Siegfried & Roy: The Magic Box

on October 01, 1999 by Mike Kerrigan
   It promised to be a match made in movie heaven as the most spectacular illusionists in Las Vegas teamed up with the leading exponent of giant screen movie magic. And fans of both will be thrilled with the result.
   Director/co-scripter Brett Leonard's use of the Imax 3-D format was breathtaking when he made "T-Rex: Back to the Cretaceous." He took audiences to places they had never been. But it turns out that was just a warm-up for the astonishing visuals he delivers with this movie.
   Where in "T-Rex" the closest images appeared to be a few feet in front of you, now they are inches. You really feel you can reach out and touch them. Viewers will have to fight the urge to flick stardust off their shoulders--it's that real.
   Adding immeasurably is the subject matter. While a roaring, giant T-Rex was impressive, a real-life white lion looking you straight in the eye at barely an arm's length is truly daunting.
   In the flesh, Siegfried and Roy put on a heck of a performance and have for more than three decades. On the giant screen, it is even more impressive. You are practically a part of the show.
   The only weakness comes with the narrative as the film explains how these two loners grew up in WWII-scarred Germany, found comfort in magic and animals and had a chance meeting on a ship bound for the U.S. Leonard pulls all kinds of fabulous visual stunts but the story is never as big as the telling. Still, the on-stage and at-home in Las Vegas footage more than make up for it.
   In 1952, the first commercial 3-D movie, "Bwana Devil" with Robert Stack, was released. The tagline was "a lion in your lap." Sadly, that never really happened. Now, thanks to Siegfried, Roy and Brett, it finally has. Starring Siegfried Fischbacher and Roy Uwe Ludwig Horn. Directed by Brett Leonard. Written by Lyn Vaus and Brett Leonard. Produced by Michael V. Lewis. An Imax release. Documentary. Unrated. Running time: 47 min
Tags: Siegfried Fischbacher, Roy Uwe Ludwig Horn, Brett Leonard, Lyn Vaus, Michael V. Lewis, IMAX, Documentary, magicians, magic, animals, Siegfried, Roy

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