The Prestige (2006)
Directed by: Christopher Nolan
Written by: Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan based non the novel by Christopher Priest
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Michael Cane, Scarlett Johansson, David Bowie, Andy Serkis, Rebecca Hall, Piper Perabo, Samantha Mahurin, Roger Rees, Jamie Harris
Another movie about magicians, sort of like The Illusionist only much better. This is a lot more complicated, and the illusions are actually real illusions, and they explain how they do them.
It's about two magicians who worked together until one accidentally killed the other's wife in a botched magic trick. From then on they are arch nemeses, constantly one-upping each other and fucking up the other's tricks. It's not particularly linear - well, it sort of is, there are three different parts of the same story going on at the same time, although they're all set at different stages about different characters... um...
Well, anyway, in an attempt to recreate Christian Bale's 'Returning Man' trick (guy steps into one box and comes out another on the other side of the room) without using a double, Hugh Jackman goes and finds Nikola Tesla who he thinks made the device Christian Bale uses...
Turns out guy actually does use a double, his twin brother, so Hugh ends up with this machine that makes copies of whatever goes in it and a whole warehouse full of dead Hugh Jackmans...
Spoilers, I guess. The movie is all twists and only really begins to make sense at the end, but it's still quite good - it looks beautiful (kind of like it's set in some dark, alternate world or something - y'know how Batman Begins isn't quite set in this reality?) and it has a good cast, and I actually learned some stuff about magic tricks that I didn't know before. Like that they're usually comprised of three acts, The Pledge, The Turn and The Prestige... I assume that's true.
There was some really messed up stuff in there. Okay, every now and then it gets a little irritating, but it's generally rewarding.
And man is Hugh Jackman pretty. God. I'm always amazed when he's not playing a scruffy looking nerf herder, like Van Helsing or Wolf Man or whatever that guy with the claws was called. He has a nice chest, too, but that's always the case. Christian Bale, on the other hand, creeps me out. I like him a lot, but he's creepy as hell.
Anyway... I thought it was just great. So much better than The Illusionist. Don't watch The Illusionist. I know, it's got Paul Giamatti in it, but look, this has Michael Caine. And David fucking Bowie. For fuck sake.