This past weekend, two big-budget action movies, The Sorcerer's Apprentice and Inception, went head-to-head. And while Apprentice was heavily hyped, and obviously meant to be the next Pirates of the Caribbean, the film tracked poorly, got middling reviews and ultimately made half as much as Inception, despite opening two days earlier. ($25 million vs. $60 million.) With profitability in question and hopes of a sequel evaporated, we took a look at the fun-for-the-whole-family action-adventure to see what went wrong.
This movie had a lot of potential to go wrong. The original cartoon, starring Mickey Mouse, is a short-form classic, and turning it into a modern-day, live-action feature film, especially one starring the occasionally painful to watch Nicolas Cage, seemed like it was fraught with peril -- especially if you aren't a big fan of the films of Jon Turteltaub (National Treasure, Cool Runnings, 3 Ninjas). Despite the trailers' general awesomeness, I had recurring visions of a train wreck of Super Mario Bros. proportions. Luckily, the movie turned out to be a fun, funny adventure that more than lives up to the original's legacy -- in fact, the scene where they pay homage to the original is my least favorite. Sorry, Mickey.
The latest slightly-misogynistic-but-not-enough-to-be-unfunny buddy comedy, She's Out of My League, is miraculously not directed by Judd Apatow, but does star one of his discoveries, Jay Baruchel (Undeclared, Knocked Up, etc.). He plays Kirk Kettner, a frumpy-yet-happy airport security agent who catches the eye of a flawless girl and spends the duration of the film struggling to understand why such a perfect creature would be interested in him. In League's most memorable scene, Kirk's friends convince him to "manscape" his crotch, and (spoiler alert!) while we don't get any full frontal action (a la Jason Segel in Forgetting Sarah Mashall), we do see a shot of Kirk's entire backside. There's also a pretty gnarly scene in which, through a sequence of only-in-a-rom-com events, an enormous dog licks Kirk's (clothed) crotch to no avail. At a press junket this weekend, we spoke with Baruchel about acting in these humiliating scenes, as well as his experience co-starring in the upcoming Nicolas Cage film, The Sorcerer's Apprentice.