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Burt Wonderstone

When I originally saw the trailer for The Incredible Burt Wonderstone I thought, “Looks dumb, but it’s got Steve Carrell, Jim Carrey, and Steve Buscemi so it might turn out to be pretty funny.”

Was I going to spend $10 a pop to see it at the theater and find out?  Come on.  You know me better than that.  This immediately got thrown into the “future Redbox” file.

So as is typical with most of our Redbox rentals, Kim and I received a text with a free code.  As we perused the available titles, the only one we could agree on was Wonderstone.  It was late, a week night, and neither one of us was in the mood for anything too deep.  We figured this would fit the bill for a “100 minute late night time killer.”

Now, I know what you’re thinking.  “Why only a mini-review?  Why not treat your loyal readers with one of your beloved classic full reviews?”  Because in the interest of full disclosure, I never finished the movie.  “Really?  Was it that bad?”  Well, let’s just say the first hour was that uneventful.

The Incredible Bore Wonderstone would probably be a more apt title.  Kim tapped out after about 30 minutes and headed to bed.  But me?  Oh you know me.  I’ve gotta get my money’s worth out of that free Redbox code!  I made it through an hour.  I remember a scene where Olivia Wilde tells Steve Carrell that she wants to be his magic partner and he chooses to try to find a famous magician instead.  The next thing I remember is waking up in my recliner, drool running down the side of my face, and the DVD on the menu screen playing the same 20-second music sample on a loop.  That explains the weird dreams.

What I did see was fairly mundane stuff.

The premise is Burt Wonderstone (Steve Carrell) is a kid on the path of a lifetime of bullying until his mother buys him a magic kit.  Anton Marvelton (Steve Buscemi) becomes his best friend and magic partner.  Fast forward to their adult years and they’ve got a great thing going until they realize their old-school style isn’t bringing in the crowds any more.  Steve Gray’s (Jim Carrey) edge-walking tactics are now all the rage.  An insane mixture of Criss Angel and David Blaine, Gray is a street magician who likes to entertain the masses by not blinking while mace is sprayed in his eyes and holding his pee for days on end.

There are a handful of laughs sprinkled throughout what I’ve seen so far.   Jim Carrey only has about 5 – 7 minutes of screen time in the first hour, but his character is by far the funniest.  Wonderstone is just an obnoxious, over-the-top, unlikable character.  Which begs the question – was Will Ferrell not available?

Part of me is curious to see how it ends, not because the plot has riveted my attention but because I’m interested to see if it gets any better.  The problem is Kim and I have a wedding to attend tonight.  I’m not sure on the time yet, but if I get home and can watch this on 1.5x speed and manage to drop it off at Redbox on the way to the wedding (gotta get it returned by that 9:00 deadline!) then I’ll finish it and write a formal review.

But if I don’t manage to beat the clock, well, I doubt you or I will lose any sleep over it.  In fact, I might hang onto a few brain cells.

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