Friday, May 28, 2010

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Title: Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Directed by: Mike Newell
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, Ben Kingsley, Alfred Molina, Steve Toussaint
Genres: Action/Adventure, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Adaptation
Running Time: 1 hour. 55 minutes
Release Date: May 28th, 2010
MPAA Rating: PG-13

Review: While I did appreciate the video-game-esque filming technique as a concept very fitting of a movie adaptation from a video game, it eventually got quite tiring to watch. Although buff, Jake Gyllenhaal is an ill fit for Dastan, I prefer to see him in the more emotional roles which are his strength, and I seriously doubt it will propel him into action hero stardom. He should stick to his usual fare, which is where he really shines. The rest of the cast are quite awkward, too predictable and cliche. Perhaps the exception is Gemma Arterton, who stands out as a nice fit as the princess. The visual effects are stunning throughout.

As a whole, 'Prince of Persia' is fairly entertaining, but afterward I walked away with the impression that is was completely pointless. Not altogether a waste of time, but not worth while either.

Grade: 5

Friday, May 14, 2010

Robin Hood

Title: Robin Hood
Directed by: Ridley Scott
Starring: Russel Crowe, Cate Blanchett, William Hurt, Mark Strong, Mark Addy, Oscar Isaac, Danny Huston, Eileen Atkins, Kevin Durand, Max von Sydow
Genres: Action/Adventure, Drama, Adaptation
Running Time: 2 hours. 11 minutes
Release Date: May 14th, 2010
MPAA Rating: PG-13

Review: "A new take on Robim Hood, with Cate Blanchett, Russel Crowe, and Ridley Scott". Does that sound like a great summer blockbuster, or what? Unfortunately, it does not quite reach the highs it is aiming for.

I've always loved the story of Robin Hood, and I was really looking forward to seeing this film. A lot of the parts are there; a fantastic story, the beautiful English backdrop, great actors, an amazing wardrobe and weaponry crew, beautiful cinematography, inspired details, and a great director. However, the end result is crude, choppy, way too long, and in parts, completely ridiculous. With some more heavy handed editing, 'Robin Hood' might have been a great film in the "Adventure Epic" genre, but unfortunately, the length alone leaves the audience squirming in their seats, peeking at their timepieces, wondering when it will all be over - the film is not captivating enough to pull off two hours plus. It is a shame, because the potential is obviously there.

Grade: 5.5

Friday, May 7, 2010

Iron Man 2

Title: Iron Man 2
Directed by: Jon Favreau
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Mickey Rourke, Sam Rockwell
Genres: Action/Adventure, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Adaptation, Sequel
Running Time: 2 hours. 5 minutes
Release Date: May 7th, 2010
MPAA Rating: PG-13

Review: 'Iron Man' kicked asses, and as expected, its sequel is not as good. They almost never are. However, on a sequel standard it isn't too bad. As with its prequel, Robert Downey Jr. is charming, snarky, and likable, the action is plentiful, and the special effects a great. But it is not enough to measure up to expectations. Both Mickey Rourke and Scarlet Johansson, normally good at their craft, are boring and predictable. Overall, 'Iron Man 2' is somewhat entertaining, but comes off as mostly a set up for 'Iron Man 3'.

Grade: 7