Tag Archives: magic

Movie Review: Now You See Me

Iron Man Three, Star Trek, Fast 6, for a while I thought that the summer blockbuster season wasn’t ever going to skip a beat. But then I checked out my options for this week and was reminded that, yeah, if I’m planning on seeing a new release every weekend, I guess I’m going to have an occasional lineup of slim pickings.


And so I almost resigned myself to buying a ticket for Will Smith’s After Earth. I really, really didn’t want to see After Earth. I’ve seen the same way-too-long preview several times, and nothing about it looks interesting. The ship crash-lands. It’s the future. It’s Earth. Will Smith’s in it. Man, remember when Will Smith used to make only good movies? I’m glad I wasn’t writing movie reviews when Men In Black 3 premiered.

But just before I made my post-apocalyptic purchase, Yoda’s voice came alive in my head, “No. There is another.” And sure enough, there was another new release this week, a movie called Now You See Me. Huh. I’d never even heard of this movie. I was about to do a quick Google search to find out the general plot, something that could give me a clue as to what I might be in for, but I decided, fuck it, let’s go in blind.

Now You See Me starts off fast. It’s about four magicians who team up to rob banks, giving the money to the public in a Robin Hood display of vigilante economics. And for the first hour or so, it’s a pretty cool movie. The FBI gets involved and it turns into an old-school New York City heist movie, crazy crime-genre background music and all, something reminiscent of the original The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3.

But shit keeps escalating. Chase scenes give way to fight scenes that give way to car crashes. Instead of even beginning to hint at like a general direction in which the movie might be headed, they just keep on piling on random clues, mysterious characters, a few dead-end leads and even a flimsy romance subplot. After a little while you’re like, what? How? Who is this guy again? Wait, why are they robbing the banks?

And after that first enjoyable hour, the movie spirals out of control. The whole time I was thinking to myself, man, these writers had better have come up with something genius to get to some sort of a resolution, to even begin to answer all of these questions. And yeah, I guess it’s theoretically possible. There are movies out there that weave insane plots together in acts of superhuman storytelling.

But I kept thinking about how it’s so weird that a major movie studio could release a big summer film and not have any marketing campaign at all. Why hadn’t I seen this movie coming? Why weren’t there any previews during any of the other movies I’ve been watching every single week for the past three months?

While I don’t want to be a cynic, while I wanted to hold out hope that maybe they’d be able to yet turn this into a great movie, a moment of realism set in as I deduced that the only reason nobody’s heard about this movie is because maybe it really wouldn’t get any better. Maybe the writers wrote themselves into a corner and couldn’t figure a way out. But you know how big Hollywood is, they already signed Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson. Shooting was to begin in three weeks. If one group of writers couldn’t figure it out, they’d just fire them, get a new group in. Whatever, just write something, just wrap it up boys, we’ve got to get this film debuted by the end of May.

The ending of this movie is just an insult to intelligent life anywhere in the cosmos. I’d equate the making of this movie to the running of a marathon, one in which after twenty-five miles of agony, with only one mile left in sight, everybody just stopped. They just said, eh, whatever, who cares. I’m tired. I don’t feel like running anymore.

And then not only did they stop running, they didn’t even bother walking the rest of the way. They couldn’t manage even a limp to the finish line. In fact, they cheated, they took a cab to the end. Their score was totally disqualified. And then once they got there, they started punching random people in the face, stealing all of the other runners’ medals, knocking over tables of Gatorade for no good reason.

It’s like, what the hell guys, you’re only going to make half of a decent movie? Why bother? Is Morgan Freeman this desperate for work? Is Mark Ruffalo still trying to convince the world he’s a real actor after that ghost movie he made with Reese Witherspoon?

I really am sorry, because I don’t want to be so negative, but Now You See Me is a joke. A stupid, not-funny, fifteen-dollar-a-ticket joke. If you’re on an airplane flying across the country, and the in-flight entertainment system has this movie available to stream, do yourself a favor, just take a nap instead, or just sit up straight and stare at the back of the seat in front of you for two hours or so. Yeah, it might be a little boring, but at least it won’t be as incredibly disappointing.

The magical properties of crystals are real

I was never one of those people who believed in crystals, in minerals and rocks. I mean, I believe that they exist, but, you know what I’m talking about? How some people really believe that certain rocks have like special properties? Yeah, I always used to think that that stuff was pretty wacko. I used to. Now I actually believe in all of it, because it’s all true. I’ve had some real experiences, some really real experiences, and it’s all totally real.


