Directed by Richard Attenborough
Written by William Goldman
Based on a novel by William Goldman
Cinematography by Victor J. Kemper
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
Cast: Anthony Hopkins, Ann-Margret, Burgess Meredith, Ed Lauter & E.J. André
1978/color/107 mins/2.0 Dolby Digital Mono
1.85:1 anamorphic/English/US/NTSC/Region 0
The rather talented but shy Corky (Anthony Hopkins) is a failed magician. But soon enough, with the help of his dummy (Fats), he finds overnight success as a ventriloquist. His talent agent, Ben Greene (Burgess Meredith), is about to get him a deal for a pilot on national television. Yet Corky doesn't want to take part in the inevitable medical exam... does he has something to hide or is he simply just afraid of success?
He decides to leave the big city and go back to his hometown. There at a rather deserted resort, he runs into the love of his youth, Peggy Ann Snow (the beautiful Ann-Margret). Much to the displeasure of Fats the dummy (?!), Corky and Peggy fall in love. But the dummy hasn't say his last word...
Corky is slowly falling into a world of madness and to make things worse, his boss finds him and Peggy's husband is back in town.
What a nice surprise MAGIC is. Anthony Hopkins gives an awesome over the top and almost maniacal performance as the troubled ventriloquist. The scene where he's asked not to talk for five minutes is priceless. Fats the dummy steals every scenes he's in. I don't know about you but I always found dummies to be creepy. Burgess Meredith, of ROCKY fame, as always does a good job and the lovely Ann-Margret play her role perfectly... and in the love scene she bares more then expected, nice.
The story written by William Goldman moves along quite nicely. Jerry Goldsmith's score is haunting and Victor J. Kemper did a superb job with the cinematography. Director Richard Attenborough accepted to do the movie after the producers greenlighted his to be next film, GANDHI. William Goldman wrote the screenplay based on his best selling novel. MAGIC is one movie I highly recommand to genre fans. Now where can I buy a Fats dummy?!
MAGIC tricks his way into DVD thanks to Dark Sky Films. Ever since their first releases, Dark Sky Films have done nothing but impressed me with their DVD editions and this one is no exception. The movie is presented in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio and it is anamorphic. A new high definition transfer was done from the original 35mm negative. It was all supervised by cinematographer Victor J. Kemper. Not surprisingly the image looks great for a movie almost 30 years old. The colors are sharp, nicely saturated and with rich details. The movie is presented in English in a 2.0 Mono Dolby Digital track. While nothing spectacular it does a great job. Jerry Goldsmith's score really shines while all the dialogues are clear. English subtitles are available.
There are many extras available on this edition, first of all we get 'Fats & Friends' which is an amazing 27 minutes documentary on the history of ventriloquist. Very interesting stuff here for fans of this craze art. Expert ventriloquist Daniel Alwood give us the lowdown. He's the person who designed Frats for the movie. Alwood is joined by his dummy, its not Fats but was the inspiration for it. Alwood gives us all the details of how MAGIC came to be. Jack Nicholson was the first actor wanted for the role of Corky (too easy and predictable casting if you ask me). Al Pacino, Gene Wilder and Chevy Chase where also though of. Yet Alwood is later joined by Fats. There's also clips of Anthony Hopkins at the time practicing and lot more.
We get an interview with cinematographer Victor J. Kemper talking to us about the technical aspects of the movie, what does a cinematographer does, the actors and director. There is also a radio interview with Anthony Hopkins that plays over bloopers and outtakes from the film. There is also the make-up test (withouth audio) with the lovely Ann-Margret.
We also get the theatrical trailer, still gallery with posters and lobby cards. There's another interview in Spanish (?!) with Anthony Hopkins. We also get two tv spots in English and two in Spanish, plus radio spots. And yes, that creepy tv spot is in there. The disc features cool animated menus, 13 chapter stops, no booklet or inlay card. But most importantly, this is the unedited, uncut, R-rated version with all the profanity intact.
"Abracadabra, I sit on his knee. Presto, change-o, and now he's me! Hocus Pocus, we take her to bed. Magic is fun...we're dead."
This Film Features:
Review by Kim Dubuisson. All Right Reserved. 2006. ©
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