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The Illusionist [Blu-ray] (2006)

Edward Norton , Paul Giamatti , Neil Burger  |  PG-13 |  Blu-ray
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (663 customer reviews)

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The Illusionist [Blu-ray] + The Prestige [Blu-ray] + Inception (Two-Disc Edition) [Blu-ray]
Price for all three: $27.40

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Product Details

  • Actors: Edward Norton, Paul Giamatti, Rufus Sewell, Eddie Marsan, Jessica Biel
  • Directors: Neil Burger
  • Producers: Michael London, Brian Koppelman, David Levien, Bob Yari, Cathy Schulman
  • Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Surround), Spanish (Dolby Surround)
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: June 8, 2010
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (663 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003HARV4S
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,335 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None

Editorial Reviews

Unlock the mysteries of the year's most spellbinding film from the producers of Crash and Sideways Oscar® nominees Paul Giamatti and Edward Norton lead an all-star cast in this "stunning" film (USA Today) that conjures an exhilarating blend of suspense, romance and mind-bending twists. The acclaimed illusionist Eisenheim (Norton) has not only captured the imaginations of all of Vienna, but also the interest of the ambitious Crown Prince Leopold (Rufus Sewell). But when Leopold's new fiancée (Jessica Biel) rekindles a childhood fascination with Eisenheim, the Prince's interest evolves into obsession...and suddenly the city's Chief Inspector (Giamatti) finds himself investigating a shocking crime. But even as the Inspector engages him in a dramatic challenge of wills, Eisenheim prepares for his most impressive illusion yet in this "mesmerizing" (Entertainment Weekly) and "beautifully acted" (Good Morning America) film that "teases you until the very end!" (The New York Times).

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
56 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Film example of great storytelling March 3, 2007
Format:DVD
This is an excellent gothic thriller based on the short story by Steven Millhauser, Eisenheim The Illusionist, set in late 19th century Vienna about the son of a young cabinetmaker who falls in love with a young Viennese aristocrat and is banned from seeing her as he is a basic commoner. As the legend goes about the young lad, he meets a travelling magician on the road who shows him the secrets of illusion, where he sets off to exotic lands to learn the mysteries of life. He returns to Vienna after his travels and opens a show in the great city to astonish not only Vienna's common public with his quasi supernatural illusions, but also Crown Prince Rudolf, son of Emperor Franz Josef who then reigned over the Austrian Hungarian Empire.

Originally the short story was written as a political criticism of the Monarchy, based on the scandalous incident, where the bodies of Rudolf and his mistress, Baroness Mary Vetsera were found shot in a Royal hunting lodge, apparently a murder suicide which the Royal family kept from the public for many years.

Edward Norton as Eisenheim is understated and brilliant, as the many sleight of hand tricks in the film were actually done by the gifted actor. Norton must have practiced for months to reveal such confidence and skill needed for these types of trick. However, Norton's character portrayed a perfect man of mystery, begging the question, are these mere illusions or does Eisenheim possess supernatural power, controlling matter, energy, space and time itself.

The special effects in this film are well done.
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72 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sepia-toned Beauty in Mystery and Passion September 23, 2006
Set in Vienna, filmed in Prague,and just about as lovely as anything I've seen on the large screen, "The Illusionist" stars Edward Norton as a charismatic magician, and Jessica Biel as his high-born love interest. In keeping with its magic and later, occult, theme, the film unwinds through shadow and darkness, like a carriage being horsedrawn through fin-de-siecle Europe's narrow streets. Philip Glass's minimalist score, rather than acting as an anachronism as one might expect, enhances the ethereal, other-worldly quality. Edward Norton brings to Eisenheim, the central character (the book is based on the short story "Eisenheim, the Illusionist", by Steven Millhauser)an understated quality that adds to the sense that he always knows more than we do...and more than the characters in the film, including the two that most want to undo his works of magic, Inspector Uhl and Crown Prince Leopold. Unfortunately, the latter is engaged to Dutchess Sophie van Teschen, Biel's character. Leopold's intent is not only to prevent his lower class rival's success, but to control Sophie completely. Uhl, on the other hand, continues to respect Eisenheim, even as he is carrying out the Crown Prince's orders to shut the magician's show down.

