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Archive for August 23rd, 2010

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice began as a poem from 1797 by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. It tells the story of a sorcerer’s apprentice who uses magic to enchant a broom to do his work for him, it begins okay but quickly gets out of control when he cannot stop the broom. French composer Paul Abraham Dukas then composed a single movement piece of orchestral music based on it. It is best know as part of the 1940 Disney movie Fantasia featuring Dukes music and Mickey Mouse playing the part of the apprentice.

This new movie only shares the name and a short but fun homage to the original story. With a story so contrived it requires two prologues, the first set in the dark ages tells the story of Merlin (James A. Stephens) and his three appetencies Balthazar Blake (Nicolas Cage), Maxim Horvath (Alfred Molina) and Veronica (Monica Bellucci). One of them betrays Merlin and sides with his arch nemesis Morgana le Fay (Alice Krige), look at the casting I think you may guess which one betrays him! The action then relocates to New York in 2000 where we are introduced to Dave (Jake Cherry) a ten year old kid who may be the new apprentice Balthazar has been searching for, for over a millennium. After all this the rest of the action takes place in the present day with Dave now being played by Jay Baruchel.

Alfred Molina is by far the best thing about the movie clearly having fun with his character. Nicolas Cage on the other hand decides to play it straight and serious, this on the whole works but it would have been interesting to see how the film would have worked if he played it a little more crazy and funny. Monica Bellucci and Alice Krige are hardly used leaving Teresa Palmer playing Becky Barnes, the love interest for Dave as the main female part. And brings us to one of the issues with the movie, Jay Baruchel does a good job playing a geeks dweeb but fails to make him particularly likeable and that is a real problem. Toby Kebbell (you may remember him from RocknRolla) is entertaining as Drake Stone another apprentice who has been using his abilities to become a superstar celebrity magician. He could have made an interesting lead.

The one thing I haven’t said may come as a surprise but I actually enjoyed the movie, I know the story is sill and the characters are week but it is still good fun.

Three Stars out of Five

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