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I am launching a new effort. Once a week I will blog about something I have read, listened to, watched, cooked or eaten. I'm doing this in an effort to help people discover new things, help me discover new things and to help myself as a writer. Too often I'm looking for new and interesting things, so I am making the assumption that others are too. Sit back, stay tuned and make suggestions.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

This week, I took a look at Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. Now, I decided early on that when I am going to look at various movies I am going to try and stay as far away as I possibly can from other people’s reviews and criticisms. Luckily, PoP fell into an elegant category of movies I both wanted to see and I had heard little about.
The general overview of the movie is pretty simple. Take one part Lion King, mix in a little Aladdin and add a touch of Stardust and you have the gist of PoP’s plot line. While comparing it to other movies, I can’t help but bring up Indiana Jones, which is most likely to director Mike Newell’s work on the Young Indiana Jones television series. Newell recently has come into some “big name” properties, having, not too terribly long ago, directed the Goblet of Fire. But, I find his style and sense of directing a little too campy at times.
Another name that needs thrown out, is Jerry Bruckheimer. His company produced the film and it smells heavily of Johnny Depp’s sweaty pirate shenanigans. That is to say if feels like a Bruckheimer production. From the very first action sequence you feel like this movie could be titled: Pirates of Persia: Raiders of the Lost Sands.
This isn’t a thinker’s movie. You will know what is going to happen. It is more laden with tropes than it is with sand. Yet, I get the distinct feeling that the movie knows that. It’s not trying to be some film that is digested in late night conversations or presented in some stuffy film classrooms fifty years from now. This film is simply trying to be a movie that people watch and enjoy for the fun of it.
And you know what, it succeeds. PoP is a romp through what was once a video game and has now turned into a big budget production.
Jake Gyllenhaal’s character is surprisingly deep and offers a few complex glimpses into the realms of higher thought. But, mainly what he does throughout the movie is run, jump and run some more. It’s a bit like a medieval Persian freerunners dirty fantasy, but it’s fun to watch.
The action in the movie made me think heavily of the better Prince of Persia video games and a bit of Assassins’ Creed, and I count that as a success. If a movie based on a video game makes you think of video games that’s a win, right?
Now, I did find the female character abrasive, but that could just be me. Perhaps, she is meant to resonate strongly with a younger generation of ladies seeking a strong confident role model. She reminded me a lot of Clair Danes in Stardust, minus the charm, or attraction or character growth.
However, some of the secondary characters were truly well played. I openly laughed at a few parts. When Dr. Octopus talks in this movie I grinned. Quite frankly I found the character charming (kind of like a Jack Sparrow’s old fat uncle who moved to the desert to pursue his love of ostriches). The eldest brother I actually found myself drawn toward half way through the movie as his character gave good some glimpses of interest, and by the end of the movie he is actually a character to be cared about.
Uncle Scar…I mean Nizam is a pretty good character if not a little too predictable. His character tries to teach the audience that if your brother is in line for the crown and you have the chance to save his life, don’t. You will become a twisted old bald man who wants to time travel (almost as bad as I want to go back in time to stop Lindsay Lohan’s conception, the end of the greatest television series of all time Firefly or come up with World of Warcraft before Blizzard and reap the sweet life destroying power that the wield… wow got a little off topic) Anyway…
All in all, the movie is pretty darn good if I say so (although I recently am recovering from watching Jean-Claude Van Damme’s The Quest. So, my standards might be considerably lowered. But, that is neither here nor there)
 This was an entertaining watch, and I’m sorry, but sometimes I think that’s all a movie needs to do to be fun. I would recommended if you are in the mood to just sit down, turn your mind off and watch a movie that is going to keep you interested and entertained throughout. It is currently streaming on NetFlix for those of you with the capacity.

Thanks for reading!


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