Disney sure knows what they’re doing when it comes to releasing DVD’s related to each other and piggybacking promotions for the Holidays. That’s exactly what they’ve done with their partnering with “National Treasure” power team Jerry Bruckheimer and Jon Turteltaub to create the live-action version of “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” and then pretty much simultaneously releasing it on DVD alongside the Blu-ray version of “Fantasia / Fantasia 2000.“ They know that the two releases will only enhance and encourage the purchase of each other as gifts for under everyone’s Christmas trees.
“The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” revolves around “Balthazar Blake (who) is a master sorcerer in modern-day Manhattan trying to defend the city from his arch-nemesis, Maxim Horvath. Balthazar can’t do it alone, so he recruits Dave Stutler, a seemingly average guy who demonstrates hidden potential, as his reluctant protege. The sorcerer gives his unwilling accomplice a crash course in the art and science of magic, and together, these unlikely partners work to stop the forces of darkness. It’ll take all the courage Dave can muster to survive his training, save the city and get the girl as he becomes The Sorceror’s Apprentice.”
As a movie, “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” adequately gets the job done to entertain you for 90 minutes. It’s nothing incredible but looks good and makes sense story wise, which is a lot more than can be said about some other big-money blockbusters of last summer. It also manages to fit in an intelligently-placed live action rendition of the section of “Fantasia” the movie is based on.
Nicolas Cage plays the role of Merlin’s apprentice, Balthazar Blake, with the same off-center kookiness he pours into all of his more eccentric characters. He seems like he’s having a good time throughout the whole film. Jay Baruchel does the nervous unsure geek thing he has become known for. If he’s not careful, he’s going to end up becoming the next Michael Cera and back himself into a stereotype corner. Alfred Molina plays the devious Morganian sorcerer Maxim Horvath with delicious delight seemingly celebrating in his evil-doing until the bitter end.
The special effects in “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” look great. I can’t think of a single moment where anything looked too cartoonish or out of place. One thing I thought was cool was the way that the sorcerer’s powers are not all flashy and lightning-like. They do the “Lord of the Rings” thing a lot of times where they just wave in a certain direction and an object moves or person is flung in that general area. However, when CGI is used it really blends well with live backgrounds and actors.
“The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” is a fun thrill-ride of a movie. It’s not the best action / adventure fantasy out there but it is charming and will hold your attention. It proves itself to be another film you’ll find yourself throwing into the DVD or Blu-ray player to keep the kids and relatives entertained during Christmas vacation.
I was sent the 2-Disc Combo Pack. Disc 1 has the Blu-ray Feature Film and Bonuses which include Magic In The City Featurette; The Science Of Sorcery Featurette; Making Magic Real Featurette; Fantasia: Reinventing A Classic Featurette; The World’s Coolest Car Featurette; 5 Deleted Scenes; Outtakes; Plus More. Disc 2 has the DVD Format feature Film and Bonus including The Making Of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice Featurette; and a Deleted Scene.
The technical specifications for the Blu-ray feature film include 1080p High Definition / 2.40:1; English 5.1 DTS – HD Master Audio (48kHz / 24 – bit), English DVS 2.0 Dolby Digital, and French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio; and English SDH, French, and Spanish Subtitles. The DVD feature film is Widescreen – Enhanced for 16×9 Televisions; English, French, and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital and English 2.0 DVS Audio; and English SDH, French, and Spanish Subtitles.
“The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” is also available in 3-Disc Blu-ray / DVD Combo+Digital Copy and single disc regular DVD format packages.
Source: Yahoo! Movies