I have been wanting to take some time to write about the Sorcerer’s Apprentice and just Nic Cage in general for a while now, yet I always kept telling myself that I had to find the right time. For those of you who didn’t know that is most likely code words for procrastination. With Season of The Witch opening in theaters today, I thought to myself “here’s my chance.” A nice little write up on a Nic Cage flick on opening day of another Nic Cage flick. Little did I know as I planned this it was also an important Nic Cage day for another reason. Courtesy of From Midnight With Love reviewer and good friend, The Mike, it was pointed out to me that January 7th is indeed Mr. Cage’s birthday as well. Now if that wasn’t a sign of all signs to share some Cage fun with you, I don’t know what else is!
Believe it or not the youngest generation of movie goers really have no idea that there was a time that Nicolas Cage used to be a legit actor; He was an Oscar Winning, bonefide actor and the 90’s were very good to Cage. Yet, as I talk to the younger generation they seem to stare blankly at me when I explain that I love me some Nic Cage. You see to them Cage has made classics such as Ghost Rider, Lord of War, Knowing, Bangkok Dangerous,Next, and to a select few a remake of The Wicker Man. If you’re lucky they’ll remember he was “kind of” cool in those National Treasure movies, but it’s not cool to like those “PG” family films. That’s one heck of a line up of crap though when you look back at things. Sure, I loved National Treasure but that doesn’t make up for Knowing and Next. Cage is a joke to the new movie goers and so it doesn’t surprise me that The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and eventually Season of the Witch will be box office flops.
The problem is, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice doesn’t deserve to be lumped into the “bad” era of Nic Cage. This little film based of Mickey’s Sorcerer’s Apprentice in Fantasia is a live action romp that truly was a lot of fun. You could tell that Cage was actually in this film not because of the paycheck he was receiving but instead it was a film he was passionate about. Cage plays Balthuzaar Blake, a centuries old apprentice of Merlin who wants to pass his sorcerer powers on to a young geeky college kid who is living in modern day New York. In order to pull off a century old sorcerer in a modern age you need to find an actor who is a little off the beaten path yet still lovable. Enter into the picture Nic Cage, a man that many people forget couldn’t be more better for the task.
What I love about Cage is those moments of borderline sanity. In the 90’s we had our freak out moments in films such as The Rock (1996) with Cage screaming out, “Why don’t we cut the chit chat A-hole!” or “Glass or Plastic!! Glass or Plastic!” and “I just want to find me some rockets!” Con Air is equally full of Caged out crazy moments, so much so that The Mike, my wife and I have begun celebrating a yearly “Cameron Poe Day” held each July 14th. I promise I’ll explain in greater detail on the site as this year’s date approaches. Or who could forget Memphis Raines in Gone in 60 Seconds, or even Caster Troy in John Woo’s Face/Off. Cage used to be the man, he’s just drifted astray now days. The good news is there are moments in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice where we get to see hints of the Cage of old, proving to me he still has it.
Alongside Cage is Jay Baruchel who might be most recognizable from the loveable comedy She’s Out of My League. Barachel is the perfect awkward geek that you could picture struggling to find true love and at the same time learning he is a sorcerer and must learn from a crazy old Nic Cage. Barchel and Cage play well off each other and is probably one of the reason The Sorcerer’s Apprentice is as fun of a flick as it is.
Filled with fun special effects, some great visuals and a fun story, Sorcerer’s Apprentice is a great little flick that is muddled and mucked up between a steaming pile of Cage disasters. If you haven’t seen it, seek it out and have a great family movie night. Give yourself a chance to reconnect with the Nic Cage that you all know and love. And if you’re new to Cage, start here and work your way back to the 90’s. Let’s leave the verdict out for others to decide on Season of The Witch. In fact, I’ll even brave it for you in the upcoming weeks. For now curl up with a Nic Cage classic or make The Sorcerer’s Apprentice a new Nic Cage classic and say Happy Birthday Nic Cage with a flick tonight!