The Sorcerer’s Apprentice - Blu-ray Review
By Jeff Swindoll Nov 30, 2010, 14:50 GMT
Magic is everywhere in Disney\'s The Sorcerer\'s Apprentice-the fun family adventure from the creators of National Treasure. Balthazar Blake (Nicolas Cage) is a modern-day sorcerer with his hands full defending Manhattan against dark forces. When a seemingly average kid shows hidden potential, Balthazar takes his reluctant recruit on a crash course in the art and science of magic to become the ultimate sorcerer\'s apprentice. Experience more extraordinary thrills, heart-stopping action ...more
They all can’t be Pirates of the Caribbean, but that can’t stop them from trying. The latest attempt falls somewhere between that high point and the Haunted Mansion. It does manage to offer some entertainment value but little else.
In ancient times, Merlin (James A. Stephens) battles against the evil sorceress Morgana le Fay (Alice Krige). He was aided in his battles by his apprentices Balthazar Blake (Nicholas Cage), Maxim Horvath (Alfred Molina), and Veronica Gorloisen (Monica Bellucci).
In the final reckoning, Horvath betrayed Merlin and switched to Morgana’s side, Veronica sacrificed herself to bind Morgana and herself in a Grimhold, a prison represented as a nesting doll, and Blake was left alone and charged with finding the Prime Merlinian, a wizard capable of defeating Morgana.
Centuries pass and Blake has yet to finish his quest, but he has imprisoned more sorcerers in the Grimhold as they try to release Morgana, including Horvath. Cut to the year 2000 and Dave Stutler’s (Jake Cherry) class is going on a field trip. He wanders away from the group and ends up in Blake’s antique shop.
Blake tries Merlin’s ring on the young boy and discovers that Dave is the Prime Merlinian; however, the clumsy lad accidentally releases Horvath from the Grimhold. In the melee Blake and Hovarth and imprisoned in an urn and Dave is embarrassed in front of his class.
Move to 2010 and the emotionally scarred Dave (Jay Baruchel) is a physics student and runs into his old crush Becky (Teresa Palmer) but the urn releases the dueling wizards and Black has to track down Dave and train him in wizarding before Hovarth releases Morgana and destroys the world.
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice stretches the iconic scene from Fantasia, on Blu-ray on the same release date, into a feature length motion picture. The Jerry Bruckheimer picture is full of sound and fury but signifies little more than popcorn fare.
That scene is reproduced in an amusing fashion, but stretching that into a large motion picture can only have the seams show. The overall result does have some good parts, but if you’re expecting anything cerebral (and you shouldn’t) or epic then you’ll be largely disappointed.
Jay Baruchel is a likable geek, but he didn’t do much for me. I didn’t hate him but he just didn’t make a big impression on me. Cage also seems to be on autopilot (odd since he also produces).
The real star of the show is Alfred Molina who ably chews the scenery with fiendish glee. His showy lackey Drake Stone (Toby Kebbell) also has some nice moments, but not enough of them.
The special effects are top shelf and fun, but again we’re not given much tension that Dave and Blake are going to defeat the bad guys and go home victorious. I did enjoy the film, so did the kids, but I was hoping for more (especially more of Molina). The show is fun, but lacking magic somehow.
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice is presented in a 1080p high definition transfer (2.40:1). Special features are presented in high definition and include the 12 minute “Magic in the City” about shooting in New York, the 10 minute “Science of Sorcery” about the connection between the two, the 11 minute “Making Magic Real” about the effects, the 10 minute “Fantasia: Reinventing a Classic” about the recreation of that famous scene, the 2 minute “The Fashionable Drake Stone” about Hovarth’s colorful lackey, the 3 minute “Grimhold” looks at the doll prison, the 2 minute “Encantus” looks at Blake’s spellbook, the 3 minute “Wolves and Puppies” looks at the dogs used during the scene, the 1 minute “World’s Coolest Car” looks at Blake’s mode of transportation, 7 minutes of deleted scenes, and 3 minutes of outtakes.
Disc two is a DVD copy of the film.
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice is not a disappointing as the Haunted Mansion (hopefully Benecio Del Toro leading the redo will get it right). It’s a fun show, but never really rises above popcorn entertainment. Alfred Molina is a fine addition to the roster of Disney villains, but you want to see more of him.
Visit the DVD database for more information.
FROM THE WEB
Further Reading on M&CAlfred Molina Biography -
Alfred Molina Links - M&C is not responsible for the content in external sitesJay Baruchel Biography -
Jay Baruchel Links - M&C is not responsible for the content in external sitesMonica Bellucci Biography -
Monica Bellucci Links - M&C is not responsible for the content in external sitesNicolas Cage Biography -
Nicolas Cage Links - M&C is not responsible for the content in external sites
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