The Sorcerer’s Apprentice Blu-Ray Review

Cover Art 1/10 and Menu 7/10
That cover is horrible. The image is a fakey looking animation wannabe and it’s so unappealing I wish it wasn’t even on this review. I have no choice, that’s Ascully’s call. I would certainly not have this as a poster, no way, ho how.. The Menu on the other hand is awesome sort of a living take on concept art you have to see it to understand.

Features: 7/10

  • Magic In The City – New York City is the setting for the story and movie people get all excited about that, so this is them drooling over sets, locations, etc.
  • The Science Of Sorcery – Mixing science with magic is the key to selling it to a modern audience, I suppose. I do like knowing that research was played with to get some movie physics magic to feed into those computers to make some cool special effects.
  • Making Magic Real – Behind the scenes looks at how special effects of old magic meet the modern world. These are well produced extrasa with interviews and footage of the movie making process. You can’t fault Disney for their extra making abilities.
  • Fantasia: Reinventing A Classic – It seems that everyone wea very precious and thinking quite highly of their responsibility of taking the Disney classic animated film and giving it a nod in a life action flick. I think they might have felt a bit too high and mighty about it, but it made them make a pretty fun movie, so fair enough.  I did like seeing how they did the brooms and cleaning seequence with dudes and ladies in cool green body suits.
  • The Worlds Coolest Car – Nike Cage owns a one of a kind Rolls Royce vehicle and apparently this is a big deal. The cast and crew created a look-a-like version for the action scenes and everyone things Cage is the coolest guy ever. Go figure. What a car does to a man’s brain is almost like what chocolate does to mine. Our differences make us all special.
  • 5 Deleted Scenes – None of these scenes would have added anything to the final cut, well, as far as I’m concerned. They are a bit flat, nothing special, mundane, etc. You get the idea.
  • Outtakes – Actors giggling. Do you need more?
  • The Making Of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice – There is never a shortage of quality when Disney and Bruckheimer are involved, and the behind the scenes extras tag along for the ride. It’s pretty shiny and produced, but you do get a lot of information about how the movie was made, which is pretty much what all these extras are about, so they could all be one big extra. They need to call me next time for this effort saving idea.

The Movie: 6/10
I like having a good time, sometimes. I’m not always looking for a party or anything like that, but when it comes to movies, I like to just let my brain go and enjoy some fantasy world full of wonder and characters I would never meet in real life. If a movie gives me that and I don’t have chronic eye-rolling syndrome to cope with the many poor choices made by everyone involved in the making of that movie, well, that’s a bonus. Eye rolling will occur with things like annoying characters, bad special effects (Nevermind that I watched The Adventures of Buckaroo Bonzai and the 8th Dimension again this weekend and LOVED IT just like I was back in high school watching it for the first time. I forgive movies of the past, most of the time.), idiot-proof dialogue or a variety of other offenses I can’t think of and might not want to remember from past movies. The Scorcerer’s Apprentice only had maybe two authentic eye rolling temptations, but nothing was acted upon.

A ten year old boy is chosen by some fateful thing to be the apprentice to a powerful scorcerer who was an apprentice to Merlin a very long time ago. Some bad stuff went down with another dude and a woman, ain’t it always a woman, and after a thousand years there is a threat to humanity that only this new apprentice can defeat.

I’m not saying this is original or captivating, let’s face it, it’s not even that interesting to me. I’m not a wizard and scorcerer type of gal. The thing is, it’s fun. The mood is light but not insultingly dummied down. The wild special effects that start the whole thing are in a very cluttered magic shop full of mystical and mysterious objects. A swarm of cock roaches becomes a man, and I’m hooked.

Cut to ten years later when the boy is now a young man. He’s struggling with his ‘nerdy’ physics loving self esteem and after shocks of that fateful day when his class mates might not have believed that he saw a swarm of cock roaches become a man. There is a love interest, which I could do without at this point in my life, but it’s sweet and appealing to the masses, and blah blah blah. What I like about this young man is not just that the character is having to forge ahead in life with a strange memory of that magic shop and being rejected for half his life and he focuses that energy into his studies. Is he a physics geek because he’s got magical blood in his veins? Or, can  he learn magic because he has studied physics all his life? Ahhh a deeper question than, will he get the girl?

There are a few specific bits and pieces I particularlly remember and enjoyed that I have to mention: The nesting doll, the dragon (and dragon dude), the bull, the car chase, the flying metal eagle, and the bathroom scene. That’s all I have to say about these enchanting movie watching moments. Want to know more, watch it.

I like the cast. I can say that the guy who plays David (Jay Baruchel) is someone I have enjoyed in everything I have seen him do, maybe his style is wearing a little bit thin with the quirky charming nerdlike qualities, but hey, that’s his thing. Maybe I’ll see him in something in which he shakes that off and gives us something new, more intriguing, but for now I still smile at his very specific connection with his character, his fellow performers, and with the camera (Alert: Bullshit film talk, can’t stand it. I’ll stop there before I start blabbering about New York City being a character in the movie…ugh, that really drives me nuts!!)

