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Louis Leterrier
Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson
Writing Credits:
Ed Solomon, Boaz Yakin, Edward Ricourt

An FBI Agent and an Interpol Detective track a team of illusionists who pull off bank heists during their performances and reward their audiences with the money.

Rated PG-13/Unrated.

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
English DTS-HD MA 7.1
Spanish Dolby 5.1
English Dolby 2.0
English Descriptive Audio
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 115 min. (Theatrical)
125 min. (Extended)
Price: $9.99
Release Date: 9/3/2013

• Audio Commentary with Director Louis Leterrier and Producer Bobby Cohen
• Both Theatrical and Extended Cuts
• “Revealed” Featurette
• “A Brief History of Magic” Featurette
• 13 Deleted Scenes
• Trailers & Previews
• DVD Copy


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Now You See Me [Blu-Ray] (2013)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (February 23, 2020)

Not many movies feature magicians as their focus, but 2013’s Now You See Me uses those characters in an action/thriller setting. At the start, a mysterious person draws together four different illusionists.

This group includes J. Daniel "Danny" Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg), Merritt McKinney (Woody Harrelson), Henley Reeves (Isla Fisher), and Jack Wilder (Dave Franco). Given a plan for a master illusion, they become “The Four Horsemen” and take a year to practice.

When they return, they headline a show in Las Vegas that climaxes with an apparent bank robbery. This leads the Horsemen on a series of illusions that appear to commit additional crimes, a factor that brings FBI Agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo), Interpol’s Alma Dray (Mélanie Laurent) and debunker Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman) into the mix as they attempt to solve the mysteries.

As a premise, See boasts cleverness and intrigue. Like I noted, we don’t get many movies that star illusionists, and the choice to turn them into Robin Hood sorts allows the film the potential to prosper.

Which it fulfills – for a while, at least. Through its first act, See presents an exciting, funny take that keeps us enthralled.

And then it starts to lose steam, but not immediately or in a sudden manner. After a terrific opening act, the second section still seems pretty good. We might not feel quite as delighted, but we remain firmly involved in the tale.

Once we get to the third act, however, the little engine finds it hard to make it to the top of the hill. Stuck with a story of complex machinations and deceit, See eventually runs out of steam.

Sort of – even at its worst, the movie keeps us reasonably engaged. However, given how much fun we get from the opening, the messy third act leaves a bit of a sour taste, as it just gets too bogged down to work as well as it should.

Some of this stems from the construction of the film. As the tale progresses, it tends to focus more on Rhodes and Dray, so it loses track of the Horsemen.

Given where the story winds up, I get this choice, but it robs the movie of much of its charm. See works best when we follow the Horsemen through their outlandish illusions and their personal interactions.

The scenes that focus on the investigation just lack the same energy, and they feel copped from a slew of other movies. Much of the appeal comes from the way See emphasizes magic, as we don’t find many movies with the same focus.

Cop procedurals are a dime a dozen, though. As implied, this one takes some unexpected twists, and those give it a charge, but we still find ourselves largely stuck with the investigation during the third act, and that strips the film of its unique vibe.

Still, even at its worst, See remains engaging, and the story always keeps us guessing. When it hits its finale, the twists don’t come out of nowhere, but the movie also doesn’t telegraph them, so we get some good curveballs.

In addition, we find a terrific cast, and the actors all look like they had a ball during the shoot. See is so goofy and outlandish that I’m sure they enjoyed the chance to dive into such a wacky tale. Each one seems delighted to be there, and that positive energy helps carry the day.

Director Louis Leterrier relies far too much on hyper camerawork, though. Happily, we don’t get the annoying “shakycam” found in many modern movies, but Leterrier loves to spin the camera around the actors, and this can become a severe distraction.

Even with occasionally annoying cinematography and a flawed third act, though, I like See. It comes with too much verve and creativity to view it as anything other than a good time.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B/ Bonus B

Now You See Me appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. This became a pleasant presentation.

