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Never show anyone. They’ll beg you and they’ll flatter you for the Behind the Scenes Pic of the Day, but as soon as you give it up… you’ll be nothing.

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with today’s Behind the Scenes Pic!

Twenty years from now there’s going to be some young film buff who excitedly shows their friends The Prestige in much the same way current film buffs show off Coppola’s The Conversation (made between Godfather and Godfather 2) or Peckinpah’s The Ballad of Cable Hogue (made between The Wild Bunch and Straw Dogs).

”Christopher Nolan made this movie about magic called The Prestige between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight! And check out that cast!” The Prestige is a great film that didn’t quite have the same cultural impact as Nolan’s Batman films or even Inception. Of course all of us old fogies will be shaking our canes at these kids, shouting that everybody knows about The Prestige, but I just get the feeling that this great little flick will be overshadowed by Nolan’s box office monsters.

But that’s alright. I love that feeling of discovery, having an underappreciated or underseen flick that I love and championing it within my circle, so I’m happy that we’re still producing that for the next generation.

So, I hope in the year 2032 some acne-ridden movie geek is combing through the holofiles of the old Internet Mark 1 system and finds this nice picture of Hugh Jackman and Christopher Nolan and realizes that even back in the old days when film still existed and 3D still needed glasses, nerds sang the praises of this film. Now, future geek, go and spread the word! Don’t let us down! And if my head is in a jar for some reason, go find me a rad robot body! I’m counting on you!

Thanks to regular contributor Pat Barnett for sending this one along! Click to enlargen.

 

 

If you have a behind the scenes shot you’d like to submit to this column, you can email me at quint@aintitcool.com.

Tomorrow’s pic just doesn’t give a damn.

-Eric Vespe
”Quint”
quint@aintitcool.com
Follow Me On Twitter

 


Click here to visit the complete compilation of previous Behind the Scenes images, Page One
(warning: there are some broken links that will be fixed as soon as I can get around to it)

Click here to visit the complete compilation of previous Behind the Scenes images, Page Two

Readers Talkback
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  • April 20, 2012, 9 p.m. CST

    This is my favorite Nolan movie.

    by alienindisguise

    Even knowing the twists, I can and have watched it many times. Very cool.

  • April 20, 2012, 9:01 p.m. CST

    VERY underrated movie.

    by notcher

    I actually think for a lot of people it wasn't dumbed down enough for them. But I loved the atmosphere, the script and even though there's a twist ending, it doesn't hurt the repeat viewings for me. Great film, one of my top Nolan films. I'm excited to see where Nolan goes after he completes his Batman series. BRING IT!!!

  • April 20, 2012, 9:03 p.m. CST

    Maybe Bale's best performance yet

    by abcdefz7

    This or LITTLE WOMEN. And, yeah, Bowie is fantastic.

  • April 20, 2012, 9:04 p.m. CST

    Great Film

    by Rob

    As mentioned, Bowie was great. Nice twist and a great ending.

  • April 20, 2012, 9:07 p.m. CST

    I hope he does more 'little' films

    by richievanderlow

    I'd love to see Nolan tackle another small, more intimate film like this after TDKR. This may be my favorite Nolan film of them all for sure, and as good as he's gotten at making blockbusters actioners with real character development, I'd LOVE to see him take a down a notch and try something smaller like this again. Fantastic film with not one piece of it feeling out of place or contrived for convenience of storytelling. Nolan's most masterfully constructed film, top to bottom.

  • April 20, 2012, 9:08 p.m. CST

    You aren't looking for the secret, you want to be...

    by notcher

    fooled. Caine was awesome too.

  • The final resolution of the conflict between Bale & Jackman (won't spoil) feels a bit too straight forward considering how complex the rest of the story is, but I can overlook that given how great everything else is in this film. I also hope Nolan does more smaller films like this and Memento. Would also love to see him a do a scifi movie.

  • April 20, 2012, 9:14 p.m. CST

    Still, where did the lighter fluid come from?

    by fingerlickingood

    great, underrated movie

  • April 20, 2012, 9:16 p.m. CST

    Rebel Scumb, right on!

    by notcher

    Nolan making a sci-fi film=Joygasm!

  • April 20, 2012, 9:16 p.m. CST

    I thought it was just ok...

    by Mr Soze

    Could have watched 2 hrs of Bowie playing Tesla instead. Illusionist with Ed Norton was far better.

  • April 20, 2012, 9:20 p.m. CST

    Mr. Soze........what?

    by notcher

    Th Illusionist was FAR better? Oh God, sucks to be you man. Biel was boring, Norton was fine but even his act got boring, and the story was incredibly predictable. No way that movie is better! NO WAY!

  • April 20, 2012, 9:22 p.m. CST

    Jackman is a one trick pony...

    by Mr Soze

    Poor casting on the part of Nolan.

  • April 20, 2012, 9:22 p.m. CST

    my fav nolan flick.

    by alice133

    glad nolan is finishing up his batman run so he can go back to making his own films.

  • Haven't watched the video, but man, if that's true what a fuckhead!!!

  • April 20, 2012, 9:24 p.m. CST

    I still to this day say The Prestige is Nolan's best film

    by TheSeeker7

  • April 20, 2012, 9:27 p.m. CST

    Very good movie, and now go see The Illustionist

    by ATARI

  • April 20, 2012, 9:30 p.m. CST

    One of those rare movies where...

    by chris hinojosa

    ...upon finishing it you immediately want to watch it again, to see how your new knowledge affects the film--and it only improves it. And, the score is absolutely wonderful, as well.

  • April 20, 2012, 9:31 p.m. CST

    Now, pretend your not Wolverine, and not mad at Batman.

    by The Dum Guy

    And, action.

  • April 20, 2012, 9:31 p.m. CST

    Nevermind, lame joke.

    by notcher

    Fuck comicbookmovie.com

  • April 20, 2012, 9:38 p.m. CST

    I actually thought Jackman was great.

    by notcher

    Yeah, he's always Hugh Jackman, but so are a LOT of actors. I thought Jackman drove his character's story just as he should.

  • April 20, 2012, 9:43 p.m. CST

    the copyright at the page bottom needs to be 2012 guys

    by Anthony Torchia

    unless you don't care about stuff from this year I have abandonment issues, so I never liked this film, maybe it's better than I remember

  • April 20, 2012, 9:45 p.m. CST

    Nolan and SciFi

    by A.J. Albright

    My co-workers and myself constantly toss around the idea of Nolan filming an adaptation of Alfred Bester's "The Stars My Destination." A man can only dream.

  • April 20, 2012, 9:46 p.m. CST

    memento = nolans best film

    by deanmail

    the dark knight = 2nd best (two-face ending was anti-climactic) the prestige = 3rd best insomnia = 4th best Absolutely loved the prestige, the changes from the novel worked very well onscreen and with few changes the film could have worked just as well in a modern-day setting. I've bought and "bought into" all of Nolan's films except the technically excellent - Inception and Batman Begins.

  • Bale was great, but Pierce would've been sinister in that role.

  • April 20, 2012, 9:59 p.m. CST

    I'm glad I saw The Illusionist first. It was a good movie, but if I saw it after I

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    would have considered it a turd compared to the greatness that is The Prestige.

