Escape to the Movies: Prince of Persia

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Daveman:
I really liked it and I thought the prince of the movie matched the prince of the game so I don't really care if it's historically accurate or whatever. I'd figure the people wanting realism would be more pissed of with the whole rewinding time thing. (Also I thought the original Persians were Caucasian anyway, can't remember where I heard that)

SUSPEND YOUR DISBELIEF.

I thought it was lots of fun because the free-running scenes were better than anything Bourne ever did and the sword fighting was better than... lots of things.

Also I heard loads of people saying it's like an analogy for the real middle east with "weapons... that don't turn out to be there... and a war justified on their presence" but frankly I didn't feel that coming through at all.

But yeah, I felt they made a great movie without tarnishing the name of my favourite video game plot ever.
THAT SAID the thing about "destiny" at the beginning and end. Anyone else think it was a shittier version of the "time is an ocean in a storm" speech from the game?

Also "Moviebob" IF THAT IS YOUR REAL NAME, wtf is wrong with the ending? I fucking loved it. It had a hint of cheese, balanced out with awesome seasoned on top and it fit with the plot.

They could have been caucasian or at least they were much more whitish the the original Middle East habitants. Some scholars say they were a mix of people from Central Asia and mountain tribes of the Caucase, therefore potentially with a good share of caucasoid profile.
And personally all Iranian people that I know (except the ones from SW of the country) are very similar to gypsy/romani, who are definitely caucasian, and apparently had originated in the same area.
And in fact all tribes that invaded Europe making Rome fall came from nearby areas too.

As for the ending, only explanation for MovieBob to not like it is, he was expecting it to be different from the game ending. And actually MovieBob, it was, or were you sleeping?!

Cool I'm gonna go see it with my girlfriend when I visit her a month or so. :)

I liked the end of Lost, but I didn't LOVE the end of Lost. I can see why they did it, and how it makes sense, and yadda yadda, but I was hoping for something that I would love at the end. So much set up, not alot of actual follow through. Will I buy season six on dvd, yes. Will I go back periodically and rewatch the entirety of it, yes. Will it remain one of my all time favorite series, yes. Could the end have been better, oh god yes! It wasn't horrible, but it wasn't great either. Not like the end of ST:TNG which I loved!

dashiz94:

Puddle Jumper:
Hey, Bob, here's a few good games based movies: Tomb Raider,

Euh ... Euh ... yeah, Tomb Raider. Maybe even Resident Evil: Apocalypse.

There's a lot more not bad movies though like In the Name of the King: A dungeon siege tale, Resident Evil, Mortal Kombat and a boatload more animated movies from Street Fighter to once again, Resident Evil.

Mortal Kombat? That was a god awful movie. Despite the fact it was based on a cheesy game.

Still, in the slew of movies based on videogames, Mediocrity shines at its best with Mortal Kombat. Annihilation is rock bottom of the shit-o-meter, but that's not the one I meant. The first one isn't bad. The fighting is good, the effects are passable, the soundtrack was awesome and it had some talented actors going for it.

MovieBob:
Prince of Persia

This week MovieBob takes a look at Alad...errr...I mean Prince of Persia.

For more from MovieBob, check out Intermission.

Be sure to join Escape to the Movies Facebook Fan Page here.

Watch Video

Can someone tell me if this has any spoilers in it? (I haven't played the game).

So..it's good, but it has a ending that will piss you off?..

I am looking forward to seeing it since I am a fan of the SOT story line and Think those are the best prince of persia games. Also one more thing screw lost that show sucks.

Max Payne was the first good movie based on a game.
Once again Bob managed to completely miss the point and act self-important while doing the point-missing thing.
Edit: And also make several factual errors.

The whitewashing thing really feels heavyhanded, though it does kinda weigh on the suspension of disbelief having so many people not looking quite middle-eastern around in a clearly middle-eastern setting.

But hey, it's still a Disney movie, so no surprises there.

And both Ben Kingsley and Gyllenhall are interesting actors.

... Bob, what about the Silent Hill movie? You could review the hell out of that one, eh?

RTR:
So you didn't like the ending to Lost, eh?

Lol, MovieBob should really do a review about that, though I don't know if tv critique is his thing.

I didn't like it either, but was still worthwhile, there's too much quality there to write the entire series off on account of a cop out finale.

Some net critic said it best: "I still rather watch a good show with a bad ending than to watch a bad show."

Grand_Pamplemousse:
Lost was just dragged out too long.

If any one watches British TV we just had an amazing series end, called Ashes to Ashes. The ending wasn't a cop out and it was actually really very good.

