I’m a great admirer of films set predominantly in a single location. Often, they’re born out of necessity, not choice, by emerging filmmakers working with a shoestring budget. The reward is that these films tend to benefit from a greater emphasis on the two key ingredients of an exceptional film — characters and story — rather than effect-heavy action sequences. Films such as Alfred Hitchcock’s Read Window, Sidney [...]
Magic is a fascinating art form because it plays with our need to discover the illusion, whilst feeding our desire for it to be real supernatural power. Neil Burger’s The Illusionist takes this desire and runs with it, constructing a world where the audience is asked to question whether events in the film are mystical or trickery. The same technique was used in Christopher Nolan’s thriller The Prestige with great success. Unfortunately, The Illusionist provides a less stimulating experience, falling short of the rewarding turn of events in Nolan’s film. However, Burger’s movie still executes an intriguing plot with a decent cast and a strong visual and aural atmosphere.
Robert Downey Jr is a very busy man. He has a lot to uphold amongst his Hollywood comeback, first donning the Iron Man suit and now almost certainly entering a second franchise with one of fiction’s most beloved characters. It’s funny then that the character of Sherlock Holmes hasn’t been a favourite in cinema; the bumbling detective now has one of the most known falsely quoted lines in history. Sadly but rightly so, said line fails to actually be mentioned – but the 1800’s London setting gives Guy Ritchie the perfect opportunity to do what Guy Ritchie does best – show the gritty side of town with a bit of humour thrown in. More than a bit – this is his most family-friendly film to date. After all, it is a ‘blockbuster’.