quite a few “magic” movies of late that include The Prestige and The
Illusionist, both thoroughly entertaining movies. Now it’s turn for the
legendary Harry Houdini (Guy Pearce) to once again take his position on
the silver screen and this time showcasing the alleged romance that he
had with an English psychic Mary McGarvie (Catherine Zeta-Jones).
Allegedly this romance took place during one of Houdini’s tours in
Europe, more specifically in Edinburgh Scotland. Unlike the other two
movies which focuses quite heavily on the so called magic, Death Defying
Acts is more so a drama and of course, Houdini’s obsession with
attempting to speak to his deceased mother.
In Edinburgh, Houdini meets
and romances McGarvie, a con artist who he believes can speak with his mother and to
compound the situation, her daughter Benji (Saoirse Ronan) becomes quite
jealous of the relationship her mother is having. The problem with the
story is McGarvie and unlike The Illusionist which left the viewer
guessing whether it was real or not, you know from the get go that this
so called psychic has no real abilities whatsoever.
do their best to portray the characters the cinematography and costumes
really captures the era quite well, it's just a shame about the story.
Although Zeta-Jones and Pearce are the highlight of the film, Ronan as
Benji is a joy to watch as this almost Oliver-esq child sees the bigger
picture than her mother trying to con and Houdini with his false
romance. It's just a shame that there was no "real" magic in this
to Blu-ray is good with muted colours and sharp images that only
highlight the early 20th century. The audio is good but there are no
stand out scenes that make use of the surround sound, apart from the
sometimes powerful soundtrack. It's just a shame that we don't have any
special features on the Blu-ray version!
worth a rent to see what Houdini is all about!