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Now You See Me 2 Review (2016) | More Info on Lionel Shrike

A bit more glimpse into the life of Lionel Shrike. Now You See Me 2 is more or less capering around the surface of its prequel. So, that leaves its wounds open – the way things were in the previous installment. But it manages to work around it with its stunning theatrics, an elusive plot and a pinch of some rad magic to keep us riveted to our seats.

The thing that is worth noticing, and probably on which the entire story of Now You See Me franchise is based upon is none other than Lionel Shrike. Ring a bell? No? Well, we have got you covered.

WHO IS LIONEL SHRIKE? (SPOILERS AHEAD)

Lionel Shrike is like the Houdini of the franchise. So, you have got to place him at the top alongside Thadeus Braddley. The level of magic Lionel Shrike creates is gargantuan. To explain events shown in the movie, I will try to create a timeline of events so you know what happens when.

  • When Lionel Shrike was a kid he asks a man to sign a card as part of a trick. He then hides the card inside the hollow of a tree, letting the tree to grow around it. After 30 years, he asks the same man to sign another card, and then as part of his revelation cuts down the tree to reveal the card from 30 years ago. You can imagine how far he is willing to go for a magic trick.
  • Thaddeus Bradley and Lionel Shrike were actually friends, but nobody knows that since they acted like rivals.
  • Lionel Shrike attempts to do a lock safe stunt in the East River where the stunt goes wrong and he possibly drowns (he might be alive).
  • Before going in he offers his watch to his son (You are wondering who is son is? Brace yourself MAJOR SPOILER: Dylan Rhodes) The poor quality of the safe he was in warps its metal when it reaches the bottom, and the body is never recovered.
  • As the body and the safe wasn’t recovered Tressler Insurance denies paying insurance claim to Dylan’s mother.

That’s how it all began. Dylan swears vengeance to take revenge on both Thaddeus and Tressler and that forms the basis of the story we have been watching so far.

still of lionel shrike played by richard laing in now you see me 2

NEW INCLUSIONS IN NOW YOU SEE ME 2

Daniel Radcliffe as Walter Mabry is absolutely thrilling, although he doesn’t get much to gnaw at. He still manages to make his character interesting. Makes a swell entry! Lizzy Caplan is an awesome find as Lula, a pleasant inclusion to the already stellar cast. Her jocular remarks will make you fall in love with her instantly. Also, she doesn’t make you miss Isla Fisher.

still of Lizzy Caplan as Lula in Now you see me 2 movie lionel shrike

The director’s shaky camera techniques don’t really work here, as he decimates action. If it were not for the plot and some cool magic tricks, it would have failed, nay, fell flat on its face in the muck of its own doing.

PLOT AND SUB-PLOTS:

Now You See Me 2 has side-plots, some fine to live with but some really vapid and in need of better framing. Two of the worst ones were the twin tale and the original girdle that bound the movie taut. Even though Woody Harrelson creates a charming façade as his twin, the side story doesn’t pack in a big punch. The Morgan Freeman story does, but it simply vexes you forcing you to chase the ‘tale’. It is as if Jon M. Chu serves you a revelation hotchpotch, and boom! they keep falling one after the other on you. It seems rather deliberate and pushed to match the lines of the first installment.

still of daniel radcliffe as Walter Mabry in Now You See Me 2 movie lionel shrike

At times the dialogues of Now You See Me 2 run into cheesy territory and you feel like laughing at serious moments, like when they team up (which by the way they have always acted as), and they go, “Who’s in?” and then others follow, “I am in”, “Me too”.

The side story of Dylan Rhodes, which Mark Ruffalo goes in full-blown acting mode along with Thaddeus Bradley, is a good one but the vendetta never takes place. The final revelation of Now You See Me 2 feels kind of empty even though it was colossal. Maybe it was in dire need of a proper depiction with a revelation theme or something. The way the movie begins, ends the same way opening you to the puns hidden in words which was well thought of. The voice of Morgan does justice to it as well. The Eye still stays as the rudimentary backdrop of the tale, and looks like we have something to look forward to in the long run.

The DVD of Now You See Me 2 movie is available here on Amazon. Order it today:

MAGIC TRICKS

The card trick to steal the stick is stark badass but unfortunately there is too much of it, and it makes you start thinking out loud. There is comparatively lesser magic and more of hypnotism in Now You See Me 2 which kind of defeats the purpose of magic. The best magical majestic bit is the one Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg) performs with rain as he tries to play God. Absolutely stunning to watch!

You can check out the trailer of Now You See Me 2 here:

Spotlight Review (2015)

An eye-opener! Spotlight throws spotlight on the ugly side of faith. An issue lodged so profusely in the streams of religion that it goes either unnoticed or remains unlit. Plot: A team of reporters work conscientiously to bring child abuse by priests into the forefront by illuminating the dark hollows of the ugly tactics of the church.

