Capsule reviews: 'Inception' and 'Sorcerer's Apprentice'Capsule reviews of films opening this week.
By: The Associated Press, Superior Telegram
Capsule reviews of films opening this week:
"Inception" — We're happy to report, with great relief, that all the hype is justified. Writer-director Christopher Nolan's first film since "The Dark Knight" is a stunningly gorgeous, technically flawless symphony of images and ideas. "Memento," the mystery-in-reverse that put Nolan on the map a decade ago, looks almost quaint by comparison. In its sheer enormity, it's every inch a blockbuster, but in the good sense of the word: with awesomeness, ambition and scope. The cinematography, production design, effects, editing, score, everything down the line — all superb. But unlike so many summer movies assigned that tag, "Inception" is no mindless thrill ride. It'll make you work, but that's part of what's so thrilling about it. With its complicated concepts about dreams within dreams, layers of consciousness and methods of manipulation, "Inception" might make you want to stop a few times just to get your bearings. The juggernaut of Nolan's storytelling momentum, however, keeps pounding away. Leonardo DiCaprio stars as dream thief Dom Cobb, an "extractor" who enters the mind while a person is dreaming to steal their secrets; Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays his detail-oriented right-hand man. Ken Watanabe, as the powerful businessman Saito, hires Dom and his team for a different kind of crime: sneak into the subconscious of a competitor (Cillian Murphy) and implant an idea that will ruin his empire. Tom Hardy, Ellen Page and Dileep Rao are all excellent as members of Dom's crew. One of the year's best films, and it'll surely get even better upon repeated viewings. PG-13 for sequences of violence and action throughout. 147 min. Four stars out of four.
Christy Lemire, AP Movie Critic
"The Sorcerer's Apprentice" — If toys, video games and comics can serve as sources for Hollywood action flicks, why not Mickey Mouse? Inspired by Mickey's segment in Disney's "Fantasia," this action comedy starring Nicolas Cage and Jay Baruchel may not work any bedazzling magic. Yet the family fantasy that reunites Cage with his "National Treasure" producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Jon Turteltaub stirs up a pleasant-enough potion whose effects, action and comedy should send parents and kids home happy. The often stodgy Cage, fresh from a couple of deliriously manic performances in "Kick-Ass" and "Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans," has rediscovered his inner goof, hamming it up as a 1,500-year-old sorcerer searching for a chosen wizard who will be able to defeat an evil sorceress aiming to destroy the world. Science geek Baruchel turns out to be the guy and gets a crash course in magic for his big showdown. Co-starring Monica Bellucci, Teresa Palmer and Alfred Molina, who adds dapper charm as a wicked wizard. PG for fantasy action violence, some mild rude humor and brief language. 110 min. Two and a half stars out of four.
David Germain, AP Movie Writer