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DVD Review: "The Prestige"

"The Prestige" is an awesome feat of film-making. So awesome, in fact, that we're going to have step carefully during this review so as not to spoil anything.

In short, this movie takes a giant dump on all the "unrated" and "uncensored" DVDs released recently for the sake of marketing fanfare. What we're presented with is a storyline so unique that Christopher Priest would wet himself (aw, OK, he wrote the book upon which the movie was based), a plot woven tightly enough to cause Mark Steven Johnson to check his atrophied imagination into rehab, and a denouement so perfectly fitting that M. Night is probably penning a supernatural thriller based on two rival magicians as we speak. Christopher Nolan and his brother have essentially picked up the genre and bitch-slapped it.

Set mostly in turn-of-the-century London, "The Prestige" centers around two magicians, Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman) and Alfred Borden (Christian Bale), whose rivalry begins when Angier's wife is accidentally killed by Borden during a magic act with which they are assisting in their early careers. Through a clever directing technique of interweaving several disparate - yet related - time-lines (paralleling the 3 acts of a magic show), we watch as the rivalry spins out of control - and not to the resolution our puny brains imagined.

That's all we're revealing of the plot. Yeah, we said it. To do any more would damage the entire reason for watching the film in the first place. When the movie is long over and you're sipping coffee somewhere and suddenly you remember some little piece of the film and exclaim "Holy crap - that's why he did such-and-such!" you'll thank us.

Now, let's get to the incredibly lacking special features.

The Director's Notebook
An all-too-brief series of documentaries into the directorial process of adapting the book to film. We get a feel of the subtle textures Christopher Nolan is trying to convey via the medium.

The Art of the Prestige
Selecting this option takes you to a sub-menu containing links to several boring slideshows, including images from the film, costumes and sets, behind the scenes, and poster art.

Movie grade: A-
DVD Grade: C+

"The Prestige" comes to DVD February 20th.

Posted by on February 19, 2007 10:30 PM
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