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The Sorcerer's Apprentice

A 2010 fantasy adventure film produced by Jerry Bruckheimer.

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  • May 13, 2011
Brooms! Folks, there are brooms in The Sorcerer's Apprentice! You know, just like in the Disney short from Fantasia that inspired it! They're used to clean, get out of control, and are dispersed by an actual sorcerer, just like Mickey Mouse's brooms!

The Sorcerer's Apprentice is what happened when someone took the Mickey Mouse short, threw in a small dash of Arthurian legend, crumpled it up like aluminum foil, warped it through time, and tossed it a third of the way around the world. Unlike the short I've been talking about, in which Mickey Mouse was just cleaning up for his master - therefore perhaps making The Sorcerer's Intern a more accurate name for it - the 2010 live action version of The Sorcerer's Apprentice is about an actual apprentice who is trained by an actual Sorcerer.

The backstory of The Sorcerer's Apprentice has something to do with a war between two ancient factions who are fighting each other, the Merlinians and the Morganians. Those who know anything about the story of King Arthur can already figure out just by reading that the Merlinians are the good guys. A wizard named Balthazar managed to defeat and seal away all of the Morganians, including Morgan herself, and is now running an antique store in New York City while waiting around for one of those "ones;" you know, those chosen people who end up destined to save the world because they had the matching bracelets or the golden eye color or some such. Balthazar is looking for a guy with a trace of Merlin himself in his bloodline, and as it happens, one day a kid named David just stumbles into his shop. And wouldn't you know it... (Come on, if I have to finish that thought, just hit the back icon. You don't deserve to be enlightened.)

David accidentally releases a bad sorcerer named Harvath during his meeting with Balthazar, and Balthazar has to seal himself up with Horvath in order to stop him, and as a result ten years pass between the first and second times David and Balthazar meet for no reason whatsoever. Seriously, this scene doesn't do anything but give David a decade to grow up and really establish himself as an awkward nerd. A kid David would have been as effective as the adult David, since the actor who plays the adult David, Jay Baruchel, doesn't have any real charisma or any chemistry at all with the other actors in The Sorcerer's Apprentice. But hey, it happened, he grew up ten years, so I'll work with that.

Anyway, by the time these ten years pass, David has been accused of having a nervous breakdown through the wizard fight and become a great physicist. Long story short, the bad wizard and Balthazar escape, bad guy goes about trying to free Morgan, and Balthazar takes on David as his apprentice.

From there The Sorcerer's Apprentice becomes more or less a fish out of water tale, in which said fish is a guy trying to navigate his way through a newly-opened world of magic, trying to make some kind of sense out of everything. This movie doesn't take itself very seriously, and why should it? It's as close as one can get to a screwball comedy without actually being a screwball comedy. No, despite the Arthurian roots, The Sorcerer's Apprentice has barely any basis in Arthurian legend. Monty Python and the Holy Grail is a more accurate representation of Arthurian legend than this. The Knight of the Round video game I reviewed a few days ago is more accurate than this!

The Sorcerer's Apprentice is made as campy as it can possibly be, possibly because director Jon Turteltaub and the six people who wrote it knew that by cramming as much as they did into The Sorcerer's Apprentice, there was no way it would ever be a serious movie. Therefore, it's camp, made to be taken at its total face value. What you see is what you get, and despite all of the clutter that Turteltaub is forced to field marshall, The Sorcerer's Apprentice doesn't try to give us any allegory depth. Most of this movie is special effects, funny one-liners, and Nicolas Cage having more fun than I've seen him have in a role in a long, long time as Balthazar. And I mean that - Cage, who for me is a hit-or-miss actor, is easily the best thing about The Sorcerer's Apprentice. He smiles, smirks, winks, and one-lines his way through The Sorcerer's Apprentice very clearly having the time of his life.

It wouldn't be a special effects festival without a romance, and David has Becky. He's had the hots for her for the last ten years. He hasn't seen her in ten years, but she suddenly pops up in one of his classes and instantly remembers her. Just let your brains drift on auto pilot, folks, and roll with it. This romance actually doesn't get in the way, but you can't help but be a little bit perplexed with the way David acts sometimes. It goes without saying that Becky eventually gets let in on David's little secret.

The script is pretty cliched and includes such popular scenes as the bad guy taking the girl hostage, and David being chided by Balthazar for falling in love as a means of covering his own horrid romantic past. It reaches that odd balance between terrible and wonderful, and includes that usual sprinkling of brilliant one-liners. It's very clear there isn't a lot of effort in trying to make The Sorcerer's Apprentice very original, but it contains a lot of value as something that's just plain entertaining.

