Title: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Jay Baruchel, Alfred Molina, Teresa Palmer, Monica Bellucci
Directed by: Jon Turteltaub
Written by: Lawrence Konner, Mark Rosenthal
Runtime: 109 Minutes
Release Date: 9/30/2010
Over the past several years, Disney has taken an approach to live action movies of creating stories based on other popular Disney properties such as Pirates of the Caribbean and The Haunted Mansion. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice is a re-imagining of an old animated classic that is based on the poem Der Zauberlehrling by the German poet Goethe. In the classic story, the young apprentice gets into trouble after the old sorcerer leaves the shop and the young learner uses his magic to get the broom to do the work for him. Unfortunately the apprentice never learned how to make it stop and is forced to split the broom repeatedly using an axe. This fails miserably as each piece of the broom is now in on the act and only creating more and more chaos until the old sorcerer finally returns and puts an end to it. This is not that story.
The movie opens with Balthazar Blake (Cage) battling at the side of his mentor, the great sorcerer Merlin, against Morgana le Fay and another former pupil named Horvath (Molina). Veronice (Bellucci) is the third former pupil, and love interest of Balthazar who sacrifices herself during the battle to save Balthazar from certain death by stealing the Morgana’s energy and taking it into her own body. Balthazar captures both Veronica and Morgana in a ‘Matryoshka Doll’ which is basically a prison for sorcerers. As Balthazar leans over Merlin’s dying body, Merlin casts a spell over Balthazar to keep him from aging so he can find the ‘Merlinian Prime’ which is the re-incarnated energy of Merlin himself.
Fast forward to the year 2000 and Balthazar has now spent the past 1,000 plus years roaming the planet looking for the ‘Merlinian Prime’. Over those years, Balthazar has captured many other evil sorcerers in Matryoshka Dolls including Horvath, the sorcerer pupil that betrayed Merlin over a thousand years ago. Enter Dave, a fourth grader that has stumbled into Balthazar’s shop chasing a note from his grade school crush Becky (Palmer). Balthazar confronts the boy and performs the Merlinian Prime test on young Dave and discovers that this clumsy young student is indeed the one he has been searching for all of these years. Unfortunately Dave accidentally releases Horvath from his prison and the only way that Balthazar can save Dave is to sacrifice himself by pulling Horvath into a giant urn trapping the two sorcerers for the next ten years. Dave immediately runs outside only to find his the rest of his class looking for him in what ends up being an incredibly embarrassing moment for the nine year old prodigy.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=5124[/img]Ten years later, Dave (Buchell) is now a college student and finally reunited with that old fourth grade flame Becky, but that reunion is short lived as it has been ten years to the day since Balthazar and Horvath were sentenced to the giant urn, and they have both just been paroled.
I found The Sorcerer’s Apprentice to be a very entertaining and fun movie. It’s not a game changer or revolutionary piece of cinema, but it is a great family movie that has a good story, great special effects and an incredible sound design. I did feel like the opening sequences were a bit rushed in an effort to get to present day New York and may have been at least part of the reason many critics didn't like the movie.
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice is rated PG for fantasy violence and scary images. There is a scene involving a dragon that may be a bit scary for real young viewers, but anyone with children eight years old or older should be fine.
The Sorcerer‘s Apprentice is presented in 1080P AVC encoded video and the results are stunning. Very fine and intricate detail are the results of incredibly clear and remarkable resolution. Colors are vibrant and come alive to give the entire presentation a level of depth that is rare to see in live action movies. Blacks and shadows are wonderfully delineated giving dark scenes incredible depth and atmosphere. There was some minor intentional grain as a product of the filming process and I found one scene near the end that the special effects looked a little less than perfect however; this didn’t do anything to change my opinion that this is an absolutely awesome video transfer.
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice comes to us in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and is every bit equal to its video presentation. The ambient noises in the surround mix are very detailed and clear. The surrounds get a very healthy workout from all the ‘magic’ in the movie. Voices and dialogue are clear and articulate and the level of detail throughout the movie is phenomenal. This presentation has it all. The bass is deep, penetrating, offensive and RUDE! I loved the sorcerer battle scenes as there is almost an unhealthy dose of obtrusive and ground shaking bass. The hits are impactful and incredibly impressive.
The score is impressive and thoughtful as well. Each scene’s music was very tied to the scene and was very representative of what was happening on the screen at the time. This is a very dynamic and rich sounding mix all the way around and gave the film a lot of life.
- Magic in the city - 13 minute production featurette
- The science of sorcery - 10 minute featurette
- Making magic real - 11 minute visual effects featurette
- Fantasia: reinventing a classic - 10 minute featurette
- The fashionable Drake Stone - 2 minute costume design feature
- The Grimhold: an evil work of art - 3 minute prop design feature
- The Encantus - 2 minute prop design feature
- Wolves and puppies - 3 minute behind the scenes feature
- The world‘s coolest car - 1 minute feature
- 5 Deleted scenes with play all option
- Outtakes - 3 minutes
- 3D Blu-ray promo featuring Pumba and Timone
- Bonus DVD of The Sorcerer‘s Apprentice
Overall I found The Sorcerer’s Apprentice to be an extremely fun and entertaining family movie that has something for everyone in it. There is plenty of action, comedy and some real ‘gotcha’ parts that stood out exceptionally well. Even if you find yourself not too interested in the movie, the audio and video presentations are worth the price of a rental alone. I recommend it for anyone big on family movies, action movies, and anyone looking for a great A/V presentation. Until next time campers, have a good day and in case I don't see ya later, a good afternoon, a good evening, and a good night! :wave: