Monday, July 12, 2010

The great special effects of "The Sorcerer's Apprentice"

“I love the world of magic, and to be able to bring that to a contemporary audience through `The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’ was really appealing to me,” says Jerry Bruckheimer, legendary producer of such blockbuster franchises as “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “National Treasure. 

From Walt Disney Studios, Bruckheimer and director Jon Turteltaub comes “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”—an innovative and epic adventure about a sorcerer and his hapless apprentice who are swept into the center of an ancient conflict between good and evil.

In the film, Balthazar Blake (Nicolas Cage) is a master sorcerer in modern-day Manhattan trying to defend the city from his arch-nemesis, Maxim Horvath (Alfred Molina). Balthazar can’t do it alone, so he recruits Dave Stutler (Jay Baruchel), a seemingly average guy who demonstrates hidden potential, as his reluctant protégé. The sorcerer gives his unwilling accomplice a crash course in the art and science of magic, and together, these unlikely partners pit their powers against those of the fiercest—and most ruthless—practitioners of all time. It’ll take all the courage Dave can muster to survive his training, save the city and get the girl as he becomes `the sorcerer’s apprentice.’

Set in modern-day Manhattan, “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” might have some New Yorkers looking over their shoulders.  “The idea is that sorcerers and the ancient art of sorcery are alive and well in present day New York City,” says Turteltaub. “It’s much more entertaining to show audiences the magic in things they recognize than to create something.”  Indeed,  the filmmakers transformed New York into a vortex of science and magic, home to battling sorcerers and playground for their powers.

While the film isn’t a remake of the classic Disney piece from “Fantasia,” “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” pays proper homage to it, a fact that didn’t escape the director.  “’The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’ has such a great Disney pedigree to it,” says Turteltaub, “and I knew right away that I’d be dealing with something that had to be excellent, had to be special, had to live up to its important role within Disney and the history of film. That piece from ‘Fantasia’ is as iconic as any eight minutes of film that has ever been created, so to be part of that was really exciting. You think, ‘all right, where do you go with that’—and that’s where all the creativity starts jumping.”

This new sorcerer and his apprentice are a far cry from Mickey and the blue hat.  The live-action film is a contemporary take on the ancient art of sorcery, exploring good versus evil in a city where magic is abound in plain sight. “It’s a story about two quests,” explains Bruckheimer. “Balthazar has been searching the world through the centuries for his apprentice, and Dave then has to discover his true potential as a human being. Dave is a very serious student, and doesn’t need or want Balthazar in his life, or to be a sorcerer. If someone showed up at your door, and said that you’re really a sorcerer, you wouldn’t believe them either. But Balthazar is like a fly that keeps buzzing around, tormenting this poor kid until he succumbs to becoming this magical character, which I think every kid would want to be.”

Opening in SM Cinemas nationwide on Thursday, July 15,  2010, “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International. Visit or for the branch directory, promos, and events for “The Sorcerer's Apprentice."

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