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March 1, 2021

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Latest News

Action on Cumbalum Interchange at Ballina?

Following multiple community requests, Cr Phillip Meehan brought a motion to the last Ballina Council meeting calling for additional ramps to be built at the Cumbalum-Pacific Motorway interchange.

Other News

Motion to save Lennox pavilion fails

Ballina Cr Eoin Johnston's attempt to save the seventy year old weather shed at Lennox Head went down at council's meeting yesterday, attracting only one other councillor's support.

CWA getting their facts right on the Far North Coast

Members of the Far North Coast Group of the Country Women’s Association of New South Wales (CWA) gathered in Lismore on Saturday for their Group Facts Day.

Monkey see

Daniel Brown, Byron Bay Back in my early youth growing up in Mt Eliza Victoria in the ‘90s I’d secretly...

Community bar – not

Liz Levy, Suffolk Park I couldn’t believe what I was reading in The Echo: a plan to turn an ‘iconic’...

Facebook fails

Adrian Gattenhof, Mullumbimby American spoilt brat Zuckerberg may have done adults around the world a great favour with his screamy...

Byron police assault trial could attract human rights law analysis

Northern Rivers policeman accused of youth assault to continue facing trial.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=8MHDYZJWLXA

First impressions count for so much.

This brain-strain heist flick opens with a trick of disarming cleverness. One of the magicians of the Four Horsemen, Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg), offers ‘pick a card’ to an onlooker (and, inescapably, to you in the darkened cinema). He performs a sleight of hand then correctly nominates the one card out of fifty-two that his subject (and you!) selected.

I am baffled as to what psychological devilment was involved, and my companion (who had chosen the same card) was equally astounded. From that minute we were riveted. Atlas’s three cohorts are Merritt (Woody Harrelson), Henley (Isla Fisher) and Jack (Dave Franco), each of them a magician with a different field of expertise.

They gain renown but step outside the law when they apparently teleport a volunteer from Las Vegas to Paris, where he robs a bank of millions. Enter the old stagers – Tressler (Michael Caine), plutocrat mentor, and Bradley (Morgan Freeman), an ancient myth-buster with teeth whiter than Warnie’s.

There is obviously a highly sophisticated and very complex scam being planned, but it is too much to handle for detective Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo), whose approach is that of the bull in a china shop, even with the unwanted assistance of Alma (Mélanie Laurent), a beautiful blond French Interpol cop.

If you are familiar with this type of caper, you’ll appreciate that it is wise to keep in mind the throwaway piece of incidental narrative that is mentioned in an early scene, for it is invariably back to here that the circus is headed.

The journey is the fun, and there is much of it to be had in this, even if there is no piece of chicanery to match the opening gambit, the winner being CGI rather than good ol’ fashioned magic.

The Four Horsemen play a lesser part in the third act, which is a pity, because Harrelson and Eisenberg are excellent value. (I wonder if Eisenberg is such a smartarse in real life?)

Good, but not exceptional.

 

~ John Campbell 

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