Mandrake the Magician

Oh, Darn! Burt Wonderstone Less than Magical Says Critic

Olivia WildeMercury News Movie Critic Charlie McCollum broke our heart just now — or at least dampened our excitement for this weekend with his review of Burt Wonderstone – the newest magic-themed movie.

Mr. McCollum writes:
“You would think that a film about magicians would have some magic to it. And you would think that a movie boasting such artful laughmasters as , , Steve Buscemi and Alan Arkin would have some real comedic heft.

“In the case of “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone,” you would be wrong on both counts. It is not a dreadful film. There are just enough laughs and clever moments to keep it north of the Adam Sandler line of comic ineptitude. But it is so wildly inconsistent that it always seems on the verge of completely falling apart and losing what little attachment it has to reality.
We note that the “Adam Sandler line” is our reference point for bad movies as well.

We had hoped the star power and great story idea would make this a must-see film of the spring.  Alas, it is apparently not what he hoped.

Mr. McCollum cautions:

Carrey has the acting chops to go to the dark side (which is where Gray ought to be), but in the end, he comes off more Looney Tunes than dangerous lunatic. No one makes unpleasant more relatable than Carell, but there’s nothing he can do with Burt to make the magician’s sudden transformation from raging egotist to nice guy even remotely plausible. Only Arkin really makes something of his role, with his deadpan delivery making his moments on screen far funnier than they should be.

There’s no question that you will laugh at times throughout “.” But if you are looking for something truly magical, you will come away disappointed.

We will probably still go to see it and likely buy the DVD and likely become overly fixated with the female love interest, Olivia Wilde (we loved her in TRON).

It does not take much to make us happy and if a film has even the slightest connection to magic, we are hooked.  Yes, we should be more picky and demand more from our entertainment sources but when one is addicted, one cannot hope to choose between great crack rock and not so great crack rock.  When we need magic, we need it pronto.

By the way, we mean no offense to those crack addicts who are discerning and discriminating in their choice of the street drug.  We were using it only as an analogy.

Unfortunately, we have likely caused even more trouble for all those crack addicts who enjoy magic movies, Adam Sandler, Jim Carrey or Steve Carell.  Their searches are likely to pull up this article first, before the sites they really sought.  We feel badly about the confusion and have intentionally not included other key words such as “Sex,” “Chicago Deep Dish Pizza,” “European Supermodels,” “Cheat Codes,” or “Free Magic Secrets.”

We may be inept but we are principled.

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