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Directed by: Jon Turteltaub
Starring: Jay Baruchel, Nicolas Cage, Alfred Molina

“Well, today’s your lucky day ’cause I brought an eagle”
Nicolas Cage as Balthazar Blake

Let’s take inventory: Jon Turteltaub has on his IMDB directing resume Cool Runnings and 3 Ninjas, among many other films. And, Nicolas Cage has had less than great parts in less than great movies lately. Well, he was great in Kick-Ass. I digress. So, I watched this film with a bit of trepidation. How was my experience?

The Film

Dave (Jay Baruchel) is not like any other teenager. While others are glued to their game systems or hanging out at the mall, Dave is at home playing with tesla coils and all things “sciencey”.

When Dave was younger, he had an encounter with a wizard named Balthazar (Nicolas Cage). Balthazar was one of the apprentices of the famous wizard Merlin. At the time, Merlin had three apprentices: Balthazar, Horvath (Alfred Molina) and the extra evil Morgana.  Horvath betrayed Merlin and joined forces with Morgana to do all sorts of bad stuff. Needless to say, there is some bad blood now between Horvath and Balthazar.

Flash forward to the present. Dave is a bit older and guess who catches up to him? That’s right, Balthazar. And, he has news for Dave. Dave is a “chosen one”: someone who is going to be a very powerful wizard one day. But until then, Dave is going to be Balthazar’s apprentice.

Then there is the little business of the magical ring. What is the magical ring, you ask? Well, Balthazar has a ring that, as luck would have it, fits perfectly on Dave’s finger. It wouldn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that there is a connection to the magical ring and the special someone that it might take to overthrow the over powerful and overly evil Morgana.

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice doesn’t just rely on special effects. There is some nice character development, an interesting take on the world of magic and some snappy dialogue to enjoy in this film.

Nicolas Cage is having fun playing this part. He is completely bonkers and is playing it completely “over the top” but in all the right ways. It was good to see some of the old strange Cage charisma back on the big screen.

I enjoyed Jay Baruchel’s work here. He seems like a name to watch after turning in solid performances in Tropic Thunder and Fanboys.

So, this was a surprisingly fun watch and a nice surprise. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice is a fun little film that the family can enjoy together

7/10

The Video

Presented in a crystal clear 1080P anamorphic widescreen, the film looks great here. There is a highly respectable level of detail and the colors are eyepoppingly vibrant. I did not notice any grain or edge enhancement throughout.

8/10

The Audio

Presented in a 5.1 DTS HD Master audio mix, the film sounds just as good as it looks. The sound is immersive and the sound effects are crisp and well mixed. There is nice usage of the speakers in a 5.1 environment.

8/10

The Packaging and Bonus Features

Presented in a standard amaray case, the artwork suits the film presented.

There is a nice assortment of bonus features to watch and enjoy on this release. Here we go:

Magic in the City is a featurette exploring the challenges of shooting action sequences in a busy city. The Science of Sorcery is a look at the history of magic.

Making Magic Real is a featurette about the special effects. Fantasia: Reinventing the Classic is a look at how the Disney original film Fantasia influenced this film

The Fashionable Drake Stone is a look at one of the “magicians” in the film. The Grimhold: An Evil Work of Art is a look at the concept artwork from the film.

The Encantus focuses on the spells used in the film. Wolves and Puppies looks at the animals used in the film. The World’s Coolest Car is a feature that looks at the interesting cars used in the film.

And finally, there are some outtakes to enjoy.

7/10

Overall (Not an Average) 7.5/10

The Review
The Movie 7/10
The Video 8/10
The Audio 8/10
The Packaging and Bonus Features 7/10
Overall (Not an Average) 7.5/10

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