When I first watched THE ILLUSIONIST, I couldn’t believe how exquisite the story was both as a romance and a mystery. I loved the premise of the young duchess Sophie falling in love with the cabinetmaker’s son and aspiring magician Edward. The cinematography of the film adds to the illusion of a bygone era, where nobility and commoners did not mix. It also adds to the illusion of the story making it appear soft around the edges, almost mystical in quality. When the young lovers are torn apart, Edward leaves for parts unknown.
When the story continues, it is years later. Sophie (Jessica Biel) is engaged to marry the Crown Prince when they attend a performance of the famous illustionist Eisenheim (Edward Norton). The sexual tension is so intense it makes you squirm. Time does not make their love fade only become more desperate. Now that they’ve found each other again, how can Eisenheim free her? The Crown Prince will never let her walk away. Pride and political gain’s at stake. And in the shadow of Eisenheim’s every step is Inspector Uhl (Paul Giamatti) who as a fan of the Illustionist wants to learn his secrets while monitoring Eisenheim’s activities for the Crown Prince.
The mystery that unfolds around the lovers is deliciously unpredicatable. This story will keep you at the edge of your seat. The acting is excellent. The portrayal of the late 1800s Vienna is romantic and designed so beautifully it allows us to escape this time completely. I was ecstastically surprised by this movie, and it’s become my favorite. I’m sure it will be yours too.
Five Fangs (My highest rating)
AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN PARIS
The ultimate Cinderella tale begins with an American man on a trip with two friends. You meet Andy as his friends on the train to Paris talk about making sexual conquests. He’s been holding off, looking for love instead. When Andy and his friends sneak to the top of the Eiffel Tower after it’s closed, what commences is the most dramatic stunt I’ve ever seen. Andy plans on bungee jumping off the tower. A beautiful girl (Serafine) with haunting eyes steps up to the rail to commit suicide. When she jumps, he jumps after her, only he didn’t tie off and his friends grab the cords at the last second. Andy grabs her by the feed and enable her a soft landing. He’s left with one shoe. What would make a beautiful girl want to kill herself? Andy discovers what he’s willing to do for love? What would you do for love? Can Andy and Serafine have a happily ever after?
Although this movie is grizzly with gore, the romance in it is sterling.
Rated R for gore, sexual situations, nudity
BLOOD AND CHOCOLATE
This is a delicious tale about a young werewolf named Vivian who is supposed to become the mate the head of the pack, Gabriel. It doesn’t seem to matter to him that he’s abandoned his relationship with her aunt with whom he had a son. It may be Vivian’s duty to be his next mate, but her heart has other plans when Aiden, a handsome, young, graphic novelist, walks into the picture. Vivian is constantly reminded that humans killed her family. How can she trust one now even if he says he loves her? I don’t think they intended this movie to be as excellent as it is.
Rated PG-13 for violence, terror, some sexuality, substance abuse
Four and a half Fangs