Actors: Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Piper Perabo, Rebecca
Director: Christopher Nolan
Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen,
Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only)
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Number of discs: 1
Run Time: 130 minutes
Available Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
Available Audio Tracks: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby
Digital 2.0), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0)
The Director's Notebook: The Cinematic Sleight of Hand of Christopher
The Art of The Prestige Gallery
You wouldn’t have guessed
it from its marketing, but this movie about rival Victorian
stage magicians (played by Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale) is actually a science fiction film. Not only is it based on a
novel of the same name by British sci-fi writer Christopher Priest, but a
science fiction device of a sort that will be well-known to genre fans play
a central role in the plot.
Some critics have railed
against the presence of said device, arguing that its presence undermines
audience expectations and feels like a cheat. They do have
a point: once you figure out
what this particular device does roundabout the three-quarter running time,
the rest of the film becomes sadly rather predictable.
However, this doesn’t distract too much from the film’s pleasures and in a
Hollywood in which cookie-cutter formulas are repeated ad infinitum The
Prestige comes across as a slight breath of fresh air.
THE DISC: Not much
in the line of extras unfortunately. No audio commentaries, just a short
featurette merely touching on some of the film’s aspects. The featurette
could have been much more in-depth: were any of the magic tricks portrayed
in the movie based on real ones? Did they get actual stage magicians to lend
a hand? Tesla (a character played by David Bowie) was a real-life figure,
but the featurette supplies precious little background info on his character.
Principal stars all pitch in for interviews, but there’s no sign of Bowie or
even director Christopher (Batman Begins)
Nolan himself. (I could be wrong though: sometimes no captions are supplied to identify some of the talking
heads and one is left to guess at their identity.)
WORTH IT? Thanks to
an appealing cast, some great storytelling and good production values The
Prestige is worth one’s while though. Still beware: the film’s plot and
its intricate flashbacks within flashbacks structure demand the viewer’s
full attention and be sure to hit the pause button for any toilet
breaks. You might just miss the scene in which the precise nature of our mystery
device is revealed . . .
rental or even a purchase as the film’s complex plotting probably
necessitates repeat viewings.