Magic in the Media: Now I Saw You

I just got back from seeing Now You See Me 2.

Uhm... can you guys say AWESOME?

You're going to need to in order to articulate the phrase, "Wow, that movie was really not awesome."

I'll be honest, the movie barely makes any sense. And not in the way that, like, Ulysses doesn't make sense to me, because I'm an idiot. But in the way a retarded monkey shrieking gibberish doesn't make sense to me. 

I remember when I first heard word about the original movie, it was pitched as something like, "Magicians use magic to rob banks," which sounded like the greatest movie ever made. Except they made the mistake of having them capable of anything. So they're essentially like superheroes which is not what people want (in this case). They want to see real humans using their cunning to pull off these elaborate schemes. It's telling that the most exciting scene in the second movie is when the group is working together using card sleights and flourishing moves to hide this computer chip thing they're stealing (that fortunately is the size and shape of a playing card). This is when they are at their least god-like. They're just magicians using (somewhat) legitimate magic skills. 

But outside of that scene, most of the "magic" is just ridiculous. I don't know why they even bother having magic consultants if literally anything is possible for these characters to do. It would be like having magic consultants on Thor 2. 

Magic was mentioned a few times on some of my favorite podcasts recently. I always like hearing magic mentioned by non-magicians in a non-magic context. It gives you a much better insight on the state of the art than listening to a bunch of magicians yap about how great Derek Delgaudio's show is. (Which I have no doubt it is, but let's not kid ourselves that magic doesn't have a long way to go in order to dig itself out of the hole it dug for itself in the past 100 years.)

Here are a couple of clips from those podcasts mentions.

First is the show Doughboys which talks about chain restaurants. In this conversation, hosts Nick Wiger and Mike Mitchell, and their guest Claudia O'Doherty discuss the hierarchy in a deck of cards. It ends with a nice exclamation of disgust towards magicians by Claudia.

On Pistol Shrimps Radio, a show where they call the action for a women's recreational basketball league in L.A., one of host Mark McConville's analogies leads into a discussion of Lance Burton's "hole in the floor tricks." 

And finally, I was making the point above about how one of the shitty aspects of Now You See Me 2 is it has magicians performing impossible tricks and a friend challenged me saying it didn't matter because regular people have no idea what is or isn't possible. I disagreed with that. And here is Tom Scharpling (a non-magician) on The Best Show making the same point.