Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is perhaps the best video game movie released to date. Unfortunately, the standards for video game movies are quite a bit lower than other movies. Jake Gyllenhaal plays Dastan, a street urchin adopted as a third son by the Persian king. Dastan has very little character development and the little he has follows generic action-movie lines. He is the “lovable rogue” who wisecracks and always manages to get out of rough situations alive. Gyllenhaal does a good job of playing Dastan, but the character has no depth. He starts out a cool action guy who's wild and reckless and is not morally driven enough to argue with his superiors and at the end he is a cool action guy who's wild and reckless. His banter with the other lead character, Princess Tamina is, for the most part, funny. Princess Tamina is the love interest and also an incredibly flat character. They have a good banter to their petty bickering through the first half of the movie, but when they start becoming closer they stop bickering as much and become less interesting. Their relationship is amusing, but it is never even remotely believable. In addition the villain is obvious from the beginning of the movie, and is essentially a walking cliché. Sheik Amar and his bodyguard Seso add more comic relief and a few good action scenes, but none of the characters are particularly strong. Still, between the Shiek and Dastan and Tamina’s banter, the movie has a good amount of humor that keeps things going through its clichéstorm of a plot. The plot revolves around a magic Dagger of Time that allows the wielder to travel backwards in time a certain amount of time if certain mystical sand is inside of its hilt. Because of a significant change from the game, the Dagger of Time gets very little use, and its obvious combat advantages are ignored, which is rather disappointing. There is almost no sand of time throughout the movie, meaning the only part of the movie that wasn't a cliché was wasted. The movie also relies too much on “bullet time” for whenever a main character does something particularly “cool.” This quickly becomes annoying, especially when combined with the hard-to-follow action scenes that move a little too fast. However, the scenes of acrobatics and parkour are fun to watch. Despite all of these problems, Prince of Persia is a fun movie. Seeing Dastan do fancy acrobatics around rooftops and the silly banter make up for the lack of depth. It’s a fun, “turn your brain off” movie. If you’re a fan of the game who doesn’t mind massive changes from the source material, or just feel like a dumb action movie with some good humor, it’s worth giving a shot. . I only played 2 hours of Prince of Persia, so I didn't mind or notice many of the changes, but from what I've seen, a lot of serious fans of the game were upset by the movie.
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I went into Avatar not expecting much. I expected a mediocre, but pretty, action movie. Somehow, it went far, far below my low expectations and continued to become even worse. Here's why Avatar sucks
1.The Villain Has Less Depth Than Boris BadenovThe villain is all but giggling as he kills children and destroys homes, the villain hates blue people because they're stupid and don't appreciate humans invading their territory, the villain is not an actual character. He is a plot device. He exists for the audience to hate him. He has no real given motivation for his action (I GAWT THESE SCARS WHEN I INVADED THE NAVEE'S HOMEZ) and is so one-dimensional that he makes Boris Badenov from Rocky and Bullwinkle look like a well-developed character. The villain is also incredibly bad-ass to incredibly goofy degrees. He doesn't let problems like a lack of breathable air or being on fire stop him from killing blue people; he's still gonna over-dramatically kick doors open and start shooting. This is why he is the only likable character in the movie, he's the only one who seems to realize he's in a crappy movie and he just rolls with it. He's so insultingly simplistic that I love him and consider him to be the true hero of the movie. Also he makes really obvious political references that are several years old now (SHAWK AND AWE!).
2. I PLAY GOLFSpeaking of insultingly simplistic, there is the other villain who is less awesome: THE BIG CORPORATION CORPORATION INCORPORATED®. THE BIG CORPORATION CORPORATION INCORPORATED® wants the unobtanium because it does magic things that can be useful for making big ships and cool guns. The representative of THE BIG CORPORATION CORPORATION INCORPORATED® is as stereotypical as you can get, he's even playing golf on the ship. That's how creative they were with their characterization. See, in Avatar, you, the viewer, cannot be trusted to figure out anything beyond the most basic of concepts. This is why every single character is completely flat and fits in nicely with familiar stereotypes. Can't expect the billions of dollars to come in if the audience has to stop looking at the shiny stuff for a second to pay attention to characters.
