Monday, October 22, 2007

Magic (1978)

--Reviewed by Lindy Loo

Plotline: Corky is a guy with a magic act that fails to impress, until, that is, he incorporates a new twist into his act in the form of his ventriloquist dummy, Fats. When he sneaks off to hide away from his newfound celebrity in the cabin of an old classmate (who quickly becomes a lover), it becomes clear that there's something not quite right with the relationship between Corky and Fats.

Scariness factor: Chucky in Child's Play for some reason never creeped me out. (Probably because he's moreso obnoxious and irritating than creepy.) But damn if ventriloquist dummies aren't intrinsically creepy, and Fats does not disappoint.

Gross-Out Factor: 1970s slasher-esque moments.

Complaints: It's a bit sluggish at times.

High Points: I was actually surprised that I liked this as much as I did. It is a serious testament to Anthony Hopkins' acting abilities, because this could've easily easily been a total crap film. But he is *fantastic* in it, down to the littlest of nuances, like his "ventriloquism" wherein (since I'm assuming he's not ACTUALLY throwing his voice in the film) he actually manages to come across as a convincing ventriloquist, his lips just BARELY moving every once in a while as Fats yammers away. He really is what makes this movie so damn good and so strangely believable. It also is quite interesting how it plays with madness--Is perhaps the dummy actually alive? Is Corky just insane? Is it not insanity at all? Fats, the dummy, is damn creepy as well. And although the movie is pretty dated, it's not dated enough to render it silly.

Overall: I was impressed, mostly by Anthony Hopkins' ability to make this movie as good as he made it. It's by no means perfect. Many of you might find it boring. But I actually liked it quite a bit and recommend, particularly if you're a fan of Anthony Hopkins.

Grade: B/B+



At 6:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That last picture is going to give me nightmares for weeks. Thanks!

At 8:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haven't seen this one in ages. I was just thinking about it the other day. I'm going to have to get the DVD 'cause I just got to see it again.

I seem to remember a bit where Fats tells Corky to kill this guy (his agent???) and Corky gets all flustered and says "What with?" (or something like that) and Fats screams at him "Use me! Use me!" And so he does. Talk about a tête - à - tête.


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