mood lifter.
The second movie this week is the 2006 film “The Illusionist” or as I like to refer to it: “The Movie That Got Eaten By The Prestige.” You might remember a few years ago when suddenly there were two period piece movies based around magicians in theaters within a few months of each other. Apparently, two magicians was too many because “The Prestige” went on to box office success, while “The Illusionist” disappeared.
That’s unfortunate because “The Illusionist” is a nice little film. It concerns a stage magician in 1900 Vienna, the duchess he loves, the prince who wants to destroy him, and the police captain who is torn between doing his duty and his admiration for the magician’s talents. All the tricks performed in the film were based on real illusions done at the time and Edward Norton, who plays the title character, really learned how to perform them.
You may figure out where the movie’s going before it gets there, but it is still worth watching the beautiful visuals, the incredibly lovely Jessica Biel (as the duchess) in a surprisingly good performance, and the intriguing relationship played out in the scenes between Paul Giamatti, who plays the police captain, and Edward Norton.