Winter flicks have ‘Prestige’


4 out of 5 stars

Directed by: Alejandro Gonzalez I?arritu

Starring: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Adriana Barraza, Gael Garc?a Bernal and Rinko Kikuchi.

The Tower of Babel was built by a united humanity to reach the heavens. Because the hearts of men are inherently evil and disobedient, they strived to make a name for themselves instead of worshipping the God who created them.

Because of this open defiance, God stopped their efforts by confusing languages so that builders couldn’t understand one another. As a result, they could no longer communicate and the work was halted. The builders then scattered themselves to different parts of the earth.

This biblical story provides the framework for the complex and thought-provoking “Babel.”

Broken down into four different stories of four different families all struck by tragedy, this film demonstrates how much people rely on language to communicate. And sometimes, language doesn’t even help us. People who speak the same language still have trouble understanding one another.

An American couple in Morocco goes on vacation to fix their marriage, yet tragedy brings them closer together. Two Moroccan children fight for dominance in the family. A Mexican nanny tries desperately to get to her son’s wedding and a deaf-mute Japanese girl struggles with the death of her mother and her teenage woes.

All these stories are connected, possibly in an attempt to show that all people of different nationalities were once connected. However, tragedy is universal. So is hope.

My words of advice? Everyone should see this movie. Get over the fact that you will read subtitles half of the time.

“Babel” is intense, intelligent and demonstrates that far too often we use language as a barrier.

“The Prestige”

4 out of 5 stars

Directed by: Christopher Nolan

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Scarlett Johansson, Piper Perabo, Andy Serkis and David Bowie.

A magic trick is broken down into three acts. The first is called “The Pledge,” where the magician shows you something ordinary, but of course, it probably isn’t. The second act is called “The Turn,” in which the magician makes his ordinary something do something extraordinary.

The third act is called “The Prestige.” This is the part with the twists and turns, where lives hang in the balance and you see something shocking that you’ve never seen before.

This monologue sets the stage for an incredibly wild ride of twists, turns and illusions.

The story begins with two men striving to become magicians, Robert (Jackman) and Alfred (Bale).

After a terrible accident, the two men become bitter rivals, trying desperately to outdo one another.

Set in turn-of-the-century London, “The Prestige” is full of betrayal, deceit and dangerous obsessions.

The story is layered by flashbacks, recounting the past in the present and perhaps even predicting the future.

I’m hesitant to discuss any plot points for fear of ruining the full experience of the movie. Seeing is believing. Not all magic is just an illusion.

If you’re battling between two combating magical movies, “The Illusionist” and “The Prestige,” see “The Prestige.”

The tricks are more magnificent and the plot is thicker with more magic and mystery.

– Images from and