The movie addresses the issue slyly and then dives into it fully fledged owing to the inclusion of a new concerned editor Marty Baron, played superbly by Liev Schreiber whose words make a difference and reignite the died out flame of Walter Robby Robinson (Michael Keaton) who along with his meticulous and diligent team rush in to address the elephant in the room. Sacha Pfeiffer (Rachel McAdams) and Matt Carroll (Brian d’Arcy James) are both outstanding. They look forever engaged in their pursuit, whilst Mark Ruffalo as Mike Rezendes can’t be ignored. Mark gets into the skin of Mike and creates a new persona altogether, an earnest committed fella who would stop at nothing to nail the molesters. It is almost as he disappears into that stream of acting. Watch him lose it like a maniac!

There are other brilliant characters in the movie that can’t be left uncredited owing to their enthralling acting. Like that of John Slattery as Ben Bradlee, Jr. who fits into the bossy shoes pretty great. Also, Billy Crudup, Stanley Tucci and Jamey Sheridan who were all mesmerizing in their little fleeting acts.

Screenplay of the movie is well written. Becomes very thoughtful at times. The work the people do in the flick will make you feel worthless. So, crucial bringing issues in the dark to the front page! They deserve an ovation.

“That’s why I never got married. I am too busy. What I do is too important.”

The aforementioned is said by Mitchell Garabedian played brilliantly by Stanley Tucci. You could almost read how concerned and thoughtful the guy is from his looks.

Spotlight comes up with a beautiful plot of mind-boggling revelations that will make you hate the religious conventions that hide the truth. It is a dead on collision between the media and the system, which remarkably addresses the church functioning snags. To say that the issue just circles around church would be an understatement. It is a global phenomena, something so ugly that it hardly makes news. This flick beats the odds to come up a victor. Kudos to the thoughtful media on this one!

SPOILERS AHEAD:

Spotlight begins with a hushed conversation and a free priest getting away with a horrendous crime. The prologue is reflective of how untouched and unscathed they feel under the aegis of their religious fallacy. How unfazed they feel around the law! Believing they are closer to God they could get away with anything! The perpetrator walks on to his car, escorted by a bigger authority from the Church as the helpless law (a policeman) watches their car drive through a mist of smoke into the oblivion.

It delves deep into some outstanding reporting too which is well captured by Tom McCarthy that shows us how extraordinary the efforts of Boston Globe reporters really were in bringing out the issue at hand into the limelight. The final result will gratify you and if you are the empathizing kind, you will feel the cold yet comforting gaze of justice from the end credits.

The world’s full of sexual predators. They could be masked as priests too. To look the other way is not the solution. If it is happening in your corridors, speak up. Crime’s after all a crime. Something needs to be done or the world will go blind.

Foxcatcher Review (2014)

Simply blown away by Foxcatcher! Outstanding performances!

PLOT OF FOXCATCHER

Bennett Miller’s wonder Foxcatcher, is primarily a psychological study of exceptional characters portrayed superbly by Steve Carell, Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo. Based on a true story of brethren Mark Schultz and Dave Schultz, the tale is an account of how their lives changed when they encountered the richest man in the United States, who promised to support Mark in winning the Olympics.

STEVE CARELL’S MAKE-OVER

You have to give a standing ovation to Steve Carell’s makeup artists. The job they did with his prosthetic nose and a complete makeover is highly commendable. The character build up is so brilliant that it is quite next to impossible to figure out if is Steve who is behind the mask! The posture, the walk, the talk, the demeanour, everything is just marvelously put on by Steve and he perfects it at every frame.

Channing Tatum is equally ravishing sporting a constant tough-boy lower lip countenance that he carries throughout. Mark Ruffalo is simply outstanding in Foxcatcher. The acting pro plays Mark Schultz’s elder brother to perfection. There is so much going on on his face that you could almost read it.

Miller’s direction is one of the best I have ever seen. He keeps us engaged with long shots of a particular expression something that every drama thrives on. The editing of the movie could have however gone better since there were many dispensable shots strewn all across. Rob Simonsen and Michael Danna did a great job with the composition which Miller played only when required, quite nicely.

SPOILERS WRESTLING AHEAD

As the frames run towards the inception of the flick, the movie gradually eases into the concept behind the movie moniker ‘Foxcatcher’, subtly remarking its historical significance. We witness a herd of men on horses on hunting grounds with hounds chasing foxes speaking of their affluence. Then begins the flick with Mark’s routine and Dave’s flair.

Soon we are introduced to the great John Du Pont a character so brilliantly woven, that it makes it hard to see through him. John’s constant endeavor to prove himself to his mother is wonderfully depicted. Amongst some great scenes from the movie are John’s frequent outbursts (Watch out for that gun bit!), Channing’s hitting himself in wrath, Mark’s exceptional efforts to help his brother, wrestling moves that Mark and Dave perfected and of course the unexpected climax.

MELODRAMA

The drama of Foxcatcher reeks of human passion, psychology, fraternal concern, mental disputes and ill effects of strain in relationships. A perfect drama that Miller perfects owing to exceptional acting prowess shown by Steve, Mark and Channing.

A highly recommended movie if you wish to witness some classic mind-boggling acting.