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The Sorcerer's Apprentice

Starring Nicolas Cage
Screenplay by Matt Lopez and Doug Miro & Carlo Bernard
Story by Matt Lopez and Larry Konner and Mark Rosenthal
Directed by Jon Turtletaub

IN SHORT: Parents to the back row. Preteens to the front. [Rated PG for fantasy action violence, some mild rude humor and brief language. minutes]

]Before being betrayed and murdered by the evil Morgaine le Fey, the sorcerer Merlin gifted his three apprentices -- the lovers Balthazar Black (Nicolas Cage) and Veronica (Monica Bellucci) and odd man out Maxim Horvath (Alfred Molina) -- with eternal life. Horvath banished Veronica from this realm of existence and Balthazar has spent the last 1000 years seeking out the reincarnated spirit of Merlin to battle his foe and rescue his love. Said search involves a ring belonging to the wizard and an apprentice to continue the search/battle -- his name is Dave Stutler (Jay Baruchel) -- just in case. Horvath has his own (evil) apprentice called Drake Stone (Toby Kebbell), who has his own abandonment issues with hsi master Horvath (something due to Balthazar and Horvath battlling it out for a decade, all the while trapped to a large urn.) Dave, selected by Balthazar to be the apprentice of the title, is more concerned by an unrequited love for the beautiful Becky Barnes (Teresa Palmer), who caught his eye back in the fourth grade. Ten years on, Dave is a student at NYU and privy to a fancy schmancy laboratory that, apparently, is unwanted by anyone else at the university.

At least we think that's the basic story of The Sorcerer's Apprentice, whose script (or at least the first ten minutes or so, which covers the above background) is so terribly confusing that we were at a loss for the rest of the film. All the special effects that producer Jerry Bruckheimer can afford were not enough to make us happy to sit through the film.

On the other hand, if we were about eleven or so, we wouldn't have had such problems. When we were eleven, a film full of things blowing up (etc) would have been more than enough to make us happy. So, all you parents of pre-teenagers, take the kiddies and put em up front while you nestle in the back row. It'll be over before you know it.

And, as a family friendly film, we will do what we've done in the past and just give a thumbs up or down to the thing. On average, anyy adult will need an eleven year old to explain the thing to them when all is said and done, so those of you on the elderly side should spend their movie money elsewhere. Those bringing kidlets should stock 'em up on popcorn and such and then head for the back row, letting the kids feel all grown up and the like. The Sorcerer's Apprentice was a big disappointment for yours Cranky, but we didn't have kidlets to lug along.

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