The Prestige (2006)

Highlander II

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The Prestige from Touchstone pictures, starring Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Scarlett Johansson and Michael Caine. Directed by Christopher Nolan.

Based on the novel by Christopher Priest.

Tagline: Are you watching closely?

From imdb.com
Bale and Jackman will play rival magicians in turn-of-the-century London who battle each other for trade secrets. The rivalry is so intense that it turns them into murderers. The title refers to the product of a successful trick.

From acclaimed filmmaker Christopher Nolan, comes a mysterious story of two magicians whose intense rivalry leads them on a life-long battle for supremacy full of obsession, deceit and jealousy with dangerous and deadly consequences. From the time that they first met as young magicians on the rise, Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman) and Alfred Borden (Christian Bale) were competitors. However, their friendly competition evolves into a bitter rivalry making them fierce enemies-for-life and consequently jeopardizing the lives of everyone around them. Full of twists and turns, THE PRESTIGE is set against the backdrop of turn-of-the-century London, the exceptional cast includes two-time Oscar® winner Michael Caine, Scarlett Johansson and David Bowie.


Rupert and Alfred are rival magicians. When Alfred performs the ultimate magic trick, Rupert tries desperately to find out the secret to the trick. However, he then begins to realize that it may not be a trick at all.


And for your viewing pleasure: The Prestige trailer

The Prestige is in theatres 20 October 2006
 

Highlander II

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Re: The Prestige (movie)

If it's at all like the book - it does have the potential to be a little creepy.
 

Highlander II

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Re: The Prestige (movie)

A scanned article about "The Prestige" has been posted here. It does contain spoilers for the movie...
 
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erratikmind

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Re: The Prestige (movie)

I love magic and can't wait for this to come out. The illusionist was actually really good, so this will prob be even better.
 

Highlander II

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Re: The Prestige (movie)

I didn't see "The Illusionist" - saw trailers for it -

Hoping it's release earlier doesn't hinder anything for "The Prestige" - though having Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale headlining, probably won't hurt it any. ;)

Just over a week away! I cannot wait for this movie! :D
 

Highlander II

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Re: The Prestige (movie)

This movie is AWESOME!

Anyone who reads my LJ will have already seen this - I just can't express it any better than last night's recap after seeing it.

There are spoilers for the movie below and it's kinda long - but there's a LOT that happens in the movie.



So much happens in this movie! Oh so much.

First - it's like the book, but it's not. Mirroring the magic it displays so beautifully. Christopher Nolan did a fantastic job taking the aspects of the book and twisting them just enough to put them on screen in a way that works so well. Every character is in place, the underlying reasons for the 'battle' between the two magicians is believable and well-played. It's all-around magnificent!

Second - the performances by every actor in the production are AMAZING! They all go that one step beyond acting the part - they BECOME the part. Everyone. Including Christian Bale who failed to impress me in "Batman Begins". Bale nails Borden perfectly and Jackman is Angier. The chemistry, the artistry - it is beyond amazing! (They had to be good if I'm saying this much - it takes a lot to impress me - especially if I was disappointed before.) But I'll say this - if this is what Hugh Jackman can do and his performance in "The Fountain" is supposed to surpass this - I cannot WAIT to see "The Fountain"!

Third - BWAH! We had a trailer for "The Fountain". Believe me - if you haven't seen and heard this in theater surround sound - you have YET to experience this trailer properly! It's even MORE breath-taking. ((All the other trailers were for **** movies so I don't really remember them... except "The Nativity Movie" or story or whatever - which just seems like a bad idea.))





Back to the movie - the actually SPOILER parts:

There were several things changed from the book - these are the ones I can recall from the beginning of the movie that are of importance:

* Borden and Angier are friends
* Borden and Angier are regular 'plants' in the audience for a water-chamber escape trick
* Julia is part of the trick and dies during it one night
* Julia's death sparks the rivalry between Angier and Borden - mostly b/c Borden claims to not remember which knot he tied during the performance that prevented Julia from being able to escape the chamber


There are others, but they make sense after those first few are in place.

Angier is looking for the big secret to Borden's trick - this is a MAJOR theme from the novel and it's incorportated nicely into the movie - but he thinks Cutter's explanation is far too simple to be the truth. Cutter is Angier's ingeniuer - he invents the tricks for Angier to perform on stage - and he's rather good at it too.

The 'battle' begins and the two magicians pick at each other - messing with each others' tricks on stage in an attempt to discredit each other for the wrongs done earlier in life - another of the major themes that is the crux of the story itself. The best one is during Angier's version of "The Transported Man" when Borden's removed the mat from beneath the stage and has bound Angier's double (who is played by a very famliar-looking gentleman) and Borden appears on stage in Angier's double's place, then has the Angier-double lowered from the rafters with a big sign (that I can't recall just now). It's really good.

One of the most major changes that was made is that Borden is actually charged with the murder of Robert Angier (his name is Rupert in the novel - but they made his character an American in the movie). *steps outside the movie for a moment* All of the bits and pieces I know of criminal procedure and courtroom procedure and evidence and the like has me screaming b/c there was NO evidence to support this claim, save that Borden happened to BE there on the night of the incident. There was no mention of Borden trying to break the tank for Angier to get out or the 'real' reason why the tank was there - not during the court proceedings anyway. Of course, once you step back and remember that this takes place circa 1900, the court proceedings make more sense and who would've believed that Borden was there to HELP Angier? The world knew of their professional rivalry - thus making Borden a primary suspect, since there was a witness to his being beneath the stage at the time of the incident. (Check out all that circumstantial evidence.)

Anyway - the movie isn't linear - it opens with part of the trial, then moves to a scene when the two men were still amicable, then shifts again, then back and tells the story in snippets like flashbacks, but through the journals of the two men using voice-overs. And OMG! is Hugh Jackman's voice-over ever the sexiest thing around. Well, the forty-five seconds where he's wandering around w/o a shirt on is pretty hot too - but anyway...

Back to the film - Angier's double - Root (I think that's how his name is spelled) - is damn-near the funniest character in the movie! He has horrid teeth, bad facial scruff (not the sexy kind), bad hair, bad clothes and he's a drunk. Cutter does a remarkable job of cleaning him up and teaching him to act like Angier. When he first walks out on the stage to show Angier what he can do, Root does a FABULOUS Hugh-esque tripping over his own feet performance and it's bloody hilarious! (My friend actually leaned over and said 'He probably actually tripped there.' *snort*) Then Root steps into walking and moving just like Angier and, aside from being an insufferable drunk, impresses Angier... until Angier realizes that he has to take his bows from beneath the stage because Root is The Prestige of the trick. Whoops...

Then there's Root's betrayal and the part where Borden trusses him up and dangles him from the ceiling, thus ending Angier's performance of "the Transported Man" for a time and giving Angier a bit of a limp from a busted knee.

Thus Angier makes his sojourn to Colorado Springs to seek out one Nikola Tesla (who, OMG, looks so little like David Bowie it's almost scary!). Tesla creates the apparatus that will launch Angier to the forefront of the magical community. The 'transporting man' machine - the secret to this machine is that it doesn't actually transport anything, it creates a copy and can have it appear anywhere one desires, thus making it the one trick none of the other magicians would ever be able to figure out w/o being told - becomes the basis for the climax of The Great Danton's shows. It's a huge display of electrical energy that seems to make Angier disappear from the stage and reappear elsewhere in the theater.

Borden, during one performance, gets himself on stage, then manages to get backstage to take a look at what goes on to make the trick work, because it's been frustrating him that he couldn't figure out how Angier could move 50 metres in under 50 seconds. He learns the secret, but doesn't realize it b/c of the way the appartus works and thus, since he didn't act fast enough, he is charged with the murder of Robert Angier.

Okay - I think that's most of the plot pieces... my brain's starting to shut down so I'll move on...

One key thing to take from this movie, this story is that the main characters - Borden and Angier - are NOT 'good guys'. They are the protagonists of the story, but they are NOT nice guys. They are, however, very human - and that's why the story works so well. These two MEN do things that people would do - spiteful, selfish people, real people. Borden is responsible for Julia's death, thus Angier does what he can to discover Borden's secrets; Borden retaliates and the feud goes on for YEARS and doesn't end until one of them is dead. Even then it doesn't end - Angier is dead and Borden is in prison, sentenced to be hanged; but Lord Caldlow is alive and Borden is trying to find a way to care for his daughter. (Confused yet? Good. *g*) Borden is hanged and Caldlow reveals to Cutter the secret of the Tesla machine, but as Angier is preparing to be rid of it, Borden appears and shoots him and thus does Borden learn the secret of Angier's trick and Angier learns the secret of Borden's trick - Cutter was right all along and Angier was too arrogant to believe him.

Neither of these men is the 'good guy' who should win in the end - and neither of them does. That's the point - the feud between them made them both very ugly, unhappy men. If they'd reconciled their differences, this might not have been the tragedy that it was.

Don't get me wrong - I loved the book, I loved the movie! I wouldn't change a thing. I like that they're not good guys and that they don't 'win' in the end - that's what makes the story so damned interesting and exciting! It doesn't have a happy ending. I like it that way.
 

Yvett

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Re: The Prestige (movie)

Even then it doesn't end - Angier is dead and Borden is in prison, sentenced to be hanged; but Lord Caldlow is alive and Borden is trying to find a way to care for his daughter. (Confused yet?)




*******
Okay, to make things more confusing in my head, could Angier not be the original? Is Lord Caldlow the original? Where did Lord Caldlow come from? Was he one of the copies? Has he been alive all this time even before Angier? Is he immortal?
 

PTeppic

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Re: The Prestige (movie)

When does it open in the UK (general release): I saw the trailer yesterday (watching The Guardian and The Departed in a double-header) and it looked worth watching?
 

lordoftime

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Re: The Prestige (movie)

I have it on very good authority that this one is a must see. Plus you got the guys who did Batman and Wolverine in the same film, so you cant go wrong!
 