Like one day I was out taking my dog for a walk in the park. And I came upon this rock, I mean, yeah, rock, crystal, I’m actually not too sure of the exact terminology, mineralology. But it was shiny. On one side it was shiny. But I couldn’t see the shiny side, not yet. The shiny side was down, and on the face-up side it just looked like a regular rock.

What am I doing, just randomly turning over rocks in the park? No, this one had a ten dollar bill sticking out from underneath. I thought, jackpot. Or not jackpot, but, you know, bonus. Definitely bonus. I went to reach for it and, I don’t know why I didn’t just pull the bill out from underneath, because I didn’t, maybe I didn’t want to get my hands dirty, I don’t know. I decided to kick the rock off of the bill and then pick up the money.

And when I kicked it, it flipped over, and that’s when I realized that it wasn’t a rock, or, whatever, again, not too sure on the specifics of what you’re supposed to call it, but it was really shiny on the other side, like a crystal, like a magic crystal. I immediately thought of all of those crazy minor celebrities that you see on TV all decked out in rocks, and they’re always like really wide-eyed and saying stuff like, “No seriously! This stuff is seriously, seriously magic! Not magic, but spiritual! Like powerful!” and you just think, wow, that person is nuts.

But I was picking up this ten dollar bill and I caught myself just staring at this crystal lying now face up like two feet away from me. And my dog was staring at the crystal also, and my dog never stares at anything, because he’s so stupid. Or, that’s actually kind of harsh, he’s not stupid. Well, by human standards maybe he’s stupid, but that could be intelligent for dogs, I don’t know. You know how they’re always just like digging and sniffing and stuff? Not this time. This time he was just staring at the magic crystal.

And I never like jumping to conclusions, but this time it was like my mind was operating on a different frequency, and so jump to conclusions I did, and the conclusion that I jumped to was: this is a definitely a magical crystal. I had to stop myself from staring, because I started to worry that somebody else would see it and that they’d maybe make a move for it or try to fight me for it or something. I’d have fought me for it.

So I picked it up and the magic started coursing through my veins. I looked down at the ten dollar bill and it wasn’t a ten dollar bill at all. It was a twenty. Did that really just happen? I couldn’t be sure. Did the crystal change it to a twenty? Or did I just kind of shove the ten in my pocket, and then maybe when I took it out again, because I don’t really have a wallet, because I’m just always shoving money in my pockets, loose, maybe I accidentally grabbed a twenty? I don’t think that’s what happened.

I ran home and decided to turn it into a magical crystal necklace, so the power source could be close, to me, to my heart, so maybe I’d be like projecting magical energy out into the universe, and then back into me, like a conduit, like a spiritual, magical magnet. But I walked in my house and realized that I didn’t know the first thing about making jewelry out of rocks. I didn’t even know where I could find a pair of scissors. Like, I must have had scissors somewhere, maybe, like in a desk drawer or in the back of a closet. But I can’t remember the last time I needed scissors. Usually I’ll just rip whatever I need to cut, a piece of paper, some cardboard, or if it’s too hard, like a piece of plastic used to keep the price tag on a new pair of pants, I’ll just get a kitchen knife and slice it. Or, one time I used nail clippers, and that worked, like it cut the plastic, but it ruined the clippers, there was this groove in the blade, and every time I cut my nails it made a little bump. I had to throw them away.

That’s beside the point. I forgot about the scissors because my mind started to wander. How am I going to attach this crystal to a necklace? I found some shoelaces. Well, I didn’t find them, I used an old pair of shoes and took the laces off. Should I wrap it around the crystal? I tried that but it looked terrible, it covered part of the crystal, and there wasn’t any string left over to wrap around my neck.

I took out my drill. I actually have a pretty nice drill. I never get to use it because, I don’t know why, I just never need it, but I was pretty glad that I had it right now. I figured I’d make a tiny hole through the top, just so I could string the shoelace through. But as soon as I started to drill, a huge chunk broke off the crystal.

And I was like, shit, did I break it? Obviously I broke it, physically, but did I break the magic? Were the special properties still intact? I looked in my pocket but all I could find were a bunch of five dollar bills. No twenties. Not even any tens. I must have pissed it off. I tried gluing it back together but no dice.

So now it’s just like, I feel unluckier than ever, like even further removed from the natural spiritual powers of the earth. And I keep taking my dog for more walks, trying to find more crystals, but he’s even wilder than before, almost feral, he keeps pulling at his leash, digging holes furiously, and one time this park ranger came over and was like, “Hey buddy! Get your dog under control! Stop letting him dig like that or I’ll write you up! I’m serious!”