*/**** Image A+ Sound A+ Extras D
starring Nicolas Cage, Jay Baruchel, Alfred Molina, Teresa Palmer
screenplay by Matt Lopez and Doug Miro & Carlo Bernard
directed by Jon Turteltaub
by Walter Chaw Disney was headed this way before The Little Mermaid--then Pixar--gave them the illusion of a new direction. But all along, the dirty little secret in the House of Mouse has been that, Eisner or not, the company's sensibilities lie in the exhumation and unnatural reanimation of their vault product, whether it be in repackaging the old grey mares or offering dtv sequels to the same, or mounting big-budget revamps of past "glories." Then, accidentally, they made a good film with the first Pirates of the Caribbean, which reminds of a certain thing with blind squirrels and nuts. So it comes as no surprise that Disney, dealing with a congenital paucity of imagination, has reached the point where it's actually making movies based on a portion of a movie. Next up? That Spaghetti Scene from Lady and the Tramp: The Movie. But first, there's Jon Turteltaub and Jerry Bruckheimer's The Sorcerer's Apprentice, hoping to conjure up (ha) the nominal success of their National Treasure franchise on the back of a specious premise cobbled together so they can repurpose part of Fantasia in live-action. Bad idea? Really bad idea.