Early CGI tests were not promising.

I have a review of Prince of Persia: the Sands of Time up at MovieBrit, in which I am not entirely complimentary. Not at all complimentary, in fact. As WDW, who runs the site, is a massive Gyllenhaalic, it’s good of her to run it uncut (although she couldn’t resist the temptation to adorn it with lots of pics of the man with his shirt off. I guess that’s what you call editorial input). Anyhow, go read. It’s one of your five-a-day of snark, bile, angst, over-reaction and humbug.

The fun starts here.

More fun here – a reminder of why Prince of Persia was the most frustrating game I’ve ever played!


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Writer. Film-maker. Cartoonist. Cook. Lover.

2 thoughts on “PoPcorn”

  1. Hey Rob,

    Read your review and I thought you said it was only one of your five a day? Seems like all five to me, ouch 😀 Did we see the same movie? The parkour was fantastic. I’ve seen TTOB and there are similarities but a world apart. I feel that we have been so accustomed to Jake providing us with deep, thought-provoking messages that his previous movies portrayed, but the whole point of PoP is that – it’s a children’s movie. It’s a fantastical, magical, fun ride. It’s also a Jerry Bruckheimer movie so have any of your expectations for ‘sharp, witty dialogue’ been met in ANY Bruckheimer produtions? He delivers what it says on the tin. So the caption of the Holy City of Alamut, immediately being followed by a character saying “Behold! The Holy City of Alamut!” for a children’s movie is not unexpected. Were you looking for something clever like Zodiac or witty like The Good Girl. Can I say once again, it’s for children and families.

    Whilst I know that movies such as Toy Story have great wit and adult in-jokes, I will agree with you that much was missing in PoP. Now I know that there were more than 3 editors, I can understand why we have this version of the finished product. It’s Disney and you know there will be limits. I do have some problems with the pace and timing of the movie as well as certain elements (I won’t do spoilers but when the movie opens worldwide I’ll be happy to say which ones) however, I have seen it 4 times now (missed the shirtless scene at the beginning twice 😦 don’t ask), and I absolutely loved it. I buy into all the characters, all of them. There’s so much opportunity for spin offs to create character development but it really was a huge undertaking to fit so much into a huge storyline and for it to be followed how it should be, I get a complete appreciation of that. Having seen the reaction of people leaving the cinema, I am completely satisfied that it was enjoyed, and it will gain a good following especially from word of mouth.

    I respect that you can be objective about your personal experience of watching PoP once (I liked your checkity check list ) and this is my perspective on watching it so many times. Oh, and Rob, couldn’t you have used something else as an analagy instead of chocolate? 🙂 I admit, I love Jakey G too so you see, for me, Jake and chocolate go together.

  2. Hey, Sheba! Thanks for dropping by. Glad you enjoyed the review, however little you agreed with it. 😉

    I do wrinkle my brow at your assertion that PoP is a) a kid’s movie, and b) kid’s movies are therefore assumed to be of a lower quality than adult fare. I’d point you at every single movie Pixar have ever produced. They look great, but the most important thing about them is the sheer quality of the writing. The plots and dialogue are of course spot on, but the films work on so many levels.

    The Toy Story films are about the trials and obstacles of growing up, and how hard it can be to let go. The Incredibles (a film that is solidly in my top ten movies of all time) addresses themes of family, the mid-life crisis, and how it feels to have to grow up and settle down, and wraps them in a bundle that works for everyone. Writing for an all-ages audience is one of the toughest gigs there is. When you get it right, you have a movie that the whole family can sit down and enjoy together. When you get it wrong, and especially when you talk down to the audience in the way that the PoP script does you end up with something that’s deeply unsatisfying.

    And let’s not forget, PoP is rated as a 12. That’s hardly a kid’s movie. It’s only the second time a Disney film has been given that rating. The first? Pirates Of The Caribbean – Curse Of The Black Pearl.

    Please, don’t think that I approached this review with any kind of elitist attitude. I love to swash my buckle and do some derring. A solidly constructed action movie with sharp snappy dialogue is one of my favourite things. I went into the cinema wanting to enjoy PoP. Most of the people in the screening TLC and I went to had a great time. But you said it yourself. The pace and timing were all over the place, and the dialogue was rotten. I simply couldn’t get past that, and it ruined the film for me.

    As for Bruckheimer movies that I have enjoyed? Well, I’d go straight to the first Pirates Of The Caribbean movie (not the two sequels, that share a lot of the script and pacing problems that plague PoP) which still stands up as an inventive, witty and thrilling addition to the pirate movie genre. Con Air and The Rock also work brilliantly as gallop-along action movies with great, quotable one-liners. All together now: “Put the bunny back in the box!”

    However. We seem to be in agreement on more than a few of the issues I raised. I also think Jake makes an excellent action hero, and I’d love to see him do more of this kind of thing. PoP was the first of his films that I was interested in seeing since Zodiac. He’s been doing the right thing in working with interesting directors, but his choices of script have been a bit one-note. He clearly had a blast making PoP, and it would be great to see him in a fast-paced Western or historical actioner.

    I also agree that the film has spin-off potential in all sorts of areas – just look at all the Lego PoP stuff! I’m glad you could enjoy the film (enough to see it four times! Blimey.) and didn’t let its flaws stand in the way of that enjoyment. I’m the one that’s missed out in being unable to do that.

    And I can only apologise for the poo-joke. Blame your esteemed host and editress for letting it through. I’m just a horrible, horrible person, and she should know better than to let me in and make a mess of the upholstery.

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