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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well now, I was enchanted by these dark illusions
This movie has certainly captured the art of magic, its complexities and wonder. As two friends' different philosophies on magic set tensions in motion, it is a tragic death that forever puts a wedge between them. A rivalry ensues between the more penetrating Borden (Bale) and the showman Angiers (Jackman). With three different time lines moving all at once through most...
Published on 23 Jun. 2007 by Jenny J.J.I.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable film.....with NO HD sound!!!!
I really enjoyed watching this film when it first came out, and now it's out on bluray I thought I'd give it a re-run!!
The film looks great in HD but BE WARNED there is NO HD sound Dolby digital 5.1 only which surprised me considering the director and the studio!!!
Published on 12 Mar. 2012 by Iain West


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well now, I was enchanted by these dark illusions, 23 Jun. 2007
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This review is from: The Prestige [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
This movie has certainly captured the art of magic, its complexities and wonder. As two friends' different philosophies on magic set tensions in motion, it is a tragic death that forever puts a wedge between them. A rivalry ensues between the more penetrating Borden (Bale) and the showman Angiers (Jackman). With three different time lines moving all at once through most of the movie, there's really never a moment's boredom. This storytelling is efficient and compelling. The characters are rich--they really have something to evoke every audience. They have great motive... and that's what the viewers need-- a reason to stay on the journey of the characters. This fact will put you to the edge until the cessation.

What I really liked about the film is that it was presented as such a normal, ordinary plot, just like any other movie in a periodic setting. Furthermore, the director presented the theme-envy, obsession, and deceit, in the coolest way to present these things--subtle! This film exposes one of the best "rivalry" stories I have seen for some time. I'd have to give it a thousand claps and hands up! As always, Bale was perfect. Cane was able to really shine as well, especially when reprimanding Angier. A real surprise for me was Hugh Jackman. I was more than worried for his quality of performance in this movie. Thankfully, there was never any reason to be, however. It wasn't till the very end when perhaps he was just a little too over the top (and he kind of earns it) that I thought. Never for a second was I ever tempted to think of Wolverine or elevators.

"The Prestige" tells nothing about benevolence. Yes, all of the characters are full of deceit and self-preservation. And yes, the director may have over-sensationalized the theme for some (But I think he presented it as subtle as he could). The thing here is that the decisions made by the director works for the advantage of the film. Why would I feel bad if there is not one character who conveyed a positive disposition? The nature of the characters reflects human nature--and as long as a character does that--it is REAL. We should not be looking for a benign protagonist here--besides, that's getting old. Films that project non contrast between good and evil are marvelous in their own rights. They are laying off the archetypes, the formulaic sense that's been going' on in the film industry for the past 10 years, which should be the case now in the 21st century film-making. At least this movie tried, and as far as I know, succeeds.
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic film for a mature, intelligent audience, 31 Jan. 2007
This review is from: The Prestige [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
This is a wonderful movie. Poignant, tragic, charming, enigmatic; and ideally-suited for a mature, attentive, intellient audience with a love of mystery.

The story follows two 19th century stage magicians in a tale of rivalry, obsession, and love. The film envokes strong feelings, some of these feelings are very hard to define, given the unusual and ambiguous circumstances of the characters; so there are definitely 'new' experiences to be had from watching this film.

There's also a very satisfying 'twist' along the way, which I don't think most people will see coming, and reminds me of an M. Night Shyamalan film in that respect.

The story is told in a non-sequential manner, with lots of "flash-forwards" to the future. This confused me at first, but it soon became obvious that there were three separate timeframes being shown out of sequence, and then once I'd "got" it, I was engrossed in the story. I am already looking forward to watching it again.

