Tag Archives: The Art of the Con [genre]

Now You See Me [2013]

There was a wonderful quote in one Jonathan Creek episode where he said that the essence of magic is to make a magical explanation seem more plausible than the technical effort required for the trick. In a way, the Mystery … Continue reading

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Focus [2015]

The essential element in any film about con artists is the twist ending, where the film reveals the truth to the audience in a moment that links together all the little incongruities and oddities into a coherent narrative that now … Continue reading

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Ex Machina [2014]

The surface of this film is about a young programmer trying to decide whether a robot has fully-fledged Artificial Intelligence, or whether it is merely a cunning simulacrum. This intelligence has been housed in an odd body – a beautiful face, … Continue reading

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American Hustle [2013]

The majority of the reviews I’ve read for American Hustle focus on it as an “actor’s movie”, and David O Russell is lauded as a director that can get great performances out of his actors. In particular, Jennifer Lawrence has been … Continue reading

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Pre-American Hustle

One of the satisfactions of the crime caper “genre” is that the writer of the crime caper has quite a few more story options than some other genres. In some ways, it’s a meta-genre like the Western or Science Fiction, … Continue reading

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The Final Empire [2006]

What’s in a name? “Formula Fiction” would seem antithetical to the “Novel” – the opposition is right there in the names. A formula has become so through extensive application, while a novel implies something new. If we find critics like … Continue reading

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The Lies of Locke Lamora [2006]

This is a charming fantasy novel set in an exciting, interesting, and dynamic version of late medieval Italy. The protagonist is likeable and vaguely plausible, as is the supporting cast. It’s also a novel that’s not afraid to put its … Continue reading

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