3.Hi, I'm an idiotic douchebag, I'll be your protagonist this evening.I think James Cameron assumed that if he put someone in a wheelchair he could make them a douche and they'd still be likable. Sully is not remotely likable. He arrives on the planet, is a smartass for a while (and not a likable one) and then gets into the avatar. Once in the avatar he instantly can do everything, including walk in it. This would have been a good opportunity to make us warm up to Sully and grow to like him as a person by showing his struggle to relearn how to walk and the joy that comes from having full use of a body, even if it is not his own. Instead Avatar has him instantly be perfect at it, like most of what he does. Upon controlling the avatar, Sully becomes an even bigger douchebag as he jumps around like a moron and destroys equipment as scientists and other avatars tell him to stop being a moron and let them run some tests. He then runs outside and just skips around like an idiot. This is because Sully is one of the dumbest protagonists of all time. Apparently he was not a very good marine, I know several marines and they know to follow basic orders like "don't run around like a moron, we need to run some tests on your body." Apparently the standards have laxed in the future. If you told a marine to stay with the group because the entire planet is basically a deathtrap, they would not walk off to look at mushrooms and then get lost. Also in the future cellphones and tracking devices no longer exist because they can't seem to find Sully's avatar at all. Even though his body is beaming his brain signals to the avatar. Please note that these avatars cost millions of dollars and yet they have not put the most basic of tracking devices on them. My dog could be found more easily than the extremely expensive avatar. Back on subject though, Sully does stupid things and gets into further stupid adventures until he meets Love Interest. Love Interest is the daughter of the chief and next in line to be the
4.Sully is better than everyone because of reasonsAfter Sully gets the hangs of things in his avatar body, he goes on to become better than every actual Na'vi at just about everything. All this takes is a few montage scenes, and it doesn't ever feel like he worked at this. Because he's the protagonist, he gets to be super-cool and succeed without any real effort. You would think he would struggle with various Na'vi customs and ridiculous feats of athletic ability, but despite being a crippled human, he can do everything the Na'vi can, only better. He has slight struggles at the beginning, but after only three months of training, the cripple is now the best blue person who ever lived.
5.The world really isn't that interestingNow that I've actually seen Avatar, those idiots who wanted to commit suicide to be reincarnated on Pandora seem even dumber. Pandora is a jungle with more blue. There are some more phosphorous plants and big trees, but it's not all that different from a jungle at earth. All of the creatures are basically like a [insert animal here], but with 6 legs. Also, I find it rather odd that all but one species on the planet has 6+ limbs. The USB hair would be cool if they had actually done something with it. They plug into animals at the beginning, but it didn't really mean anything. Also they use their USB hair in sex, so bestiality is apparently quite common on Pandora.
6.Giant Dragons Make Everything BetterImagine your significant other told you they were actually there as a spy and getting close to you was part of their mission. This cliche' is quite common, but generally it doesn't also come along with an entire peoples' home being destroyed. In the real world, when something like this happens, riding a giant dragon doesn't count as an apology. Love Interest is happy to leave Sully for dead after he reveals that he was there to learn their ways just so they can be more easily conquered. Then he decides to go jump on the different colored dragon and the movie cuts away so they don't have to show him actually struggling to capture the thing that is supposedly really hard to control. He then rides the dragon into the midst of the Na'vi and they all love him again. Because he has a sweet dragon.
