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The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

Released

Latest Home Video

Jun 25, 2013

MPAA Rating:

PG-13


Run Time:

101

Director

Don Scardino

Cast

Steve Carell

Jim Carrey

Olivia Wilde

James Gandolfini

Steve Buscemi

Alan Arkin

Studio

2013 New Line Cinema

Official Website >>

Still shot from the movie: The Incredible Burt Wonderstone.

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Reviewed by

OverallC-
ViolenceC
SexC+
LanguageD+
Drugs/AlcoholC-
Run Time101

Making the Grades

I’m not sure if signing on as a Las Vegas lounge show performer is a wise career move or a last ditch attempt to be on stage. In the case of Burt Wonderstone (Steve Carell) and his long-time friend Anton Marvelton (Steve Buscemi) it appears to be both. As young magicians they ink a deal on the Vegas Strip that brings the illusionists enough fame, free sex and cash to compensate for at least some of the self-esteem issues they suffered during grade school. But after 10 years their routine has grown as uninspired as the velvet, rhinestone-studded suits they wear on stage. And their once adoring audiences have begun to dwindle.

Outside on the streets a new attraction has come to town. Steve Gray (Jim Carrey) doesn’t do traditional magic. Instead he captures the attention of passersby with outrageous stunts like slitting his cheek open with a knife, walking on hot coals and inciting fights. (His act, titled Brain Rape, includes other “stunts” that are easily mimicked and dangerous.) Gray’s goal is to shock rather than entertain, and both his cult following and cable ratings are on the rise.

It’s almost impossible to understand what competition could exist between these two different acts. Yet the hotel owner where Burt and Anton work is so impressed by the crowd response when Steve Gray refuses to urinate for a week that he tells the pair to up their game or forfeit their contract.

However Burt and Anton’s “magical friendship” has of late been a bit tenuous and when their own publicity stunt fails, they find themselves out of work and on the opposite ends of an argument. Unfortunately for Burt, he’s also out of money. Looking for any job he can find, he reluctantly accepts a gig as an entertainer in a retirement home where he meets Rance Holloway (Alan Arkin), the magician who inspired him as a boy.

This parody of lounge acts and reality television never quite captures its comedic timing and often falls as flat as the duo’s one-liners. Even Burt, the sex-driven egomaniac, has become so hackneyed in his sexual conquests that he makes his partners sign a consensual contract before taking them into the bedroom.

The film’s concept of poking fun at everlasting Vegas entertainers, along with the message of staying current and knowing when it’s time to reinvent yourself, should have resulted in many magical moments. Sadly the potential laughs in this movie just disappear with a puff of smoke.

Discussion Ideas After The Movie

Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about The Incredible Burt Wonderstone.

What could Burt Wonderstone (the protagonist) have done to prevent his career slump? How are we susceptible to the same issue with our own jobs, family relationships and other life-long activities?

While we don’t recommend this title for children, if they do view it parents will want to discuss the dangerous activities and lack of consequences that are depicted in this movie.

Trailers & Clips

News & Views About The Incredible Burt Wonderstone:

Canadian Movie Ratings

BC
SK
PG Violence, Coarse Language
AB PG Coarse Language, Not Recommended For Young Children.
MB PG Not Recommended For Children, Frightening Scenes, Language May Offend.
ON PG Language May Offend, Not Recommended for Young Children.
QC G Not Recommended for Young Children.
NB
NS
NL
PE
PG

Canadian Home Video Rating: PG

Watch @ Home

Details on home video releases of The Incredible Burt Wonderstone...

Home Video Notes: The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

Release Date: 25 June 2013

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone releases to home video (Blu-ray/DVD/Ultraviolet Combo Pack) with the following extras:

- Deleted Scene & Alternate Takes

- Making Movie Magic with David Copperfield

- Best of The Brain Rapist

- Gag Reel

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