  • April 20, 2012, 10:04 p.m. CST

    The coolest thing about The Prestige is....

    by DeckardB26354

    that the concept of the bird being crushed in the cage to create magic is essentially what the entire movie is about, and it happens to all the main characters.

  • April 20, 2012, 10:07 p.m. CST

    SPOILER

    by lochkray

    Just had to put that up there, because my problem with the Prestige is in the actions of the Hugh Jackman character, and it always bugs me: So here it is **** SPOILER ****: Why keep killing yourself every night? Why not use the machine once, make an exact copy of yourself, then do the same thing Bale had been doing all along with his brother? Seems far simpler. In what universe would the Jackman character think that making a copy of himself everynight, drowning the original, then using blind people as accomplices to cover up the killing, and then allowing his clone to continue the work is the most reasonable course of action? He has a replication machine, for fucks sake - And all he can come up with is: I'll repeatedly kill myself for my magic act. I mean, cute Twilight Zone twist, but it bugs me. And I know, he was obsessed, driven, blah blah blah. Still too far off track of reason for me. Otherwise; well acted, nice mood, a good film in every technical way. Just that resolution to the whole thing bugs me.

  • April 20, 2012, 10:09 p.m. CST

    Prestige suffers from Sci-Fi aspect suddenly pulled out of left field.

    by cookylamoo

    Like you're watching High Plains Drifter and suddenly Eastwood pulls out a ray gun.

  • April 20, 2012, 10:14 p.m. CST

    I think this movie inspired the tv series "The Mentalist" *spoilers*

    by tangcameo

    I think Bale's magician and Patrick Jane are pulling the same act. I think PJ and RJ just trade off but keep each other up to date. Plus I never trust that smile PJ has on the show, a little too amused all the time.

  • April 20, 2012, 10:31 p.m. CST

    @cookylamoo , I thoguht so too, but someone illuminated me

    by bah

    Yeah, it's a crazy, sci-fi idea. But what's important to the plot is that even though he has this indescribably amazing piece of technology -- what amounts to REAL MAGIC -- what does he do with it? Does he present it to the public, the world's first true magician? No, he uses it to stick it to his competition. He's so fucking competitive that he overlooks what he has.

  • A simple trick put on by Bale and Bowie to fool Jackman.

  • April 20, 2012, 10:39 p.m. CST

    Great, great film...

    by Jay

    I loved Memento, and really liked Batman Begins & Insomnia. But the Prestige truly sealed the deal for me. I will always make time to see a new Nolan film in theaters. The guys on a streak like Spielberg was after Jaws (Which many compared to Hitchcock and his streak of pure excellence) You can call some of his films overrated (I'm not exactly the biggest Dark Knight fan) but the guy is doing something interesting with every film, and he's doing it with skill and class. It will be interesting to see the films he churns out after Batman is all said and done.

  • April 20, 2012, 10:39 p.m. CST

    My favorite Nolan movie, also.

    by frank

    What you’re about to see is considered safe.

  • April 20, 2012, 10:41 p.m. CST

    Only thing that bothered me

    by frank

    was how when they were looking for a Hugh Jackman double, they found HUGH JACKMAN. And then the guy was all: ‘He’ll have to do’ or something to that effect.

  • April 20, 2012, 10:43 p.m. CST

    unorthodoxt

    by Composite_Beppo

    Nolan doing The Stars My Destination by Bester... My mind is now officially blown and I am going to bore my wife and friends spreading this concept and playing "Cast this movie".... (Shambles off, mumbling happily.)

  • April 20, 2012, 10:44 p.m. CST

    Did anyone else root for Angier throughout the movie?

    by Toe Jam

    Even after the final act? I think the general consensus is that Borden was the more sympathetic character, but I felt just the opposite. Of course, both of them were ultimately irredeemable, twisted, misguided characters, but I found myself rooting for Angier.

  • April 20, 2012, 10:49 p.m. CST

    lochkray ........ SPOILER

    by deanmail

    angier and borden were total opposites: 1.borden trusted his twin 2.angier trusted nobody, not even his original that got teleported away, so his clone shot the original and drowned every clone that came afterwards....No trust at all (eg.blind assistants)

  • April 20, 2012, 10:49 p.m. CST

    All I kept thinking at the end is

    by kikuchiyoboy

    Tesla can make a killing reselling all those hats. Low production all prophet.

  • April 20, 2012, 10:57 p.m. CST

    star wars episode II - The Tesla Menace

    by deanmail

    A Jango goes in ....... Jangoes come out ... rinse and repeat

  • April 20, 2012, 11:02 p.m. CST

    echoing what others have already said

    by bluebottle

    The Prestige is my favorite Nolan film by far. I mean, I love all his work, but there's something about that movie...

  • April 20, 2012, 11:20 p.m. CST

    I agree. Prestige is Nolan's best.

    by Mr. Waturi

    It's his best use of the disjointed timeline, thanks in part to great performances by the leads. Bale was fantastic, and David Bowie was inspired casting. Just a beautiful and timeless film. The only negative was Hugh Jackman's performance as his alcoholic double. Very cartoonish.

  • April 20, 2012, 11:24 p.m. CST

    NIKOLA TESLA

    by Tim Hendon

    Greatest inventor of all time. Nolan should make a movie about him. Edison was a hack compared to Tesla. If you have not read at least 6 books about Tesla then you cannot comment against my posit, so don't even try. He created the modern age and was rewarded with nothing while copycats made fortunes. Tesla did not know how to exploit people; he was a channel for bringing knowledge from heaven to earth. PRESTIGE is a great movie, no question. Bowie made a great Tesla. Very grateful to Nolan for making Tesla an integral character. Serkis was great as his assistant. The whole movie was great. Classic Nolan puzzlemaking.

  • April 20, 2012, 11:34 p.m. CST

    I reallly wanted to love this movie upon first viewing...

    by T 1000 xp professional

    The theme of the film about not giving up the secrets of the prestige is true for filmmaking itself and I'm sure Nolan intended this parallel.. Unfortunately the film for ME fell victim to this as I figured out the twist halfway through. Man, I was so pissed that I did and was in denial and hoping that I'd be wrong... :/.... This type of disappointment can only happen on films that rely and pride themselves in their carefully crafted plot twist for the audience's initial experience. On my second viewing I found myself loving it and just embracing it for the technically marvelous and atmospheric film that it is. Since I was no longer invested in being suckerpunched, I came to really love the story.

  • April 20, 2012, 11:34 p.m. CST

    clicked this thinking it was Almost Famous...

    by john

    Forgot Christian Bale said the same thing. Close enough.

  • ...and yet, somehow none of that even mattered, as it was still a great film, despite those predictable (to me, at least) elements, just due to how well the story was told and presented, the atmosphere that was created, and a main cast that all brought their a-game. Pure quality.

  • FUCKING EPIC. Still have a soft spot for this one. No apologies.

  • April 21, 2012, midnight CST

    Why does everyone look at me blankly

    by LowDevil

    whenever i mention "have you ever seen The Prestige?" (insert blank face) It annoys me completely. Then i describe the film, they get excited, tell me they will rent..... and then they never do. It kills me. I love this film

  • April 21, 2012, 12:05 a.m. CST

    BTW an early 96% for Avengers on RT

    by LowDevil

    I have been bashing Whedon for months now along with the look and feel of the movie. I now hope that i get to eat both my feet along with GF's feet and anyone else that wants to put their feet in my mouth. I hope i deserve it. Still just cant get over how bad Cap's helmet is!!

