February 16th, 2007


DVD review: The Illusionist

Catching up with the movies I missed last fall, I ran across one I certainly wish I had seen on the big screen. The Illusionist has a very nice look to it, a nice vintage-ish style. This definitely added to the story, giving it a certain storybook quality, without leaving its more realistic, historical setting.

And at its heart, it is a storybook movie. Ed Norton does an excellent job playing Eisenheim; his turns between the enigmatic and charismatic showman and somewhat quiet and driven boy create an interesting divide in his public and private personas. Jessica Biel's character is something more of a puzzle, trapped by society and her life. Oh, and I need to mention Rufus Sewell playing the same arrogant noble role that's he's done a couple times before. But, you know, he does it well, so, no reason to turn elsewhere. Paul Giamatti was probably my favorite in the movie. The role is a definite break from his usual character, definitely a good choice.

The DVD is slightly lacking for special features, though. I certainly would have liked to seen more behind-the-scenes stuff on the visual effects, and being a cinematography nerd, I'd love to have seen a feature on that. And really, being an amateur skeptic, the first thing I was looking for was something explaining the magic tricks in the movie. It might have given up some of the interesting ambiguity concerning Eisenheim's abilities, but c'mon, man. So tempting.

So, yeah. If you missed this one in theaters like I did, check it out.
Adult Swim terrorist

(no subject)

"After four years of fighting in Iraq, and two weeks of trying to force senators to debate the conflict, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid yesterday wheeled out the ultimate weapon. He ordered his colleagues to work on Saturday. To the average American, this would be an inconvenience. To a senator, a Saturday vote is a hardship reserved for national crises such as impeachment or Terri Schiavo."

Dick Polman has more from a Republican memo on the debate.

"Did the Bush Administration miss a major opportunity in the spring of 2003 to engage Iran and stabilize the Middle East?"

"It seems almost inconceivable: The White House actually invites the press corps to hold it accountable - but when the time comes, and a key benchmark is missed, the press is silent. And yet that's exactly what has happened."

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The Explainer on how much the Boston Mooninite scare really cost.

"Real American heroes! Except sciency, and Canadian." (Courtesy pictsy.)

(no subject)

"Capping four days of passionate, often angry debate, the House delivered President Bush its first rebuke since the Iraq war was launched nearly four years ago, voting 246 to 182 to oppose the administration's planned deployment of 21,500 additional combat troops to Iraq."

(Non-binding, of course, but hey.)

Bonus: how your congressmen and congresswomen voted. Marylanders, check out the breakdown here.