Yeah, I know these films have nothing to do with each other, but I was kinda bored and we 'double dipped' and saw two movies for the price of one so I'll put them both in the same post as well.
I'm kinda surprised there wasn't a post already on either one of these films, especially THE ILLUSIONIST.
ACCEPTED was a perfect eighties throwback movie. It's plot was a mash up of ONE CRAZY SUMMER and BETTER OFF DEAD. You had the non-popular kids going up against the popular kids, you had the wiseass good guy who's smarter then he seems on the outside who has a crush on the popular girl, you got the group of misfits fighting to save something from getting destroyed.
What made this stand out for me was Justin Long, who I've seen in a few other things, but here he seemd to really be able to carry a film on his own and I hope he gets more starring roles in bigger movies. Lewis Black, likewise, was perfect as the authority figure for the underdogs and used his screentime perfectly getting in jokes from his stand-up routine. Seeing him as a shoe salesman got a laugh from the audience before he even opened his mouth.
Overall, I'd recomend this more to the younger audience cause older people might get bored with a plot they've seen in dozens of other movies. This was rated PG so it's good for taking the kids to, but there was some underage drinking, so look out for that I suppose.
THE ILLUSIONIST will either having you leaving the theatre happy or pissed off. Even though I enjoyed the film, I'm still not sure which of these I was after the movie. Taking plot twists right out of THE USUAL SUSPECTS, this movie had me loving it right up till the ending when we kinda find out it was all a sham and that the 'magic' done by Eisenheim, especially the really fucking cool orange tree trick and the conjuring up ghosts bit that isn't really explained at all. Sorry, this pissed me off cause it was one of those times where you think the movie is going in one direction and then complete turns around at the end and you see that you were cheering the wrong people.
Edward Norton plays the title role of a magician who returns home after running away from home in his youth. He's changed his name and has left his life as a poor person who was forbidden to love a girl in a rich family.
Rufus Sewell plays the 'bad guy' who is going to be married to the now grown up rich girl. Everytime he's on screen, he seems to be drunk, which is what I suppose rich people did all day back in the times the film takes place.
Paul Giamatti does a great 'Chaz Palmenterri' act as a police inspector trying to keep the peace after all the shit starts happening.
With three good actors, I'm lost as to the reason the makers of this film used Jessica Biel. She looked completely lost in most of her scenes and at times, it looked like she was looking off camera at cue cards for her lines. If there's ever been a more perfect explaination of 'casting couch' casting other then this, I'd like to see it. This was a good role wasted on a bad actress.
I'd like to recomend this movie to people but I can't. I'm sure other people will love it, but I just feel like the ending ruined it for me. It was really good up till the last ten or fifteen minutes of the film when everything clicked and it copped out with a shitty 'M Night' ending.
I think the OH SHIT GOTCHA SUCKER ending is overdone and usually really annoying. But Illusionist was about illusory trickery and deception and so the whole movie was illusory trickery and deception. Under those circumstances I think it's appropriate. It's the same reason I forgave Matchstick Men for its devastating swerve.
The Dark Knight was A) The highest-grossing movie of 2008 B) One of the most critically-acclaimed movies of 2008, C) One of the most popular movies with audiences of 2008. Those three factors together make for a rare breed of movie.