The Incredible Burt Wonderstone - Warner Bros. - Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD
Director: Don Scardino
Cast: Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi, Olivia Wilde, Jim Carrey,James Gandolfini. Full cast + crew
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone proves that making movies about magic is always a difficult prospect, even when the magic isn't being taken seriously. This is a movie that banks on the audience having some kind of emotional nostalgia for a time when they believed in magic, but it also constantly makes fun of it and how cheesy that entire arena of entertainment can be. It's a weird movie, one that seems like it has a bit of an identity crisis, shifting between an earnest film about a man's midlife crisis and a goofy comedy about dumb magicians, and the transitions aren't always smooth. It's an okay, innocent enough film overall, but unless you happen to be an absolute die-hard fan of one of the cast members (and be warned Jim Carrey, while great, doesn't have nearly as much screen time here as the trailer would make you think), you're not going to want to rush out and see this as soon as possible.
Special Features: A whopping 26 minutes of deleted scenes and alternate takes; "Making Movie Magic with David Copperfield" (eight minutes); "Steve Gray Uncut" (nine Minutes), which is a compilation of clips from Jim Carrey's character's ridiculous show The Best of the Brain Rapist; gag reel (four minutes)
Other Notable New Releases
Did a bunch of studios get together and decide this was the perfect Tuesday to release a bunch of decent movies starring great actors who have unfortunately lost a bit of their cache in Hollywood? Not only do we have The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, but we have the submarine thriller Phantom, starring Ed Harris and David Duchovny. It came and went without much fanfare earlier this year, which is a shame because it's a perfectly acceptable thriller about a Soviet captain and his crew on a secret mission. And then there's The Call, starring Halle Berry and directed by Brad Anderson. By most accounts it's a slick, brisk thriller about a 911 call-center operator who is trying to save a little girl from a serial killer.
Also out this week is A Place at the Table, a documentary produced and hosted by Jeff Bridges, about hunger in America, a topic no one seems to really want to talk about. It's a smart, restrained film that puts a face on a socioeconomic disparity in America that people either don't often think about or willingly turn a blind eye toward.
For more escapist fare there's the English-language remake of Nicolas Winding Refn's breakout film Pusher. If you've seen Refn's original, this doesn't hold a candle to it. If you haven't, though, it's a fine, unambitious remake with a good cast and some fancy production values. And lastly we have The Rambler, an intentionally weird film about one man's increasingly absurd life. If you liked Rubber, you may want to give this a shot.
Universal is putting out over two dozen newly packaged Blu-rays for some of its more fanboy-friendly films. They're all comic book-themed covers, even if the movie has nothing to do with comics, but if you don't own any of these and you happen to have a favorite amongst the midst, you may want to check out these affordable, collectible editions. If you do already own these on Blu-ray, though, there's nothing here other than the cover art that will make these worth a double dip.