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36 entries from February 2006

Chef's Special - Ellis & Webster!

Themagiccafe_1Just to let you know, Sue-Anne and I will be appearing at 'The Magic Cafe' as special guests from March 6-12. If you'd like to join us there to say hi or ask about anything from MagicSports, FISM, School Shows, Magic Week, AMM, Magic Fakers, Corporate Work, Lecture Tours, Publicity Stunts... or really anything at all, take a look at this link for an explanation of what it's all about. We'd love to see you all there and I think we're in for quite an exciting week!

Movie round-up

We saw 'Date Movie' yesterday. Still number one at the box office in Australia and number two in the USA ($US21.8m)... the Herald-Sun gave it two and a half stars, the same score as the brilliant 'Walk the Line'.

When a film is only 80 minutes long (90 mins qualifies as a feature) and you want to leave the cinema after only 15 minutes... the remaining 65 minutes can seem like sheer torture. As a matter of fact, in the movie 'Hostel' I think they should have forced the victims to sit through a screening 'Date Movie' with their eyes held open with toothpicks... though come to think of it, a power drill through the jaw is much more humane.

We really should have read this review from an Internet Movie Data Base fan in Los Angeles, and he was being VERY kind:

"I tried. I honestly did. I lasted 20 minutes into Date Movie. But enough is enough. It was, by far, the worst movie I've seen in years. I just got my 7.50 back and it was much better spent on the arcade games at the AMC.

From the first frame, a lame, awkward, unfunny trite parody of Napoleon Dynamite, to the moment I surrendered, with a pooping cat a la Jinx from Meet The Parents, I think I laughed 2 times. A dig at Tara Reid being a drunk, and when .... You know what, I can't think of another time I laughed. Even trying to think back on scenes in the movie makes me sad and a little horrified. I agree with a previous reviewer that it just makes you feel ... embarrassed. The acting was TERRIBLE. Every scene started with a pause, then the actor speaking, as if they shot every scene at random, with no cues.

I waited outside the theater for my friends, and when they came out, they looked genuinely sad. This was the same for every other person coming out. No one was happy, everyone just looked like they wanted to get home as fast as possible.

Please take this reviewer seriously and never see it."

Good news for fans of the Russian movie 'Night Watch', the sequel 'Day Watch' was released in Russia on January 1 and has already become the biggest grossing film ever in Russia with people lining up 3 hours beforehand just to get tickets. Can't wait for this to hit Aussie screens.

Also coming soon, a strangely familiar animated feature about zoo animals (lion, giraffe etc) accidentally going back to the wild. It's called 'The Wild' and many people seem to think it could be Disney's take on 'Madagascar'... though others think Dreamworks copied 'The Wild' and made 'Madagascar' really fast... hmmm... so who copied who?

  • Bugs Life vs Antz (1998)
  • Finding Nemo vs Shark Tale (2003 & 2004)
  • Madagascar vs The Wild (2005 & 2006)
  • Kimba the White Lion vs The Lion King (1965 vs 1994)

Aussies Swear By It...


Australian Tourism has made international news again with it's latest series of advertisements designed to lure international visitors to our shores. You can see the new $180 million  campaign here (if you allow the site to download a Vividas Streaming Player... otherwise you just see a picture of a kangaroo). You can also see some more of the campaign here.

If you can't see the video, essentially the new commercial shows Aussies all over the country preparing to host visitors "We've cleared the sharks out of the swimming pool", "We've shampooed the camels" etc. Finally, after all of this preparation, we see a girl on a beach who says "So where the bloody hell are you?"

Most of the 'controversy' generated by this new ad is because of the swearing. To be honest, I'm more concerned about the message this ad gives people. Here we have an entire nation preparing for the influx of visitors... and no-one showed up!

Is this an advertisement telling international tourists all of the wonderful things they can see when they come to Australia... or a cry of lonely desperation? The country that gave a party but nobody came?

Maybe I'm too cynical to look at this new ad with open eyes. I'll throw this topic open to you, our international readers, take a look at the ad yourself and tell us... does it make you want to come and visit Australia?

The Amazing Race 8... no, 9!

'The Amazing Race' returns to Australian TV next week on Channel Seven, and this time we are going to see each episode shortly after it airs in the USA. That's great news! We'll be seeing series 9, but what happened to series 8? Channel Seven, according to reports in today's paper, have decided to skip series 8 completely (that's the series that had families competing instead of teams of 2). The Herald-Sun wants fans of the show to register their complaints at but I think the only way we'll get to see series 8 on Australian TV is on Fox8.

Anyway, if you'd like to get yourself ready for series 9, you could read all about the teams here.

Magic in the Movies Update

While I was performing at the M&M's function last week, a woman told me she was Hugh Jackman's mother-in-law. She mentioned that fact to me in order to explain that he'd been working on a new movie called 'The Prestige'. We've mentioned that movie in this blog before but it looks like they're really taking the magic of the movie seriously. According to the lady I spoke to, she said that Hugh was taken on a private tour of Copperfield's warehouse and was really getting into the whole role of a magician. All I can say is Hugh Jackman has already conquered stage musicals and action movies... if he decides to become a magician we'll all be out our jobs! *g*

Rillusionist The "other movie" based around turn of the century magicians 'The Illusionist' starring Edward Norton, is already out on the festival circuit and reviews can be found here and here. You can even see a clip of the film here.

So now that old-style magicians are being featured in movies, when are we going to get a movie about a modern-day magician? Like David Blaine's long talked about bio-pic 'Trick Monkey' for example?

Qantas - wow!

Well we just got back from Brisbane and I must report the good news with the bad... both of our flights up there and back with Qantas were on time and worry-free! Well done Qantas! Once we got back to Melbourne it did take over 30 minutes before any luggage appeared on the carousel from our flight... but maybe that's out of their control.

Once again, WELL DONE!

Last call for lecture notes!

Just a quick post to let you know we only have two more copies of Sue-Anne's popular booklet 'Have You Ever Thought About School Tours?' Once these are gone, we probably won't be doing another reprint for about a year or so. They are $US11 post paid to anywhere in the world, and available HERE.

Our stock of our other three lecture books are running low too: We have 20 copies left of 'Runaround Sue' booklet. 12 copies of 'Ellis in Wonderland' lecture notes, and 9 copies of '24 Years of Living Next Door to Ellis' (featuring 'Soda Resurrection').

FISM Update

As we get closer and closer to FISM 2006 in Stockholm (and I see another Aussie, Brad Manuel, listed as a dealer) people are already wondering where in the world FISM 2009 will be held.

Beijing, China have put up a good presentation with a government sponsored bid. If they are successful it will be only the second time FISM has left Europe (the first being Japan in 1994).

Vienna, Austria are very keen and have put up a well-produced website to support their bid here.

Now, however, there is a third contender with Granada, Spain offering an alternative to both China and Austria. You can read all about what they have to offer here.