“Abrakadabra” is the tenth film in the “Wizard of Oz” series and it’s the second film in the franchise to feature the character Dorothy Gale. The film is directed by Dan Gilroy (who wrote the script and produced the film) and stars Julia Roberts, and Chris O’Dowd.
The Alfred Hitchcock masterpiece “Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Vertigo’ Blu-ray is a film, with an essential, golden age, and no one can deny that. The incredible direction of Hitchcock, the brilliant and iconic performance of Jimmy Stewart, and the chemistry between Stewart and Kim Novak. For decades, ‘Vertigo’ has been the gold standard for films about the afterlife, and is one of the most detailed and complex films about a person coming to terms with a life-altering disability than any other.
Abrakadabra is a decent effort to create a retro-feeling giallo in the manner of Argento or Martino, with vivid colors, early ’80s aesthetics, and a funky soundtrack, but it’s only 70 minutes long and doesn’t really have a third act. It abruptly stops just when it was getting excellent, which was a huge letdown.
A stage illusionist becomes the main suspect in a series of unexplained killings that harken back to the murder of his own father, a magician, during a stage performance 30 years earlier.
Lorenzo Manzini (German Baudino) was a little child when his father, a renowned illusionist, was murdered in front of an audience in an illusion gone bad. His father’s helper was convicted of the murder and sentenced to jail, but Manzini – himself a well-known magician – is plagued by the past 30 years later when a lady is discovered brutally killed on the stage where he is scheduled to appear later that week. When Manzini is interrogated about the murder, he has no clue why it occurred or who the lady is, but when he performs his show a few nights later, his illusions are a failure. He goes out for a drink later that night, meets two ladies, and goes home with them for some fun, but when he wakes up, one of them has been killed, and he gets the distinct impression that someone is trying to kill him or frame him for the crime. When that guy is murdered by a black-gloved murderer, Manzini knows he’s in the middle of a plan that will either see him brutally butchered by a killer… or blamed for the killings that are haunting the city of Turin where he’s vacationing. If he doesn’t come to some kind of revelation soon, he’ll be apprehended by an intrepid investigator on his trail, and it’ll be the last of him… one way or another.
Abrakadabra is a decent effort to create a retro-feeling giallo in the manner of Argento or Martino, with vivid colors, early ’80s aesthetics, and a funky soundtrack, but it’s only 70 minutes long and doesn’t really have a third act. It abruptly stops just when it was getting excellent, which was a huge letdown. Luciano Onetti and Nicolas Onetti are the directors of two additional giallos, Francesca (which I saw) and Sonno Profondo, both of which lasted 80 minutes or less. What the hell is going on with these guys? Isn’t it possible to create a film that is at least 90 minutes long? They have a knack for locating era-appropriate actors and actresses, but their films (at least the two I’ve watched) are lacking in meat. Fans of the genre will undoubtedly appreciate them, but delivering meat and potatoes is the greatest way to gain and maintain a following. It’s not just about the appetizers.
Abrakadabra was just released on Blu-ray by Cauldron Films, and it includes a bonus CD soundtrack (always a win in my book), behind-the-scenes footage, a trailer, Italian and English language tracks, and subtitles.
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