The Incredible Burt Wonderstone
Steve Carell stars as this comedy's titular magician who needs to give his act some new panache when a bizarre street performer (Jim Carrey) starts stealing his thunder. Steve Buscemi, James Gandolfini and Olivia Wilde co-star; Don Scardino directs.
Inspired by this week's Operation Kino question, I've paired The Incredible Burt Wonderstone with three other titles that give some insight into other niche careers. A blend of reality and fiction gives us a look behind the scenes at what's it like to be a drag queen, a psychic medium, and an art star, three career paths that each depend on illusion and mystique.
RuPaul's Drag Race (2009) The world's most famous drag queen RuPaul offers the next crop of wannabe drag superstars a gauntlet of challenges that test their charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent. Who ever comes out on top will be crowned America's next drag superstar. Whether or not you've ever wondered about the art form of female impersonation, Drag Race proves insightful and entertaining, focusing on a cast of colorful characters, many whom have overcome intense personal struggles to rise to the top of their profession. For all its trash talk and fabulousness, the core of this reality show is a message of self-acceptance and inspiration. Because like RuPaul says, "If you can't love yourself, how in the hell are you going to love somebody else?" Seasons 2 and 3 are now streaming.
The Frighteners (1996) In this freaky and frightening horror-comedy from director Peter Jackson, Michael J. Fox stars as self-proclaimed psychic detective Frank Bannister, a con man who makes his living by conning the living. He actually does see dead people. The con comes in when he urges these globby ghosts to haunt households specifically so Frank can come in and get paid to save the day by scaring these poltergeists away. However, this quirk becomes a real life saver when Frank discovers a dangerous dead man's evil plan to continue his murder spree from beyond the grave. Trini Alvarado, Jake Busey, and Chi McBride co-star.
Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010) Between his controversial art and his dedication to maintaining his anonymity, street art star Banksy is an elusive figure with plenty of mystique. Ironically, directing a film about the street art scene has only made him more of a mystery, as this film sparked a debate about what is real and what is art(ifice). Check it out, and join the debate. Banksy, Space Invader, Shepard Fairey and Thierry Guetta appear; Banksy directs.