Tag Archive: movie reviews


After talking my seven-year old daughter down from Eclipse (yes, she’s in love with Edward–not my fault!), we finally settled on Disney’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. Yes its a family film and yes Nicholas Cage was his usual Cagey self (which sometimes works, sometimes doesn’t), but the movie was a great family flick with just the right mix of action and light humor.

I wasn’t sure what to expect plot-wise, since I knew the movie was based on the short clip from Fantasia, but they managed to craft a believable plot that mixed a little bit of science and magic–which is something I harp on quite a bit. In the movie, magic is just a play on physics combined with the talent of an individual graced with the ability to use more of their brain than the average human being. I liked that, and it made the plot really accessible by putting a modern twist on the Merlin tale.

The thing I really enjoyed was the effects. They were really well done and inventive. It made the whole concept come alive. Several times my daughter and I oohed and ahhhed at the effects because they were so well executed. As far as acting goes, it was good considering the fact that it is a family film (and therefore a little cheese is expected). Plus, when you consider how rare it is for a tasteful family movie to hit the theaters, you appreciate it (plus, like I’ve mentioned before, Oscar and I have different tastes in movies).

So, if you are looking for a good family film to take the kids to, I suggest the Sorcerer’s Apprentice and give it four out of five broomsticks.

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Yes, I know I’m behind the curve again, but in my defense I heard that it wasn’t good and waited until it came out on HBO before I watched it. I’m glad I saved the $30.

Despite the great previews and the flashy action sequences, this movie was an overall let down. To begin with, the characters were cardboard archetypes. First they present the troubled hero discovering his awkward talents and using them to do not so heroic things (like Spiderman wrestling for money). Then there was the pristine hometown sweetheart left behind by the troubled hero who returns to sweep her off her feet once more. She goes with him without question to wherever because of course, however many years later she is completely available (having waited for him) and willing to believe anything. It didn’t help that the acting fell flat too, but even Samuel Jackson wasn’t able to redeem the boring, cookie cutter evangelist leader of some secret agency out to rid the world of people who don’t fit in.

In addition to boring characters and less than stellar acting was the slow-moving and underdeveloped plot. The sequence ran in a loop from a brief and exciting moment of action to twenty minutes of horribly lagging narrative. Character motivations never developed well enough to justify the sudden changes in the character’s decisions or actions. The entire plot culminated into too many loose ends, unresolved subplots, and basically a big giant question mark.

The only redeeming factor of this movie was the action scenes. The special effects were pretty amazing and the action was well-coordinated. Even some of the more unbelievable effects came off well, I just wish the story and characters had come together at the same caliber. All in all, if you are really bored one day and there is nothing else on and you can’t find the remote then maybe leave the television on to watch this movie–but only if you can’t find the remote.

I’m a big fan of creativity and passion, especially when it manifests into a well executed projected. One Tolkien fan, Kate Madison, exemplified this when she spent her own time and energy to write, direct, and raise money to create an hour-long prequel to the Lord of the Rings series. Her movie, Born of Hope, was produced on a shoestring budget less than $30,000, but the quality rivals the megamillion dollar production of the trilogy. It truly is a tribute not only to her passion and love for the story, but her dedication, artistry, and ability to produce such a thing. Watch it below: