Sunday, June 25, 2017

Movie review: The Magicians

 Drafted into a college specializing in magic, student Quentin Coldwater and other draftees learn the mythical fantasy world they read about as children is real.

Jason Ralph (Quentin), Stella Maeve (Julia), Arjun Gupta (Penny), Hale Appleman (Eliot), Summer Bishil (Margo), Olivia Dudley (Alice), Jade Tailor (Kady), Rick Worthy (Dean Fogg).

The Magicians draws us in pretty fast with some nice sci-fi aspects, a plot with some depth, and tasty bits of sexuality. The plot is unwound in the series much more slowly than we realize, making the journey that much better. After the first few episodes the plot becomes a bit difficult and the film takes on a strange affection for assuming that the audience will assume some off-screen reactions, so it just doesn't bother showing them. The result is a strange blend in which some of our assumptions are correct and some are not.

Acting was good, and got better, as the series aged. Ralph was a bit rough at times but ended up settling nicely. Maeve was okay but needs to learn to stop looking down and that she is stunning when she smiles. Gupta fit his role nicely, as did Appleman. Bishil was okay while Dudley rocked it in many ways. Tailor, Worth and the rest did quite well.

Camera work, sets, and backgrounds are widely varied and nicely done. Though obviously a sci-fi fantasy, the film retains a realistic feel. Action scenes and CGI are fitting and enjoyable. Dialogue is good even when slow. Sound and soundtrack are fitting.

Though aimed at younger audiences, I am enjoying The Magicians and looking forward to next season. The series is an obvious mix of Harry Potter, The Chronicles of Narnia, and Supernatural for older teens. Those who are older teens, or enjoy lighter role-playing type sci-fi, should enjoy this one.

With some fairly strong sexuality, violence, gore, gratuitous foul language, and a few scary things, this should be fine for older teens and above.

Released: 2016
Reviewed: 6.2.17
Star rating: 4 out of 5
Genre: TV Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Drama, Horror

copyright ©2017 Dave Riedel

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