Tricked Out
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone
Review by Ross Anthony

Comedic talent abounds. Let's get right to the review of the film which I'm giving a B+. The production opens warmly on young buddies Albert and Anthony. The filmmakers recreate the early 80's period nostalgically and christen the voyage of the film so aptly that the actual modern-day story launches somewhat abruptly. The abrasive element: Carell's character has gone so vain, indulgent and pampered that he's simply too far removed from the child we were just introduced to. Audiences will easily forgive this (and a clunky romance), because the script and talent are successfully funny.

Editors keep the pace crisp, but again Burt's stubborn jerk persona persists just a little too long, leaving a slight drag. Nonetheless, with such robust and varied talent, you'll be kept happily engaged. The street magician role feels tailor made for Jim Carrey who revels in its over the top, ridiculousness. And while I secretly wanted Christopher Walken as the seasoned celeb magician (Marshall Brodien-inspired?) , Alan Arkin certainly gives the role a magical touch. His bed-ridden scene transitioning to the Carell/Buscemi buddy-buddy scene had me laughing so hard that tears were running down the sides of my face. Gandolfini, as always, nails his part (albeit nearly a cameo).

Despite its flaws, Wonderstone would have garnished an A grade if not for an ending that goes silly instead of heartfelt funny. The film sports a few warm scenes with depth, however the heart feels surgically removed from the third act. I did enjoy the ending, I laughed, it's just that, the "love" was so noticeably absent. Pity too, with such an opportunity to really inspire wonder and good will.

-- Books by Author/Illustrator Ross Anthony --


  • The Incredible Burt Wonderstone. Copyright © 2013.
  • Starring Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi, Olivia Wilde, Jim Carrey, James Gandolfini, Alan Arkin. Directed by Don Scardino. Written by Jonathan Goldstein, John Francis Daley, Chad Kultgen, Tyler Mitchell. Warner Bros.

Grade..........................B+ (2.5/4)


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Copyright © 1998-2016 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at HollywoodReportCard.com, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: www.RossAnthony.com or call 1-800-767-7186. Check out his other sites too: Author*Illustrator*Speaker, Motobookothon 2009, M9, Write Triangle, TwT. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.


Last Modified: Thursday, 14-Mar-2013 08:55:39 PDT