Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Death Defying Acts

If you ever need proof of the Aussies drinking to much you may wish to look to the Australian Film Institute who gave this waterlogged mess five nominations including best actor for Guy Pearce who was grievously miscast in this picture. Just how bad is DEATH DEFYING ACTS? Well, it's a film puportedly concerning Harry Houdini that has pretty much nothing to do with Houdini other than it has an escape artist who dies on Halloween. Hell, they couldn't even get his death right in this one. The character is off, the timing is off, the look is off and if there were any hope of old Harry coming back from the afterlife he would have surely done so long enough to drown the writers who attached his name to this. As for Guy Pearce, he's a funny actor to start with, mind you...not a bad one but his work here is all over the board. As for Catherine Zeta-Jones, God bless her she tries to carry this one and just about succeeds in escaping without damage but even she trips up towards the end. Timothy Spall and Saoirse Ronan give some help with the load but end up faltering as well. Despite what I've said, the film does have a nice visual style and is interesting as a wild yarn but the whole Houdini aspect sinks it as even somebody with a routine knowledge of the man will note the discrepancies. Do yourself the courtesy and leave this one locked in the trunk.


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