The Sorcerer's Apprentice [Blu-Ray] Jon Turteltaub

The Sorcerer's Apprentice [Blu-Ray] Jon Turteltaub
Judging by The Sorcerer's Apprentice, the key to making a successful studio movie for wide audiences is to inspire as little thought or reaction as possible. While watching this family adventure fantasy, I didn't think or feel anything new or inspiring; I merely sat looking at the pretty CGI while the story went exactly where I expected it to at every turn. Actually, that's a bit misleading, since I did wonder if this placating, patronizing bout of aestheticism was all we are capable of while assessing just how and when escapism became equated with contended indifference. For all intents and purposes, this modern take on Merlin is a well-made film, insomuch as it's propulsive, well paced and structured so that even a four-year-old can delight in its anodyne nature. It projects sixth Century sorcery into modern day New York City by making dorky teen Dave (Jay Baruchel) the chosen descendant of Merlin, as noted by immortal magic pedagogue Balthazar (Nicolas Cage). Evil magus Maxim Horvath (Alfred Molina) seeks to destroy the world through chants and flashing blue lights, while Dave learns his craft and woos unlikely love interest Becky (Teresa Palmer). It all involves flying statues, attacking bronze bulls and killer dragons in Chinatown, taking a mid-film break to pay homage to Fantasia, and ending up exactly where you would expect: with Monica Bellucci chanting and dancing in Bowling Green while Alice Krige goes all Ghost in the Machine. Perhaps the tired reinforcement of male fantasy ideation through purporting the notion that any scrawny twit can save the world with a blonde Australian hottie on his arm is just what North American culture needs to see. Maybe this blasé familiarity in narrative exists to keep homely I.T. guys from walking into work one Monday morning and blowing everyone's brains out with a shotgun. I honestly can't claim to know for sure, beyond presuming that it has something to do with the overwhelming fear of not being anyone special. I can say that it is something of a droning cliché when it comes to film, much like everything else in this template of a blockbuster entry. The Blu-Ray comes with a variety of mini-supplements talking about the Fantasia sequence and filming in NYC. A DVD and digital copy of the film are also included in the package to cover all viewing possibilities. (Buena Vista)