Monday, August 30, 2010

Movie Review: The Sorcerer's Apprentice

I saw the Sorcerer's Apprentice this past weekend.  The plot summary, courtesy of IMDB is:
Balthazar Blake (Nicolas Cage) is a master sorcerer in modern-day Manhattan trying to defend the city from his arch-nemesis, Maxim Horvath (Alfred Molina). Balthazar can't do it alone, so he recruits Dave Stutler (Jay Baruchel), a seemingly average guy who demonstrates hidden potential, as his reluctant protégé. The sorcerer gives his unwilling accomplice a crash course in the art and science of magic, and together, these unlikely partners work to stop the forces of darkness. It'll take all the courage Dave can muster to survive his training, save the city and get the girl as he becomes The Sorcerer's Apprentice.
I liked this film. First of all, it was entertaining, and that's the primary thing I ask for a film - that I not end up checking the time or daydreaming instead of paying attention to the screen.  There were a few things that made MJ and I snicker at each other (Two words: "Prime Merlinian". Heir to Merlin's power. Yep).  Kudos to the movie for featuring a Physics geek and Tesla coils (Is it a realist depiction? No. but it's very cool). The scene on Youtube can't be imbedded, but it's linked and worth checking out.

The Sorcerer's Apprentice was inspired by Fantasia, and it was so cool to see the moments where Fantasia and The Sorcerer's Apprentice intersected. Probably the most memorable scene from Fantasia is the coming-to-life of the broom, and the scene that duplicates that in Sorcerer's Apprentice was very cool.

All in all, this was a fun family-friendly flick, nothing groundbreaking, but I did love its pro-science, pro-geek take on the world.   My primary complaint was that the female characters are pretty bland - Morgana is supposed to be the Big Bad, but we don't see much scary from her; it's all her henchmen.  Veronica is the love of Bathalzar Blake's life, and all we get from her characterization is that she wanted to be normal - we don't see much power from her. And Dave Sutler's love interest is such a bland blond type that I don't even remember her name. Her characterization was limited to her making a sad face when ten-year-old Dave is embarassed in front of their classmates, indicating that she is Nice.  I like a little more from my female characters than Nice.  And, despite the three female characters running around, the movie fails the Bechdel test.

I still liked the movie, though, and I reccommend it as a fun fantasy that nicely attempts to incorporate science and rational explanation. 4/5 stars from me. :)


Old Kitty said...

Oooh that's not out here yet but will look out for it!! Shame about the female characters though.

Thanks for the review, glad you enjoyed it!

Take care

Elana Johnson said...

My husband and son saw and liked this. But with 4 stars, I'll make sure I see it too!

Jamie Burch said...

I liked the Fantasia scenes, too! It was a pretty good movie, but something was missing. Maybe it was the female characters, like you mentioned.

Have a lovely week!