Tuesday, July 20, 2010

"The Sorcerer's Apprentice": Baruchel probably could have made it with The Donald

The tone poem “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” by Paul Dukas is not my favorite classical piece by any means; it’s a bit trite. Therefore the soundtrack of the Walt Disney movie (directed by Jon Turteltaub) of that name embellishes the experience with plenty of orchestral variations on the music by Trevor Rabin.

The film may start impressively enough, in the 8th Century, were the sorcerer’s golem gets stored in an urn, that shows up in an antique shop in New York City near where I used to live (the Cast Iron Building). A ten year old, Dave, learns that he may have special talents, and on his 20th birthday, played by French Canadian actor Jay Baruchel (from the series “Just Legal” on WB a few years ago where he plays a prodigy lawyer at age 18) he, having excelled in some science fairs with his Telsa device (rather like “The Prestige”), he gets picked by Balthazar Blake (Nicholas Cage) as the ideal physics nerd to become a sort of superman -- after serving as "The Apprentice".   I guess Baruchel's character (or Baruchel himself) would survive Donald Trump's boardroom.

Somehow most of this never connects. It’s fine to work in comic book style (after all, Superman, Smallville, Spider Man, and the like all work) , but one needs to create a world that the viewer can belong to. Jerry Bruckheimer used to do that (films like “Pearl Harbor”) a lot more than he has lately.

Baruchel is likeable enough, and forceful enough; he is the sort of guy a father wants his daughter to go with to the senior prom.

Here’s the site for the film.

Official trailer from “Trailers”.

The name “Sorcerer” recalls a great film from William Friedkin in 1977 (Universal) about oil workers transporting crates of explosives.

Picture: April 2010. That's me, not Jay Baruchel.

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