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Feature
Superstar magicians Burt Wonderstone (Steve Carell) and Anton Marvelton (Steve Buscemi) have ruled the Las Vegas Strip for years, raking in millions with illusions as big as Burt's growing ego. But lately the duo's greatest deception is their public friendship, while secretly they've grown to loathe each other. Facing cutthroat competition from guerilla street magician Steve Gray (Jim Carrey), whose cult following surges with each outrageous stunt, even their show is starting to look stale. But there's still a chance Burt and Anton can save the act—both onstage and off—if only Burt can get back in touch with what made him love magic in the first place.

Incredible Burt Wonderstone, The
I guess if I were a fan of either Steve Carell or Jim Carrey and sought this movie out I might have felt extremely disappointed with The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, but not having any vested interest in these stars or the film? Complete indifference, which ranks right up there with boring as one of the greatest sins a movie can commit. The comedy aspects aren't particularly funny (and at times are down right mean-spirited), the story didn't interest me in the least, and Burt Wonderstone--you know, the title character that you're supposed to be rooting for--is a loathsome, womanizing, prima donna jerk who is getting everything he deserves, and honestly deserves more than what the movie throws at him. At least Jim Carrey's Steve Gray character is the boilerplate antagonist here so he's got an excuse for being repulsive, but having a main character that's just as unlikeable--if not more so--isn't entertaining, especially here when some empathy could have gone a long way. But hey, at least some of the in camera magic tricks are kinda neat.

The better movie would have been about one of the more charming and less off-putting supporting characters, such as Steve Buscemi's sort of lovable sad sack, Olivia Wilde's wannabe magician and Alan Arkin, all of whom I credit with keeping the movie barely afloat when it would have otherwise sunk. I could easily see a film about any of these characters being funnier and having more heart, but no, we're stuck with Burt Wonderstone's story of redemption and one-upsmanship with Jim Carrey. I didn't care. Chances are you probably won't either.

Incredible Burt Wonderstone, The
Video
Warner's AVC encoded, 1080p video transfer of the film is pretty much as expected, and while you'll find no real complaints here though there's also nothing outstanding either. Contrast and black levels are very well done, detail is largely sharp and I couldn't detect anything wrong with the transfer like blocking, edge enhancement or aliasing that might detract from the picture. The one thing I did notice was that the image looked soft from time to time, but having not seen this theatrically I can't attest to this being a problem with the transfer or inherent to the film itself. Being a newly released theatrical film, there also aren't any defects in the video that might have been carried over from the source used. Overall this is a very good transfer of an average looking film on Blu-ray.

Incredible Burt Wonderstone, The
Audio
Warner's included DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is more or less in line with other movies released on home video in the genre, which is to say that it is primarily a front channel heavy mix with little use of the surround or LFE channels, which is slightly disappointing given the film's location and subject matter. Otherwise dialogue is perfectly audible coming from the center channel and I didn't pick up on any defects with the audio that might detract from the experience, so no worries on that front. Overall this is a good audio presentation that's been included on the disc.

Incredible Burt Wonderstone, The
Extras
Warner Home Video has included a few high definition extras here, and first up is the enjoyable but brief chat with the great David Copperfield ("Making Movie Magic", 8 min.), who discusses his involvement with the picture and reveals a bit about one of the tricks performed. Next up is a feature called "Steve Gray Uncut" (9 min.) which is basically the material of Jim Carrey that was shot for the film, but presented here without the cuts made in the film proper. The disc also contains a good amount (25 min.) of deleted and extended scenes, a gag reel (4 min.) and also includes a DVD copy and UltraViolet code. There isn't a whole lot here that really goes into the making of the picture--actually nothing outside of David Copperfield--so those interested in finding out more will be disappointed.

Incredible Burt Wonderstone, The
Overall
I went into The Incredible Burt Wonderstone with an open mind. I'm not a particular fan of either Steve Carrell or Jim Carrey, and after sitting down to watch this I'm still not. The two unlikable leads make it a chore to sit through and it just hits the wrong tone throughout (i.e. it's just not funny). Warner Home Video's Blu-ray of the film features a good, but nothing spectacular video and audio presentation and the extras feel largely like an after thought. Overall, fans of the actors who just have to see everything they star in will more than likely find that a rental will do in this case as I don't see this as a film that bears repeating.

The images on this page are not representative of the high definition quality of the film on Blu-ray.



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