This is exactly what I was thinking. Also, I can't believe I thought the ending of Ashes to Ashes was sappy because a few characters say goodbye in the last 2 minutes. It was like the ending of resevoir dogs compared to Lost. And the ending made more sense, probably because the writers of Life on Mars knew how they were going to end it way back when they started and wrote the show accordingly, instead of the Lost method of writing, where you make it up as you go along.

Anyway, the Tomb Raider movies were good, weren't they? Where are they on the Transformers - Iron man scale?

That's interesting. I had assumed that, as a pg-13 movie made by Disney out of a videogame that, in my mind, should have been rated R and done by anyone but Disney would be bad. It seems like it was pretty good then.

Generally in cinema, characters speaking in british accents while not being british is to signify that they are speaking a foreign language.

The thing about the british accent is that... THEY ALL HAVE BRITISH ACCENTS IN THE GAME! except for 2008 when they all sounded like whiny "american 20 somethings enjoying a frappacino" to quote yahtzee. so no big deal there for me. but i haven't seen it yet so I guess I will as long as it's not ruining my favorite game franchise

Is it just the US that spells the adjective form of 'climax' with that second 'c', or can I just not spell?

Also: Woohoo, a good game movie!

Overall I was pretty impressed. It was actually rather enjoyable. If you've played assassins creed and prince of persia you'll appreciate the film alot more as it gives little nods here and there and shows you all the good parts of those games. Which is basically what I wanted from the film.

Is it is not terrible I am happy, love that game series so a competent film is fine by me.

Technically, all the Dharma Initiative stuff was integral to Lost because

I suppose that climatic moment we all want will come from a movie of a game that actually warrants a movie. Something like MGS or Bioshock, games with textured plots. Of course both those games would need about 4 hours to tell just one of their stories but still.

oh come on the lost ending was brilliant! (i'm not being sarcastic in any way) if they had explained everything on the island, people would have just bitched about that ending too. besides, lost has always at its heart been about the emotional journey of its characters who just happen to be on an island where a smoke monster and an immortal have a duel of ideologies and time travel.

oh yeah, and the POP movie i was shocked actually being legitimately good. the only real issue i had with it was the princess character being given absolutely nothing to do besides telling jake "we must go here to secure the dagger," a million different times.

Probably going to go see it. From your review, it looks like it was going to be as good as I thought it was going to be.

I just don't understand one thing, Bob. On one hand you don't seem to mind that the movie's a throwback to stuff like 7th Voyage of Sinbad, The Thief of Baghdad, or Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, and seemed to enjoy it, yet later you seem to fault it for the very same reason. It's confusing to have someone alternately praise and damn a film for the same reason.

RE: the "whitewashing." Don't care. Like others have said, it's a fantasy film, ergo it shouldn't really be striving for historic authenticity. I'm pretty happy with the casting and could care less if they were Persian or not.

As for the whole English accent thing, personally I believe the reason they chose to do that was simply because Hollywood thinks for some reason that if you're doing a period piece that isn't set in the U.S., having everyone go around speaking with an English accent somehow makes it seem "classy." Also because everyone in the PoP games also spoke with an English accent.

As to Lost: Don't care about that either and glad I didn't see it. I'm one of those people that was initially interested in it and stuck with it for the first few seasons, but the glacial pacing and the constant flashbacks annoyed me, and when it looked as if the writers were just pulling stuff out of their asses and didn't look like they had a coherent overall plan for the show, I just gave up on it. I had a feeling the finale would probably end up something like this and piss off a lot of people who had invested in the show, and it looks like I was right. I gave up on the rebooted Battlestar Galactica for similar reasons (specifically when they started referencing "All Along the Watchtower). And after having heard how the finale on that turned out, I was glad I jumped ship on that too. There's a point when a show stops being entertaining and starts getting pretentious and too caught up in itself, and it looks like that's what happened with both shows.

BTW, still waiting for your take on The Human Centipede, Bob. I'll tell you I finally found the courage to see it last weekend, and yes it is as sick, twisted and disturbing as the trailer made it out to be. But on the whole, I can't really completely dismiss it. Like you did with Jackie Earle Haley in Nightmare on Elm Street, I have to kind of isolate the performances of the two main actors Dieter Laser and Ashley Williams as they were great, even if the movie itself was the vilest thing ever committed to celluloid. But I'd be interested in hearing your opinion of it.

I think I'll be watching it. I thought I posted in the last comments about the English flag, but apparently I didn't. I'm Scottish and I'm annoyed by it.