Sharpness was positive. Only minor softness crept into wide shots, so the image remained pretty tight and well-defined at all times.

I noticed no issues with shimmering or jaggies, and edge haloes failed to appear. Print flaws also failed to mar the presentation.

See went with a heavily orange-influenced palette that sprinkled in a fair amount of teal and amber as well. Within the movie’s color design, the tones seemed solid, though the orange could become a little ridiculous at times.

Blacks were dark and deep, while shadows demonstrated nice smoothness. This was a consistently satisfying image.

The Dolby TrueHD 7.1 mix of See showed scope that mainly focused on ambience. That said, a few elements occasionally allowed it to open up in a satisfying manner.

These added some immersiveness, as did a few other exteriors, but those instances remained fairly infrequent. The mix did use the score in a broad, engaging manner, though, and the whole package fit together smoothly.

Audio quality seemed good. Speech was distinctive and natural, without edginess or other issues.

Music seemed warm and dynamic, while effects showed nice clarity and accuracy. Bass response delivered nice punch. The mix suited the story and kicked into higher gear when necessary.

The Blu-ray includes both the film’s theatrical cut (1:55:21) and an Extended Edition (2:04:48). What does that extra nine minutes, 27 seconds bring the viewer?

Most of the alterations come from a slew of brief additions. The Extended Edition comes peppered with short snippets that add to existing scenes.

We also get a few that offer alternate takes and re-editing. For instance, the scene between Bradley and the agents almost entirely consists of different shots and dialogue, though the sequence plays virtually the same way.

In addition, a segment that shows the Horsemen on one plane and the agents on another comes with a different structure. It shifts scenes and places them in an alternate order. Also, the New Orleans street scene adds a brief topless shot absent from the theatrical.

To my eyes, only one truly new sequence appears during the body of the film. In the Extended, Bradley confronts the Horsemen backstage before their second show.

None of this makes the theatrical. In addition, the Extended adds a mid-credits tag absent from the theatrical.

Does any of this material improve the movie? Not really. While the Extended Edition works just fine, I don’t think the alterations make it superior to the theatrical version.

Still, none of them harm the film either. The Extended cut brings a fun variation on the theatrical cut.

Alongside the theatrical film, we get an audio commentary from director Louis Leterrier and producer Bobby Cohen. Both sit together for a running, screen-specific look at story/characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, effects, the “magic”, music, and related areas.

Expect a pretty brisk commentary here. Both are involved in the discussion and make this an informative, enjoyable view of the film.

Two featurettes follow, and Revealed runs 15 minutes, 38 seconds. It provides notes from Leterrier, Cohen, producers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, writer Edward Ricourt, consultant David Kwong, and actors Morgan Freeman, Mark Ruffalo, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Michael Caine and Melanie Laurent.

“Revealed” covers story, characters and screenplay, research and the use of magic, and the different locations/shows. We get some good details here but much of “Revealed” feels fairly superficial.

A Brief History of Magic goes for 11 minutes, 52 seconds and features Kwong. He leads us through a view of stage magic across the years. This becomes an engaging little reel.

13 Deleted Scenes fill a total of 31 minutes, 57 seconds. Of these, the most significant offers a long, alternate intro to Rhodes. We also get an extended sequence in which Bradley explains the Horsemen’s actions to Rhodes and we find flashback material between young Dylan and his dad.

As for the rest, they tend toward added character info and/or story exposition. Many seem interesting – such as a tiff between Daniel and Henley – but nothing substantial results.

The disc opens with ads for Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Ender’s Game and Red 2. We also get two trailers for See.

A second disc presents a DVD copy of See. It lacks the Extended Edition as well as all the Blu-ray’s extras.

On the negative side, Now You See Me sputters somewhat during its third act. However, the rest of the film seems too engaging and clever for me to complain too much about its lackluster ending. The Blu-ray brings pretty solid picture and audio along with a nice roster of supplements. Even with a disappointing finale, this turns into a fun ride.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.8888 Stars Number of Votes: 9
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