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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Different than the trailer implies
Not really what I expected based on the trailer. It's less of a cheap thriller and more of an unsettling exploration of how those with power and ability casually behave toward those who are powerless, weak or vulnerable and the necessity for the latter to be able to process and deal (if possible). I just watched it but I want to watch it again. The characters are...
Published 16 months ago by Jordan A

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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a thriller
Sorta interesting sorta dull drama about an American (Juno Temple) on vacation in Chile to visit her cousin who is a student down there. While she and her cousin and her cousin's friends are heading out of town to a remote house the cousin gets a call and finds out she has to go back to school to take an exam, leaving the fragile American tourist in the company of people...
Published 16 months ago by Joe Smart


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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a thriller, August 6, 2013
By 
Joe Smart (Chicago, IL United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Magic Magic (DVD)
Sorta interesting sorta dull drama about an American (Juno Temple) on vacation in Chile to visit her cousin who is a student down there. While she and her cousin and her cousin's friends are heading out of town to a remote house the cousin gets a call and finds out she has to go back to school to take an exam, leaving the fragile American tourist in the company of people she doesn't know who are mostly speaking a language she doesn't understand. Slowly she begins to lose her mind--or so it seems. Juno Temple is always watchable in anything, even movies that aren't very good (I'm talking about you The Brass Teapot), and she gives a focused, extremely intense performance here even though it's frequently hard to figure out what's wrong with her and why she's acting the way she is. Michael Cera plays a thoroughly obnoxious American along with the rest who gets under the lead character's skin in a very bad way--at one point she nearly shoots him while he's sleeping, which is almost understandable. Based on reviews I've read it sounds like Michael Cera played almost the same exact character in Crystal Fairy, which was shot back to back with this film by the same director. This is definitely an art-house film that requires a fair amount of viewer patience. Anyone expecting a thriller (which is what the trailer suggested) will be extremely disappointed.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Different than the trailer implies, August 6, 2013
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This review is from: Magic Magic (DVD)
Not really what I expected based on the trailer. It's less of a cheap thriller and more of an unsettling exploration of how those with power and ability casually behave toward those who are powerless, weak or vulnerable and the necessity for the latter to be able to process and deal (if possible). I just watched it but I want to watch it again. The characters are multidimensional and the acting is great.
Michael Cera playing someone totally unlike how we're used to seeing him was a big draw for me, and he did it very well. It's unfortunate if people miss out because they can't see past his name to actually watch the movie.

It's a bit slower paced than I expected but really worth watching with a great cast and interesting premise.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cera and Temple are great in this and the movie really makes you feel uncomfortable the whole time, which helps it. I say B+, July 31, 2013
By 
Tony Heck (Belgrade, MT USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Magic Magic (DVD)
"She's not a bad person, I know her, she just needs a doctor for her hand." Alicia (Temple) is a young woman travels to Chile to visit her cousin and her friends. While there the friends begin to make her feel uncomfortable and she wants nothing more then to leave. What starts off as a fun vacation for her soon starts to unravel and becomes something out of a nightmare, for everyone. I will admit that I was kind of looking forward to this mainly for the fact that it looked like Michael Cera was playing a creepy bad guy. Without ruining anything he's not a bad guy but this is a very different part for him. I have to say that Juno Temple was great in this and should get some type of award. As far as the movie, from the opening shot the movie made you feel a little uncomfortable and never really let up at all. The camera work and the acting really leaves you feeling unable to relax and because of that the movie reaches a level of creepiness I wasn't ready for. Watching Temple start to unravel is mesmerizing and when the end finally comes you are left stunned and not sure what to make of what you just saw. A movie that leaves you thinking and wondering to me is the sign of a good movie. Overall, a movie that really comes out of nowhere and makes you feel uncomfortable the whole time, which in this case is a good thing. I give it a B+.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating film... Like being in a nightmare... 4.5 stars, September 1, 2013
By 
dv_forever (Michigan, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Magic Magic (DVD)
I'm always on the lookout for original cinema and recently encountered this little gem. Good movies are those that you think about days and weeks after watching them. How many times has some big movie washed over you eyes and a few days later you wonder, did I see that movie or not? Face it, most films are entirely forgettable. "Magic Magic" is certainly not one of those. Not knowing much of anything about the plot of the film, I sat down to watch and immediately it grabbed my attention. There is a shot near the beginning when the characters are seen for the first time. But we don't see their faces, we see their midsections. Knowing what I know about the conventions of film making, I was taken aback and thought, "this film might be interesting". And man... was it ever.

A girl goes to Chile to visit her cousin. She meets her cousin's friends and gets stuck with them for a couple of days until her cousin comes back from the city to be part of the group. Every character is portrayed in this off-kilter manner that makes them seem like raving psychopaths. At first we sympathize with the main character because she's stuck with these creeps but slowly we the audience begin to suspect that the main character herself may be completely insane.

This is a dark film, a deeply unnerving portrayal of mental illness and subjective states. It seemed a little bit David Lynch at times. In other instances, it felt like a straight up horror film but without any of the horror conventions. There are no serial killers or monsters just a journey through a person's interior madness. The most innocuous situations like petting a dog, going for a car ride, sleeping alone in your room, playing games with friends, everything feels like a Kafka nightmare. The filmmakers turn every character into a demon just with the use of atmospheric lighting and camerawork. One of the cinematographers on the film is Christopher Doyle, who worked wonders with Hong Kong master Wong Kar Wai. The style of the film is very subjective and those viewers seeking easy explanations won't find them.

The director Sebastian Silva is definitely a unique talent to watch and I will be seeing more of his work in the future. Don't listen to the naysayers with the one star ratings, they don't know what they're talking about. There is real quality film making going on here. The main character in this film suffers from insomnia and I myself was watching this film after staying up for about 30 hours. I could totally identify with what she was going through. What a bizarre film. I don't know why it's called "Magic Magic", which seems kind of random, but I don't care. Fascinating stuff that blows conventional horror movies and psychological thrillers out of the water.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An American in Chile, September 10, 2013
This review is from: Magic Magic (DVD)
One of the most deeply unsettling films made in the past few years! Magic Magic follows Alicia, a native Californian who travels to Chile to spend time with her cousin, Sarah. Along for the ride is Barbara, a forbidding young Chilean, Augustin, Sarah's boyfriend, and Brink (Michael Cera), who is just plain creepy. As the days go by, Alicia, who is not sleeping and is taking several kinds of medication, begins to lose her grip and struggles to distinguish reality from hallucinations. The premise of the film comes off as rather trite, but the execution is actually more than effective. Usually, in these kind of 'descent to madness' movies, it is spelled out to the audience at the beginning that there is something 'wrong' with the main character. The charm of Magic Magic is that the viewer is completely alienated through the abrupt beginning and is given absolutely no edge on any of the characters in the film. It is, in this sense, a shockingly real and visceral experience.

Beyond the surface lies another layer to the madness. At it's roots, Magic Magic can be seen as a movie about the insecurities of Americans and their inability to cope under foreign circumstances. Alicia is forced to live in a jungle with no technology and she is driven to tears because she can't use her cell phone. She also tries to comfort herself by reading Freedom by Jonathan Franzen but finds she can't concentrate in her surroundings. Seen under this light, the movie is more unsettling and relatable to it's American viewers.

What really makes Magic Magic pop though is the terrific and incredibly realistic acting from the entire cast. Juno Temple (Alicia) and Michael Cera (Brink) are especially noteworthy in their portrayals of deeply-flawed and emotionally unstable characters. On the technical side, the intrusive camera style mixes perfectly with the ominous, unnerving musical score to create a paranoid atmosphere that doesn't let up for one second until the very last frame.

Chilean writer/director Sebastian Silva deftly manages to create a film that sticks out as both unique and artfully meritorious in the often-corny and unrealistic psychological thriller genre.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More awkward than "May" with some (unintentional) comedy gold, January 6, 2014
This review is from: Magic Magic (Amazon Instant Video)
Let’s get something out of the way right off the bat – this isn’t a particularly good movie. Frankly it’s kind of a bad one, but “Magic Magic” also happens to land in that category of bizarro flicks that are sort of worth seeing anyway, if for no other reason than to expand your cinematic horizons and tell people you actually made it to the end.

On the good side, the acting in “Magic Magic” is phenomenal, especially from the main actress. But with that stellar acting comes an important question: do you really want to see people convincingly behave in awkward and incredibly off-putting ways for an hour and a half? Because that’s essentially the entire movie. It’s just people being uncomfortable around one another and saying or doing cringe-inducing things while spending the weekend in a house by a lake in South America. There’s a side story about someone getting an abortion and covering it up, but like nearly everything else in this movie it amounts to nothing and might as well not have happened at all. Contrary to what the trailer implies or what other reviewers have stated, this is neither a horror movie nor a psychological thriller.

