The Magician Reviews
In general good performances, especially by the lead, let down a little only by the restrictive production values (which I have a deep understanding of why it is like it is). the dirt on the lens really really really bugged me. other than that some great moments, and fairly unpredictable.
To count disliking Ray to the point of not being able to enjoy or even watch the film is not wrong, but rather missing out on what an achievement this film is for it's young writer/director/star and his hopeful friends involved with the production. Fresh out of film school (indeed, most of his "crew" were classmates repaying the favour) and made for three thousand dollars of his own money (!), Scott Ryan's Magician is an ode to what can be achieved when you have passion and ability.
I don't really want to comment on the script specifically as most of it appears improvised anyway, but still, this rivals any Tarantino glossed pop culture Oscar winner in many ways. Whether it is discussing Clint Eastwood's appearance (or not) in The Dirty Dozen, sleeping next to another bloke with no pants on or the moral dilemma of Wayne Carey banging his best mate's missus, Ray is philosophical, funny as hell and never short for words. It took me a while to get into the flow, but once I did, I couldn't stop watching the conversations and wonder what was to become of Ray's in-toe victim, Ben.
With well over 80 minutes shot, the editing (done by three separate contributors all up) deserves a lot of credit especially for making the last half of the film so interesting. Seeing how we're looking through Max's camera the whole time, I have my reservations in saying this was well directed. It's basically all handheld and what appears to be loosely structured, but at the same time, I guess that couldn't be further from the truth as it all seems so convincing and thought. Possibly a deliberate approach to make it seem shot by an amateur more than it actually is. Like him or not, it's a must see for Ryan's performance as Ray and what can be achieved withOUT any funding. Sure a few decent producers got their hands on it after it was done and did an ace job of getting it out there, but if it wasn't worth watching in the first place, what would be the point? Fortunately it is.
Interesting to watch post-Underbelly. Ray is almost the prototype for Benji Veniamin's character.
An inspirational independent movie, which is pretty funny, dramatic, scary and very well written.
PS: It may get boring for the majority of the people out there.