The Sorcerer’s Apprentice takes a young boy’s mishap during a field trip to New York as the beginning of his adventure as a sorcerer who must combat the most evil sorceress known to mankind.
Film making 18/25
Bonus Features 15/25
Take a classic cartoon moment, the sequence with Mickey in Fantasia of course, and build a movie around that film making history and you have The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. The film seems to have been built around that magic moment with Mickey abusing his powers and learning that there are no shortcuts to doing things the right way.
I totally get the idea of doing things right and learning the correct way in that sequence that is almost repeated perfectly in the new film starring Nicolas Cage and Jay Baruchel. Jay plays Dave Stutler who during a visit to New York stumbles upon the shop of magician Balthazar, a previous apprentice to Merlin.
Merlin had three apprentices, Horvath who was jealous of Balthazar who tried to hitch up with the third apprentice Veronica played by Monica Bellucci. To make matters Horvath played by Alfred Molina not only got jealous of this but tried to get revenge by helping Morgana defeat Merlin.
Veronica sacrificed herself to imprison Morgana in a jar by taking Morgana and herself into a jar called the Grimhold and imprisoning them both. Before both are imprisoned Morgana stabs Merlin and while dying tells Bathazar that his ring will find the apprentice that will be able to kill Morgana.
Balthazar has now lost his two best friends because Horvath betrayed them and Veronica sacrificed herself to trap Morgana. Balthazar takes the ring from Merlin and spends years searching for a new apprentice that the ring will show him and trapping apprentices of Morgana called Marganians.
When he finally does find the young David during his field trip David uses the ring to accidentally release Horvath who had been captured by Balthazar. In the small shop Balthazar and Horvath fight and finally are both captured into another pot much like the Grimhold.
David is left to his own devices until the day ten years later when Horvath then Balthazar are released so Horvath starts his search for Morganians. Balthazar finds David and convinces him that he is a true sorcerer and with a little training can actually defeat Morgana.
The story was just a little too convoluted and should have been kept a little bit more simplified as the theme of the show was already set for them. They really did not have to get so complicated and put so many odd twists to the story for the audience to have to pay attention to.
Nicholas Cage and co star Jay Baruchel along with Alfred Molina really save the day with some great performances even though they were hampered with an average screen play. The film turns out to be a fun and great looking movie with the same feel as that magical moment it’s based on but the you have too much to pay attention to.
Mickey can be proud that at least the film looks and sounds fantastic and the crowning moment of the cleaning tools dancing and taking over is as good as the original. The film has that perfect blend of grain and other visual trickery like skin color being slightly darker to create a magical quality to the video.
Color is spot on for a lot of things like reds, blues and gold like in the Chinatown sequence but skin tones are less pink to give a certain feel to the film. Blacks and shadows are great with inky depths for shadows and very dark areas but when things happen that you need to see you get a clear picture.
Audio is taken to an extreme as well but not like color, clear voice and great use of surround, especially with the car chase sequences. One scene that really sounds great is the Tesla coil scene that indeed makes an impact as well as highlights the love story between David and the damsel in distress Becky Barnes played by Teresa Palmer.
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice does a great job with its material for the most part and with some interesting bonus features they did a great job of bringing the whole package to this release. Bonus features include several making of extras for about an hour of high definition bonus content including outtakes and deleted scenes.
There are four ten to thirteen minute features and a slew of two to five minute features that make up a good making of set but the four main ones are of course better. These four bonus features look at the film and making it while leaving out boring details that many other Blu-ray editions include just to make more content.
I’m not trying to applaud Disney for only including these extras but they kept them from overindulging in the making of features that people are not really interested in. They could have included a little more in the way of either picture in picture or audio commentary to explain some of the scenes, especially the car chase or dragon scenes.
The bonus features are good but just missing a little something to elevate them above average, they included what they needed and what people want to see but a little more would have been netter. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice is a good film and just like the bonus content just misses the mark in both story and enough extra content to make the whole package a great purchase.
The film is good with Disney’s expected magic of special effects and with some fantastic acting that it does make its presence known as another good Disney film. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice does not elevate itself much above average and is worth a rental at the least but a purchase is not out of the question for this Blu-ray film that is funny and magical in its own Disney way.