Magicians Or Murderers – Which Movie Should You See This Weekend?

Maxim’s movie-previewing dogs take on The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, The Call, and Upside Down.
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Maxim’s movie-previewing dogs take on The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, The Call, and Upside Down.
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Maxim’s movie-previewing dogs take on The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, The Call, and Upside Down.

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

Out March 15, Rated PG-13



Photo Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

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Holly’s take:

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“I’m just going to throw it out there – when I see a movie that’s obviously supposed to be a parody of Siegfried and Roy, I expect to see a goddamn animal mauling. What happened, did the budget run out? Guys, if you ever need someone to mangle a magician, just call me.”

Dexter’s take:

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“The bad news first: this movie about a magician (Steve Carrell) losing fans to his younger, hipper rival (an on-form Jim Carrey) isn’t quite as funny as it wants to be. It aims for a sort of Blades Of Glory-esque skewering of its subject matter, but never quite finds that ridiculous mix of earnestness and stupidity in its characters, which is a shame, because it’s definitely a scene ripe for making fun of. The good news is, the combination of James Gandolfini’s surprising comedy chops and the film’s dark, unexpected ending will at least leave you feeling like you saw something good. Throw in Steve Buscemi essentially reprising his Donnie character from The Big Lebowski, and the always-welcome Olivia Wilde, and you’ve got a fun way to kill a couple of hours. Which is obviously not nearly as much fun as killing a couple of magicians.”

Billie’s take:

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“I HATE MAGICIANS! A MAGICIAN MADE MY MOM DISAPPEAR ONCE, AND I DIDN’T SEE HER AGAIN FOR EIGHT YEARS! OH, WAIT…NO, MY BAD. THAT WASN’T A MAGICIAN, IT WAS A PAROLE OFFICER.”

The Call

Out March 15, Rated R



Photo Courtesy of Sony Pictures Entertainment

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Holly’s take:

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“This starts out looking like a tween-friendly thriller, but the R-rating and surprising brutality later in the trailer has me thinking there may be more to it. I’d still be lying if I said I was excited by the idea of a movie about a crime-fighting 911 dispatcher – that’s like me getting chased by the guy who answers the phone at the dog pound - but what the hell, I’ll probably at least catch this on Netflix at some point.”

Dexter’s take:

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“This seems like a really odd jumble of a film – on the one hand, a standard-looking, by-the-numbers serial killer flick that comes to us in part from WWE Studios (yes, the wrestling company), but on the other hand, it’s a film starring an Oscar-winning actress, directed by a guy who also made episodes of The Wire, Treme, and Boardwalk Empire. In the end, of course, it’ll all come down to how good the plot is, and while the idea of a 911 dispatcher getting personally involved in a kidnapping case is kind of interesting, I can’t imagine they’ll be able to get Halle Berry out of the control room and into the path of the killer without some serious suspension of disbelief. Still, if it ends with Halle taking out the bad guy with a chair shot behind the ref’s back, count me in.” 

Billie’s take:

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“YOU KNOW WHEN YOU RECOGNIZE SOMEONE IN A MOVIE BUT CAN’T PLACE THEM, AND IT DRIVES YOU CRAZY? THAT HAPPENED TO ME IN THIS MOVIE. I FINALLY PLACED IT RIGHT AT THE END – IT WAS MY UNCLE! HE WAS PLAYING HALLE BERRY’S WIG.”

Upside Down

Out March 15, Rated PG-13



Photo Courtesy of Millennium Entertainment

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Holly’s take:

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“I have a morbid terror of being held upside down that I think comes from the time I was ambushed by a gang of eight or nine large squirrels. As such, I will be giving this movie a miss. And killing some squirrels.”

Dexter’s take:

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“I’m a sucker for a fantasy movie, and visually speaking, this looks fascinating – I love the idea of two planets, right on top of each other, with gravity that pulls their inhabitants in opposite directions (you’ll notice I said “fantasy,” not “science fiction”), meaning that to each other, their worlds are literally upside down. The fact that it then uses this setup to hammer home its core premise of “lovelorn couple separated by class” (because she’s above him! See??) with all the subtlety of an upside-down jackhammer is less appealing, however. If you guys really want an impossible romance story, try asking a dog - I only got halfway through losing my virginity before someone hauled me away by the neck and chopped my balls off. Not even Romeo had to go through that shit.”

Billie’s take:

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“I USED TO LIKE THE IDEA OF LIVING LIFE UPSIDE DOWN. THAT ALL STOPPED AFTER I SAW A BAT POOP IN HIS OWN FACE.” 

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