I saw The Prestige over the weekend and was entertained. It was a great movie, superbly directed with some dynamite performances, including a wicked performance by David Bowie. The movie hit a couple of sweet spots for me and I was almost disappointed that the movie wasn't even deeper than it was. In comparison to the American norm it is a widely intellectual film, but that is so, unfortunately, not saying much. I think that if Batman Begins wasn't enough to solidify Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale as a powerhouse director and extremely capable actor (respectively) then The Prestige should.

One of the jokes on the Internets is that The Prestige is Batman versus Wolverine, but beyond the Nolan+Bale pairing there isn't much of a "Batman" feel to The Prestige, which is good. There is also very little "Wolverine"; Hugh Jackman proves that with good writing and direction he actually can act three dimensional characters. (Note that that is not an implication of the X-Men source materials and more the writers of the film translations.) Unfortunately due to rights issues (DC/Time Warner versus Marvel/Assorted Studios) we probably will never see a real "Batman vs. Wolverine", but if it were to happen I think both properties might see justice from a Bale vs. Jackman match up.

I did see some slight ties to Batman that many might not have picked up on, and that is that escape magic (the infamous tied and dropped into a water tank) figures prominently across various versions of both Bruce Wayne and the various Robin sidekicks origin stories. I think that there isn't much coincidence in this fact, as it appears that Nolan is very interested in some of the same threads of illusion and mastery of mind over matter story telling that infected much of "real" Batman literature (as opposed to the weirder threads of self-satire and mockery that infused television and film incarnations up until just recently). I loved Batman Begins' portrayal of The Scarecrow, and The Prestige has me even more interested in seeing how Nolan pushes The Joker in the next film, which will truly make or break his portrayal of the mythology as a whole.