Valdosta Daily Times


March 22, 2013

'The Master' is masterful


VALDOSTA — Movie Review: Think of this as a collect call. You pay for the call, only to get a busy signal.

Halle Berry stars as Jordan Turner, a veteran 911 operator for the Los Angeles Police Department. Her life changes after she receives a 911 call regarding a young lady, Casey Welson (Breslin), who has been abducted and is riding in the back of a trunk. Even more, Berry realizes the kidnapper (Eklund) is the same guy she encountered in a previous emergency call. Time is now of the essence as Turner and the LAPD race to find clues as to Welson's location.

As a thriller, this piece easily moves audiences. It builds suspense nicely in the first two thirds. Then, it reaches its latter third, which is a messy script. The plot goes awry. This film moves from being a great thriller to becoming a revenge film without sound conclusion.

The characters’ personalities appear to shift during the latter third. Their behavior changes. This appears out of place for Berry and Breslin’s roles. These two women are good initially, but they quickly begin to irritate via actions that appear unconvincing.        

Grade: C (911, we have an emergency.)


“The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” (Comedy: 1 hour, 40 minutes)

Starring: Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi, Olivia Wilde, Alan Arkin and Jim Carrey

Director: Don Scardino

Rated: PG-13 (Profanity, violence, sexuality and thematic elements)

Movie Review: Burt Wonderstone (Carell) and Anton Marvelton (Buscemi) fell in love with magic as children. The friends grow up to become two of the most well-known magicians. Their fame comes with consequences. The pressure to stay at the top of their game is tough, especially when fellow magician Steve Gray (Carrey) enters the picture.

This is a comedy, so it gets some leeway as to how asinine it can be. That latitude quickly evaporates. “Wonderstone” quickly becomes a tedious film where jokes are repetitive.

Carell’s Wonderstone is annoying for the first hour. Carrey overplays it as usual in every scene.

Buscemi and Wilde tag along helplessly trying to keep their roles afloat. They are much better than Carell and Carrey. Arkin is also funny as a cantankerous, retired magician, who inspired Wonderstone and Marvelton. The problem is the good cast members can do nothing to help this wayward film.

This comedy needs a trick because it is definitely not magical.

Grade: C- (Not incredible.)



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