One thing is for certain: you will be talking about this film after watching it!
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A typically brilliant, intelligent piece of cinema from Britain's most talented director., 4 Jan. 2007
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rca68 (Stratford-upon-Avon) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Prestige [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
Just to begin, I'd like to dispute the previous reviewer's assertion that Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman) is the hero of the piece, and Alfred Borden (Christian Bale) the villain. It is not as strightforward as that, and therein lies one of the film's strengths - both characters are extremely well developed (primarily, of course, thanks to Christopher Priest's superb novel) and finely acted by the leading duo, and events conspire to wrestle our sympathies between the two antagonists. Borden does initially appear to be portrayed as the villain, his careless actions causing a helpless Angier's life to crumble around him (he loses a loved one and his reputation). But as the plot progresses, we see Angier become twisted with obssession and revenge, his motives growing ever more suspect and really rather sinister. Borden, on the other hand, is a largely motiveless character (though certainly no less interesting for it), managing not to let his obsessive quest for the ultimate magic trick lead him to immoral behaviour.

Bale and Jackman are both on top form, and the supporting cast is strong (Scarlett Johansson struggles a little, apparently concentrating too hard on her English accent and forgetting to make us care about her character; Michael Caine is, as usual, faultless).

This is Nolan's best film since Memento. It doesn't quite pip his 2000 thriller, but it comes close. A lot of people will see the twist coming, and a few will think it is obvious... but in a way, that's the point. Like a magic trick, you're looking for some higher secret, but you're fooled only by its simplicity. And here's a simple fact: Chris Nolan is Britain's best director, and among the best in the business today.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wow, 20 Nov. 2006
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J. Molineaux (uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Prestige [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
this is one of the best films I have ever seen, and certainly the best film of 2006. The acting is exemplary and the story line is superb. Just when you think you've worked out the twist and are sitting smugly waiting to be proved right, the story moves beyond this easy ending to a final twist you'll never see coming unless you've been really watching carefully. There's no surprises it's all in the film but what a punch it packs. If you only see one film see this one
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mind twisting masterpiece, 28 Nov. 2006
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Ms. J. M. Wilkinson "jubastrophe" (Berkshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Prestige [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
This is a fantastic film and keeps you transfixed for the whole time. at the end you want to go back and see it again to fill in the subtle twists and hints to the puzzle. Acting great, watch it but be prepared to use your brain in working things out. The end gives you the answer but leaves you trying to work it all out!

A must-see film!!
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55 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The secret impresses no one. The trick you use it for is everything", 29 April 2007
This review is from: The Prestige [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
"The Prestige", based on a novel by Christopher Priest, is a movie that surprised me. I had heard that some people liked it, and that some people hated it, but I didn't expect "The Prestige" to be the kind of film that makes you want to watch it again immediately, just to be certain you didn't miss anything. And that is exactly what happened in this case...

This film, directed by Christopher Nolan, is a drama set in late 19th century London that has some ingredients that can only be described as fantasy. All the same, the spectator won't be able to shake off the feeling that what he is watching is real, due to the excellent way in which the actors, the director and the scriptwriters managed to bring Priest's novel to life.

The title of this movie has to do with one of the three acts of which every outstanding magic trick consists. The first act is "The Pledge", when the magician shows you something seemingly ordinary. The second act is "The Turn", when the thing that seemed ordinary is turned into something extraordinary. The last act is "The Prestige", the act that crowns the magic trick and makes it unique. Magicians live and die for "The Prestige", and that act is somehow at the center of this story.

The main characters in this film are two magicians, Alfred Borden (Christian Bale) and Rupert Angier (Hugh Jackman), that due to a tragedy go from friendly rivals to fierce enemies. The quest of each one of them is to best the other, no matter the cost, notwithstanding the means. Who is the best magician, who can really achieve "The Prestige"? And will he live to boast about it?

On the whole, I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed watching this movie, and that I would gladly watch it a third time. Highly recommended...

Belen Alcat
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Only second to Memento!, 19 Aug. 2012
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When two talented magicians Alfred Borden (Christian Bale) and Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman) enter into a deadly game of rivalry after a trick they are involved goes tragically wrong. When Borden ties a knot during a dangerous water tank trick devised by their ingénue Cutter (Michael Caine) the man responsible for devising the tricks, when it's consequence leads to the death of Angier's wife Julia (Piper Perabo). Angier then sets out to ruin Borden with vengeance for his Wife's death which Borden may or may not be responsible for, although as the story progresses Angier's obsession to be better than the obviously infinitely more talented Borden becomes the driving factor of his obsession.

As this is Nolan the story does not start at the beginning, the relevance to the open shot of a number of top hats will reveal itself during the film but we start from near to end of the story, Borden is sneaking behind the stage in disguise and discovers Angier drowning in a tank of water, Borden is then charged with murder and thrown in jail awaiting trial, while in jail he receives Angier's diary and the story goes into usual flashback mode for Nolan (see Memento and Batman Begins) and we get to see Angier reading Borden's memoirs and the film flashes forward, Nolan delighting and entering into the labyrinthine plot and confounding and confusing the viewer.

Although this is a period setting Nolan purposely wanted it to feel contemporary not bothered about setting it's time and placing historical sights or period detail, the film surrounding is for much duration misty and out of focus, Nolan points us towards the characters and beckons us to look closer, brilliantly misdirecting us to is big rug pull or pulls if you will when they come.

That is not to say that he doesn't layout clues throughout, not unlike what Singer and Fincher achieve with Usual Suspects and Fight Club, The Prestige will reward further viewings, watching it after subsequent first viewing (and I can imagine unless you haven't the patience for this intricate piece you will most certainly want to). It's not my business or aim to reveal too much as going in with least amount of information will make your first viewing that more rewarding. Although some may cry out claims of cheating but this film shares more with Nolan's breakout second film Memento than the previous 2 big name films this follows.

Nolan optioned Christopher Priests novel around the same time as Memento and alongside brother Jonathan (Jonah) like the superb minding bending Guy Pierce led thriller wrote this together. The Prestige is not quite as ingenious or dazzling as Nolan's acclaimed second feature but it tops both Batman films and easily aces the great but flawed remake Insomnia. Since Memento the team up of Nolan and cinematographer Wally Pfister has been a more than successful partnership and the results are nonetheless impressive here as said before the characters are primary to telling the story but Pfister alongside Nolan creates a atmospheric canvas for the actors to paint on.

Jackman more famous for delivering more than adequate performances for the usual blockbuster cinema material displays depths here never seen before, it's true he's delved into the character before with Wolverine in the first 2 X-men films but here we are seeing something new from the Australian. The character seems an obvious fit for Jackman when we first meet Angier (a showman full of flamboyance) but as the story progresses he is allowed delve beneath the skin and the tragedy that allows you to side with him at the beginning, this starts to deteriorate as he becomes more obsessed with being the better magician. Michael Caine's Cutter (once again the man seems adept at the mentor role and is on superb form here) says he doesn't want to see it as he's looking for something more elaborate and spectacular, sometimes the answer is the most simple. Angier could very well be a metaphor for the viewer, as no doubt the clever clogs amongst us (outside of those of us who've read the book) might well work some of it out before the reveal but the majority of us and rightly so will be as blinded as Angier.

Bale who of late as become fashionable to question whether or not he's a the talented multi layered actor he was so obviously touted by his fans. He almost definitely given us the best reading of the Caped Crusader to date although is second run in the role not only saw him over shadowed by a dazzling thoroughly deserved best supporting actor win by Heath Ledger as the Joker but both Oldman and Eckhart didn't make it easy despite the fact it's a fine slow burning turn he pulls of in Dark Knight and his integral to the film. Here Bale despite Jackman's performance steals the show, set up at the beginning as the bad guy he turns in a performance which sees us questioning allegiance to Angier although this is also down to Jackman's excellent turn, his character is not saint and by the end of the film you may arguing over who is least worst of the two but is only by the time the hand is revealed by Nolan that it is so much more evident to quality of performance that Bale has delivered here, this is his best since his magnetic turn as Patrick Bateman in American Psycho. Although Bale about takes first place in the performance stakes, the combination (despite rarely appearing on the screen throughout the duration of the film) of the two actors is essential to pulling off Nolan's trick and they both work beautifully as part of it.

The supporting cast are fine, Caine is a given, Pearbo brief but a fine turn, Rebecca Hall more than capable of encapsulating the sadness of Borden's wife Sarah. The only bum note if you will is the gorgeous Scarlett Johansson as Olivia, who the two magician share as a lover during the film, her Olivia struggles with delivering an English accent and doesn't quite convince but it's a minor blip on an otherwise outstanding achievement by all, Gollum himself Andy Serkis pops up as assistant to David Bowie's Tesla, it depends on your thoughts how you think Duncan Jones Dad handles this role but I feel with his Icy delivery he saves Nolan any accusations of stunt casting.

David Julyan gives another impressive and moody score to complement the proceedings and the closing Tom Yorke track "Analyse" that accompanies the credits is a nice suitable touch to close the film on. Nolan has pulled off an incredibly impressive achievement here and all the pieces fit perfectly to assemble the Jigsaw and as Nolan says the resonating here is most important, I don't want to give anymore away as I feel going in with the least amount of information will only maximise your enjoyment of the intricate cinematic puzzle
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Watch closely, 20 Jun. 2011
By 
Chris White (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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Christopher Nolan is an assured director whose unerring sense of narrative enables him to shape it like play dough. The words 'linear' and 'conventional' are absent from his dictionary. One must therefore assume that he enjoys challenging himself and so also his audience.

Having already told a story backwards (Memento), he now baffles and amazes with a tale of two rival Victorian magicians and the competing illusions that fuel their desire to learn each other's secrets. However, as if the plot's central mystery wasn't enough, Nolan structures the screenplay's three acts to mirror the stages of a magic trick: the pledge, the turn and the prestige. This means that if you're to stand any chance of guessing what happens at the end, you have to watch this film not like a hawk, but like a hawk who's invested in high-powered binoculars with optional infra-red vision and is still unsure if he's up to the job. Unless you've been particularly observant, you'll find yourself wanting to experience it again, armed with plenty of foreknowledge.

The Prestige stars Nolan's frequent collaborators Christian Bale and Michael Caine, along with Hugh Jackman, Scarlett Johansson, Andy Serkis and David Bowie: a talented ensemble who are well-suited to their roles. This Blu-ray's picture transfer has been consistently rated as exceptional and the bonus features amount to 19 minutes of vignettes, four photo galleries and a trailer.

If you like movies in which half the joy of seeing them is having to pay the utmost attention, The Prestige is a must-buy. I'm not spoiling anything if I reveal the first line: "Are you watching closely?"
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent adaptation of a superb novel., 21 Jan. 2010
By 
A. Whitehead "Werthead" (Colchester, Essex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Prestige [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
At the end of the 19th Century, two stage magicians working in London become bitter rivals: Robert Angier (played by Hugh Jackman), performing under the name 'The Great Danton', and Alfred Borden (played by Christian Bale), known as 'The Professor'. They each seek to upstage the other, and when Borden develops a seemingly impossible trick that has him apparently teleporting across the stage in a second, Angier becomes obsessed with finding out how he did it, an obsession that leads him to Colorado and a meeting with a man named Nikola Tesla...