  • April 21, 2012, 12:14 a.m. CST

    lowdevil...the prestige can't be "sold" without giving it away

    by deanmail

    and the twist is built into the film more subtly than the 6th sense. the period setting also doesn't lend itself to mass appeal. great film but a HARD sell without a superhero or any recognizable "hero" for that matter.

  • April 21, 2012, 12:38 a.m. CST

    lochkray

    by Secretagentnumber6

    Deanmail's explanation works, but I always thought of it a different way. Angier, felt responsible for the death Julia, or at least partly responsible. He may have hated Borden but Julia was different. Her drowning weighed heavily on him,and Angier saw the drowning of himself multiple times in the same way as penance for her death. Hell maybe I am reading too much into it, but that is the beauty of the moment it is revealed it is open for interpretation.

  • April 21, 2012, 12:56 a.m. CST

    The Illusionist is trash compared to this movie.

    by Tim

    Seriously, watched that movie once and it was OK. I've seen the Prestige probably 4-5 times and it just gets better and better. Great film to watch with someone who's never seen it.

  • April 21, 2012, 1:01 a.m. CST

    @lochkray

    by Shabado

    I haven't watch The Prestige recently, but from my memory Angier's plan was to frame Bordon for his murder and take Bordon's child as payback for his wife. That's why he had to drown every night, since he knew Bordon would show up but didn't know what performance it would be.

  • April 21, 2012, 1:06 a.m. CST

    Give a damn

    by John Brown

    I assume that refers to Gone With the Wind. But then again, I seem to have a memory stuck in my head of a classroom of students chanting "We just don't give a damn! We just don't give a damn!" Am I imagining that?

  • April 21, 2012, 1:13 a.m. CST

    Great film

    by Christian

    The Prestige is to me one of the few films that is actually BETTER than the book it is based on. The Nolans did the right thing by removing that boring part of the book that takes place in modern day and features two distant relatives to Borden and Angier. It added notihing to the oberall story. Also, the ending has been completely rewritten and it is for the better. Sure, the twist is sorta the same but in the book it doesn't have the same impact.

  • April 21, 2012, 1:20 a.m. CST

    Christopher Priest

    by Christian

    Now that I think of it: Someone (Nolan or, better yet, Cronenberg) should really do a movie based on another book by Christopher Priest, namely "Inverted World". Now THAT is one strange book. I would love to see it made into a movie.

  • April 21, 2012, 1:20 a.m. CST

    One of the few adaptations that improves on the book

    by Johnboy40

    Christopher Priest's ending was a little more unwieldy than Nolan's. The motivation for the feud was simpler too, and I love the way that Nolan set it all up as a magic trick.

  • April 21, 2012, 1:31 a.m. CST

    in the Prestige novel.......

    by deanmail

    Borden damaged the machinery so Angier got teleported into two clones 1.a sickly physical Angier and 2.an energetic ghostly Angier...alot of his Victorian era diary recounted his experiments trying to teleport his spirit back into his dying body...it ended with the silhouette of a modern day immortal but eternally coughing sickly Angier walking away from his descendants into the night....Nolan could've made either ending work...but actually having a twist revealing Bordens twin followed by a present day twist revealing an immortal Angier would've been....genius.

  • April 21, 2012, 1:46 a.m. CST

    Can anyone verify this...

    by Fortunesfool

    *Spoilers* Are Hugh Jackman's assistants all clones of the blind guy. I remember talking about this when I left the cinema but no one seemed to have noticed. Might have just been me.

  • April 21, 2012, 2:08 a.m. CST

    Dean mail, and continuing to SPOILER the book

    by Johnboy40

    Of course, but I think the book ending never really presented it as a study of obsession in the way that Nolan saw it, taking into account that the book machine killed the original without the need for a drowning. It did, though, in it's own way, point out how each copy was slightly less than the predecessor...more like a photocopy than a clone. Which leans in the direction of the obsessive nature of the story. Have you read any other of Priest's books? Interesting writer. All of them seem to study duality and obsessiveness, but he is a little unwieldy. That's why the prestige worked so much better,IMO. Nolan trimmed the fat and streamlined it

  • April 21, 2012, 3:20 a.m. CST

    No love for FOLLOWING??

    by onezeroone

    Am I the only one who "discovered" following before MEMENTO's release? Going back to it, you can see strands of every Nolan movie in that one.

  • April 21, 2012, 3:27 a.m. CST

    great pic great movie

    by JIMBOCOP

    My only nitpic is that Bowden directs Angier to the one person on the planet who can create The Transported Man for real and he does it to misdirect him? Seems a bit of an own goal. But this one contrivance in a film about contrivance so it's forgivable!

  • microbudgeted, but blows other "student" level productions out of the water through basic ideas and editing

  • April 21, 2012, 3:39 a.m. CST

    The whole movie is a magic trick. Nolan is the magician fooling us all.

    by ThehandthatBites

    He, through Caine's character, keeps telling you the twist. But we're agreeing with Angier. I love that Nolan asked both of them not to read the book. Wolverine agreed, while Bale instantly devoured it. Also While Bale, Caine, Bowie (why hasn't he ever done more, his turn as The elephant man is considered a stage classic) and Gollum are great I always completely forget Scarlet is in this. How the fuck can I forget those glorious... erm... EVERYTHING

  • April 21, 2012, 3:46 a.m. CST

    lochkray

    by Ace of Wands

    Why keep killing himself? Because HE had to be the one taking the bow everynight. Either Borden was able to live with hearing the applause from below the stage because that was the illusion and their whole life was constructed around it, they could subsume their own character, sacrifice it for the trick. Angier does this in his own way, making the sacrifice, by killing himself every night because only one of him must take the applause. If he did as you suggested, replicate himself so that he could replicate Borden's effect, then he would be back in the position of, sometimes, hearing the applause for another and that isn't in his psyche. IMO

  • April 21, 2012, 4:14 a.m. CST

    The Prestige is about 1000 times better than The Dark Knight

    by kwisatzhaderach

    Fact.

  • April 21, 2012, 4:15 a.m. CST

    Thanks to all...

    by lochkray

    ...who took the time to address my issue with the movie. It still bugs me. Don't hold it against me. Personally, I liked Insomnia more, which is generally regarded as Nolan's weakest effort. And Momento was a brilliant, brilliant movie. That would be my pick for Nolan's best. Anyway, I can't say I've ever disliked any of his movies. And there aren't a whole lot of directors with a half dozen movies under their belt that I can say that about.

  • April 21, 2012, 4:41 a.m. CST

    johnboy40

    by The_Skook

    I've read a few Christopher Priest, and if anything there are definite similarities between the multi-layering dream world of 'Inception' and 'A Dream of Wessex', which is by far Priests' best book.

  • April 21, 2012, 5:40 a.m. CST

    Bowie as Agent Philip Jeffries

    by IWasInJuniorHighDickhead

    we're not going to talk about Judy. We're not going to talk about Judy at all...

  • April 21, 2012, 6:08 a.m. CST

    New Dark Knight Rises trailer out on May 4th - Woo-hoo!

    by Tristan

    And, yeah, The Prestige is really good.

