Monday, August 9, 2010

Sorcerer's Apprentice (Rhoades)

“Sorcerer’s Apprentice” Without Mickey Mouse
Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

No, this is not that segment from “Fantasia” where Mickey Mouse is an out-of-control sorcerer’s apprentice. Instead, this is a live-action adventure film, starring Nicolas Cage as a sorcerer and Jay Baruchel as his erstwhile apprentice, that’s based on that 1940 Disney animation.

A new version of “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” is not such an offbeat idea. After all, Disney has created Broadway stage productions based on its cartoony movies (“The Lion King”), icecapades based on its characters (“Disney on Ice”), and epic movies based on its amusement park rides (“Pirates of the Caribbean”). So why not a live-action film based on a segment of an animated musical fantasy?

Heck, the original “Fantasia” segment itself was based on Goethe’s 1797 poem “Der Zauberlehrling.”
In this latest rendition, a modern-day sorcerer named Balthazar Blake (Cage) trains a reluctant college student in the black arts in order to do battle with the forces of darkness.

Alfred Molina plays an evil magician named Maxim Horvath. Monica Bellucci is Veronica, a sorceress who is Balthazar’s long-lost love. And Toby Kebbell is a celebrity illusionist who joins the bad guys.
Set in present-day Manhattan, Nicolas Cage looks like a demented Gene Wilder standing there in Times Square gesticulating magically to call forth the film’s special effects.

Online bloggers weigh in on Cage’s appearance:
Katnight6 comments, “I was thinking that some costume designer must like Harry Dresden from the Dresden File because his outfit really reminds me of Harry’s.”
Swiddel responds, “Being that his production company is the one that produced The Dresden Files, this makes sense!”
Bikegeek17 says, “That’s funny; I thought he looked like Tim Burton.”
JTheGoblinKing sets matters straight. “Nicholas Cage is a huge fan of The Dresden Files novels. He was executive producer for the TV series and when Syfy refused to continue the show... well, Nic took matters into his own hands. Guess who produced this film?”

True. In addition to Jerry Bruckheimer, there are seven executive producers, one of whom is Nic Cage.
“The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” is doing its magic reappearance at the Tropic Cinema.

And why not? The “Harry Potter” movies have made witches and wizards quite popular. Disney is merely capitalizing on a theme that it did first.
[from Solares Hill]

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