Friday, July 30, 2010

Sorcerer's Apprentice and Inception

That's right, I've been to the movies again! This time, I'm taking a look at the blockbusters of July (or modest earners, in the case of Sorcerer's Apprentice). And I've got some expensive news for you: you should see both these movies. Of course, I mean that on different levels, but let's dive in.

The Sorcerer's Apprentice: It's a movie about that classic story of boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, boy gets involved in long-standing wizard's feud, boy has a nervous breakdown, etc. In all seriousness, This is a movie about Dave (Jay Baruchel), a hopelessly geeky kid-- which doesn't at all remind me of myself-- who becomes a major player in the plans of Balthazar Blake (Nicolas Cage), a powerful sorcerer and former apprentice to Merlin. Dave is also hunted, however, by a darker sorcerer, Maxim Horvath (scenes stolen by Alfred Molina), who wants to raise an evil sorceress from the grave.

There was no way I should have enjoyed the movie as much as I did, except for the fact that Bruckheimer and co. were having an absurd amount of fun making it. Sorcerer is not afraid to poke fun at itself, and it never takes itself too seriously. Some of the action setpieces are creative and kinetic without resorting to Bourne-esque shaky cam. And the scene that pays homage to the Fantasia short is great. It's not going to be one of the best movies of the year, or even most profitable, but it is a good time at the cinema for the whole family.

My rating: 8.5/10

Inception: Hoo, boy. The big one. The one we've been waiting for since the bizarre teasers last year. Especially since it's from Christopher Nolan, the mastermind behind Memento. And The Prestige. And Batman Begins. And The Dark Knight (ever heard of that one?). I can't explain this film. To do so would take ages, and I just wouldn't be that good at it. Can I just say see it?

No, I don't think it's quite as good as The Dark Knight, and it's impact on a genre won't be like the aforementioned film. But it's still really, really good. It's a multilayered (literally) tale about dreams, with Leonardo DiCaprio's best performance to date. Actually, almost all of the actors give their best performances to date. Hans Zimmer's score is unique and suits the film. The action is nail-biting and some of the best I've seen this year. The story makes you think, but you never get tired of constantly focusing on this two-and-a-half hour film. The world it creates is fantastic, and it raises some great questions about the nature of dreaming. Now go see it. Seriously, there's at least a few things in there for everybody.

My rating: 9.5/10

Coming Soon: Steven King and The Desert Spear.


Okie said...

I really don't like Cage or DiCaprio that much. So I might "video" Sorcerer just for the fun/effects factor...but Nolan's work has pushed me beyond my DiCaprio angst and I really want to see Inception.

Thanks for great reviews of each.

The Writer said...

The Cage feeling I can understand. He's very hit-or-miss, with more leaning towards the miss side. But he's not too bad in this one.

DiCaprio is actually really good in Inception. Probably one of, if not his very best performance on film.

Inception's just really good. Don't let any DiCaprio angst stall your seeing this movie.