  • April 21, 2012, 6:25 a.m. CST

    covjack

    by A_Banned_Apart

    First thing that came to mind when I read your post was the "It just doesn't matter!" scene from Meatballs...but I apologize if I'm way off base here. And I love The Prestige.

  • April 21, 2012, 6:31 a.m. CST

    Amazed me that this seemed to pass by without fanfare

    by davidwebb

    By far one of Nolan's best.

  • April 21, 2012, 6:32 a.m. CST

    Great Film

    by 2LeggedFreak

    The sacrifices the two magicians make to be top dog are just gob-smacking. But thats magicians for you, a bigger bunch of overly competitive back-biting bastards you'll never meet.

  • April 21, 2012, 6:35 a.m. CST

    The Presteige is a great film?

    by brobdingnag

    You must have missed Jackman's truly awful acting. He just ruins that film.

  • April 21, 2012, 7:15 a.m. CST

    The Master Stroke of this film

    by richievanderlow

    thehandthatbites touches on this in his post above, but its easy to overlook what Nolan does in this movie... which is he hits you over the head with the twist, you figure it out, but you're not sure you're right until it's revealed. Like most of you I figured it out but I wondered if I was right and couldn't wait to see how the rest of the movie unfolded and if I was right. He cast just enough doubt to keep you interested. So it just doesn't matter if you figure it out.

  • I loved the drunk actor part he played in The Prestige. I think he'd of been interesting as Batman, he's got the bang tidy muscles for it and his wolvie rage would have channeled nicely as batman...oh well..

  • April 21, 2012, 7:42 a.m. CST

    Ending creeped the fuck out of me

    by proevad

    Willies. As in gave me them.

  • April 21, 2012, 7:43 a.m. CST

    also Thom Yorke's end credit song is brilliant

    by proevad

  • April 21, 2012, 7:59 a.m. CST

    never cared to watch it more than once

    by txtone04

    that is the true test for me. Better than Dark Knight? Hmmm...although the exploding boat bit is very Joker, it didn't seem real.

  • April 21, 2012, 8:09 a.m. CST

    Very underrated film; Nolan's best work IMHO

    by Logan_1973

    Darn movie is smarter than the average bear.

  • April 21, 2012, 8:40 a.m. CST

    Prestige is great but Memento is still Nolan's best

    by sunwukong86

  • April 21, 2012, 8:41 a.m. CST

    Tesla invented the radio bitch.

    by UltraTron

  • April 21, 2012, 8:45 a.m. CST

    that's some seriously magic level stupidity there.

    by UltraTron

  • April 21, 2012, 8:47 a.m. CST

    Tesla invented the radio. You thought it was that other guy.

    by UltraTron

  • April 21, 2012, 8:50 a.m. CST

    Tesla invented the death ray too

    by tangcameo

    ...bitches.

  • April 21, 2012, 8:54 a.m. CST

    The Illusionist

    by adml_shake

    I did like both movies, but if I had to pick one it would have be The Illusionist. I thought it was just a better story and better movie in most respects.

  • April 21, 2012, 9:25 a.m. CST

    Bowie is great as Tesla

    by Rick Webb

    And Bale kills it as Queensryche

  • For what? Because he slapped her that one time? There was no other way out but killing him I suppose. I guess that's just life

  • April 21, 2012, 9:29 a.m. CST

    Quint-nice comparison to Coppola.

    by Robert Evans

    Batman films are his Godfathers. Prestige is The conversation. Would that make Inception his Apocalypse Now?

  • April 21, 2012, 9:30 a.m. CST

    I forget. Apparently he was bad.

    by UltraTron

    What say you guys? Did Knight's Tale baddy deserve to die in illusionist?

  • April 21, 2012, 9:37 a.m. CST

    the Batman's are Nolan's least interesting films by a long stretch.

    by Fortunesfool

    Even Insomnia, his most overlooked film is superior to the Batman movies, which are clumsy and dull in comparison.

  • April 21, 2012, 9:56 a.m. CST

    Easily my favorite Nolan film!

    by Ali Kerim Bey

  • April 21, 2012, 9:57 a.m. CST

    My thoughts on Nolan and Inception

    by King_Knut

    At the risk of opening myself up to ridicule... http://tinyurl.com/nolanrubbish

  • April 21, 2012, 10:09 a.m. CST

    The Energizer Bunny must have been working hard that night.

    by Christian Sylvain

    The Prestige is such a great movie. No doubt helped by the casting. If more films could have two actors playing off each other as well as Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman do in the Prestige, the world would be a better place.

  • April 21, 2012, 10:18 a.m. CST

    The problem with The Prestige...

    by DEX

    ... is that it does not establish itself as science fiction. So, when there is a central mystery and the answer is sci-fi, it comes off as a bit of a cheat. It reminds me Cameron Crowe's Vanilla Sky, which also pulled the sci-fi angle from out of nowhere. I actually believe that Nolan is the best filmmaker of his generation but for this reason, I think The Prestige is his weakest film (Insomnia and TDK being the best, IMHO).

  • April 21, 2012, 10:28 a.m. CST

    Ultratron.

    by notcher

    Don't know how serious you were but Angier was already rich, he didn't need gold bars. Just sayin.

  • April 21, 2012, 10:33 a.m. CST

    That wasn't Hugh Jackman playing the double

    by Patch

    That was his brother, get a watch that works...

  • After that it lost me. Sorry guys, but I didn't like it.

  • Your observations on The Prestige were spot on, but I think Vanilla Sky is a bit of a different kettle of fish. Vanilla Sky drops hints as to what it is. Half the fun of that movie is not knowing what genre it is as it veers between comedy, drama, etc etc and has a twisty turny story. When we realise at the end we've been watching a sci-fi movie all along - I don't find it a cheat at all. I think it's a nice twist and a satisfying payoff. It doesn't come out of nowhere either, there are plenty of clues...

  • April 21, 2012, 11:48 a.m. CST

    Prestige/Illusionist

    by Red Ned Lynch

    Strangely enough I had this conversation in another talkback a couple weeks ago. I too, prefer the Illusionist to The Prestige, though by a tiny amount. Nolan is a great film maker but even in his best films he struggles to make his films as emotionally engaging as they are intellectually engaging. The Illusionist involved me in the internal landscapes of its characters far more effectively than did The Prestige. The Prestige was a more visually lush and thematically complex film.

  • April 21, 2012, 11:52 a.m. CST

    And when do we get...

    by Red Ned Lynch

    Christopher Nolan's Jack? That's what I'm waiting for. Yeah, it's a cheap shot. With Coppola's body of work he can take it.

  • April 21, 2012, 12:16 p.m. CST

    HATE, HATE HATE HATE HATE Inception.

    by ZodNotGod

    The Batmans are the only Nolan films I own/like. I do however think he'd make a fantastic Bond director. He has more steam in him than Coopola, who was/is too pretentious to move beyond his 70's greats.

  • April 21, 2012, 12:18 p.m. CST

    Maybe that's why Nolan's non-Batman are flat with me...

    by ZodNotGod

    next to zero emotions.

  • April 21, 2012, 12:30 p.m. CST

    The Prestige is my favourite of all Christopher Nolan's movies

    by david starling

    I bought it on DVD, and put it on, with no expectations at all. And it truly kicked my ass!!

  • Illusionist was crap. Total, utter crap. Really. Looked like made for TV and the story was boring.