So why the three stars? Because of adorable Michael Cera being amazingly creepy and awkward, and the (completely unintentional) comedy gold that appears two-thirds of the way through the flick. In a truly baffling scene that had my wife and I just staring slack-jawed at the screen, the main character sneaks into Michael Cera’s room at night, pulls down her pants, and shoves his face into her crotch, then promptly leaves. Why? There’s no reason, it’s just something weird that happens in a movie with no plot. Cut to the next scene, and Cera – acting his heart out – looks absolutely dead inside. His eyes give off a soulless and defeated quality for the rest of the movie, because apparently having his face in a vagina just utterly broke him. We were both unable to contain our laughter every time his face appeared for the remaining run time, and I’m still suppressing giggles just thinking about it now.

The final segment brings to mind “Kill List,” in that something bizarre happens for no adequately explainable reason and then the movie doesn’t so much end as it sort of just sheepishly stops happening as it realizes it’s been wasting the audience’s time. Because the movie doesn’t make any sense and has no resolution, there will no doubt be many people who will label it genius and assume it has some deeper meaning. It doesn’t. But for the right group of people who dig weird movies or will appreciate the unintentional humor, it can actually still be worth sitting through anyway.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Michael Cera really "nailed" it, October 8, 2013
By 
SpookyChick (in tha' world!) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Magic Magic (DVD)
I was informed of this movie by a young lady I had the extreme privilege of babysitting regularly as she growing up (I was practically a "second mother" to her). Once she was old enough (i.e. adult) to not need adult supervision, I had sincerely hoped to maintain contact as friends but that did not happen. Apparently I was not "hip" enough. So when she texted me recently to watch Magic Magic - well, let's just say I did not need to be told twice.

This is a curiously nightmarish little quasi-horror film with a stupendous performance by Michael Cera. Usually one of the most annoying little turkeys around (after 'Arrested Development' his schtick just got on my nerves), in this he is unlike any other role he has played. Confused about his orientation, he and his group of friend in Chile basically do a lot of drinking and wasting time. When Juno Temple comes to visit her friend (all the others, including Mr. Cera, are strangers to her) she immediately feels out of place.

Her friend leaves - supposedly for school-related reasons, but it is hinted to be something possibly more concerning. Juno is left with a bunch of people she doesn't know who mostly speak Spanish around her and creep her out. That is, until her own behavior takes a startling turn and she begins creeping them out. Even as a neo-femme, I couldn't endorse her signature move which she employs against Cera.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Weird Movie, October 2, 2013
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This review is from: Magic Magic (DVD)
This movie is completely trippy... totally messes with your head.. it's not a ''scary'' movie.. but I couldn't sleep for shit afterwards because I kept trying to figure out what the hell was going on!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars MINNIE THE MOOCHER, August 11, 2013
This review is from: Magic Magic (DVD)
Alicia (Juno Temple) visits her cousin Sarah (Emily Browning) in Chile. Sarah is suddenly called back to Santiago to take exams (weak plot point) while Alicia remains isolated with Sarah's inhospitable friends. Brink (Michael Cera) is a tag-a-long who keeps hitting on Alicia who does not like him. In fact I didn't like him. He was immature, prissy, dorky, and creepy all rolled up into one. Barbara (Catalina Sandino Moreno), the host, was cold while Agustin (Agustín Silva) an amateur hypnotist and Sarah's BF lacked personality.

The film was boring for the first hour as sleepless, jet lagged, Alicia didn't want to be on the island anymore than the other people wanted her there. We get clues early on that there are issues. After the first hour, the film turns weird, but I found it lacking in entertainment value because the characters and dialouge had been dead for too long.

This film is not a horror film, nor is it an action-thriller. It is a drama which teases you into thinking it is a thriller. Not something I will own, and regretted the rental.

Parental Guide: F-bomb (2 languages) Nudity (Juno Temple) sex?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but Not Great, October 14, 2013
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This review is from: Magic Magic (Amazon Instant Video)
Magic Magic is worth a watch, but it has mixed reviews. It's not a horror movie. It's a little more like a cerebral thriller, just heavy on the cerebral, light on the thriller. Well acted, but a little confusing. I read a review where someone called it more of a "character study".
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Magic Magic
Magic Magic by Sebastián Silva (DVD - 2013)
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