Believe in Magic, You Muggle!

The term “magic” etymologically derives from the Greek word mageia (μαγεία). In ancient times, Greeks and Persians had been at war for centuries, and the Persian priests, called magosh in Persian, came to be known as magoi in Greek. Ritual acts of Persian priests came to be known as mageia, and then magika—which eventually came to mean any foreign, unorthodox, or illegitimate ritual practice. The first book containing explanations of magic tricks appeared in 1584. During the 17th century, many similar books were published that described magic tricks. Until the 18th century, magic shows were a common source of entertainment at fairs. A founding figure of modern entertainment magic was Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin, who had a magic theatre in Paris in 1845. John Henry Anderson was pioneering the same transition in London in the 1840s. Towards the end of the 19th century, large magic shows permanently staged at big theatre venues became the norm. As a form of entertainment, magic easily moved from theatrical venues to television magic specials. Performances that modern observers would recognize as conjuring have been practiced throughout history. For many recorded centuries, magicians were associated with the devil and the occult. During the 19th and 20th centuries, many stage magicians even capitalized on this notion in their advertisements. The same level of ingenuity that was used to produce famous ancient deceptions such as the Trojan Horse would also have been used for entertainment, or at least for cheating in money games. They were also used by the practitioners of various religions and cults from ancient times onwards to frighten uneducated people into obedience or turn them into adherents. However, the profession of the illusionist gained strength only in the 18th century, and has enjoyed several popular vogues since.

Matt Damon’s ‘Spy Mission’

Jason Bourne actor Matt Damon punked random people into carrying out a bunch of entry-level spy tasks, which he assigned through a cell phone.

“We set up a simulation to give unsuspecting people the chance to feel like they’re in a spy movie,” the actor explained in a video. He pulled the stunt to promote his upcoming movie Jason Bourne, which stars Julia Stiles, Alicia Vikander, and Tommy Lee, and to raise money for Water.org.

Even though he kept laughing, the actor still got four strangers to follow his every command from saying code words to complimenting cute kids. None of them seemed to have a clue it was Damon on the other line, but they were all over the mission anyway. He even made a pork-intolerant man hold a hot dog for the good cause, and the guy nailed it.

Thanks to Damon’s legit spy lingo — “that manila envelope’s the hottest potato you’ve ever held in your hand,” and “believe me, it’s not about the hot dog. You’re not going to eat the hot dog, and the hot dog isn’t even real. It’s what’s in the hot dog” — it’s all extremely watchable for a prank video. (All the participants meet Damon and win tickets to the premiere of the new Bourne flick, but following his instructions was the true thrill of a lifetime.)

The Seriously Hilarious Boss Baby

The recently released  3D computer-animated comedy film The Boss Baby portrays the what-if-a-baby-becomes-a-sophisticated-professional thought quite astonishingly. The movie is hilarious throughout.

Plot

A man named Tim Templeton (Tobey Maguire) tells a story through his imaginative point of view as his seven year old self (Miles Bakshi) who lives his days having fun with his parents, Ted (Jimmy Kimmel) and Janice (Lisa Kudrow), and wishes it to be just the three of them forever. However, one day, Tim is surprised when a business suit-wearing infant shows up at his house and Ted and Janice proudly call him Tim’s little brother. Tim is envious of the attention the baby is receiving, not to mention suspicious when the infant acts odd around him, but his parents, being blind to the baby’s eccentric behavior, try to convince him that they will grow to love each other.

Soon, Tim learns that the baby can talk like an adult (Alec Baldwin) and he introduces himself as “The Boss Baby”. Seeing an opportunity to be rid of him, Tim decides to record a conversation between him and other toddlers who are over at Tim’s house for a meeting (under the guise of a playdate by the parents) to do something about how puppies are receiving more love than babies. The Boss Baby and the other infants catch Tim with the recording and after a chase scene throughout the backyard and the house, the tape is terminated after The Boss Baby threatens to tear up Tim’s favorite stuffed animal, Lamb-Lamb. With no evidence to support him, Tim is subsequently grounded by his parents for his actions during the chase between him and the infants.

