Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Prestige

So I don't generally post movie reviews, but I feel I'm uniquely qualified to talk about this one. A little-known fact about me is that my grandfather was a professional magician for over 60 years, and as a child I often served as his stage assistant.

While I'm not nearly as attractive as Scarlett Johansson, I do think the audience trusted me. After all, what's more innocent than a 10 year old?

I'm not going to discuss the major plot points, I don't want to ruin the story for anyone else, although it is unfortunate that I saw the two big twists coming an hour out, but what troubled me more than anything about the film is the way the two rival magicians' attitudes towards the audience was portrayed.

Both Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale are fine actors, but both their characters treat their audience as a group to be deceived. This undermines the intent of pretty much every magician I ever met. No magician assumes to deceive their crowd, merely to distract them. It is a small distinction I know, but an important one. Magicians believe in the intelligence of their audience, and work to confuse and distort the images through a variety of spoken and visual techniques.

In the film, the two magicians instead work to control their audiences through increasingly elaborate illusions designed to suggest the most evil and diabolical end result. Its both disturbing and unsettling to watch the distaste they have for both the audience, and each other.

I freely accept that top-level illusionists don't necessarily get along. I'm sure David Copperfield and Lance Burton aren't best friends. But I've spent a great deal of time with the most respected magicians in the country, and while they don't share all secrets of their tricks, they certainly all work together to improve performance and illusion.

I understand this would not have made nearly as entertaining a movie if they got along, but I wish there would have been a bit more effort to portray the magicians as something other than the audience's antagonist.

Now that I've expressed my reservations, I will say this. Its a good movie, with fine acting all around, and if you don't see the twists coming, you'll love the ending. Now I have to get caught up on The Illusionist to compare...

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Lessons on Love Learned from 90210

And now for a long overdue melodramatic post...

One of the benefits of my current abundance of free time, is that I'm catching up on dozens of episodes of Beverly Hills 90210. (And yes, I'm a straight male admitting that I know which channel Soapnet is, digital cable is fantastic).

At any rate, one of today's episodes was the long awaited, long delayed, wedding of Brandon and Kelly. As most of you probably remember, the wedding never actually happens, because both bride and groom decide they are truly meant to be friends, and not married for the rest of their lives.

Kelly's rationale in a conversation to her mother is "How much doubt is too much?" I think that's the fundamental question we fight to answer in all our relationships. I know it was for me. It's what stopped me from proposing to TLTL. Four years into our relationship, I was still wrestling with the question. When is love enough? When is it okay to visualize a future life, or children, but also visualize being apart, or being afraid of ruining someone else's life? All those questions meant I was taking too long for her, and she needed to move on. Who could blame her?

Its all part of growing up I guess... the difference between a relationship at 18, or 23, or 27, or even 35. Sooner or later, I have to believe I'll just know. The doubt won't be too much, the alternative won't be frightening, and I'll be excited and eager to make that leap, and hopefully the person I'm with will feel exactly the same way.

As Ashburnite said in a fairly recent post, sometimes we just have to "Fake it, till we make it." I don't quite think I'll be faking it, but I probably will be trying things on for size...

Here's to the pursuit of something meaningful...

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Halloween Costume Ideas?

So despite all my new-found free time, I've been having a hard time coming up with suitable ideas for the upcoming day of debauchery.

In past years, I've dressed in drag, gone as Al Borland from Home Improvement, and other assorted randomness...

This year, I'm looking for something fairly simple, fairly humorous, and that doesn't require me to shave my chest. ;) Nor do I want to be completely lecherous (Hello giant Franzia wine box!).

So I turn to you, the wise, creative denizens of the DC Blogosphere, for fun ideas. I'm curious to see what you come up with, if anything, since none of you know much about me.

Also sorry I missed the HH, I swear I will make one of them sooner or later. In the meantime, its back to job listings and Dawson's Creek on TBS.

Friday, October 06, 2006

PR Slave No More

Well my screen name no longer applies, as of 4:30 pm yesterday I was unceremoniously fired.

There's a big long story with a lot of drama and alot of allegations about my work which were untrue, but unfortunately there's not a lot of way to defend yourself when the decision has already been made.

I can't say I saw it coming, so it hurts pretty bad right now.

Thanks to my friends who took me out last night and got me drunk. Sadly they can't be here today during the day to do more of it, but I guess I need to figure out what the next step is.

But first I'm going to try and fight my way through a couple more hours of sleep, that I couldn't seem to get last night...