TheNoirGuy:
The ban on whitewashing explained:

http://humblecomics.com/blog/index.php?entry=entry100524-195255

I disagree, I really doubt they have that cast because those were the best actors ever. I think those were the best actors who the biggest audience (Caucasian Americans) could identify with and that would draw the biggest numbers in(aka Jake Gyllenhal fan girls). But I'm not going to NOT see it for that reason alone. It looks pretty entertaining.

I have to agree. Gyllenhal is good but he's not that good. Most roles in Hollywood already go to Caucasians so seeing a bunch of Caucasians playing middle-eastern characters with obligatory english accents kind of sucks. When they start casting non-Caucasian actors for racially specific Caucasian roles, then maybe we can leave out the race issue. (wants to see black but still British James Bond). I don't think they decided, "no, we have to have Whitey play the principle characters", I think they thought, "Who is most likely to draw people to the theaters?" It's already got two strikes against it because it's a video game movie. It would also have been nice to see them use someone new and relatively unknown for the Prince; because white or not I can't buy Donnie Darko as the Prince, and I can't buy Persia with British accents. It's one part a racial let down and two parts authenticity. I won't avoid it just for the casting decisions, I'll avoid it more for the fact that the accent thing drives me crazy and I find Gyllenhal really annoying for some reason. Not as much as Tobey Maguire though...but he did make a cute beagle.

dunnace:
I suppose that climatic moment we all want will come from a movie of a game that actually warrants a movie. Something like MGS or Bioshock, games with textured plots. Of course both those games would need about 4 hours to tell just one of their stories but still.

Yes, I can't wait for four hour (8 hour director's cut) cluster fuck of a plot from MGS. Some properties should just stay in their native format, much like Frank Herbert's Dune. Too much interwoven plot and internal narrative for film. MGS has too many plot twists and "oh shit" moments. It'd be four hours of robo-ninjas jumping sharks over nuked fridges.

I guess the reason why the movie worked is because the games already play like movies.

I guess, in a way... It's like watching one BIG cinematic?!

You know how some games are like interactive movies? This movie is like a NON-interactive game.

Maybe it would had felt more Persian if it was narated by Omid Djalili

image

From what I've seen of this movie it looks good, so I'm glad to hear a good review of it from movie bob. About the whole whitewash thing, yeah the main actor is Caucasian but you gotta admit he pulls off the part really well.

Danglybits:

TheNoirGuy:
The ban on whitewashing explained:

http://humblecomics.com/blog/index.php?entry=entry100524-195255

I disagree, I really doubt they have that cast because those were the best actors ever. I think those were the best actors who the biggest audience (Caucasian Americans) could identify with and that would draw the biggest numbers in(aka Jake Gyllenhal fan girls). But I'm not going to NOT see it for that reason alone. It looks pretty entertaining.

I have to agree. Gyllenhal is good but he's not that good. Most roles in Hollywood already go to Caucasians so seeing a bunch of Caucasians playing middle-eastern characters with obligatory english accents kind of sucks. When they start casting non-Caucasian actors for racially specific Caucasian roles, then maybe we can leave out the race issue. (wants to see black but still British James Bond). I don't think they decided, "no, we have to have Whitey play the principle characters", I think they thought, "Who is most likely to draw people to the theaters?" It's already got two strikes against it because it's a video game movie. It would also have been nice to see them use someone new and relatively unknown for the Prince; because white or not I can't buy Donnie Darko as the Prince, and I can't buy Persia with British accents. It's one part a racial let down and two parts authenticity. I won't avoid it just for the casting decisions, I'll avoid it more for the fact that the accent thing drives me crazy and I find Gyllenhal really annoying for some reason. Not as much as Tobey Maguire though...but he did make a cute beagle.

In the game, the voice actors have British-ish accents. The man who voices the Prince in Sands of Time is white. And surprisingly enough, Gyllenhaal pulls the part off.

Tarkand:
Well, it's 'good' I guess.

Am I the only one who think this summer's movie line up look terrible? :(

Now that Iron Man 2 came out... it's all 'meh' stuff.

I thought Iron Man 2 sucked, there wasn't even a movie there, just a set up to The Avengers movie which won't be out for another 2-3 years if ever...-_-

As for Moviebob's reactions to a good video game movie tie-in, all I can say is you do know there's more to gaming than a couple first party franchises that's been made by Nintendo right?

Trust me, Prince of Persia is just as much apart of gaming as the mushroom kingdom, maybe you just needed to be a PC gamer in the 90s to know that....hmmmm

Wouldn't mind a good Zelda movie but how much you bet they'll be ripping a good portion off from LOTR...=/

My dad and I were planning to see this.

