Friday, December 3, 2010

The Sorcerer's Apprentice - DVD Review


Starring Nicolas Cage, Jay Baruchel, Alfred Molina, Teresa Palmer, Toby Kebbell, Monica Bellucci, Omar Benson Miller and Alice Krige.
Directed by Jon Turteltaub.

My first criticism is with the marketing. Why did no commercial or no preview show the scene where the sorcerer's apprentice, Dave, makes the brooms and mops come to life? Even if that sequence is only five minutes of this 110-minute movie, that's your money shot! This movie would've opened a good 20% better if it had had that.

My second criticism has to go with the lazy formula being applied by the National Treasure team of actor Nicolas Cage, director Jon Turteltaub, and producer Jerry Bruckheimer. It's not enough to have $150 million and some decent special-effects sequences. There needs to be more to the story. There needs to be a story worth the time of your audience.

Dave is played by Jay Barcuhel, he of comic-awkwardness fame from Tropic Thunder, She's Out of Your League, and How to Train Your Dragon. He applies those same gawky talents to this movie, a nerd who's suddenly given a magic ring by a 1000-year-old sorcerer named Balthazar (Nicolas Cage in paycheck mode). Turns out Dave is a descendant of Merlin, and the only one who can stop a 1000-year-old sorceress from escaping and destroying the world. Naturally.

Alfred Molina, Doc Ock himself, shows up as the evil sorcerer trying to free the sorceress, and plenty of CG-heavy magic battles ensue. It's one of those rare times a live dragon is boring.

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