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Christopher Nolan
Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Scarlett Johansson
Writing Credits:
Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan

After a tragic accident, two stage magicians in 1890s London engage in a battle to create the ultimate illusion while sacrificing everything they have to outwit each other.

Box Office:
$40 million.
Opening Weekend
$14,801,808 on 2281 screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated PG-13.


Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Spanish Dolby 5.1
French Dolby 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 130 min.
Price: $39.99
Release Date: 12/19/2017

• “The Director’s Notebook” Featurettes
• “The Art of The Prestige” Galleries
• “Movie Showcase”
• Sneak Peeks
• Blu-ray Copy


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Sony UBP-X700 4K Ultra HD Dolby Vision Blu-ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


The Prestige [4K UHD] (2006)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (August 21, 2023)

Hot on the heels of the similarly themed The Illusionist, 2006’s The Prestige took us to late 19th century England. During his magic act, Robert “The Great Danton” Angier (Hugh Jackman) dies and authorities arrest fellow magician Alfred Borden (Christian Bale) for his murder.

Illusion designer John Cutter (Michael Caine) implicates Borden and relates elements of the competition between the pair. We get flashbacks to see aspects of their interaction and issues as well as their rise through the ranks as their relationship also develops.

Matters go sour when Angier’s wife Julia (Piper Perabo) dies during a trick and he blames Borden. This sparks attempts at revenge and other complications as they try to sabotage each other and get the upper hand.

During any discussion of The Prestige, it becomes difficult to avoid spoilers. Indeed, the movie throws quite a few twists at us, so many that I find it tough to chat about the flick and not refer to any of these. Suffice it to say that the film attempts to catch us off-guard many times.

Does it succeed? Not really, as most of the twists can be discerned well before they occur, so not many of them really take us by surprise.

In a way, they have an effect opposite what the filmmakers desired. Rather than enchant us with a world packed with secrets and deception, we feel a little bored once the story formally reveals the twists.

Don’t get me wrong - The Prestige doesn’t telegraph its hidden elements in a truly blatant way. I just think that it makes too many of them too obvious for them to pay off in the end. What should be a grand finale finishes with something of a fizzle.

Despite that problem, The Prestige manages to keep our attention for its two-plus-hours. Unlike The Illusionist’s love triangle, this flick’s tale of revenge and obsession grabs onto the viewer and makes sure that we don’t worry too much about the various predictable twists.

Although we can see these coming, at least we enjoy the ride. That becomes something I found it more difficult to say for The Illusionist.

I also think that The Prestige suffers from fewer plot holes than its competition. I’m sure you’ll find some here, but at least these didn’t preoccupy me when the movie ended.

I left The Illusionist with more questions than answers. That matter failed to repeat itself for The Prestige.

Both movies boast excellent casts, though The Prestige wins in that category as well, especially since most of them provide very good performances. Scarlett Johansson seems surprisingly bland as the assistant who works with both magicians.

However, the other actors offer nice turns. I especially liked David Bowie’s insightful and low-key turn as inventor Nikola Tesla, as he makes a lot from his brief moments onscreen.

The Prestige doesn’t compare terribly favorably with director Christopher Nolan’s better works. Indeed, it may be his weakest film.

That’s more of an indication how good Nolan’s other flicks are, though. The Prestige offers an entertaining ride despite its flaws.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B/ Bonus C

The Prestige appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this 4K UHD Disc. Though not quite top-flight, the image worked well.

Overall sharpness seemed positive. A few slightly soft shots materialized but those didn’t create obvious concerns. Instead, the majority of the flick provided strong delineation.

I saw no signs of jagged edges or moiré effects, and edge haloes remained absent. Source flaws remained absent, as no defects marred the presentation.

As one might expect from a period piece of this sort, the movie’s palette remained subdued. The image took on a semi-golden “old-time” look that fit the material.

Within those constraints, the colors seemed strong. HDR added range and impact to the tones.

Blacks were deep and dense, while shadows appeared smooth and easily visible. HDR brought punch and power to whites and contrast – maybe a little too much, actually, as with many semi-early 4Ks, the transfer went a little overboard with brightness. Nonetheless, this was a solid image overall.

While not as impressive, the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of The Prestige satisfied. Only a few sequences really brought the mix to life.

Whenever the electrical machines appeared, they added nice range to the soundfield and immersed the viewer. Otherwise, the track usually stayed with general atmosphere.

Audio quality seemed positive. Music was lush and lively, and effects followed suit. Those elements appeared crisp and dynamic throughout the film.

Speech was concise and natural, as the lines betrayed no edginess or other flaws. Overall, the soundtrack presented a good sense of the environment.

How does the 4K UHD compare to the Blu-ray release? The 4K’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 sounded very similar to the BD’s uncompressed PCM 5.1

Visuals demonstrated improved colors, blacks and delineation. While the Blu-ray worked fairly well, the 4K easily topped it.

No extras appear on the 4K disc, but on the included Blu-ray copy, we find a collection of featurettes under the banner of The Director’s Notebook: The Cinematic Sleight of Hand of Christopher Nolan.

Taken together, these fill a total of 19 minutes and 33 seconds. They mix movie shots, clips from the set, and interviews.

In “Notebook”, we hear from Nolan, novelist Christopher Priest, production designer Nathan Crowley, director of photography Wally Pfister, costume designer Joan Bergin, screenwriter Jonathan Nolan, and actors Hugh Jackman, Rebecca Hall, Christian Bale, Scarlett Johansson, Piper Perabo, and Michael Caine.

The pieces look at the era in which the film takes place and related elements, sets, locations and production design, cast and costumes, camerawork and lighting, script adaptation issues, some facts about Tesla, and finishing thoughts.

As a collection of short pieces, “Notebook” can be somewhat disjointed at times. However, it gets into the material with reasonable depth – at least for such a short show.

I’d have preferred something longer, though, and the lack of an audio commentary is a disappointment. “Notebook” is a nice teaser but not much more than that.

The Art of The Prestige splits into four separate galleries. We get collections devoted to “Film” (25 stills), “Behind the Scenes” (21), “Costumes and Sets” (25) and “Poster Art” (9).

All are moderately interesting, though only “Art” – which showcases materials seen in the movie – becomes genuinely fun.

With Movie Showcase, we’re told we’ll get “instant access to the filmmaker’s most cinematic moments that showcase the ultimate in high definition picture and sound”. What this means is that we find an alternate form of chapter search, as the “Showcase” links to three short clips.

These run a total of two minutes, 10 seconds. The “Showcase” feels pointless to me.

The disc opens with ads for The Guardian and Invincible. No trailer for Prestige appears here.

Despite plot twists that don’t come as surprises, The Prestige provides an entertaining tale of obsession and revenge. It mixes time periods and characters smoothly to keep us involved. The 4K UHD delivers good picture and audio as well as some decent bonus materials. While not one of Christopher Nolan’s better movies, The Prestige still works well.

To rate this film visit the DVD review of THE PRESTIGE