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Wednesday, June 19
The Indiana Daily Student

Magic doesn't come across on DVD

An engaging tale of rivalry between Victorian-era magicians Alfred Borden (Christian Bale) and Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman), "The Prestige" is itself like a magic trick, keeping viewers guessing as to how the pieces of this mystery-suspense will finally come together. It is in this way reminiscent of director and co-screenwriter Christopher Nolan's earlier film "Memento," though "The Prestige" is more spectacular and considerably less edgy and original than "Memento." \nBoth Bale and Jackman give good performances. I found Bale to be somewhat more impressive as he displays a greater range of emotion than usual, with both the calculating coldness that earned him praise in his portrayal of Patrick Bateman in "American Psycho" as well as a softer, more sympathy inspiring side. David Bowie plays the role of Nikola Tesla, a character based on the historical figure who contributed greatly to the development of alternating current electric power systems which we still use. The role is a modest but significant one and Bowie executes it well, thereby adding to the film as a whole as opposed to detracting with his presence from the believability of the narrative. The female characters, including those played by Scarlett Johansson and Piper Perabo, are finely played but not overly interesting.\nThough the film is quite enjoyable, the DVD is not that great. "The Prestige" is the sort of film that is a good deal more exciting on the big screen. Also, the story is such that it cannot help but diminish in entertainment value after a few viewings because so much of the film's intrigue is reliant on a first time viewer's ignorance. \nThe special features are quite sub-par. The "Director's Notebook" is in reality a glorified series of making-of featurettes in which the cast and crew discuss the film. This is actually somewhat interesting but disappointing for anyone who is hoping for anything approaching a look inside Christopher Nolan's mind. This is as good as the special features get on this DVD. The other material included on the disc is a called "The Art of the Prestige," promisingly divided into sections for the film, costumes and sets, behind the scenes and poster art. Rather than dividing this into sections, the designers of the DVD could have more appropriately lumped all the categories together and labeled it "Still screenshots that almost no one will actually want to waste time looking through"

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