Toby Kebbell plays Drake Stone, a cheesy modern day rock star status magician who is actually a scorcerer’s apprentice who was abandoned by his villianous mentor when he was young. He is awesome. The character has had to turn his real magic into a cheap act but in the process become world famous. Kebbell is actually about my favorite thing in the movie. He’s got that British accent, excellent attitude for a bad guy who might not have all the tools to be THE bad guy just yet, and he wears that wardrobe so well. I couldn’t take my eyes and ears off him.

The young woman (Theresa Palmer) who plays the love interest for nerdy apprentice guy is fine. She’s pretty solid as a prospective girlfriend, not too fluffy but not that Hollywood super genius with blond hair, blue eyes, and a giggle that makes me want to chip her fingernails. She’s good enough that I want to see her in other movies to see what else she can do. I’m so supportive. The thing is, if she’s a ditzy blond or super fluffy romantic comedy lead I will drop her like a hot potato.

Monica Bellucci, the hypnotic Italian actress who plays Cage’s lost love was first introduced to me in the movie Irreversible. If you are a true blue Disney fan type person, DO NOT rent or watch this movie. It’s disturbing and violent and will leave you somewhat disturbed if you think Mickey is real and Disney World/Land was built to make people and not suck the money out of your pocket. These are traits of a person who should stay away from Irreversible, but if you are tough and jaded, over 30 years old, think the Disney empire was created to keep us all docile and handing over enough of our hard earned money from birth to death to keep us all subdued, well, you can probably handle the assault on your adult mind and heart you will see a whole other kind of performance from Bellucci in Irreversible. I would say more about how she was in The Scorcerer’s Apprentice, but she didn’t get much of a chance to shine so I was left wanting more.

Cage is Cage with a wig, again. This time it’s fine. He looks the part. He acts like a dude who has been roaming the world for a thousand years to save the world and find his true love again, or does he? I like the beginning when he’s almost pulling off the troubled ageless searcher, but then he starts talking and the illusion of someone that old and that angst ridden goes away. He’s fine and dandy, but he’s not dark enough, not deep enough, not roughed up enough in his mood or dialogue, and there isn’t that look in his eye of a man so worn and weathered. I guess you can’t make him too maudlin, it is a Disney movie in which brooms and mops do a dancing act. 🙂

Brooms and mops dance? Dare I reveal the heart of the movie? Well, it’s not the heart of the movie, but it’s the inspiration of the story taken from Fantasia and turned into a live action sequence. It’s really fun to watch the spectacle of it all. I have never watched the whole Fantasia and I don’t remember if I have ever watched the broom part, so this was an interesting thing for me. My husband loves the original so it had a different twinkle in his eye. Next week I think we are watching the original, so I might have a different view then.

Alfred Molina is the villian and he’s the guy to pull it off. He convinced me right away that even with the pithy one liners here and there he truly has no goodness in him at all. He’s not playing around. He will anhialate humankind, no problem. I like that in a villian.

Overall I have to say I go back to the original thoughts, I had a great time watching this movie. Would I watch it again and again, probably not. I do recommend it to anyone though. It’s got a charm that’s beyond the fancy CGI and Hollywood’s need to hair Mr. Cage up every time he’s on screen. It’s got that element that at some points in the story make me get all excited and wish I could step into that world and be doing the magic. I like that feeling. The score of 6/10 seems low since I liked so much of the movie, but that’s the thing, the sum of the parts is greater than the whole in this case. It doesn’t bounce around in my head as a great movie, but it sits quietly in the corner as a good movie with some great parts.

Audio & Video: 8/10
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice on Blu-Ray is not Disney’s best looking transfer but it’s also not the worst either. Bruckheimer tends to use a stylistic color palette to give his movies a distinct look and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice is bathed in a golden brown that makes the film look murky in parts. The scene which takes place in Chinatown is a real showcase for the 1080P AVC encoded transfer with literally millions of colored pieces of confetti on the screen. The movie also uses a healthy amount of CGI effects which look flawless even in high definition.

The DTS-HD Master Audio track is quite stunning with some great surround effects during the action scenes. The only complaint I have here is the track is mixed slightly lower than most of the Blu-Rays we listen to but a couple of notches on the old volume dial extra seemed to fix this discrepancy. The sound here is quite detailed though and you will  enjoy the soundtrack possibly more than the film itself.

Value: 6/10
I would say this is a rental unless you think your kids will watch it a million times. It’s more than 20 bucks, which is not reasonable for a fun but sort of empty calorie flick. If you find it in a bin around Christmas for less than 15 and you love The Cage and his ever changing hair, go for it.

Overall Score 7.5/10