Film Reviews

THE SORCERER’S APPRENTICE

By • Jul 11th, 2010 •

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Cage gets paid and kisses Monica Bellucci. I burned off 2 hours in Hell. This movie is not for kids, it’s for toddlers.

Yes, I believe in Hell. A forbidden, initiatory secret of The Eleusinian Mysteries states – in prison jargon – that you can either do “hard time or good time” in Hell. Sitting through THE SORCERER’S APPRENTICE earned me “good time” credits toward my eternal damnation sentence.

I’m working towards a weekend pass to Purgatory.

Nicholas Cage has given up acting. THE SORCERER’S APPRENTICE confirms it. After decades of being an actor, some movie stars – Marlon Brando, anyone – refuse to act or memorize lines. So they play characters that do not require acting, memorizing, or in the case of animation roles – even turning up.

Since when is voiceover work acting? Who are the geniuses behind this PR ploy we have been forced to accept?

In a muddled, fast-paced opening, the silly back-story is presented in high-kabuki melodrama fashion. It’s about centuries-old wizards and the final death of legendary magician Merlin. Merlin’s arch-enemies are defeated and placed in nesting dolls! His student, Balthazar Blake (Nicolas Cage), never dies and goes through centuries of fashionable get-ups, finally settling in New York City in a Western-wear couture leather coat. Cage loves that messy hair, crazy hat look.

Cage’s wardrobe does his acting for him. His role in KICK-ASS was not a fluke!

THE SORCERER’S APPRENTICE is one big loud noise of poorly executed CGI effects.

Along with Merlin’s mean arch-nemesis Horvath (Alfred Molina) and villainess Morgana (Alice Krige), Balthazar’s lover Veronica (Monica Bellucci) gets trapped in Nesting Dolls Prison.

Before he died, Merlin gave Balthazar a dragon ring. Whoever the ring likes is to be his apprentice and will defeat the evil wizards – if they ever get out of Nesting Dolls Prison.

In a “there are no coincidences” sloppy meet-cute, 8 year old Dave Stutler (Jake Cherry) runs into Balthazar’s shop of junk. The ring fits him! He’s the one.

Ten years go by and now Stutler (Jay Baruchel) is a geek physics student. Of course, Stutler does not want to be a sorcerer’s apprentice. Balthazar charms him as only high-drama Cage can, and soon Stutler is given a crash course in magic. Someone let the evil wizards out of Nesting Dolls Prison!

But Stutler really wants to direct. No, I mean, he really wants Becky (Teresa Palmer) to be his girlfriend. Eventually, Stutler learns to wave his hands like a Cirque du Soliel Pan dancer and perform feats of silly magic.

While Balthazar has gone the Iggy Pop route, Horvath emerges from Nesting Dolls Prison with his dignity and fashion sense intact. For his apprentice, he chooses rock n’ roll magician Drake Stone (Toby Kebbell) who easily steals the movie.

These innocent trompe l’oeil scene-stealing moments do not happen by chance. In my opinion, this is the way directors get even with high-strung movie stars. They give the only memorable line to a co-star.

Imagine if someone else had said, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn!” instead of Rhett Butler.

Seeing THE SORCERER’S APPRENTICE makes me ashamed of my girl-crush Monica Bellucci. Bellucci goes from IRREVERSIBLE to THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS to this? How mean is her agent?

This movie puts the lie to the theory that acting is a talent. It all depends on the director! I cringed watching Molina, Krige, Bellucci and Baruchel in this movie.

Baruchel must not have read the script. He appears to be in another movie.

Jon Turteltaub, credited with directing this “movie” must be Bruckheimer’s “Ace-Duce”. How else can one explain THE SORCERER’S APPRENTICE?

I think Disney has gone to the archives once too many times. In 1940’s FANTASIA, the cartoon musical’s centerpiece was THE SORCERER’S APPRENTICE, with Mickey Mouse borrowing his master’s magical hat and causing havoc with brooms and water pails. The SORCERER’S APPRENTICE filmmaker’s pay homage to this classic. It does not hold up.

I say, keep the Disney vault closed!

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