Movie Review: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (2010)


Plot: Master sorcerer Balthazar Blake must find and train Merlin’s descendant to defeat dark sorceress Morgana le Fey.

Rating: 5.5/10

Looking at Nicholas Cage’s face was the most entertaining thing I did a few nights ago. Can we just take a moment to reflect how sad that is? I really do need to stop my little reclusive habits and get out of the house once in a while. Or not. Blankets are soft and people are stupid, right? Okay, yeah.

I saw the Sorcerer’s Apprentice ages ago, before I was branded the movie snob in the family. Did blogging do this to me? Maybe. Is Zoë maybe responsible – for showing me both Godfathers and many other excellent films? It is possible. I don’t remember a lot of the time when I watched it, but it was enough to have me buy the DVD when I saw it on special a few years ago. It has been left untouched for a while, and I picked it up the other night thinking that wild fun was ahead. (I really am starting to sound damn old)

Needless to say, this movie was quite crappy. Not really as bad as A Million Ways To Die in the West (I’m reviewed that for Shitfest yesterday, so go take a look at Eric’s site – I think it might be up a bit later in the day, if Sugar Pappy hasn’t thrown it into his Recycling bin – CRY CRY CRY)


The best thing about the movie is Nicholas Cage. Whether he tries to or not, the man is endlessly amusing. Although not really a BAD actor, he has a way of looking completely unbelievable in most movies. He plays, Balthazar, a Morganian who has to protect something or save someone, I’m not really sure. He naturally lost the love of his life – how else can he possibly be a mysterious hero if that has not happened?! So Balthazar takes interest when a young boy, named Dave – not creepy at all, wanders into his shop because he followed a piece of paper or something. Dave (at this stage played by Jake Cherry) – witness a duel between Balthazar and Hovarth after he letsHovarth out of a container or something, and when he tries to warn his classmates, he suffers embarrassment because B and H have disappeared somehow and it look like Dave wet his pants.

Got that? Okay. Let’s move on to the next segment – approximately 10 years later, Dave (now played by Jay Baruchel) has grown into a genius Nerd and has mostly gotten over the wet pants incident. Mostly. He stumbles into Becky (Teresa Palmer), his childhood crush who witnessed his wet pants incident. She’s way cool now, and Dave and Becky starts hanging again.


Balthazar once again enters the show when he and Hovarth escape the container they were held in, and a massive epic battle begins. Will Dave and Becky end up together? Can they somehow save the Morganians when they are crippled by ineptitude? Why does Hovarth dislike Balthazar so much?

Now that we all have a basic outline of that preposterous story, can I just say WHAT THE FUCK? The story has way too many plot lines it wanted to develop – I haven’t even started on the prologue or the whole Balthazar and his love interest thing. You need a pretty fine director and writer to pull this kind of story of, and then you need to drop the cheese and probably invest in some good actors as well.


As mentioned above, Nic Cage is not such a bad actor, he’s just a highly amusing one. I haven’t yet posted Kick-Ass, but he was such fun in there. Isn’t he with Meg Ryan in City of Angels? – man, I wept buckets over that shit. If the name Jay Baruchel sounds familiar – you are quite right. He is our favorite dragon rider in the How to Train your Dragon franchise. As an actor on screen, it kind of creeps me out that his voice is so squeaky when connected to an actual male. He’s also not really talented as an actor, in my opinion, but that is only based on this one viewing experience. Teresa Palmer as love interest Becky reminds me of Brit Robertson but without the sparkle or the talent – and she doesn’t really carry the role well and lacks the charm required for this. Alfred Molina leads the supporting cast as Hovarth, and he portrays the villainy of his character with wriggling eyebrows and a muhahaha style of acting.

To finish off this gross atrocity of a film, the CGI is painful to behold. I can  really enjoy cheese and bad CGI if done well, but I was convinced again that I could do better in ten minutes armed with a CGI for Dummies book.

This movie was silly and stupid and lacked charm or character, both of which could have saved it significantly. It still has Cage in, so at least a bit of fun was had!

How To Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)


Five years after the Viking village Berk made peace with dragons, all is still going well and the dragons now live amongst the villagers. They are still ruled by Stoick the Vast (Gerard Butler) and while he is thinking of retirement and pressuring his son Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) to take over as chieftain, Hiccup and his dragon Toothless are busy exploring unknown lands.

Astrid (America Ferrera) finds Hiccup exploring, and when they see a wildfire, they investigate. They find a strange ice formation and also meet Eret (Kit Harrington), a dragon trapper who is especially interested in Toothless, who might just be the last Nightshade dragon alive. Eret tells them who his customer is – Drago Bludvist (Djimon Houson), a bloodthirsty and insane conqueror. Astrid and Hiccup flee on their dragons and tells Stoick what is happening, and after Stoick hears that Drago is involved, he orders the villagers to prepare for battle, refusing to let anyone go out and meet Drago head on. Hiccup and Astrid escapes and plan to go meet Drago to try and reason him out of his plans.

Hiccup is captured by dragon rider Valka (Cate Blanchett). She turns out to be his presumed dead mother, and she takes him to the dragon sanctuary she has helped build the last twenty years. She begs for forgiveness and he gives it when he sees the amazing amount of work she has done, and even Stoick forgives her when he arrives and she promises to return to Berk with them.

Drago and his dragon army arrive at Valka’s sanctuary and the Alpha dragon is overthrown, making Drago’s Bewilderbeast master of all the dragons. This causes Toothless to commit a horrible act he had no way to control, and Hiccup sends him away.


Valka: You came early into this world. You were such a wee thing. So frail and so fragile. I feared that you wouldn’t make it. But you’re father, he never doubted. He always said you would become the strongest of them all. And he was right. You have the heart of a chief and the soul of a dragon. Only you can bring our worlds together. That is who you are, son.

Drago leaves to lay siege on Berk and Hiccup, Astrid and all their friends are responsible to get there and challenge him. Will they be able to stop the mad Drago? Can the Alpha’s hold be broken over Toothless? Will Hiccup be able to forgive his best friend? Will Hiccup accept his power and rule Berk?

Rating: 7/10

Somewhere between visiting the dentist and Chinese water torture is something I tend to avoid: watching animation. Firstly, should you dare to watch it in a cinema, there will invariably be screaming children whose parents can’t keep them quiet because they have been hyped up on pink cool drink and jellytots, secondly, I usually just prefer seeing actual people in a movie and thirdly, I can’t seem to stop myself from rolling my eyes at the unrealistic perceptions it creates.

BUT: there are a few Animations I can watch and enjoy. I love all the classic Disney movies (and yeah, I did moan just now about unrealistic perceptions), some of the Uber cool stuff like The Incredibles and Finding Nemo and then now the How To Train Your Dragon Franchise.

I love Toothless. It is the cutest damn thing ever to come out of a studio and his facial expressions are too cute for words. I like all the Dragons, and especially in here how they’ve connected to the Vikings and became interlinked with each other’s existence. I particularly liked Stovic (it was properly because I recognised Gerard Butler’s voice) and thought he was awesome and sweet and dealt well with raising his son and understanding how they were completely different.

So I loved this movie and will probably watch it again with the smallest amount of noises about hating animation. It is fun enough for adults to enjoy while taking their kids to the movies (a kindness of the creators) it built well on the story of the first movie and managed to have a new adventure ready and not copying the first story again. How to Train your Dragon 2 was a relief to watch when most of 2014’s most anticipated hits (for me) fell flat. Remember Vampire Academy?

Recommendation: obviously, children, but not mind numbing nonsense so adults can enjoy it too.