Magic Camp (2013), Now You See Me (2013) and The Incredible Burt Wonderstone(2013)

This weekend I found myself watching a whole bunch of movies about magic. I have always liked magic and at one time thought being a magician would be the coolest thing ever. So if there happens to be a movie about magic I am bound to watch it at some point. As usual there as spoilers below.

The documentary film Magic Camp is about the most prestigious sleep away magic camp in the United States, Tannen’s Magic Camp. The film follows the campers through their week at camp in 2011. The camp is open to individuals from like 12-20 and is held on the campus of Bryn Mawr College near Philadelphia. The movie focuses on the four individuals (three boys and a girl) who are selected on the first day of camp to compete for the final best act on the last evening of camp. We see their performances evolve from the first day to the last day.  I hope that one of these young magicians can make a name for themselves in magic and join the likes of David Blaine and David Copperfield.

The film Now You See Me is a unique tale as it is about a group of magicians (Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, Woody Harrelson and Dave Franco) who rob banks and are being pursued by the FBI (Mark Ruffalo) and Interpol (Mélanie Laurent). The film begins a year before the event of the film as some mysterious force summons four solo magicians to a mystery address which hold vast secrets. These four magicians (an arrogant illusionist/ street magician, a mentalist, an escape artist/stage magician and a slight of hand/street magician/pickpocket) come together and form a group act despite their differences. They do three big shows on in Vegas, another in New Orleans, and the last on in New York City. At the first show in Vegas it seems like they robbed a bank in France and this brings the FBI and Interpol on their heels as they try to figure out how they robbed a bank halfway around the world. Along with the FBI and Interpol there is former magician (Morgan Freeman) who now serves as someone who debunks magic tricks for the public. At times we have no clue as to who is what and what is who in the movie, as it isn’t until the end when we have some resolution as to who was behind recruiting these magicians and why these events happened. As it turns out not all the threads are neatly closed up at the end but that leaves room for a sequel to happen, and it’s been confirmed that a sequel is happening.

The final movie I watched was The Incredible Burt Wonderstone. It’s a movie with Steve Carell so it is bound to be funny and it is about Las Vegas magicians and the rise of the new kind of magicians like Criss Angel. I was kind of disappointed with the film as it felt like it should have been made a decade ago as that was when Criss Angel was really popular as the film Magicians was. Burt Wonderstone (Steve Carell) is in a double act with his best friend Anton Marvelton (Steve Buscemi) they have been friends since they were children as we see in the film. Burt and Anton’s act has gotten stale as they’ve done it for the past 10 years and have gone through tons of female assistants as well. Jane (Olivia Wilde) is the last one as Burt and Anton are told by hotel management to update their act so they are more like Steve Gray (Jim Carrey), a David Blaine/Criss Angel like character who . In an ill conceived publicity stunt Burt and Anton will stay in a plastic block over the strip for a week. This last for less then an hour and Burt and Anton part ways. They go on different paths Burt is kicked out of the hotel as he tries to do his two person act by himself and fails. Burt finally goes for an entertainment job at an assisted living community and living there is Burt’s idol Rance Holloway (Alan Arkin). Burt’s love for magic is reawakened. Meanwhile, Anton goes to Cambodia to try to inspire the young with magic. Burt gets a call from the hotel owner and asks if he can perform at his kid’s birthday party. While at the party Burt learns that the owner is offering a 5 year contract for an act that wins a talent show on the opening night of his new hotel.  It was a fun movie but it seems like the romance with Jane seems a bit shoehorned in there at the last minute .

Any of these three movies are great if you are a fan of magic and hopefully this will be enough to tide me over before the new season of Masters of Illusion come on television.



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