The Boss Baby comes to Tim and has him to suck on a pacifier that transports them to Baby Corp, a place where infants with adult-like minds work to preserve infant love everywhere, but they are virtual, so therefore can not be seen or heard. The Boss Baby explains to Tim that he was sent on a mission to see why puppies are getting more love than infants and he has infiltrated Tim’s residence because his parents work for Puppy Co., which is unleashing a new puppy soon on the day that employees take their children to work. The Boss Baby also explains that he stays intelligent by drinking a substance called ‘The Secret Baby Formula’, which enables a baby to act like an adult, but if a baby does not drink it after a period of time, he or she becomes a regular baby. He hopes to receive a promotion after dealing with Puppy Co.’s new puppy called the “Forever Puppy.”

They discover that Francis E. Francis (Steve Buscemi) used to be the head of Baby Corp. and is now head of Puppy Co. Francis swore revenge on Baby Corp. after they kicked him out since he started to grow.

Tim and Boss Baby then go to Las Vegas to try and stop him. Francis E. Francis then proceeds to lock Tim’s parents up. Tim and Boss Baby fight with him, and then push him into the formula. He returns to his baby state again. Boss Baby opens the rocket to let the dogs out, so they can save Tim’s parents. After he successfully does that, he returns to baby state while still on the rocket, but Tim sings to him to show his appreciation, causing him to jump off of the rocket before it launches, and with that, the family returns home.

Boss Baby gets promoted, and Tim goes back to being an only child, but Tim and Boss Baby, having grown closer, start to miss each other. Boss Baby, fed up, decides to be part of the Templeton family instead of working at Baby Corp. Boss Baby now dubs himself Theodore when he returns to the family. Tim, now an adult, has an older daughter and an infant daughter, who acts exactly like Theodore did when he was Boss Baby.

Tragically Serious Comedy by Jaggesh

What would you say about a guy who has been laughing alone uncontrollably on his bed when the entire neighborhood is asleep? Crazy. Uncivilized. Better yet, devil. That shameless guy was me, and when my roommate anxiously asked what the heck was wrong with me, I could barely talk as I was traumatized by a serious-humorous discourse by the Sandalwood‘s finest comedian Jaggesh. I just gave him my Sony Experia T2 and got back to my imaginative scene of Jaggesh’s adventure. After only a minute he too burst out into a noisy laugh. And both of us were laughing, laughing and laughing the whole night.

Impeccable Comedic Timing

In what would seem to be a surreal narrative, Jaggesh time travels us to his early cinematic days during which the norm was to lie about what an actor could do in order to get a role in the movie. Make no mistake, that’s a sure-fire way to get dispelled from the project when the lie crumbles eventually in the light of reality.

What amazes me is his laser-like-focus in detailing the minute aspects of his experience and capturing what was going on in his mind when he adamantly took the supportive role of a romantic-action movie. Like all great comedians, he can turn the most tragic of experiences into the most memorable of humors just by the skillful manipulation of timing with which the story is told. Though he was incredibly serious and stern, torrent of humor flows toward the observer because of the way he mimics the characters and impersonates the entities in the narration.

Induced Imagination

When you watch the slapstic performances of Charlie Chaplin, Stan Laurel, George Formby and Dan Leno , Jim Carrey and others, you can’t help but laugh as they tuck you right into the emotional roller-coaster of physical comedy. In all those instances, your imagination gets active and paints the imagery inside which the scene becomes real. In that imaginative realism, you are morphed into something else, at least for a moment. The greater this imagination becomes activated the more your brain cuts across the routine patterns which is nothing but humor. The degree of quality in inducing funny situation on the imaginative canvas of the audience separates an excellent comedian from a mediocre one. Jaggesh’s comedic acumen is no less than jaw-dropping!