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At The Movies With Peter Clease - The Sorcerer's Apprentice

Merlin, as he is a wizard, and a proper one, knows a thing or two, in some cases three, about the uses of magic--the external and internal--and the magical arts in general; or as he dubs it: "The toil, whereby the wizardly resides, that dwells and sp

Merlin, as he is a wizard, and a proper one, knows a thing or two, in some cases three, about the uses of magic--the external and internal--and the magical arts in general; or as he dubs it: "The toil, whereby the wizardly resides, that dwells and sprouts." The gray beard is quiet, yet outspoken, well versed in today's modern talk, and partial to olden taste and, though not literally, execution. Having sat through a piffle adaption of modern sorcery, "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," I spoke to Merlin about the film; and despite him not seeing it, he offered an astute analysis, which covered everything from inaccuracies to the downfall of all things worldly.

He is tall, slightly plump, though unhindered by it--and is dressed in baggy, trick or treat wear, which appears damp, if not wet. Merlin, however, is quite dry, as is his humour. "They say a good war is dead; was it ever alive?" he muses, as he slurps a spoonful of homemade soup. "You know, boy, in my time they never asked such questions; if they wanted a war, they killed some minor creature, a king, perhaps. This permitted them to kill more noble and important beasts, such as sheep." As he continues, his long beard--untrimmed--rustles and rattles, and his hands tremble a bit, which causes him to whack his cane, placed to his right, which seems a prop for show. "Today's not the same, nor has it been for some time," he says with a hint of acidity. "Arthur would be as appalled as I am; but he would wade, whereas I bitch. This world is a horror!"

Pausing old gray, fleetingly, I mention a few "magical" names, some old, some new, all prone to Merlin's scrutiny. "What is your take on David Copperfield?" "O' such an indulgent mess! To answer your question would only lead to questions, and to open such questions would defeat the purpose; so, as such, I will answer your question with a question to avoid a question: how many curtains, and tables and tables and tables, does he live under?" As I namedrop, Merlin keeps a running, polite commentary: "Hack!... Trite!... Hack!... Hack!... Hack!..."

This lead into the film itself, which further spawns a rant. "Never;--no!--never!--have I trained Balthazar or Veronica or Maxim, nor a geeky Jay Baruchel self-knockoff. My teachings do not lead to such creatively inept characters and settings; and certainly, they do not fall inferior to Morgana, a very vile, very talentless lady." Slightly frustrated, he broke his speech, then continued: "This is bull----!" He cursed; he shouted; and while doing so, he began to flare up, and suddenly he combusted. The last great magician.

2.5 out of 5 popcorns.