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Rough Magic Reviews

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DrStrangeblog
DrStrangeblog

Super Reviewer

March 15, 2011
What an oddball of a movie! Set during the early '60s but plays more like a detective story from the '40s, at least during the first half. Bridget Fonda is not an outstanding actress nor will she win a beauty pageant, but she's always held some inexplicable allure with me - Queen of the Plain Janes in a way. She does look her best as magician's assistant Myra who flees to Mexico with photographic evidence of her fiancee Senator Wyatt accidentally shooting her mentor. On her trail is P.I.-for-hire Ross, played by Russell Crowe still getting his feet wet in Hollywood. There is some great snappy banter between the two and they exude a nice sexual tension, and this section is the best part of the movie.

Then we meet Doc Ansell, amusingly played by Jim Broadbent, who wants to enlist Myra to acquire the secret formula to an elixir with magical properties from a reclusive woman who chants on a mountainside, and things get really goofy. A man turns into a sausage, a woman lays an egg that hatches a spider, a guy instantly drops dead, a dog speaks, people levitate, and a woman coughs up her heart. I have no idea what director Clare Peploe's grand design was for Rough Magic - many of these elements are fun but so bizarre it's hard to discern the function to the form.

This movie has gotten raked over the coals here on Flixster, and there is some justification, but it certainly is more entertaining than most bombs. Some great dialogue and chemistry between the leads buoy the original yet crazy developments; you could do a lot worse on a rainy day than by turning on Rough Magic.
December 5, 2011
Even watching this movie in the background, I wasn't all that impressed from what I saw. I'd have to watch it again and pay attention through the entire thing to be sure, but I'm pretty sure my attention span would not last through that particular movie (hence why I was not captivated by it while doing other things). It couldn't hold my attention.
August 16, 2011
just ok i expected more but there in lies the problem-expectation only leads to disappointment.
April 19, 2011
Strange and uneven. Wants to be film noir but does not achieve it. Fonda's pretty and Crowe does a nice New Yawk accent tho.
imdigreg
December 30, 2010
Even watching this movie in the background, I wasn't all that impressed from what I saw. I'd have to watch it again and pay attention through the entire thing to be sure, but I'm pretty sure my attention span would not last through that particular movie (hence why I was not captivated by it while doing other things). It couldn't hold my attention.
evalena76
September 9, 2007
This was good magic. :) Liked it a lot
September 12, 2007
i love love love this, almost as much as l.a. confidential. he smiles in this one!!!
deano
deano

Super Reviewer

February 18, 2007
This very strange brew of film noir, magic realism, and screwball adventure is an entetaining mess.
omikan27
January 7, 2007
This movie about magicians predates THE PRESTIGE and THE ILLUSIONIST by quite a chunk of time-- heck, I'd almost forgotten Russell Crowe was in it, mostly because at that time the world and I didn't know who he was. To think that Bridget Fonda was the real celebrity back then! Still, not bad-- really retro and charming. Give it a try, why not?
dillydot
November 13, 2006
Quirky and fun.......
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