Subtitle The Sorcerer's Apprentice
Ali, a poor farmer's son, goes out into the world and meets a sorcerer, who takes him on as an apprentice. The sorcerer's daughter warns the young boy that her father doesn't let his apprentices go after they have completed their training, but keeps them canned like pickles in order to preserve their intelligence. Following her advice, Ali pretends to be stupid so that the sorcerer will dismiss him. He uses the magic tricks he has learned to rescue the other apprentices and live happily ever after with the sorcerer's daughter.
subtitle The Sorcerer's Apprentice
and Kelvin CedenoProducer Jerry Bruckheimer's ordinarily golden touch was more of an unprofitable red on this summer's aspiring tentpoles from Walt Disney Pictures. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time failed to gross half of its $200 million budget domestically after a soft Memorial Day weekend opening, rendering its subtitle unnecessary. Then, opening a month after the behemothic Toy Story 3, The Sorcerer's Apprentice stumbled big, barely earning back a third of its $150 million budget. Sure, worldwide, Prince and Sorcerer's grossed a staggering $550 million combined, but so exorbitant were the production and marketing costs that no one could consider the two movies financially successful.The more appealing of the two, Sorcerer's Apprentice purported to provide a new take on the best-known sequence from Walt Disney's 1940 animated film Fantasia. You should definitely see that movie, but if you haven't, you've probably at least seen images of Mickey Mouse in red robe and astral blue hat commanding bucket-carrying broomsticks to do some hard cleaning for him. Mickey isn't found in this film, which by extension is also based on Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's 1797 ballad and Paul Dukas' 1897 symphonic poem.The film opens with two prologues. The narrated first, set in 8th century Britain, explains that one of the great Merlin's three apprentices turned on him out of duty to the evil sorceress Morgana. Merlin dies, but not before entrusting a faithful apprentice, Balthazar Blake (Nicolas Cage), with the task of locating the Prime Merlinean, the only boy who will be able to defeat Morgana. The second prologue, set in 2000 Manhattan, follows 10-year-old Dave Stutler (Night at the Museum's Jake Cherry) on a field trip. A two-choice note ("friend" or "girlfriend"?) he passes to the pretty blonde classmate he has eyes for takes off in the wind and city foot traffic, leading Dave to an artifacts shop. There, he meets Balthazar (who a spell has prevented from aging over the past 1,200 years), tries on a dragon ring, and is determined to be the chosen one. However, Merlin's wayward apprentice Maxim Horvath (Alfred Molina), long trapped in the same Russian nesting doll as Morgana herself, escapes for some good vs. evil sorcery that gets both he and Balthazar stuck in an urn for ten years.Jump to the present day, where Dave (now Jay Baruchel) is a physics-loving NYU student. Upon being freed, both Balthazar and Horvath come looking for the young man, at cross purposes. Horvath intends to free Morgana, so she can resurrect an army of the dead and destroy the world (of course). Balthazar wants to keep Morgana trapped and return Horvath to the same place (the "Grimhold"). As the title suggests, Dave becomes Balthazar's apprentice, learning about magic in a scientific way to which he can relate. There's also a girl, actually the same one from ten years ago (now Teresa Palmer), who is also enrolled at NYU and is open to reconnecting with her old pal Dave.Don't come into this Sorcerer's Apprentice expecting an extension of the Fantasia segment. Sure, the gist of Mickey Mouse's feature film debut is recreated and in inspired fashion, complete with Dukas score and specific shot homage. But the rest of this film is its own entity entirely, full of original ideas. In fact, Sorcerer's may be too full of ideas. It keeps spitting out new ones, barely giving viewers enough time to process and appreciate them. There are devices and rules and wolves in the subway and flying steel birds in the sky. While most of the inventions arise with an air of intrigue, they're not fully explored before moving onto something different.Often, the something different is action and visual effects. While I understand such elements are fundamental to a modern spectacular adventure film, they don't do much for this one. They ran up costs, surely, and now they have lost much of their power being translated to television viewing. If you were going to cut anything from the film (which keeps under two hours, unlike Bruckheimer's National Treasure and increasingly overblown Pirates of the Caribbean movies), it would have to be the throwing of plasma orbs and tossing about of people. Such bits don't really add excitement or anything else.Though that may deflate the interest of movie thrill-seekers, it doesn't cause the film to come undone. Full of distinct personality, the three central characters supply a strong core. As the lead, Baruchel puts on an unnecessary nerdy voice for most of the film. It's easy to take, though, because his comic timing and delivery is just that good. He adds a lot of humor and isn't so much playing a nerd (as another actor might have easily failed at) as being his natural, geeky self (besides that exaggerated voice anyway). Cage, who is also executive producer, seizes the opportunity to create a strong persona, something like what Johnny Depp did with Captain Jack Sparrow. Balthazar is nowhere near that endearing or memorable, but the eccentric wizard amuses in a typically Cage way, complete with an unusual look (shoulder-length gray hair, a light beard, and an old trenchcoat). Then there is Molina, giving another villain his classically trained touch. Horvath isn't as flashy or ambiguous as his Prince of Persia part, but that's okay. The film is directed by Jon Turteltaub, who previously worked with Bruckheimer and Cage on the two National Treasure movies. Like the first of those, Sorcerer's seems to bring something new and different to the Disney family entertainment table. You can find some common ground with other contemporary adventures, things like Percy Jackson & the Olympians more readily than, say, the Harry Potter films. But there definitely isn't much in the way of familiarity. When was the last Disney movie with a collegiate lead? Jonathan Taylor Thomas' I'll Be Home for Christmas, maybe? How often do "family movies" ask a Canadian city to stand in for New York? Here, Turteltaub and company opt for the real thing, incorporating genuine locales where appropriate, while not limiting themselves creatively. Not much of the comedy panders to the young, either, although there is a dog who farts and pees.Being different, reasonably authentic, and sort of edgy aren't enough to make a movie good. And in fact, some of the film's artistic vision probably contributed to its theatrical underperformance. All things considered, though, I enjoyed The Sorcerer's Apprentice just as it is. It's big and expensive, but retains heart and character. The action may be uninvolving, but the comedy made me laugh. As a smaller production (dropping some of the effects sequences), the film could have performed as it did and not been tagged with the shame of a flop. Hopefully, Disney and the industry at large can differentiate between a bad movie and something that people just didn't need to see in addition to multiple viewings of Inception and TS3.Post-script note: how crazy is it that 2000 can now be used as a period setting? In that regard, however, the film fails in two glaring ways. Firstly, they haven't gone and reinserted the Twin Towers to lower Manhattan's skyline. And secondly, the song establishing the prologue may be non-diegetic, but it is clearly supposed to take us back ten years, despite the fact that Jimmy Eat World's "The Middle" is from 2002. Whoops! A nice and appropriate opening credits song, nonetheless.The Sorcerer's Apprentice is given the three-release approach that appears to be Disney's standard, but only for a brief moment. All three versions include a fairly lightweight DVD. The 2-disc combo reviewed here pairs it with a Blu-ray Disc. To them, the third edition adds a digital copy disc, no longer mandatory and now more clearly factored into the list price.
Krabat, a beggar boy, is lured to become an apprentice to an evil, one-eyed sorcerer. With a number of other boys, he works at the sorcerer's mill while learning black magic. Every Christmas one of the boys has to face the master in a magical duel, where the boy never stands a chance because the master is the only person who is allowed to use a secret spell: The Koraktor.
Although the cover and title page of early printings of the book stated that Strega Nona is "an old tale retold and illustrated by Tomie dePaola", in truth dePaola invented the character and the story himself. He wrote the words "Strega Nona" next to a doodle of a woman's head he drew in the early 1970s and later made her the main character in his story based on the Sweet Porridge fairy tale. Later printings of the book bear the accurate subtitle "an original tale written and illustrated by Tomie dePaola".
Why would an English tourist on the Rhine suddenly react in such an emotional way? I believe that the reality before Lady Jephson's eyes and ears did not correlate with her ideas and former experiences of the Rhineland. It is an ironic twist of history that the romantic Rhine region, in many ways a particularly English invention, drove home the insight that Germans appeared not really to be as they were imagined. There must have been another Germany that had taken over the romantic one; it was as if the sorcerer's apprentice had turned against his master. The disillusion of English travellers to, and commentators on, Germany came as a shock and was complete in its impact, flipping the image of Germany from homely to aggressive, from positively patriotic to negatively nationalistic. Yet, for travellers' eyes, it came as late as 4 August 1914, the day England declared war against Germany. 041b061a72