  • April 21, 2012, 12:51 p.m. CST

    This is one of the best movies, period. Should have won an Oscar

    by locke815

    Every scene is perfect. Juxtaposition, foreshadowing, parallel structures. SPOILERS Look at the themes of suffocation alone: Angiers' wife drowns, Borden's ingenue is buried alive, Borden is hung, Angier drowns nightly, the story of the sailor dragged overboard. The motif of the bird carried throughout. The mirror of the magicians' rivalry with Edison and Tesla's The motif of master and ingenue. Gollum was Tesla's It's perfect. It's my favorite film. By any director. Pure genius. The fact it is overlooked just underscores how stupid most filmgoers are. Many Adam Sandler movies outgrossed this. I'm so happy people like Nolan exist and refuse to sell out

  • April 21, 2012, 1:06 p.m. CST

    I found ZERO emotion in The Illusionist.

    by notcher

    The Prestige was supposed to be cold, it wasn't at all about how either magician loved someone they lost, it was ALL about their obsession with each others' tricks. The Illusionist was fun, but Biel was awfully miscast, the tricks were interesting, but I had no emotional attachment to any of the characters at all. So for those saying the Prestige was emotionless, fine, by so was The Illusionist, the difference is, The Illusionist was trying to be emotional while The Prestige was clearly not.

  • April 21, 2012, 1:12 p.m. CST

    Nolan's best film imo

    by Keith

    Even though it's flawed, it's still brilliant. The flaws: 1. It really has too many enigmas to be elegant. The resolution to the Borden mystery is enough to support a movie by itself. The resolution to the Angier mystery is also enough to support a movie by itself. The fact that they both exist independently in the same story makes it a slightly weird narrative, especially as the Tesla deception by Borden actually leads - by coincidence - to the Angier enigma. 2. The handling of Borden/Fallon. Too obvious. Fallon is given so little screen time, and mumbles so much, that it's obvious that something is fishy. They didn't have the courage to try to pull the gag off overtly, but the subterfuge ends up calling attention to the trick. The positives: There has never been a better fictional example of the 'replicated man' philosophy of mind thought experiment. It really is absolutely superb, and what's even more striking is that this is a feature of the adaptation, NOT the original book. It's one of the (surprisingly frequent) cases of a movie being better than the book from which it was adapted. Priest's book is atmospheric, but Nolan's movie has stronger ideas and cleaner lines. The fact that the Tesla machine actually makes a PERFECT copy of Angier every time in the movie is what elevates it towards greatness. One minor black mark against Scarlett Johansson for her accent. It isn't that she has a bad English accent; the problem is that while her accent work is acceptable, she has more than one acceptable accent. At one point she sounds quite refined, later on she sounds like Eliza Doolittle.

  • April 21, 2012, 1:20 p.m. CST

    The Illusionist was lame

    by Keith

    Lowlight was the Scooby Doo scene where Norton inexplicably (literally) creates a series of fully-formed 3D 'ghosts' by using projectors. Yeah, RIGHT.

  • http://tinyurl.com/c4xrp2k

  • April 21, 2012, 1:43 p.m. CST

    Inception

    by Keith

    ...is my least favourite Nolan movie. A movie that thinks it's really intelligent, but isn't. It doesn't even obey its own rules, and is chock-full of scenes that are resolved by edict rather than flowing from the narrative. If you consistently break the rules you've claimed are in place, your story sucks.

  • April 21, 2012, 2:09 p.m. CST

    I think this is Nolans best film

    by alexander

    It's so rewarding with each furthur viewing, and is stunningly beautiful. Its funny too, each Batman film and I'm guessing the next one too seem to revolve around the core concept of The Prestige too, I'm not sure if that's just me but Inception and The Prestige have been my favourite Twilight Zone movies since Donnie Darko and Moon (Source Code was pretty darn nice too), though they're brilliant in their own right. And I'll never forget those first couple minutes watching this at the cinema, when I could have sworn it was Ricky Gervais playing Tesla!

  • April 21, 2012, 2:10 p.m. CST

    too too too

    by alexander

    Please excuse the bullshit grammer there.

  • April 21, 2012, 2:21 p.m. CST

    Liked Following, Memento was a quantum leap in quality though

    by deanmail

    Inception was businessmen playing high-tech dungeons & dragons. The French actress lacked charisma so I didn't connect emotionally to Inception at all. Really wish Nolan could have brought The Riddler to his batman films. Would've been a perfect fit to his sensibilities. Haven't read any C.Priest except The Prestige. Nolan is best at adapting others work to his vision of psychological realism. Warner Bros. should let him reboot the terminator franchise, bring it back to its grim tech-noir roots.

  • Go check out IDBM data base too, has pic's of jackman in make up... BOOMTHEREITIS!

  • April 21, 2012, 2:36 p.m. CST

    Notcher...

    by Red Ned Lynch

    ...I'm sorry that you can't see it. And as far as Biel's performance, I would certainly match it against Johansson's, and the less said about Perabo's Tiny Tim riff the better. And Misterdarcy, you couldn't swallow a magician creating lifelike images but you could swallow Tesla building a cloning machine. I don't have a problem with either, but to accept one and not the other is an example of you choosing, not a commentary on the film. Anyway, loved The Prestige. Loved The Illusionist a little bit more. Feel free to continue the gnashing of teeth and rending of cloth.

  • April 21, 2012, 2:58 p.m. CST

    I'd love to see Nolan tackle either Dan Simons or china mieville.

    by some dude

    The terror and the city & the city respectively.

  • April 21, 2012, 3:09 p.m. CST

    I think Insomnia was pachino's last performance.

    by UltraTron

    Good little movie.

  • April 21, 2012, 3:27 p.m. CST

    Hugh Jackman is a one trick pony?

    by BIG_BAD_WOLF_IN_CAPS

    I thought he was good in this, and fuck, if you haven't seen him in The Fountain, you must. You'll change your tune.

  • April 21, 2012, 3:47 p.m. CST

    Yeah, it was great seeing INSOMNIA work

    by ScreamingPenis

    It was like Pacino decided to turn it on one more time just to prove that he could still do it. But PRESTIGE is a masterpiece. It's more complex and got more moving parts than INSOMNIA.

  • April 21, 2012, 3:57 p.m. CST

    Nolan's last great movie.

    by imagin78

  • Some more than others, and the end of Inception will ALWAYS bother me, but I still like all of them.

  • April 21, 2012, 5:20 p.m. CST

    The ending of Inception doesn't matter...

    by SlickyVonBoner

    He BELIEVES he is home with his kid, so it doesn't matter whether or not its real, or whether the top falls at the end. It's just human nature to want to know everything, so an ambiguous ending bugs some people, but i thought it was brillant and it made that movie what it was.

  • But good work, Cricket_Midget.

  • April 21, 2012, 6:48 p.m. CST

    @dex establishing itself as a sci-fi movie

    by Adelai Niska

    The whole point is that it's magic in the end. Michael Caine tells the audience: you're looking for the trick but you won't find it, because you don't really want to. throughout the movie the truth about what Jackman's up to is pretty clear, so much so that it's not really even a twist, but as the audience we convince ourselves to not notice it. That's what makes it brilliant. Suuuuch a re-watchable movie.

