An Honest Liar (2014) - Documentary, Biography, Comedy

Hohum Score

22

Watchable

The life and career of the renowned stage magician turned scientific skeptic of the paranormal, James Randi.

IMDB: 7.5
Director: Tyler Measom
Stars: James Randi, Deyvi Peña
Length: 90 Minutes
PG Rating: N/A
Reviews: 6 out of 30 found boring (20%)

One-line Reviews (24)

A compelling character study in a fantastic industry that deserves his protection.

I also did not know how broad his operations stretched, the determination during the 2 years of paranormal research was absolutely stunning.

Yet lest you think the perfunctory limitations of a biographical documentary are boring, you clearly don't know much about Randi the Great.

In the beginning we are introduced to this great escape artist who marveled audiences with his stunning tricks.

"An Honest Liar: Truth and Deception in the Life of James 'The Amazing' Randi" paints a luscious portrait of James Randi and a fascinating history of the crusades that he has waged in the name of honesty - as well as two provocative discrepancies in his personal life.

Nonetheless, the documentary was riveting.

" This is quite a fascinating twist, as the great debunker turns out to have been sharing his life with the greatest con of all.

The way he went about uncovering these people is what makes this documentary compelling as he creates fictional characters or personas to fool audiences, the media, and even scientists before revealing to them that it was all a scam and proving therefor how easy it is to deceive others when you have abilities to perform these tricks.

'The Amazing Randi') but it's also one that seems very muddled and confusing towards the end--such that I really wasn't sure WHAT the filmmaker intended with this movie.

The switch comes across as contrived, sort of a mixed metaphor.

There are some narrative fumbles thanks in part to some truly unexpected revelations.

Really enjoyed it, though I found latter parts a bit "too much" .

The problem is that this last segment mostly fails, because it appears very tangential to Randi's quest and shifts the focus on fairly mundane personal matters that are contorted somewhat to fit the wider arch.

I feel the need to mention that fact in response to some who say they think the film has distinct parts and is disjointed.

I thought this aspect of the documentary which has a feel of undisguised schadenfreude was rather unfair and just a little bit cruel towards Randi and ends an often fascinating documentary on a downbeat , negative vote

Like a diamond in the rough, An Honest Liar is a film that enlivens the documentary film genre while telling the highly entertaining story of an extraordinary life.

Meticulously deceitful, playfully intelligent and magically engaging, An Honest Liar shines the light on the dangers of fraud and does so through the granular life of "Randi the Great".

Honestly as much as I admire Randi and his life choices, I do think the documentary dragged way too much on his homosexual relationship.

Very interesting subject matter is presented haphazardly to create a pretty boring documentary called An Honest Liar.

So not only do you not get to learn much new about Randi, not only do you not get to have a glimpse on his thinking (unlike what was masterfully done in Jiro Dreams of Sushi), but on top of that the movie is rather boring.

But what's most engaging about the doc is Randi's own life and the hidden side of him of his partner.

This week a stunningly beautiful, brilliant and poignant new documentary about James Randi comes out and it is as riveting as any narrative film I have ever seen.

His career arc is an unexpectedly exciting one - he rubbed elbows with Johnny Carson and Alice Cooper in his prime - and as showy as one might expect from a lifelong performer.

While it stays on the subject of his career, the documentary is a fascinating one.