The Best magic movies of all time

We often publish best of lists on this site, but this one is different — this one is more special to me. Ever since I was a little child, I’ve always been fascinated with magic and illusions. After seeing David Copperfield‘s television specials as a kid I was gifted a magic set produced by Fisher Price (which was awesome by the way) and became obsessed with the art form. While I wouldn’t consider myself a serious magician, I do perform a few magic tricks every once in a while for family and friends.

And what initially pulled me into film geekdom is not what you might expect: the old movie magic specials that used to play on television. Those TV shows would show how Hollywood created illusions using, for the most part, practical effects, make-up and miniatures. Not that I didn’t watch movies like every other child, but it was the art of making the impossible possible that is responsible for sucking me deep into the world of cinema.

So come with me as I count down my favorite movies involving magicians in the best magic movies of all time.

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best sacha baron cohen scenes

This weekend sees the release of The Brothers Grimsby, the latest comedy from Sacha Baron Cohen. And here’s the thing about Mr. Cohen – even when I don’t love his movies, I find him fascinating. From his early career as a television prankster who roped real people into interacting with his fictional characters, to his Hollywood career, where he worked with directors like Martin Scorsese and Tim Burton, he has never shown us a half-measure. Cohen is a performer who commits to his characters and his concepts like no one else.

And since his new movie is on the horizon, this certainly feels like the perfect opportunity to run down his finest moments on screen.

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10 Films About Other Films

Kumiko the Treasure Hunter

This week brings the release of Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter, a film that is, in a weird way, based on another film — it’s inspired by an urban legend that has surrounded Fargo for years. The connection between these two films is undeniably unique, but the idea of making movies about other movies isn’t.

Below, we present a list of films about films. By that, we don’t simply mean films that remake or reference other movies, or films about the filmmaking process, but movies that center around other movies that actually exist in our world. Read More »

Hugo Poster Header

Briefly: There are only a few hours left, but Martin Scorsese‘s 3D family film Hugo is currently available to download, for free, in Apple’s iTunes Store. Some international countries have Chris Columbus‘ comedy hit, Home Alone, free as well. Click here for Hugo and here for Home Alone to see if it applies to you. [It might even be worth just hitting the “Buy” button anyway cause then it’ll be part of your Apple Cloud forever.]


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When Hugo opened late last year, critics and audiences were bowled over by its masterful use of 3D. But it’s doubtful even the most diehard Martin Scorsese fan was as impressed as neuroscientist Bruce Bridgeman, who quite literally saw the world differently after watching the movie.

The 67-year-old man had lived his entire life “stereoblind,” or unable to perceive depth correctly. In the first moments of watching Hugo in 3D, however, something clicked. Bridgeman was surprised to notice the characters leaping out from the screen, in a way he’d never seen before. And better yet, the effect stayed with him long after he walked out of the theater. Read on after the jump.

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Martin Scorsese‘s beautifully crafted Hugo whisked viewers to 1930s Paris with seeming effortlessness, but of course the truth is that behind the scenes a ton of hard work went into making the end product look seamless. A new video today takes us past the curtain to show off some of the strenuous labor that went into transporting us into that charming universe — specifically, into the masterful 2-minute tracking shot that closes the film. Take a peek after the jump.

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The 84th Annual Academy Award Winners

The 84th annual Academy Awards have now concluded and the biggest winners were The Artist, which took home five total awards including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor, Hugo, which won several technical awards, and Meryl Streep, who pulled the biggest Oscar upset since Crash beat Brokeback Mountain beating Viola Davis and taking home Best Actress for The Iron Lady.

If you want to read about the show itself, including Billy Crystal, The Dictator and all that, read our live blog. But if you just want the winners, they’re after the jump.  Read More »

If you’re like me and a little underwhelmed by this year’s Oscar nominees, maybe seeing them through Mondo’s eyes will make it more exciting. The poster boutique of the Alamo Drafthouse is making posters for four of their favorite films, in four of their favorite categories, timed to the 84th Annual Academy Awards on February 26.

The first two films are Martin Scorsese‘s Hugo, representing the Best Picture category, designed by Kevin Tong and Gore Verbinski‘s Rango, representing the Best Animated Film category, designed by Tom Whalen. Check them out after the jump. Read More »

Meryl Streep prevented the cast and crew of The Artist from a total sweep of the major categories at this year’s British Academy Film Awards, presented by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) and commonly called the  BAFTAs. Streep won Best Actress for playing former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady, and The Artist took Best Film, Best Actor, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Original Music and Best Costume Design.

There were a few good winners for categories in between all those, and we’ve got the full rundown after the break. Read More »

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Of the nine movies currently up for Best Picture, Martin Scorsese‘s Hugo is my personal favorite. There’s so much I love about the film, from its eye-popping visuals and impeccable use of 3D to its inspiring tale and lovable performances. I’m not the only one that feels that way, of course — Hugo‘s been a popular pick on many critics’ lists and awards ballots. And now, as Academy voters mull over their final decisions, Paramount is eager to remind everyone of Hugo‘s many wonderful qualities.

The studio has released a six-minute featurette titled “The Magic of Hugo,” which goes behind the scenes to look at the hows and whys of making the picture. Scorsese, editor Thelma Schoonmaker, production designer Dante Ferretti, producer Graham King, visual effects supervisor Robert Legato, composer Howard Shore, and stars Ben Kingsley and Sacha Baron Cohen all appear to discuss their work on the project, and to talk about what made the film so special. Watch it after the jump.

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