  • Like, you could even question whether or not anything that happened in the movie is "real". Regardless, like I said, I like it. I actually like it quite a lot. And I'm OK with an ambiguous ending, too. It's OK to have to really think about what you've just seen when you walk out of a theater. I just wasn't satisfied with ending of THAT FILM. It leaves me with a bad taste, even though I like it as a whole.

  • April 21, 2012, 7:21 p.m. CST

    The truth about entitled talkbackers and trolls

    by Hey_Kobe_Tell_Me_How_My_Ass_Tastes

    centers around those who think that just because they are allowed to post here or have been doing so since before such a thing called a smart phone existed - which allows them to post while taking a shit at the same time, or post their shit as such the case may be, then they are somehow entitled to being treated like fucking hands off royalty. furthermore such entitled fucks think they have the right to criticize anyone and everyone with impunity because afterfall harry is beholden to them and their daily hit counts for his income and fame which they deride constantly and threaten daily by saying they will never return because this place just aint what it used to be, but strangely enough they do return.news for all of them, if this site was mostly beholden on talkback hit counts it would have went belly up a long long long time ago. they will not believe me, even though the proof is on the posting page and can be found with a google search of site hit counts. they will continue to exist in their entitled little world because this place is important to them, they need this place far far more that it needs them. the d.vader banning of a year ago and subsequent moaning and bitching and screams of 'im never coming back' really did spell the doom of talkbacks and aicn. oh wait a minute, no it did not. the site miraculously kept going and the place was actually better off because all inbred trolls and their sock puppets stayed away until they realized how desperately they needed this place and how much it did not need them. that is the bullshit i rail against and why i heap scorn on choppah and his sock puppet echo chamber ilk and all the anti social trolls who would cry for years if this site truly went belly up. actually this site performs a public service keeping assholes like ctm and that pedophile conspiracy from the general public

  • April 21, 2012, 7:27 p.m. CST

    cookylamoo

    by Baryonyx

    In High Plains Drifter Eastwood suddenly becomes a ghost!

  • April 21, 2012, 8:59 p.m. CST

    The problem with Insommnia

    by runfoodrun

    For me is that I saw it not long after seeing the original and I liked the original far better. I've tried watching it since and it doesn't feel like a Nolan film the way way the rest of his do. Prestige is my favorite of his, inception, batman begins, memento, following, tdk, insomnia is the order for me I think. I love them all except Insommnia. TDK might be higher, I think has amazing scenes, but is not a complete thought. The rest work as fully realized stories. But some of the individual scenes in TDK are some of the best on any of his films.

  • April 21, 2012, 10:25 p.m. CST

    Chickenstu

    by Robert Evans

    Im praying for TDKR to be Godfather 3 and not Jack.

  • April 21, 2012, 10:31 p.m. CST

    Kobe

    by Robert Evans

    Since the DVader banning of 2010, the posts in the TBs have dropped considerably. Those threads in the top ten were consistently over 400 posts each and the Balebackers and Pedalbackers did keep the fires burning and the topics flowing. That's all gone now..only a memory. And yes for the most part, the ones who said bye bye to this place have stayed gone or at least not cared enough to post.

  • April 21, 2012, 11:10 p.m. CST

    Most of all of Nolan's films thus far have been about filmmaking

    by D.Vader

    The Prestige, Insomnia, even Memento to an extent. Oh yeah, and then there are those Batman movies. Different subject.

  • April 21, 2012, 11:12 p.m. CST

    I always rooted for Angier

    by D.Vader

    I like that the movie never made one character more sympathetic or more relatable than the other... but I found myself rooting for Angier... I seemed to want the prestige more and worked harder for it... barring the revelation of Borden's sacrifice by the end, I mean.

  • Memento should enjoy a much bigger status. It is still the most fresh, interesting, exciting, and experimental of all Nolan's films. The Prestige I should give another shot, but I remember feeling that the plot was overly complicated in the service of a contrived "gotcha" moment at the end. Films that contrive you to jump through a million little hoops of suspended disbelief just to have a holy fuck moment right at the end annoy me. Memento has an ingenius twist at the end, but the film comes together in total clarity with that ending, rather than the feeling you get after Inception or the Prestige, that you have to go with all kinds of absurd contrivances and ridiculous coincidences in order to arrive where they did. That being said, Nolan's talents in creating atmosphere, character, and striking imagery make the film, as all his films, highly engaging. The two Batman films are as entertaining as Hollywood gets, and he elevated the material by re-infusing a realistic brand of mythic heroism that had been watered down through excessive cheese in the franchise's previous entries. I love Batman dearly and have since a child, but let's be honest here: these films are about a guy who dresses up as a bat to fight other maniacs in costume. Entertaining yes but certainly not the best film has to offer. I would always rather see an engaging film with an unforgettable character arc than a bunch of huge explosions and predictable plot resolutions. I'm not an art house snob - I love a good Hollywood blockbuster as much as the next guy. Yet a better experience will always be had when a narrative goes down a road not yet taken. Following is a bit to low budget for my tastes and also suffers from an over reliance on a tricky ending. Insomnia was an intriguing noir but its plot ultimately felt like a serial killer movie of the week. Inception seemed like it could have gone down some utterly dope corridors but instead it just became silly in the way Hollywood does when they see lots of dollar signs. A James Bond style ski race down a mountain with machine guns, all as some kind of dream heist? Come on, if you say you're gonna show me a dream, don't show me some James Bond action scene we've all seen ten trillion times. Memento however I can find no fault with. It has an utterly brilliant concept that works on multiple levels. It is a thriller, a mystery, an art house character study, a dark noir of the human soul. Its style is bold, avant garde, yet entirely logical and compelling. You are seeing a story told in reverse, but functionally the technique plants you in the mind of the protagonist so totally that you become Leonard himself as he desperately tries to put the facts of his life together. Nolan never tried a plot so audacious again, probably because studios would never hand him 200 million to do anything remotely that out there again. The casting is perfect and every actor nails it, especially Pearce and Pantoliano. The brooding, powerful score is the best Nolan's used. Not only does the film reward repeat viewings, but in some ways it improves as you realize that Nolan has been playing with your perceptions (for example by making the distinction between Sammy Jenkins and Leonard hazy). When all is revealed, one marvels not only at how logical and organic it feels, but how meaningful it is in revealing the depths of Leonard's character, and thus of the general terrors of the human soul (memory). That is ultimately why Memento is a far better film than Nolan's others. Yes it is a thriller with twists up the wazoo, but at the end of the day it is not an empty shell game trying to M Night us into fast ticket sales. It actually has something interesting and unique to say about human beings. When Memento first came on the scene I remember first hearing about it on this site and went and saw it with my best movie buddy. Our minds were both utterly blown and to this day rank it as one of the great out of left field film experiences ever, one of those times when a movie goes so far over your expectations you just sit back and wonder in amazement how they did it. I have returned to this site countless times over the years, often despite a flood of idiotic fanboy nonsense that prefers vapid comic book imagery to deeply considered novelistic storytelling, yet the fact that this site gets out the word early about a film like Memento when the rest of the world is sleeping is what has kept me coming back over the years. I keep coming back hoping to hear about the next thing that will blow my mind, and it ain't gonna be Batman 3. I'm sure my opinion will run contrary to many, but I just don't see how one can compare the maverick tendencies of Memento to the studio driven sensibility of Nolan's later films. His are all entertaining, finely crafted films at the end of the day, so let's not split hairs, but Memento is in an artistic class of its own.