7.AND THEN GOD FIXED EVERYTHINGDeus ex Machina endings are bad enough, but when it's worse than that, when it's literally just God fixing everything, there's a problem. The vague Na'vi god decides that after half the Na'vi were dead it is time to make all of the animals attack the nasty humans. They don't ever attack the Na'vi, just the humans and the day is saved by the birds and dogs. This is the actual ending. God fixing everything. Also known as the laziest possible ending. Also during this final battle there is one human helicopter fighting on the side of the Na'vi, she is identified by the war paint on the chopper. For some reason none of the humans noticed this really obvious hint that she might have betrayed them and don't attack her until she attacks them, which is towards the end of the battle.
8.Cruel Na'vi's ThesisThe final mech vs. Sully battle was incredibly stupid. After jumping onto a mech while on fire, Villain starts a big fight against Sully. This mech has an Evangelion-style comically large knife. Which they use in their not very interesting final battle. While this whole battle is uninteresting, I find the large knife so stupid its worth mentioning. It's exactly like in Evangelion, just a knife that he pulls from the back of his armor. Also Villain looks really plastic during this final battle.
9. UnobtaniumI liked unobtanium when it was called upsidaisium in a Rocky and Bullwinkle storyline. In Avatar, a movie that takes itself seirously, it's just idiotic. Since it has become the future equivilent of oil, they would probably have a name for it by the time the movie takes place. Also, if they need unobtanium so badly, why not just mine it from the floating mountains? Given that they are floating, I'm guessing they have a pretty good amount of unobtanium inside. Wouldn't that be easier than going at war with the locals over their holy lands? Oh wait, I get it, Iraq. I see what they did there.
In conclusion...I could rant about Avatar for a lot longer than this, but I need to keep this at readable length. Avatar is a mess of a plot with no actual characters. The movie doesn't even try to make you care about anyone and the situations are so clumsily set-up that you can't really care about anything. The only real reason to like this movie is for special effects. If you like eyecandy, I can understand enjoying Avatar. The movie is very pretty and they did a really good job with how the Na'vi look. The problem is that good CGI does not a good movie make. I think once people start watching the movie again on DVD and Bluray not on a giant screen they'll start realizing that the only good part was the special effects which are much less impressive in your home.
As part of the Reverse Thieves’ Secret Santa Project; for which I am extremely late; I was planning to review The Irresponsible Captain Tylor. I decided to watch a movie called They Were Eleven instead since it wasn't really on my radar and that made me curious. I have to say that I do not regret making that decision. They Were Eleven is a sci-fi mystery thriller. In the future their is a elite school called the Cosmo Academy. There students from all over the galaxy compete to become students. During the final portion of the exam ten students, including our hero Tada, are sent to a abandoned space ship. Problems arise immediately when they arrive and discover that there are eleven people on the ship rather than the ten it was supposed to have. They were sent to the ship with one goal, to survive for such and such. But with this mysterious extra member everyone gets nervous. They have the option to bail out of the exam at anytime but if they did that all of them would fail the entrance exam. Once they reach this point the group realize that their only choice is to try and work together. They all want to pass the entrance exam and if they were to give up due to their fears none of them would be able to get in. Distrust plays a very important role in the story. As time passes you can see that everyone is slowly growing more and more paranoid. It is thankfully a very subtle change that is only brought to a head by some life threatening issues. Watching these people desperately try to work together while suspecting each other of being the eleventh man is fascinating. Something that I found disappointing in the movie was that the cast isn’t fleshed out as much as I would have liked. Everyone is introduced in the beginning and seem to be quite diverse. Thing is only about half of the eleven are truly fleshed out. The other half seem to have been brushed to the side. Luckily the ones that they do flesh out actually become very interesting. The story has fun with the fact that the characters are from all over the galaxy and uses that to its advantage. The film takes its time to explain to you just what had been going on as it comes to a close. It tries to make it feel like the hints are there in the film to allow you to figure out who it is on your own but I personally feel that it was a bit of a stretch. Once they are shown to you it makes sense but they are things so to the side that it feels like the average person would never figure it out without it being pointed out to them. It was quite enjoyable though and I hope more people check it out.