The Sorcerer's Apprentice is brain candy, made to give your eyes and ears things to look at and hear for two hours. It has the attitude of a summer blockbuster, and as has been said, you can't make movies fun if there isn't any attitude! This is why Bruce Campbell is such a cult icon. Jay Baruchel comes across as awkward, but for what he lacks in attitude (which really is quite a bit), Nicolas Cage as Balthazar and Alfred Molina as Horvath are more than capable of supplying it themselves. The special effects are wonderful, and they feature a giant silver eagle, a Chinese New Year dragon turning into a real dragon, a character re-forming from his ashes, and a lot of other things. As entertainment, what more could you ask?

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May 13, 2011
Nice review and you get extra points for mentioning Bruce Campbell! Thanks!
May 13, 2011
The King of Camp! How could I not?
More The Sorcerer's Apprentice (201... reviews
review by . July 18, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
A Fantasy Movie With Sorcery...Not a Movie About Sorcery...
The Mickey Mouse short story in “Fantasia”. If you’ve seen it, then you’ll know exactly what the creators of “National Treasure” have cooked up in “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” since it is loosely based on that short. Well, I do respect what Bruckheimer has done for movies such as “The Rock” and “Pirates of the Caribbean”; every so often he does impress me and this latest film may well prove to be fun to some viewers …
review by . August 10, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
There is a reason we are all put on this planet   some of  us have not found those reasons while others have discovered the reasons  earlier than most and chases after them until they can firmly hold the power they are meant to have in the palm of there hands. Some are meant to be doctors, some are meant to be lawyers, some are meant to be cops, bank mangers, soldiers,  politicians, historians, film directors, screen play writers, film critics, novelists  the list …
review by . March 15, 2011
I remember walking around NYC during the spring of 2009 and seeing bright orange and yellow signs taped to various parking signs and lamp poles notifying drivers that there is no parking on that given street due to a production shooting in the area.  I had seen the signs before, but these were different and I wanted nothing more than to try and find some way to be a part of it.  So after a week of seeing these various signs around I decided that the next time I was available …
Quick Tip by . December 09, 2010
Inventive special effects and solid acting, but the standard reluctant-hero-saves-the-world story could have used some polishing. Nicolas Cage and Jay Baruchel are great together, by the way!
review by . December 03, 2010
My husband and I watched The Sorcerer's Apprentice last night and the night before, that's how good it is. Nicholas Cage and Jay Baruchel were made for these parts! The special effects were phenomenal, the plot was intoxicating and the acting was superb. James says one of the reasons I like this movie so much because I'm just like Dave Stutler, the apprentice. He's right. We both absolutely loved it and it's now on my "must have" list, so maybe I'll get it for Christmas. That would be fabulous! …
review by . July 14, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
"The Sorcerer's Apprentice" was made to accommodate the attention spans of the age group it's intended for. It doesn't have much of anything in the way of plot or character development, but it has plenty of action and lots of dazzling visual effects for children and young teenagers to gawk at in amazement. Watching this movie, I thought back to the first time I saw "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," another fantasy film that relied heavily on action and special effects; yes, but it also told …
Quick Tip by . August 16, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Imaginative, humerus, fats paced and at times witty however that alone is not able to completely able to save this semi-satisfying action-adventure fantasy comedy from being better than it should be but less that it could have been. "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" however has one redeeming quality it is extremely enjoyable and highly entertaining however, as entertaining as it might be it is not enough to save it from lacking true movie magic.
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Hi! I'm here in part to plug my writing and let everyone know that I'm trying to take my work commercial.      Now, what about me? Well, obviously I like to write. I'm … more
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The Sorcerer's Apprentice is a 2010 fantasy adventure film produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, directed by Jon Turteltaub, and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures, the team behind the National Treasure franchise. The story is said to have been loosely based on the Sorcerer's Apprentice segment in Disney's Fantasia, which in turn is based on the late 1890s symphonic poem by Paul Dukas and the 1797 Johann Wolfgang von Goethe ballad.

Balthazar Blake (Nicolas Cage) is a sorcerer in modern-day Manhattan fighting against the forces of evil, in particular his arch-nemesis, Maxim Horvath (Alfred Molina), while searching for the person who will inherit Merlin's powers. This turns out to be Dave Stutler (Jay Baruchel), a physics student at New York University, whom Balthazar takes as a reluctant protégé. The sorcerer gives his unwilling apprentice a crash course in the art and science of magic and sorcery, in order to stop Horvath and Morgana le Fay (Alice Krige) from destroying the world.

The film was originally set to be released on July 16, 2010, but was instead released two days earlier on July 14, 2010.
  • Poster art for "The Sorcerer's Apprentice."
  • Who doesn't wish they could unleash fire from their fingertips and make mops come to life?The Sorcerer's Apprenticeenjoyably captures this fantasy as a young physics student named Dave (Jay Baruchel,She's Out of My League) learns that he's the inheritor of the powers of Merlin--and suddenly finds himself in the middle of a war between ...
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    Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
    Release Date: July 16, 2010
    MPAA Rating: Unrated
    Studio: Walt Disney Studios

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