The Prestige, released in 2006, is an adaptation of the excellent Christopher Priest novel of the same name, directed by Christopher Nolan of Memento and Batman Begins fame (his subsequent project to this movie would be The Dark Knight) and sharing several cast and crew with the comic book movies, including Christian Bale and Michael Caine. The Prestige is a superb film which may actually be the finest translation of a work of literature to the screen that I've ever seen. The film is incredibly faithful to the themes and spirit of the novel, but not slavishly so. Ideas from the book that would not work well on-screen have been jettisoned, whilst the novel's modern-day framing device has been removed and replaced with a new one that focuses the story much more closely on the rivalry between Borden and Angier. At the same time, the novel's conceit of taking place entirely through the pages of the two men's diaries is actually translated successfully to the screen, and the changes made to the central twist of the novel actually make the idea even more disturbing and horrific than in the novel. As with the novel, upon finishing the film the viewer may be tempted to immediately watch it again in full knowledge of the secrets revealed at the end, whereupon it turns into a different movie.

The film's success is built around its two protagonists. Bale and Jackman turn in supremely accomplished performances (the latter possibly in a career-best performance), each having to play a complex, driven character each of whom is carrying weighty secrets and mysteries. Their escalating rivalry is particularly well-handled. Some may feel that the two characters are too obsessed with their rivalry and we don't see many other facets of their personalities, but given that the entire movie is driven by their rivalry, this is understandable. The supporting cast is also excellent, particularly Michael Caine as Angier's assistant, Cutter, Scarlett Johansson as Olivia and the curiously effective partnership of David Bowie (yes, that David Bowie) as Tesla and Andy Serkis as his helper, Alley. In fact, it feels like there's a whole other movie Nolan could go and make about Nikola Tesla that would be as fascinating to watch.

Nolan's direction, having to handle a complex, non-linear narrative and not lose the audience in confusion, is very good. At one point Olivia tells us that once you know the secret of the trick, it becomes rather obvious, and the film is like that. Rewatching the movie, it's almost incredible that you missed all the (in retrospect, obvious) clues pointing to what the truth of the story is. This is where the real success of the movie lies. Most of Priest's novels have a moment which is known as the 'Priest Effect', where the reader feels a trapdoor has opened beneath their feet and they realise everything they thought they knew was not only wrong, but perhaps never existed in the first place. The idea that this could be translated to cinema seems unthinkable, but Nolan delivers it here with considerable success. This is a movie where the rules are fluid and shift, but once you know what is going on, it all makes sense.

The Prestige (*****) is a most accomplished film, well-paced and dramatic, with a tremendous sense of mystery. It is a puzzle box of a story where all the pieces fit together satisfyingly at the end, and rewards repeated viewing. It is available on DVD (UK, USA) and Blu-Ray (UK, USA).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "The man stole my wife. I'm going to steal his trick", 22 Mar. 2009
By 
@GeekZilla9000 "I am completely operational a... (Doncaster, Yorkshire, UK.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Prestige [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
After the death of a magician, we get to see the backstory leading up to this event - and beyond...

...Two rival magicians pick the scabs of their bitter hatred for each other by trying to upstage the other's act in the search for the ultimate trick. Things get nasty and whilst driven by unhealthy obsession they lose sight of what's most important.

Two strong male leads are what's required for this film of constant one-up-manship and sabotage, and that's exactly what you get. Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale do the business well as the Victorian performers - Jackman in particular looks the part. In fact, there's not one weak role in the film as all performances deliver exactly what is required. The biggest surprise is David Bowie as electrical genius and madcap inventor, Tesla. If you didn't know he was in the film then you'd be staring at the screen wondering who this familiar face was. Obviously Bowie isn't new to the acting game, but his relatively small slice of screentime pie still manages to show that he commands a strong screen presence which was perfect for such a interesting character.

It's difficult to discuss the plot as I wouldn't want to give anything away - but this is an intelligent film with plenty of twists, you don't want to nip away for a wee unless you pause the DVD first - you don't want to mis anything.

In a nutshell: A fine film which shows the sinister side of showbiz! The period setting gives the film a beautiful look and it captures the excitement of the time due to marvels of innovative and new technologies. The twists and turns command your full attention, but even once you've seen it and know the ending - a second viewing makes The Prestige seem like a different film as you watch it with hindsight and a different perspective.
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The Prestige [DVD] [2006]
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