Now You See Me — A Magical Mystery Movie; Give Your Solving Skills A Workout

“Look close. Because the closer you look, the less you will actually see”, says Morgan Freeman as Thaddeus Bradley — who is an ex-magician, now a professional magic debunker. It’s all illusion, of course, no matter how impossible it looks. But how do they do it? To their packed audience they announce the fact they are sending a man (picked at random from the numbered seats) to rob a bank across the world, and return. With the money. And — presto — the deed is done.

But this is just the beginning. Their sleight of hand hides a mysterious purpose destined to reveal long-buried secrets. And all the while their audiences are literally showered with money. Talk about a PR coup on any competition! And in this gambling game with the authorities, the illusionists are holding all the cards.

Jesse Eisenberg as J. Daniel Atlas

You realize, of course, this is a game, played out on a global scale,” says Morgan Freeman.

And as Sherlock Holmes so iconically says, “The game is afoot.” It is a race against time for FBI Agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) and Interpol Agent Alma Dray (Melanie Laurent). And with time itself in the hands of the illusionists, the agents stay busy chasing only . . . illusions. Agent Rhodes, always confused, disgusted, and angry, barely keeps his temper in check, prompting a question from his Interpol partner:

Mark Ruffalo as Agent Rhodes

Dray: Is it magicians in general you have a problem with? Or specifically these guys?
Rhodes: I could care less about magicians in general. What I hate is people who exploit other people.
Dray: Exploit them how?
Rhodes: By taking advantage of their weaknesses. Their need to believe in something that’s unexplainable in order to make their lives more bearable.

In spite of mixed reviews, this fascinating and mysterious plot line would be enough in itself to be brain-teasing and entertaining. But add Mark Ruffalo, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine as the wealthy Arthur Tressler, and Woody Haralson as magician Merritt McKinney into the blend, and you’ve got a movie that moves on up the scale to a super-charged, high-octane thriller.

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6 thoughts on “Now You See Me — A Magical Mystery Movie; Give Your Solving Skills A Workout

  1. What a coincidence that you posted this today. Just this morning I ordered the Blu-ray from amazon and I’ll have it on Wednesday.

    I absolutely adore Jesse Eixenberg and will watch him in anything. I’ve long been looking forward to this movie. He was absolutely fantastic in “The Social Network.” He should have gotten an Oscar for it, but at least he got quite a few other awards. The movie did get Oscars for Original Script and Soundtrack. Put it on your “To See” list if you haven’t already seen it.

    I see your visitors’ map on my screen now.

    • Will do. I’ve heard about The Social Network. I’m not familiar with Jesse Eisenberg, but all of these actors were good in this movie. Tammy just now watched it with me (my third time), and loved it. I guessed several of the tricks, but she guessed more than me and stuck by her mystery solving. — As for the map, have you clicked on it yet? It comes up with a bigger version and underneath it is the short list of the latest visiting locations. To the side is a list of the states and countries. I’ve been trying to talk Mike into setting this up ever since I started blogging, but he just now got in the mood to get it posted. That’s a man forya.

      • The reason I ordered the Blu-ray, as opposed to the DVD, is because I read that the Blu-ray has wonderful bonus extras, including explainations of how many of the tricks were done. I’ve watched several trailers and they all show Jesse’s handcuffs suddenly appearing on Mark Ruffalo’s hands. Can’t wait to see that.

        Yes, I clicked on the map and while I didn’t see a dot on NH, I did see “New Hampshire – 1” shown on the breakdown at the side. I wonder if this widget would work on Live Journal, or was it designed for only Word Press?

        By the way, have you seen either “White House Down” (Jamie Foxx & Channing Tatum) or “Olympus Has Fallen” (Gerard Butler)? Someone I’ve been chatting with mentioned how good they both are and I thought perhaps it was you. I watched WHD last night and boy! talk about an action movie! I thought it was terrific. Not plausible by any means, but highly entertaining. There are some great comedic “one-liners” by both main characters and very, VERY little rough language. I think you would enjoy it. I haven’t seen OHF yet, but I will. I see everything Gerard Butler is in.

  2. Yeah, I would like to know how they did some of those tricks. Most I just put down to camera tricks. The thing with the handcuffs could have been done as two different scenes. One with them on the magician and one with them on the agent.

    Mike says he doesn’t know why it wouldn’t work on Live Journal. It’s a different company doing the maps. It’s not exclusively wordpress.

    Mike and I tried to watch White House Down. Neither one of us liked it. We didn’t like it from the beginning, but watched it about 30 minutes till it got into the action. Even that didn’t make it any better for us. But Tammy and Henry loved it. They’re talking about buying it.

    I think the directing, writing, and acting were better in Olympus Has Fallen. And you’re absolutely right. You can’t beat Gerard Butler.

  3. OK, I’ve watched the movie twice and all the special features on the Blu-ray and here’s my question.

    Mark Ruffalo explainedat the end that a company named Alcorn manufactured the safe his father used for his underwater escape trick, but they had skimped on the quality of the metal and it warped, trapping his father inside and killing him. What I don’t understand is what Morgan Freeman had to do with that. Did he work for the company, Alcorn, when the safe was made? What I got from the movie is that Freeman was a formerly great magician, nothing else. What did he have to do with Ruffalo’s father’s failed trick? Ruffalo obviously wants him to rot in jail because he blames him for his father’s death, but why?

    I didn’t bother trying to figure out all the tricks because some of them were obviously possible only with movie magic. Example: You’re right about the handcuff switching being two separate scenes edited together. The special features show Jesse Eisenberg doing some tricks he had to learn for the movie. He’s good.

    • To answer your question about Morgan Freeman’s part in the downfall of Mark Ruffalo’s father —

      Morgan Freeman started the whole thing by debunking Ruffalo’s father on his very public TV show. The father was shamed and humiliated to the point that he felt he had to prove himself to the world by going down in that locked safe. He probably had the know-how to get out and save-face, but the safe wasn’t safe.:) It was shoddy workmanship. So each and every target was revenge for the father’s death. But the main one was Morgan Freeman, who started the whole ball rolling. I’ll have to see if I can find the extended version. I love a good magic trick.

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