Highlander II

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Re: The Prestige (movie)

Even then it doesn't end - Angier is dead and Borden is in prison, sentenced to be hanged; but Lord Caldlow is alive and Borden is trying to find a way to care for his daughter. (Confused yet?)




*******
Okay, to make things more confusing in my head, could Angier not be the original? Is Lord Caldlow the original? Where did Lord Caldlow come from? Was he one of the copies? Has he been alive all this time even before Angier? Is he immortal?

Marking it as spoiler:
Angier *is* Lord Caldlow... there's a line he gives near the beginning of the movie about using a different name b/c he promised not to 'embarrass' his family w/ his stage pursuits.

As for the 'copies' - it's hard to say from the movie, but since only one of the Angiers survives after the 'trick' is completed - it doesn't much matter - b/c each Angier remembers everything of the others.


PTeppic said:
When does it open in the UK (general release): I saw the trailer yesterday (watching The Guardian and The Departed in a double-header) and it looked worth watching?

errrrr - off the top of my head - I don't recall... but - next month, maybe?

I'll check the other board I frequent and report back after I get off work.
 

Highlander II

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Re: The Prestige (movie)

Here are the release dates from someone on the Mediablvd board ->

Brazil - November 2nd
UK - November 10th
France - November 15th
Australia - November 16th
Denmark - January 5th 2007
Germany - January 11th 2007 (? is that still correct)

Looks like the Germany date may be up for debate, but other than that - I think the rest are right.
 

Highlander II

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Re: The Prestige (movie)

And, I believe the DVD is due for release in March 2007!
 

PTeppic

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Re: The Prestige (movie)

I did get to see it in the end and it was excellent - for me (as someone who's seen four dozen movies this year) it's probably one of my top five of the year so far.
 

Lucien21

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Re: The Prestige (movie)

The Prestige

An Adaption of a Christopher Priest novel about obsession and revenge between 2 rival magicians in Victorian England.

Superbly acted by most of the cast (Scarlett Johannson was naff *Shame*) Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale are excellent as the 2 magicians, Michael Caine superb as the mentor to Hugh's character and David Bowie makes a strange appearance (Did anyone else keep thinking "He looks just like Ricky Gervais")

Directed by one of the better directors around at the moment I really enjoyed the movie and love what he was trying to do.

It's well acted, moody, plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing.

HOWEVER

The movie is supposed to be the ultimate magic trick (the set-up, the performance and the effect, or prestige) to mirror the tricks in the movie. Set the audience up with the ending, show them how you got to there and then *poof* revel the big surprise to shock the audience.

Problem was I had figured it all out way before the end which kind of dulled the effect.

Enjoyable film, but maybe not a classic.
 

PTeppic

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Re: The Prestige (movie)

The Prestige

David Bowie makes a strange appearance (Did anyone else keep thinking "He looks just like Ricky Gervais")

Yeah - until it twigged it was Bowie, I thought it WAS Ricky Gervais, perhaps having been on a bit of a diet...

Scary thought: Ricky Gervais is David Bowie's love-child.
 

HoopyFrood

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Re: The Prestige (movie)

Wah! Very scary thought.
Hmm...Am I permitted a minor rant here? Ah, hell, I'll do it anyway! :D
Well, I recently had the opportunity to be an extra (nothing spectacular, just as an audience member in a final scene featuring a magic competition) for a British Film (starring David Mitchell and Robert Webb of Peep Show and That Mitchell and Webb Look fame). A film that is about two magicians, one of them does a trick that kills his wife, the two friends seperate to do their own thing and etc etc...yes, almost the same plot as The Prestige! So I feel sorry for them now, before there's will look like a parody! I can also say that it'll be a good film, Mitchell and Webb are great and it has some great comedy moments...and of course, with all films, a nice touching scene at the end! Anyway, I'm probably under some kind of contract so I won't say anymore. But that's my rant...The Prestige stole their idea! :D:p
 

Lucien21

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Re: The Prestige (movie)

There is also a very similar film with Edward Norton due out called "The Illusionist"

Apple - Trailers - The Illusionist - Trailer

It just means that magician movies are this years flavour of the month. (like when Armageddon/Deep Rising came out, the 2 Ant movies etc etc etc. Movies come in twos.)

Maybe that Johnathan Strange novel will be adapted next.
 

PTeppic

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Re: The Prestige (movie)

(like when Armageddon/Deep Rising came out, the 2 Ant movies etc etc etc. Movies come in twos.)
Glad it's not just me who's noticed... I'm assuming it comes from scripts that get rejected by studio A, move to studio B for development, and A suddenly decides to do that genre after all so finds the next best script on the subject it can find...
 

the_faery_queen

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Re: The Prestige (movie)

i liked the film a lot :) though i could see some of it coming, and the ending confused me (not confused confused, i was just left wondering why they had left one of the hugh jackman magicians in that watertank like that! :p) i brought the book on the basis of enjoying the film, gives me something to read over xmas
 

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