Tuesday, June 11, 2013

I just watched "Now you see me"

And I liked it.

It has some pretty standard problems: it's a very white movie which means that the one prominent black character becomes a stand in for all black people which never leads to good things; it tosses around the term "tranny" and treats it as a mark of shame, on the other hand the trans* character is shown to be a good and loyal person so... yeah.  It loses points and it gains some and I'm not sure how that evens out (also the one throwing around the term is an ass.)  It does not, as I recall, pass the Bechdel test.

Still, repeat it with me, there's nothing wrong with liking problematic things.


It never really definitively establishes whether magic is real or not, and whether or not "the eye" exists or not.* Did the master planner make them up for his grand scheme or is it a real thing?  My personal takeaway is that magic is real.  But when one accepts that magic is real then it becomes the case that it's a tool.  Like any good magician those getting a hold of it only use it when called for, when smoke an mirrors will do the trick it would be almost sacrilegious for a stage magician to use magic instead.  Being a stage magician is all about making use of the tools at your disposal.  Psychology, optics, science, technology, if we add magic to that then it becomes another tool in the box, not a replacement for the existing ones.  Where slight of hand will work it would be silly to employ actual magic.

I think we see the four on the path beginning to have access to actual magic in smaller ways, and the one who turns out to be leading them using it.

And as an aside to that, I figure the hologram technology used is a melding of mundane technology and actual magic to make something that seems quite sci-fi in a place where everything else that's not explicitly part of a magic trick is at a mundane ordinary technological level.

Anyway, that still doesn't answer whether the eye exists.  "Why the fuck not?" is my answer.  The leader has devoted his life to a single magic trick, he'd probably qualify for inclusion, and at the end he doesn't send the four off to do whatever, he welcomes them to the eye.  Why not take that at face value?


* According to something I just read this was resolved, I'll have to watch again to check.

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