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</script></div>{/googleAds}The less you know about The Prestige going in, the better. In fact, with the new Bond film coming out on November 17th (along with some happy little penguins) this is the perfect time to slip quietly into a theater and enjoy the film with a minimum of distractions. As is most always true with Christopher Nolan's films, what you walk out with might be decidedly different than what you expected going in. I mean, how many of us could have predicted the impact of Memento, or even the â"better-than-we-ever-expected" quality of Batman Begins?

The Prestige is no different. In fact, this reviewer is going to go out on a limb and say that (Batman aside) The Prestige might be Nolan's most satisfying and enjoyable film to date. Blessed with a higher production value than Memento, a fantastic script by brother Jonathon Nolan and some wonderful cinematography by Wally Pfister (Oscar nominated for Begins), The Prestige unfolds with a palpable sense of both foreboding and fascination. The film earns its tagline â"Are You Watching Closely?" and truly delivers on that promise of twists and turns.

In fact the true genius of Jonathon Nolan's screenplay is that, as it unfolds, the film itself becomes a sort of magic trick. The more you pay attention, the more mislead you might find yourself when the film nears its climax. However, even if you are astute enough, this isn't a film that is based solely on the big twist at the end. The beauty of The Prestige lies in the vision created by its director, and the wonderful performances drawn from the cast.

Christian Bale (excellent as always) has, surprisingly, the more subdued role here giving Hugh Jackman the more flamboyant and colorful of the two characters. In telling the story of two magicians who enter into a bitter rivalry that affects (and ultimately destroys) both of their lives, Jackman and Bale have plenty of room to spar and act their hearts out. They do not disappoint.

Scarlett Johansson, Andy Serkis, Michael Caine, and David Bowie (!), round out the supporting cast with performances that elevate an already great film to Oscar level. None of these actors, or performances, comes off as â"paycheck" pieces. Each actor (yes, including Johansson) delivers some of their best work to date, with Bowie in particular proving to be a marvel of out-of-the-box casting.

The Prestige is a true gem, and one that is going slightly unnoticed during its release. Yes, it was the #1 film during its initial bow a couple of weeks ago, but the marketplace today doesn't leave room for a lot attention spans in films these days. Seek The Prestige out as soon as possible and enjoy one of the most satisfying films of the year. James Bond will still be there when you're ready for him.


DVD Details:

Screen formats: Widescreen Anamorphic 1.85:1

Subtitles: French; Spanish

Language and Sound: English: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo; Spanish: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo; French: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo

Other Features: Color; interactive menus; scene access; making-of featurette; still gallery.

* Featurette
o The Director's Notebook (19:39)
+ Conjuring the Past
+ The Visual Maze
+ Metaphors of Deception
+ Tesla: The Man Who Invented the 20th Century
+ Resonances
* Galleries
o The Art of the Prestige
+ The Film
+ Costumes & Sets
+ Behind the Scenes
+ Poster Art
* Trailers - Original theatrical trailer.

Number of discs: - 1 - Keepcase Packaging