In Movies & TV Commentary

"Make Believe" offers a look at the next generation of magicians.

OnMedia: "Make Believe" a magical Film Festival highlight

A highlight of the second night of the Milwaukee Film Festival is the delightful documentary "Make Believe," which follows a group of young magicians as they head to Las Vegas to compete in the World Magic Seminar.

The film debuts at 7 tonight at the Marcus Ridge Cinema.

With Ed Cunningham and Seth Gordon (responsible for the fascinating "The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters) as executive producers on this film, you can expect a sensitive look at the half-dozen teens.

Not all the kids are lovable. In this gang of six, you'll find a touch of self-absorption, and a bit of star fever.

But some of the kids do shine.

The most fascinating are two foreign competitors, small-town Japanese teen Hiroki Hara, and South African Nkumbuzo Nkonyana, who battle very different odds to make it to Vegas.

The biggest future star in the bunch is Krystyn Lambert, although she could easily end up with something beyond a magic career.

Most interesting are the back stories which bring all six to Vegas, mini-bios where we really get to know the kids.

Speaking of kids, there may be a word here or there, but this is a perfectly fine film for younger viewers – especially those who haven't been exposed to documentaries.

In addition to tonight's opening at New Berlin's Ridge, it screens at 1:15 p.m. Sunday at the Oriental Theatre, 5 p.m. Wednesday at the Marcus North Shore, and 5 p.m. Thursday at the Oriental.

Here's the trailer:

The Milwaukee Film Festival runs through Oct. 2, and to keep up with the listings, you can track down the printed schedule, or scan the lineup on-line at Milwaukee Film's detailed website.

The weekend's new stuff: Friday and Saturday aren't big TV-viewing nights, but Sunday's the biggest night of the week. Here's the new stuff to look for as the first week of the new TV season concludes:

  • ABC: There are repeats of this week's season opener of "Modern Family" at 7 tonight, followed a rerun of the premiere of "Revenge" at 8. On Sunday, ABC has two hours of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" at 6, the return of "Desperate Housewives" for its final season at 8, and the premiere of "Pan Am" at 9, all on Channel 12.
  • CBS: One of the few networks that programs fresh stuff on Friday is CBS, and it starts with "A Gifted Man" at 7, followed by the season premieres of "CSI: NY" and "Blue Bloods." On Saturday, CBS has the premiere of another crime dramas, "Person of Interest" and "Unforgettable" starting at 7. On Sunday, it's the season premiere of "The Amazing Race" at 7, followed by "The Good Wife" at 8 and "CSI: Miami" at 9, all on Channel 58.
  • Fox: Gordon Ramsay's "Kitchen Nightmares" returns at 7, followed by the season premiere of "Fringe" on Friday. On Saturday, there's a new episode of "Cops" at 7. Sunday's lineup has new episodes of "The Simpsons," "The Cleveland Show," "Family Guy" and "American Dad," starting at 7 on Channel 6.
  • NBC: Friday features reruns of new shows, and the season premiere of "Dateline NBC" at 8. Saturday is a round of repeats of new shows, and Sunday night is given over to NFL football, all on Channel 4.
  • CW: "Nikita" returns at 7 tonight, followed at 8 by "Supernatural."

"The X Factor" has nowhere near the "American Idol" crowd: Wednesday's premiere of Simon Cowell's heavily-hyped "The X Factor" pulled in 12.5 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research numbers. By comparison, the Simon Cowell-less 10th season of "American Idol" opened with 26 million.

The "reality" singing competition was beaten Wednesday by the one-hour season premiere of "Modern Family," which had 14.3 million viewers.

The end of "All My Children": The final episode of ABC's "All My Children" airs at noon today, and Channel 12 is getting ready for viewer response by directing them to the ABC Audience Information phone line at (818) 460-7477 or the network's online feedback form.

Starting Monday, ABC is replacing it with "The Chew," a food program.

Meanwhile, here's a reel of bloopers from the soap, which debuted in 1970:

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