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      CommentAuthortallman
    • CommentTimeSep 18th 2006
     
    So I went to see The Illusionist the other day (good, but not great - worth a watch though), and I saw a preview for a movie called Infamous.

    The movie apparently follows the events surrounding Truman Capote's writing of his classic In Cold Blood. Sound familiar? Yeah, because last year they made the exact same movie (Capote). I swear, watching this trailer was like some bad parody of Capote, to the point where I genuinely thought it had to be a joke. But apparently it is not. It looks to be a somewhat lighter-hearted version of the story. Funnier and quirkier. But honestly, aside from the guy playing Capote, who seems to be doing a decent job, it looks like the movie is just filled with B-list talent.

    It's just really wierd. Capote was one of last year's best. Nearly perfectly exectuted in almost every aspect of it's production (alas, I don't think it ever made the emotional connection that it tried to do - though on an intellectual level, it was devestating). I just don't see the point of rehashing the exact same story, especially not in such a proximity to the last one.... strange.

    As I said, The Illusionist was good. One of the difficult things about capturing magic on film is that we're so used to seeing astounding visuals that we just sort of assume that everything is being done through "movie magic" like special effects and CGI (and there are some things that are obviously CGI in this movie) In the end, I don't think they even really tried that hard to make it seem realistic. There were lots of closeups, cuts and camera movements during magic performances. If you really wanted to capture magic realistically, you'd do a long shot with no cuts. Even then, you'd have to deal with the audience's suspicion that everything they're seeing is a movie effect and not real magic/trickery. In any case, this is all superficial. The story is ok, but not tremendously moving. There are some surprises, but they're not awe-inspiring. The acting is great. Ed Norton's performance is good, but didn't knock my socks off (but I expect a lot from him). Paul Giamatti was awesome (as usual). Jessica Biel was shockingly good (but I don't expect anything from her).

    The cinematography and direction are a bit odd. The color is sorta sepia-toned. Not grainy or anything, and the edges of the screen are still clear. But there is an occassional flicker to the picture and some of the fade outs evoke a vintage silent-era filmmaking vibe. Kinda strange, and I'm not positive it completely works, but an interesting choice.

    Good stuff, but not the greatest thing ever:P

    ~tallman
    • CommentAuthorSamael
    • CommentTimeSep 19th 2006
     
    Also, really... why would you try to make Capote lighter hearted? I mean... he wrote a book called "In Cold Blood."
    About the brutal murder of a family by total strangers.
    Who are then executed by the state.

    This isn't really material that lends itself well to anything remotely light-hearted, I think.

    Weird.
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      CommentAuthorSpencer
    • CommentTimeSep 20th 2006
     
    The Illusionist takes place in "turn-of-the-century Vienna." Right?

    I just saw a preview yesterday for a movie called The Prestige, which is also about magic and magicians and takes place in "turn-of-the-century London." It stars Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Michael Caine, and Scarlett Johansson.

    Interesting. The copy-cat movie trend continues.
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      CommentAuthortallman
    • CommentTimeSep 20th 2006
     
    Yeah, though in this case, there is at least some good talent in both movies. Usually one of the movies is a blatant attempt to steal the other's attention. But in this case, it looks like they at least tried something good in both cases...

    The Prestige has the actors you mentioned, plus it's directed by Christopher Nolan (Memento, Batman Begins). Nolan is pretty good, though I have to admit that he has his backfires (Insomnia). I'm still interested to see it...

    ~tallman