Thursday, January 20, 2011

DVD--The Sorcerer's Apprentice


One word to sum it up: Dire.

You know what's worse than having Nicolas Cage in a movie? Having Nicolas Cage playing a thousand year old sorcerer. Especially when he has a hairstyle that resembles Brad Pitt's beard. I feel kind of sorry for the guy: he hasn't been decent in a decent movie in years; he got out-acted by a 12 year-old girl in Kick-Ass; and his latest, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, was stupidly released on the same weekend as Inception in America. Of course, it flopped. While The Cage and I don't have a very good relationship, there are still enough merits in The Sorcerer's Apprentice for him to be proud of.

Balthazar Blake (Nicolas Cage) is a master sorcerer in modern-day Manhattan trying to defend the city from his arch-nemesis, Maxim Horvath (Alfred Molina). Balthazar can't do it alone, so he recruits Dave Stutler (Jay Baruchel), a seemingly average guy who demonstrates hidden potential, as his reluctant protégé. The sorcerer gives his unwilling accomplice a crash course in the art and science of magic, and together, these unlikely partners work to stop the forces of darkness. It'll take all the courage Dave can muster to survive his training, save the city and get the girl as he becomes the sorcerer's apprentice.

The Sorcerer's Apprentice is a full length adaption of a segment in the 1940 classic Disney film Fantasia. Like most remakes, this film can't quite capture the magic, so to speak, and falls into the sad territory of failed Disney live action films. As if we hadn't seen enough CGI 'enhanced' fantasy flicks over the past years. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice adopts the same old plot, with the same old formulaic script. The only thing that stands between it being totally deflated is the occasional laugh, the always funny Cage Rage and some awesome effects. That should be enough to keep the whole family entertained...even if the older ones may find themselves wearily checking the time every few minutes. It's clear that this movie doesn't have a target audience, as it's innuendoes but immature story don't mix too well together. At least there is something for everyone, and there are moments which shine bright.

Jay Baruchel, who is perhaps best known for being Kirk in the raunchy rom-com She's Out of My League, takes the lead role in this one. I wouldn't say he was the best choice for the role, but I also wouldn't go as far as saying that he was awful, like everyone else thinks. I find him really funny, and he adds the certain pizzazz that this movie needs most. Nicolas Cage is, well...Nicolas Cage. He says some things with a little too much passion ("I CAN READ MINDS!" Yeah, great dude), or HE puts emphasis ON all THE wrong WORDS. He's bearable, which is always a good thing. Alfred Molina (An Education) is, as always, spectacular as the villain. Aussie actress Teresa Palmer is cute as the love interest, and serves as the most clichéd part of the film...which somehow works. If it's a family movie you're after, then The Sorcerer's Apprentice is perfectly adequate. However, those who seek for magic in this film will surely be disappointed.

THE VERDICT: Not as fun as a family movie should be, but it isn't terrible. The CGI isn't spellbinding, nor is the storytelling, just give it a little less thought and it will be an enjoyable film.


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