Thursday, June 4, 2009

Magic (1978)

A magician with a promising ventriloquism act escapes fame for a week to visit an ex-love, but his calm demeanor begins to snap as he and the dummy prove to have a deeper, more sinister connection. Anthony Hopkins leads in this Suspense / Mystery that calls back to slower, character driven films like Lets Scare Jessica to Death or Audrey Rose. With a cast including Burgess Meredith and Ann-Margaret, the acting is very good and lends credibility to each of the roles, and though there are a few moments that go beyond the realm of believability, overall it is very well played. Fats, the dummy, is molded after Hopkins' features, which paired with his personality, 'dialogue', and cleverly framed shots, makes the doll exceedingly creepy. The film is predominantly small-scale and takes place in a run down hotel by a lake in the Catskills, which is sort of strange and unexpected for a plot about magic and ventriloquism. There are really only four major players, and very little magic. Rather, we have a character study of a man driven to madness by lack of success, who ironically finds it while losing his mind. This makes the plot a little off-kilter, but the schizophrenic undertones pay off regardless of the setting. It is a good film, certainly above average, but recommended more towards the crowd that prefers slow, character driven horror over blood and body counts.

Rating: 8/10.



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3 comments:

  1. Yeah, when I say that you were going to review it, I almost didn't want to look. I was sure that you were going to pan it like almost everyone else I know.

    You liked it too.

    Learned a valuable lesson...I think I need new friends with better taste in movies! :)

    Cheers!

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  2. I really dont see any part of the film that could be particularly criticized outside of strange direction the plot takes after the initial opening. It is fun and different, and I was hoping Dead Silence was going to be more subtle and less sensational. I definitely prefer Magic of the two! Hopkins = awesome

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