Good to know we won't be wasting our money. :)

Thanks for reviewing it, MovieBob.

I'm glad Bob thinks the movie is "good" which means it probably is. I've agreed with him on every movie he and I have both seen except Daybreakers (which was fucking terrible)

Based upon the tone of his review though, I really honestly get the feeling if the very first good video game movie *was* The Legend of Zelda, Bob would be making comparisons to Lord of the Rings and other Dark Ages movies during the whole review. Based on his tone, at least. Video games are trying to become more about the storytelling these days, I think it is to be expected the areas of video game stories and film stories might start overlapping a lot.

i just watched it and thought it was pretty fantastic, don't really see the point of worrying about "whitewashing" the cast didn't ruin my enjoyment of the movie.

though on a side not, when moviebob rewinds the clip saying "in the spirit of things" shouldn't he have rewound it back a minute???
as the bit when he says it is at 3:06 so it should have went back to 2:06, but the clip he shows is actualy at 1:37... just saying is all....

Haha, I laughed so hard at the live-action Mario pic you Photoshoped together. That was hillarious.

Anyway, great review. This is pretty much what I expected would happen. It's entertaining, but that's about it.

Cheers!

MovieBob:
This week MovieBob takes a look at Alad...errr...I mean Prince of Persia.

Any game that takes a large portion of their influence from movies and other media will be much easier to create than a game that get's it's influence else where because the movie of the game has essentially already been made, they just have to make it again. They have this mold from the early adventure movies and all that has to be done is fill in the characters names and perhaps shift the plot around a little bit for it to make a little more sense. Hey presto, average enough movie to sell well.

This means that a large number of modern games, such as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, God of War, Mass Effect, Kane and Lynch, Left 4 Dead, Far Cry 2 (not to be confused with Far Cry which had the terrible movie made out of it), Gears of War and even Halo (which you seemed resolute in think will suck if made if I recall) could be made into decent enough movies given that they already are, pretty much movies. Stick the characters into the archetypal plot and a good enough movie exists. Have a decent enough director and writer and you can make a really good movie from lets say, Far Cry 2. Far Cry 2 borrows heavily from Apocalypse Now and Heart of Darkness, really heavily, but sets it in a modern conflict in Africa. A writer could easily create a story about a bunch of mercs going into Africa to kill this arms dealers with many beautiful scenic shots and plenty of good enough action. Blood Diamond was a bit like this and quite good I think. Keep people like Uwe Boll away from it and any movie based game movie will do well.

Games like Mario and Zelda could also have good movies based on them, but I still think they would need to follow other movies quite closely. That picture of shopped Mario movie you made, it looks just like Avatar, the Zelda one just like Lord of The Rings so what you would be getting is a more child oriented version of those movies if they want to stick close to the games, more adult if they want to branch out further.

To be honest I'm not sure if I'll like a game-movie made to fit a different kind of movie. Zelda might be considered fantasy but it isn't Lord of the Rings fantasy, merging the two just wont work. Same with Mario.

In the future we're going to see more movie based games based movies coming out. We actually already have Kane and Lynch which will be interesting to see and I wouldn't be surprised if the Halo film gets a revival. Bioshock might be good and I have high hopes for the Mass Effect movie. Time will tell I guess.

dah...
I liked the ending of LOST-no matter how bubbly it was. Maybe I'm just a sucker for sentimentality.

but I digress.

Your opinion of this film actually seems to what I expected it to pan out. I haven't seen it though. .I am moderately irked by the casting just a bit. Not the actors-more like as you mentioned,it wasn't of the ethnicity. It seems to me that it just fits the summer movie mold and is nice and comfortable.

I'm disappointed to see that there's no comments on its relevance to the video game itself, whether it be because you chose to view it purely on its own or because you haven't played the actual games, but it would have been nice.

Other than that, very satisfying review. I'm not sure if I'll see it and I probably won't but I might rent it out one day.

Haha! oh movie bob! you crack me up, "He's the "Brownest"..." hahahahaha seriously funny.

I will still see this movie, i'm actually more excited than I was, but I just hope it's worth the money.

MADNESS4:
one thing thats irks me a lot is that i hear so many people say video game movies are bad (and ya they almost all are) but one movie i have to defend is Hitman, ya know that movie staring Timothy Olyphant, im sure not many people will say they like that movie as much as me, but its a long way form being "bad" and i really enjoy it

I was just going to say that. Hitman is a really good movie, I enjoy it a lot. The first Mortal Kombat was good, too. The second was horrible, yes, but PoP is NOT the FIRST good video game movie.

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