Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN


March 20, 2013

‘Wonderstone’ a dreadful waste of wonderful cast

Greensburg — With Andy on spring break I’ll be taking a solo look at The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (PG-13).

Steve Carrell stars as a Vegas strip magician whose career bottoms out when an up-start street magician (Jim Carrey) begins to steal his thunder. Steve Buscemi, Olivia Wilde, James Gandolfini and Alan Arkin costar in the movie. Veteran television director, Don Scardino directs.

For a movie with an Oscar winner (Arkin), a multiple Emmy winner (Gandolfini) and two Golden Globe winners (Carrell and Buscemi) one could have hoped for a quality comedic film (and that’s not even figuring in the Jim Carey factor). In the end, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone misfires on all cylinders. This is one dreadful movie.

There are multiple shortcomings with the movie. First, Carrell’s Wonderstone is so unlikable at the beginning of the movie that it is almost impossible to then root for him when his character is humbled. He’s basically playing Michael Scott (from TV’s The Office) but without any of charm that did make that character (at least somewhat) likable. Not having any emotional investment in the lead character significantly hinders the development of the film’s narrative.          

Second, initially it did look like Jim Carrey’s involvement in the movie might be the film’s saving grace. Carrey plays a one-note character, a cross between real-life illusionists David Blaine and Criss Angel. The sole purpose of his character is meant to be absurd. As I said, that works initially, but then the character becomes so ridiculous that it distracts from the rest of the film. In fact several of the scenes depicting Carrey’s intense magic ventures off into nothing but a disgusting set of sequences.  

Third, one would expect a film dealing with illusionists to have that sense of wonder in its appreciation of the power and seductiveness of magic.

While the film states this fact several times it never demonstrates it. Even the film’s climax is too cold and calculated, then completely ruined when it is explained (unnecessarily) at the end of the film.  

If it seems that I have nothing nice to say about this movie that is 100 percent true. This movie has no redeeming cinematic value. It’s not funny, it’s not entertaining, and it’s not worth seeing on the big screen, on DVD, on your TV or on your wireless device.

Final Grade: D-


Text Only
  • "Transcendence" movie poster Movie preview: “Transcendence”

    Plot: A brilliant innovator in the field of Artificial Intelligence becomes the bridge between man and machine in this sci-fi thriller.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • "Bears" movie poster Movie preview: “Bears”

    Plot: Disney Nature’s 2014 entry chronicles a year up in the life of a family of Alaskan brown bears who call the state’s stunning coastal mountains and shores their home.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • "Haunted House 2" movie poster Movie preview: “A Haunted House 2”

    Plot: Malcolm, who, after exorcising the demons of his ex, is starting fresh with his new girlfriend and her two children. But, upon moving into their dream home, Malcolm is once again plagued by bizarre paranormal events.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 'Grand Budapest Hotel' is distinctively director Anderson With the summer movie season right around the corner, we looked back at an under-the-radar film released this spring - director Wes Anderson's "The Grand Budapest Hotel" (R). A highly recognizable ensemble cast is headed up by Ralph Feinnes, who star

    April 17, 2014

  • New arrivals at Library New items at the Greensburg-Decatur County Library can be found and reserved at Non Fiction Overwhelmed by Brigid Schulte The Neanderthals Rediscovered by Dimitra Papagianni Inheritance by Sharon Moalem The Spe

    April 17, 2014

  • Get down and muddy on Mother's Day INDIANAPOLIS - The Hollis Adams Foundation (HAF) will be hosting its first Mudder’s Day Run on Saturday, May 10, at the Sertoma Club of East Indianapolis. The run will feature more than 15 obstacles over a three mile long course, with mud to spare. H

    April 17, 2014

  • Most won't care about 'Winter Soldier's' 'message' FROM THE DEN AT WOLF THEATRES -- "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" is a comic-book film with fairly lofty aspirations. But while this second go-round of retro-hero Steve Rogers, a.k.a. Captain America - he of "the greatest generation" - falls sho

    April 17, 2014

  • "Heaven Is For Real" movie poster Movie preview: “Heaven Is For Real”

    Plot: When a little boy has a near death experience neither his friends or family believe him until he talks about those who died years before.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • SDES “Pinocchio” is great family fun

    WESTPORT – Fifth and sixth grade students at South Decatur Elementary School (SDES) will stage a production of Disney’s “My Son Pinocchio Jr.” at 7 p.m. on April 24 and 25 at the school.

    After the roles were cast, students began practicing under the tutelage of SDES music teacher Karen Meeker in September.

    April 16, 2014

  • "Rio 2" movie poster Movie preview: “Rio 2”

    Plot: In this animated sequel, Blu and his family take flight for the Amazon after Jewel decides their children should explore the world.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo