Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Sorcerer's Apprentice

The Flick: The Sorcerer's Apprentice

The Usual Suspects: Nic Cage, Monica Bellucci, Jay Baruchel, Alfred Molina, Alice Krige, and so on.

The Dealio: When just young pups, (about 1100 AD), three sorcerers became apprenticed to Merlin, the biggest deal of them all and the standard by which all future Dumbledores would be judged. The names of the three apprentices were Balthazar, Veronica and Horvath. As fate would have it, Balthazar and Horvath, (Cage and Molina, respectively), both fell for Veronica. Note, please, that historically, everyone seems to fall for Veronica. It's almost like a law. However, Merlin, himself, had much, much bigger fish to fry: Morgana La Fey, the roughest, toughest, meanest-spirited sorcerer in the fantiverse, had decided, in a very Highlanderesque manner, that There Can Be Only One...and it sure as heckfire ain't gonna be Merlin. Unrequited love being the souring thaang it is, it is simply a matter of time before Morgana flutters her lashes at Horvath- the loser in the Balthazar vs Horvath title fight for sole possession of Veronica's heart- and recruits him to what would, in galaxies far, far away be called 'the Dark Side',(hey! the line, 'These are not the droids you're looking for' was put into play here). In the inevitable showdown, most of the major players wind up on ice for the foreseeable future. Except for Merlin, who apperates to another dimension, but not before giving Balthazar his very own ring and the cryptic message that the Ultimate Merlinian is out there someplace, a child who will take over the fight against the up-to-no-good, power-hungry Morganians. All Balthazar has to do is locate this kid over the centuries and throughout the globe. This really is not as simple a deal as it may at first seem.
OK, SPOILER ALERT: that kid turns out to be Dave (Baruchel), who as a kid had a great imagination and a thirst for all things physics-related. As an adult, he is still pretty clueless about the opposite sex, but has ramped up his fascination with all things physics to an alarming level.

The Grading Session: 4.69 pengies out of 5. Nice little soundtrack-including some music purportedly generated by Tesla coils. Yeah. I know.
Everyone does their own bit of scenery-chewing- especially Krige and Molina, but Toby Kebbell (who?!), the erstwhile Drake Stone, magician to the masses, star of Vegas and H'wood, does his share of chomping down heartily on any available scene. The story even gives a nod to the Mouse House classic in a scene with animated cleaning supplies. Cage- who can be reliably counted on for a slow burn or two, turns in a-for him- nuanced performance as this newby he is tasked with training just. can't. seem. to. get. it. For the bulk of his performance,however, he is charmingly subdued, thoughtful and surprisingly mellow.

Lessons Learned: You go see a Nic Cage movie, you gotta rate the weird hair. It's like my rule. The tangled, greasy mess in today's submission rates about 3 pengies out of 5; not as bad as The Rock, not as slick as Honeymoon in Vegas or Peggy Sue Got Married.
Next: Magic spells and sorcerer's powers are good; CPR and an AED...far, far better.
Lastly, if you are seeing a lot of big, ole bugs start proliferating around! It may already be too late, but, shoot, don't just stand around staring, as if waiting for a pot of gold to materialise. Nothing good ever starts out with a wholesale manifestation of insects. Nothing. So, leg it, folks, while you still can.

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