Friday, July 16, 2010

Bizarro World Movie Reviews -- The Sorcerer's Apprentice

Elitist critics like to look down their noses at what are unarguably the greatest movies of our time. Films like Grown Ups and The Last Airbender, both of which are unqualified modern classics, were both looked down upon by the same people who, after so many years, fail to see the genius of masterpieces like D.C. Cab and Saving Silverman. Today, we see the release of another brilliant piece of filmmaking that, predictably, is getting poor reviews and that's too bad because, twenty years from now when The Sorcerer's Apprentice is ranked alongside Citizen Kane and The Godfather as one of the greats of the screen, they who trash it now will look like fools.

The movie finally fulfills one of my long sought after dreams of teaming Nicolas Cage with a man who is rightly called the greatest actor of his generation, Jay Baruchel. Cage plays an ancient sorcerer named Balthazar who, for centuries, has battled his nemesis, Horvath. I usually make fun of people who take simplistic popcorn films and try to attach hidden meanings to them but, as I watched this movie, it became obvious to me that Horvath represents BP and his attempts to unleash monsters upon the Earth represents the oil spill. Cage's Balthazar is obviously meant to represent Barack Obama and Baruchel (whose character has the equally evocative name of "Dave") is all of the ordinary men and women trying desperately to clean up the Gulf. I simply can't remember a movie that had to courage and fortitude to inject such searing and topical social commentary into a big studio financed summer film.

If social messages in movies aren't your thing, however, you can enjoy this as an action/adventure film but even then it will delight and challenge you in ways that most escapist fare would never even dare. Sorcerer's Apprentice doesn't treats its audience like movie fans and not, like many other films do, as movie consumers. You can tell that it had the same innovative director that made the brilliant National Treasure films. This has the same wild spirit and commitment to quality and originality as those movies do but, and I didn't think this was possible, it surpasses those in ways that make this not only a standout in its genre but as sui generis in its own right. It is part of the genius of Sorcerer's Apprentice that, at first, you think it's a movie you've seen hundred's of times and you're tempted to dismiss it as trite and repetitive crap. That's ok though because, after a while, you begin to perceive and appreciate the film's multiple layers and the layers within those layers until you realize that the movie has surrounded you with so many layers that it feels like you can't breathe but you must or you'll never know how it ends and yes, I know that makes no sense but neither does the movie. It makes no sense but in a wonderful and glorious way that our language is woefully inadequate at describing. It must be experienced to be explained.

You must go see The Sorcerer's Apprentice and then you must take your family and friends and see it and they must do the same thing again and again until it has spread across the world like, well, like oil spilling wildly into the ocean. It will move us beyond what we are and, someday, forge us into a global family. Yes, like the producers of Sorcerer's Apprentice, I dare to think and dream things that others would call hackneyed, stupid and insane.

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