Movie Reviews The Sorcerer's Apprentice
For the Chicago Sun-Times' s Roger Ebert, The Sorcerer's Apprentice , produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and starring Nicolas Cage, which debuts today (Wednesday), represents just about all that is wrong with contemporary filmmaking -- and therefore makes his job as a film critic doubly difficult. "It's becoming clear that every weekend brings another heavily marketed action 'comedy' that pounds tens of millions out of consumers before evaporating," he writes. "This genre doesn't require an audience in the traditional sense. It attracts children and young teenagers with the promise of cinematic fast food It's all sugar and caffeine, no nutrition. In place of a plot, there's a premise; in place of carefully crafted action, there are stupefying exercises in computer-generated imagery, and in place of an ending, there's a hook for the sequel and, if all goes well, a new franchise." Carrie Rickey in the Philadelphia Inquirer uses a similar analogy, calling it "a hearty helping of movie comfort food. ... The movie is more Cheez Whiz than wizardly." Kyle Smith in the New York Post calls the movie "a two-hour trailer explosion, shape-shift, chase, wisecrack, repeat. Its most amazing trick will be how it vanishes from your memory before the seat you vacate has stopped moving.." But Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune (his review also appears in the Tribune-owned Los Angeles Times ) attended a screening with his teenage son, who, he reported, liked the movie. So did he, he says, for what he calls "blasting functionality." The movie, he agrees -- with faint praise -- "isn't bad as these things go."