  • April 22, 2012, 5:24 a.m. CST

    @marvelousd - agreed re: Memento

    by deanmail

    I was hoping Inception was going to be a grander version of that but then the whole "shared" dreamspace reduced the very private personal aspects of it. Memento blended theme, structure and execution perfectly and was essentially forced you to think like a man trapped in an eternal downward spiral of hell, just when you've worked out Leonard's map you realise that every map he makes is can only lead him AWAY from his goal. Damn, that film was sad. I saw another circular movie called "Triangle" which was a simpler version of Memento and I liked it alot but had me wondering if challenging "puzzle-box" films are now being frowned upon & forgotten because they're harder to market and don't give a good return on investment unless they have a big name star attached. Are there any other puzzler-film directors like Christopher Nolan?

  • April 22, 2012, 5:40 a.m. CST

    Awesome and Bond

    by Simon George

    This is a stunningly good film, absolutely love it. Was bored by The Illusionist. And I agree, Christoper Nolan MUST make a Bond film at some point :)

  • April 22, 2012, 6:35 a.m. CST

    whoever asked why angier didn't retire

    by Johnboy40

    He was planning to. But to make piles of cash wasn't his motive. It was to perform a trick that Borden could not beat. To get the adulation of the crowd, and have the Great Danton recognised as the finest magician London had ever seen. And then, after performing the trick 100 times, retire. He didn't need money, as has been pointed out, he was loaded anyway. But keeping the machine would have been handy in the long term in case he ever did find himself needing a few quid.

  • April 22, 2012, 7:26 a.m. CST

    INCEPTION is overrated. FACT!

    by Autodidact

    There, I've said it again.

  • April 22, 2012, 7:29 a.m. CST

    They should have called it EXPOSITION or EXPLANATION

    by Autodidact

    My memory of INCEPTION is mostly Leo DiCaprio and Juno reading from the user's manual for the made up technology in the movie. I just don't get why so many people act like it's the greatest movie of the past ten years. It's not even Nolan's best movie (that is The Prestige, for my money).

  • April 22, 2012, 7:36 a.m. CST

    Don't get me started on MEMENTO... stylish but gimmicky

    by Autodidact

    I was really disappointed in MEMENTO back in the day, based on how many people whose opinions I value wrt movies raved on about it to me. It has been ten years. Maybe I should watch it again. I just remember it being kind of a boring story told in a tedious and up-its-own-ass way about some sad events. Wow, everything's going backwards... I'm totally disoriented like the guy in the movie. How novel.

  • April 22, 2012, 7:40 a.m. CST

    INSOMNIA played much better for me than MEMENTO

    by Autodidact

    Despite not loving the film, I appreciated the style and singular vision of MEMENTO, so I bought a ticket to INSOMNIA based on Nolan directing. Was a nice surprise as I really wasn't sure what to expect. INSOMNIA and ONE HOUR PHOTO made a good Summer 2002 Robin-Williams-is-Nuts-in-good-movies double bill. ONE HOUR PHOTO... now there's a movie that came out in the wrong decade!

  • April 22, 2012, 8:54 a.m. CST

    ayn bland, keep showing that brilliance boyo we are all blown away by it

    by Hey_Kobe_Tell_Me_How_My_Ass_Tastes

  • are they new tb'ers, in which case their numbers are far greater than the dearly departed pedalbackers, which means that it is a net gain, or ar they just repackaged pedal and balebackers - now that aibn swirled the toilet? so what is it bubbeh?

  • April 22, 2012, 11:08 a.m. CST

    The thing about Momento is that it only works once

    by Jaka

    Not from a viewing standpoint - you can watch it over and over. But from a creative standpoint, as a writer and director he can never do that again. I think Inception, in some ways, was his attempt at returning to a more experimental type of film making. But it was way too big for that to fly for most people.

  • April 22, 2012, 1:49 p.m. CST

    @jaka "Memento 2 - Play it again Sammy"

    by deanmail

    A prequal to Memento told backwards... end = Lenny finding and killing his wifes murderer but destroying the body to hide it before police arrives. policeman reintroduces himself as Teddy but is never able to convince Lenny that he HAS avenged his wife/ middle=Lenny tattooing himself and escaping mental hospital / beginning = Lennys life leading up to his brain damage, wifes murder and police interviews with Teddy.

  • A device that allows you to re-experience and share memories with others is used by A mnementoner and his crew. They are paid by a guiltridden CEO to go deep into his memoryscape and erase/replace the memory of how he accidentally caused the death of his wife so he can go on with his life. but what really happened? and what is part of his guilt-complex?

  • April 22, 2012, 2:22 p.m. CST

    Red Ned Lynch

    by Keith

    'And Misterdarcy, you couldn't swallow a magician creating lifelike images but you could swallow Tesla building a cloning machine' Very interesting question. I'll do my best to address this. As noted above, I have a problem with The Prestige throwing perhaps too many 'what if?'s at you in one story. In general, this is not a good idea. But I never found a, 'Oh, come ON!' moment in The Prestige, whereas I did have that feeling in The Illusionist. Here's why: In any given work of fiction, you are allowed at least one major 'what if?' that breaks away from the real world, so long as THIS IS THE KEY ASSUMPTION OF THE STORY. In Superman, the key assumption is that Kal-El is an alien whose basic physiology gives him powers on Earth much greater than those of humans. If a character such as Kal-El appeared in the middle of The Shawshank Redemption, we wouldn't accept it, because we didn't feel like we were signing up for that when we stepped aboard the story. It would feel like a ridiculous development. But in 'Superman', having a character who can fly and bend steel is okay. You can get into difficulties, however, when the key assumption is introduced late in the story. An example of this is 'From Dusk 'til Dawn'. The key assumption of that story is that vampires really exist, but the assumption is introduced so late (over halfway through) that it feels like a left turn in the story rather than the basis of the plot (even though I don't think this was actually the case). It's a dangerous manoeuvre. I think that The Prestige is a science fiction story, and the key assumption is that Tesla builds a machine that allows duplication. This is the One Big Idea you must take on board to accept the story. Everything else is secondary. What if Tesla, the Serb genius whom many people think had ideas way ahead of his time, accidentally created a duplication machine? It taps into the semi-mystical myth that surrounds Tesla, the idea that he was investigating weird stuff far beyond traditional Newtonian physics, properties of energy fields etc. It is not hard science fiction, but it IS science fiction. The Prestige seems to be a story about stage magicians that takes a left turn when asserting that Tesla could duplicate things. But, really, it's a story that assumes Tesla could duplicate things, and puts that core idea as the late reveal in a story that seems to be about duelling conjurers. By contrast, I don't believe that The Illusionist is about a man who develops an amazing hologram technology, and who also (incidentally) happens to work as a stage magician. You might be able to correct me, because I only saw the film at the cinema, but I did not come out of that movie thinking that The Big Idea of that movie was hologram technology, around which was wrapped a story about a conjurer in Vienna. In this case, I really DO think that the holographic ghosts are an unexplained and implausible development in the plot, a la Scooby Doo. The Prestige is on thin ice here, I'll grant you, precisely because the reveal is so late. But I believe that my position, while not rock-solid, is the correct way to read The Prestige - as an unusual, and disguised, science fiction movie. The Borden twin thing, although nice, and although seeming like a Big Idea, is not in fact a key assumption that needs to be taken on board for the story to work. Thoughts?

  • April 22, 2012, 2:59 p.m. CST

    in the prestige novel...

    by deanmail

    the duplication machine and its effect was the main idea...nolan made bordens obsession with keeping his twin secret until the end the main idea which isn't quite compatible with a cloning machine so the theme of professional rivalry was introduced to support both ideas on common ground. it didn't quite work. cloning tech and a secret twin are ideas that should have complimented each other more organically eg. we found out that years ago bordens twin was the first experimental product of the cloning machine before Tesla destroyed it, and THAT is why Borden kept his twin so secret. The Prestige was an excellent film but distinctive genres must blend into each other (eg.Vanilla Sky), they cant be "broken" into each other.

  • April 22, 2012, 3:15 p.m. CST

    deanmail

    by Keith

    'eg. we found out that years ago bordens twin was the first experimental product of the cloning machine before Tesla destroyed it, and THAT is why Borden kept his twin so secret' First time I watched the movie, this was what I was expecting, i.e. both magicians had had access to and taken entirely different strategies with the duplication machine.

  • April 22, 2012, 3:28 p.m. CST

    It's funny to read the sentence, . . .

    by Nice Marmot

    . . . Bowie playing Tesla.

  • April 22, 2012, 4:22 p.m. CST

    misterdarcy

    by deanmail

    what it boils down to was the duplication machine was a great idea wasted within the confines of bordens secret twin being the importantvlynchpin twist of the story. Thats like Superman crashing to earth from a dying planet, becoming a superhero, saving the whole world only for us to find that the twist is....the whole movie was a holographic simulation by Lex Luthor all along so he could study Superman and kill him at the end then replace Superman with a clone!!....two main ideas, two stories, two separate films. The Prestige was two excellent films forced together and becoming a "good" one. I've got a feeling after Bane is defeated Nolan is going to have another anti-climactic off-key ending with catwoman. (arms dealer Penguin would've been a better fit with Bane)

  • April 22, 2012, 5:39 p.m. CST

    misterdarcy...

    by Red Ned Lynch

    ...here are some things we know, so we don't have to choose to believe them. In the 19th and early 20th centuries illusionists and so-called mediums convinced a very large portion of the English speaking world that they could communicate with the dead. Their illusions included the appearance of and communication with these spirits. Physicists, physiologists, physicians and other groups starting with phy's, included Nobel Laureates, were taken in by these people and converted to Spiritualism. Even in the 1880s when a wave of skepticism led to determined investigations of spiritualism's practitioners the secrets of a great many were never discovered, and they were not, in their own time, debunked. The movie shows Eisenheim weaving this exact sort of illusion. Now of course it is highly unlikely that the illusion he could have weaved would have been as convincing to the eyes of someone watching a film in the 21st century as they were to the folks watching in the waning years of the Austria-Hungarian Empire, but certainly the eye witness accounts of the day report spirits walking up to a table, sweeping across the room, speaking and making physical contact with those in attendance. If you're not already aware of this you don't have to trust me. Just read a little about spiritualism. Now perhaps you would have liked The Illusionist better if it had portrayed these illusions, illusions that were at the time believed absolutely by people from all walks of life, as a series of rinky-dink parlor tricks. In many of these cases we don't know what the actual tricks looked like, but certainly the movie could have gone that route. Probably would have gotten a lot of laughs at how stupid everyone was back then. The movie instead portrayed them as the people of that era saw them, as proof of a life beyond the physical, as miracles they could see with their own eyes. The movie showed the power of illusion, and it was absolutely accurate in doing so. It was, in fact, what the movie was about. Now I know Tesla at various times believed he'd received communications from other worlds, tried to build a death ray and believed in free electricity for everybody. I like Tesla. I worked the destruction of his Colorado lab into a story once. Had him build a piano with a double harp and two keyboards, one a Janko, for Alexander Scriabin, the Russian composer and mystic. However, one of these movies depicts something that did happen, over and over again, on stages and in drawing rooms across the Western world. The other depends on Tesla building a cloning machine. Scooby-Doo, indeed.

  • April 22, 2012, 6:56 p.m. CST

    It was all about perfecting the perfect illusion...

    by Baryonyx

    ...and then we find out that a cloning machine is the reason the magic trick works. Sorry, but that revelation, late in the story, just sinks the story for me.

  • April 22, 2012, 8:03 p.m. CST

    That's an interesting idea

    by Keith

    The Illusionist is portraying not what the audience are seeing, but what they THINK they're seeing. That's quite a bold interpretation, though. We usually trust that we're seeing some kind of objective truth in a movie unless it gives us reason to do otherwise. Is that the case here simply by virtue of the movie's subject matter? I feel like I need the film to be more explicit about that move.

  • April 22, 2012, 8:07 p.m. CST

    Also

    by Keith

    The point would have been moot with more judicious editing. We could have been shown that the audience believed they were seeing convincing spirits without them having to wander past the camera in fully immersive 3d form.

  • April 22, 2012, 9:41 p.m. CST

    Part of the The Illusionist Spirit Trick that confounds me

    by DougMcKenzie

    Is that Uhl is BEHIND Eisenberg yet sees the same thing. If it was just a trick projection, he would be seeing it as if in the front but reversed. I think it is truly meant to be real magic and not a trick.

  • April 23, 2012, 3:44 p.m. CST

    What "The Prestige" does very well is...

    by Arafel

    What "The Prestige" does very well is recreate a period of show business history near the turn of the century in which competition between magicians was serious and intense. The workings of the complicated illusions are gorgeously brought to life via smartly detailed apparatus that replicate the actual mechanics of Victorian legerdemain. Much of the film rings very true, such as the all-consuming obsessions of the lead characters to be the best and outdo all others. It's an easy step to accept that such unwavering determination spills over into deadly territory, as rival magicians suave Rupert Angier (a riveting performance by Hugh Jackman) and audacious Alfred Borden (Christian Bale effortlessly playing a brooding lower-class Brit) each seek to wreak continuing revenge upon the other. The story, though adapted from a novel, feels like a perfect fit for director Nolan's sensibilities, as the machinations of the two men become increasingly convoluted during a back-and-forth tug of wits that keeps you guessing in the style of Nolan's "Memento." As the game grows increasingly deadly, and threatens to consume all they love, the film becomes a fascinating study in single-mindedness. The work is epic in sweep, beautifully filmed, and strongly acted. The only odd note in casting is David Bowie as Nikola Tesla (he looks nothing like the actual Tesla, if you care about these sort of things, and his appearance calls attention to itself as superstar casting often does), but Mr. Bowie holds his own. Solid performances are all around, with Michael Caine adding dignity and depth as the old master, Scarlett Johanssen as the as the lovely stage assistant who becomes the third point in a twisted love triangle, and even Andy Serkis (Gollum!) in a memorable supporting role. The introduction of Tesla adds yet another twist, as the film shifts from real-but-possible stage illusion to steam-punkish sci-fi. This transition is a hard note to pull off, since the beginning of the film doesn't quite suggest such a direction, but if you're willing to let Nolan lead you on the journey into increasingly fantastic realms, the narrative rewards you with thought-provoking moral and dramatic exploration of the issues raised. A truly entertaining movie, and an original, unusual, dark ride -- well worth seeing in a theater for its grand scope and vision.