As the tale unwinds (and it does ever more quickly as it moves toward the end), we do learn more and more about what lies behind Eisenheim's sad eyes. When Sophie's body turns up in the river after an argument with Leopold, Eisenheim's shows take on a dark change and he becomes kind of a "John Edwards" of the 19th century...but this John Edwards can summon holographic ghosts onto the stage, much to the delight of his audience. Is he becoming more and more obsessed and perhaps insane as Sophie begins to appear in these seances?
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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars wonderful film, flawed blu-ray June 28, 2010
By King Me
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
The Illusionist is one of my favorite films. A unique magic/mystery/love story that is wonderfully written, perfectly cast and excellently directed and acted. The blu-ray is a solid improvement over the dvd, however, because the film was shot in a bit of a soft-focus way, it may not come across as razor-sharp as the newer blu-rays. Still, its well worth an upgrade from the dvd for such an excellent movie.

My only criticism is with the rest of the blu-ray treatment. While the picture and sound are excellent, everything else is an embarrassment. There is no main menu, no chapter selection or bookmarks, and no special features on the blu-ray disc. Just a garish intro page telling the viewer that they can access the specifications by pressing the top-menu button. That gives you access only to the audio setting. And there are no subtitle options either. Madness! Subtitles actually would help occasionally on this particular film as sometimes the actors are speaking quietly and are difficult to hear, and what they are saying is important to the mystery of the film.

This set includes the original dvd disc which DOES have a main menu with all the expected options, so the buyer gets a bizarre combination of a blu-ray disc with nothing but a hi-def picture, and a vastly inferior standard-def disc that treats the film with at least a little of the respect that it richly deserves.

In the end, I'm glad to finally have a hi-def version of The Illusionist, but I'm baffled and frustrated that Fox treated it with such contempt.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
This movie is one of my wife's favorite movies. When I saw it on Blu-Ray I had to buy it. It was shipped to me very quickly.
Published 10 days ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Good atmospheric "period" piece
This film presents good cinematography and visual atmospherics evocative of urban "old" Europe - in fact, I believe this film may have been shot in Europe. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Nathanael Greene
5.0 out of 5 stars Happy with movie dissapointed with product region
The movie is great, I had viewed it before and wanted to own a copy for further viewing. Disappointed with the region being for America and not for Australia. Read more
Published 17 days ago by Trevor Storen
5.0 out of 5 stars Well done movie & dvd
Believable plot. Great acting. Quality DVD. Well worth the money. I admit that there is nothing substantial I can add to the many great reviews before mine. Read more
Published 21 days ago by chi town
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Plot very well cast.
Excellent, intriguing mystery. Very well cast. You will have to watch it at least twice to appreciate all of the great plot.
Published 23 days ago by Elmer E. Keck
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ilusionist captivates!
This film is wonderful entertainment with excellent acting and surprise ending - well worth the price! The photography is crafted beautifully.
Published 28 days ago by Larry
1.0 out of 5 stars Didn't work as described
Movie was described as being 'like new'. The box was not in very good condition and the dvd stopped playing half way through no matter what I did. Read more
Published 29 days ago by C. Ballinger
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent
Excellent movie. Norton is A1 as usual and the story is one of a kind. Enjoy it as much as I do.
Published 1 month ago by L. Proftay
5.0 out of 5 stars The Illusionist
This is a wonderful movie. Edward Norton, Jessica Biel,
Paul Giamatti all are excellent. I loved it. Buy it you won't be didsappointed.
Published 1 month ago by Asa Pace
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Couples Movie - Hidden Gem
Mystery, illusion, and love story all wrapped into one. This movie has some great plot twists that will leave you thinking about the movie for days after watching it.
Published 1 month ago by D. Findling
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Shares Vertigo's Message: Extraordinary Claims Requires Extraordinary...
I disagree that that is the point of the movie.

In fact, in his audio commentary on the DVD, director Neil Burger repeatedly emphasizes that Eisenheim's magic tricks, while based on real magic tricks of the period, are supposed leave the audience wondering whether its all a trick, or whether... Read more
Jul 16, 2007 by Gwinna |  See all 3 posts
The Prestige or The Illusionist?
You are quite correct. I also saw and enjoyed both movies, but remember The Prestige worked with much larger budget, and greater studio backing.
Jan 15, 2007 by Dale Smith |  See all 12 posts
english subtitles?
Nope. No subtitles at all, which I found frustrating. Although I understand English fairly well, I may want to watch this film with my folks who absolutely need the Spanish subtitles. So disappointing.
Dec 20, 2010 by Freshy Fresh |  See all 4 posts
Blu-Ray?
J.P., The Illusionist is now available on Blu-ray Disc. I just ordered my copy. I had to go page by page until I found it, because if you just type in the title in amazon's browser, it won't come-up. Numerically, it can be found in the 900's.

Good luck with your search!
Oct 21, 2008 by Albert J. Gomez |  See all 3 posts
Why only Region 2? Be the first to reply
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