Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Prestige lives up to its name (plus ClorisWatch)

Christopher Nolan is batting .1000. The Prestige has it all. Engrossing story. Two charismatic leading men, Batman and Wolverine, playing dueling magicians in hardscrabble London. Ricky Jay. Bowie. The movie is a kind of Dickensian Face/Off. It's stylish and suspenseful, but it also has much to say about showmanship, jealousy and -- on a subliminal level -- the illusion of film. Its ending, seismic and profound, is a sleight of hand itself. Well done, blokes.

Also, Mel Brooks's musical version of Young Frankenstein -- the funniest movie ever made -- has been cast. I was against this production to begin with, but the cast is sensational, especially, well, Cloris Leachman as Frau Blücher. Ha! Victory! Thirty-three years after she originated the role on film at 48, she will play it on Broadway at 81. I will see it because of this. Imagine the rapturous applause when she makes her entrance, and when the horses neigh for the first time! (But if Cloris is cast, why not her fellow Malcolm in the Middle guest star Kenneth Mars, who's still alive and kicking?) Some of YF will lend itself marvelously to a theatrical experience. The "Puttin' on the Ritz" scene will be uproarious in front of a live audience (perhaps the house manager can plant rotted vegetables under each seat for patrons to throw?). But I'm otherwise dismayed about this type of franchise recycling.

Related posts: Cloris on Two and a Half Shits. Musical adaptations of movies suck, generally. Everything's Coming up Hobbits.

3 comments:

sandy said...

You know what? I miss working alongside people as intelligent as you.

Rusty said...

You told me you haven't seen Beerfest. As a Leachman fan, you owe it to yourself to see her give a sausage a hand job.

J.J. said...

I watched it yesterday on YouTube: http://youtube.com/watch?v=mkuPhs-Gjdw