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Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Sorcerer's Apprentice

Director: John Turteltaub
UK release: August 2010
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Alred Molina, Jay Baruchel, Teresa Palmer, Monica Bellucci


She said:

Most people will know the Sorcerer's Apprentice as 'that scene' in Fantasia where Mickey Mouse enchants some brooms and loses control of them. It is striking and vivid, and as a 5 year old child I loved it. If you haven't seen it, click here for the bit from Fantasia. So I think it is safe to say a had some doubts when I heard about this Nicolas Cage film which is, essentially, a 2010 blockbuster based on a 1940 Disney cartoon set to a piece of Dukas music from 1897 that is based on a Goethe poem written in 1797. I didn't see how they could make this film without completely destroying the layers of history behind it; I'm glad to say that this didn't happen!

Now, like many people toying with the idea of seeing this film I was mightily put off by the fact it starred Nicolas Cage, aka Mr Wooden. Wow is that man a terrible 'actor' who we can all agree would not be as famous if he wasn't a Coppola. However I have to put my hands up and say "I enjoyed it. I enjoyed a Mr Wooden film". Cage's cliched acting actually fitted in quite well with this fluffy family film and created a great comic duo along with sidekick (or apprentice!) Jay Baruchel.

The thing I really enjoyed about The Sorcerer's Apprentice is the special effects and imagination. The film marries science and technology with magic and folklore to create a modern twist. There is no denying this is a film based solely around spectacle (as is the original Goethe poem) and I personally loved the scope and creativity of the special effects; the giant Eagles detaching from the Chrysler Building springs to mind.

However I do not want to oversell this film. Despite being enjoyable this isn't the best written plot ever, and could have been executed better. Like a lot of family fantasies the director forgets to give the back story as much attention as the action. Despite learning the history of the Sorcerer and the villain (played by Molina) I found both characters under-developed emotionally. I didn't believe their motives totally and I think this should have been catered to, for more mature viewers like myself.

Overall this film was not the disaster I was expecting. The soundtrack, composed by Trevor Rabin takes musical influence from the original Dukas music while their is an obligatory homage to 'that' Mickey Mouse scene. I give this film {{{3 out of 5}}}.

He said:

Like Helen I really didn't expect very much sitting down to watch this film. If you have read any of our previous reviews involving Nicholas Cage you will know that we are not his biggest fans. However he does occasionally find a role that suits him, Con Air and Gone in 60 Seconds spring to mind.

Helen has already touched on the various high points of the film far more eloquently than I could ever hope to. I will say that as unlikely a duo as Cage and Baruchel are, they have excellent on-screen chemistry together. This is, at its heart, a buddy film.

Baruchel's character - Dave - accomplishes something very few characters in similar fantastical situations manage to do; he remains the geeky teen guy that he is. So often we see characters that inherit amazing abilities and then find themselves defined by said abilities. But Dave manages to still be every bit as geeky even when he finally gains control over his abilities. I'm not sure if this is due to Baruchels superb acting ability, or if Jay Baruchel is really just that much of a geek! I think I'll let you all weigh in on that particular debate in the comments below.

Overall this is a fun film and I give it {{{3.5 out of 5}}}

They said:

Depending on your personal opinion of Nicholas Cage and Jay Baruchel this is undoubtedly still a fun film that at the very least is worth renting for a family night in. We give it {{{{6.5 out of 10}}}}

QUESTION FOR THE COMMENTS: What is the worst Nicolas Cage film you have ever seen?


  1. I agree with helen i give it a 3

    Also I dont know what the worst Nicholas Cage film I have ever seen but my friends and I are doing a "the good the bad the ugly"
    Nicholas cage marthon...

    We did the ugly with Sorcerers Aprentis cuz...ugh that hair :-P

  2. Worst Nicolas Cage movie? Face Off.

  3. This is a movie I would not have paid to see, just from the trailer. Luckily, I was treated to it by a friend, and was quite surprised to have enjoyed it.

    You're right in avoiding overselling the movie...the plot is kinda meh, and Cage is...well, Cage. The movie succeeds only because of three key aspects:
    1) Baruchel
    2) Molina
    3) Cute little moments like the omages to the cartoon

    I, personally, would never have cast Cage in the role he ended up in, but thankfully the movie is carried square on the shoulders of Baruchel, with flavor added by Molina's charming villain (that man cannot go wrong when it comes to playing villains). Molina's sort-of-sidekick was even worth a few laughs.

    Regarding Cage, he's a decent the right movies. Adaptation was awesome. I'll even admit to loving City of Angels. Face Off wasn't terribly acted, though the script did fall dismally short.

    I can't really answer what the worst Cage movie is that I've seen, because I avoid watching the entirety of bad Cage movies. I haven't actually watched it, but I'm going to say Ghost Rider, because the trailer alone made me physically ill. It's just shy of Catwoman levels on the list of movies I'm afraid to ever waste time watching.

    Oh no! Wait, I forgot...I saw about half of National Treasure. I felt no desire to see the other half.