May 28, 2010, - 2:48 pm

Weekend Box Office: “Prince of Persia,” “Sex & the City 2″

By Debbie Schlussel

Not much to write home about at the movies, this Memorial Day weekend.

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Sex and the City 2“: Read my complete review on this awful movie.  Four aging annoying women in expensive, ugly clothes go to a gay wedding, then hang out in Abu Dhabi and swoon over the faux-glamor and even more phony “exoticism” of Muslim Arabs, all while bitching, moaning, whining, and uttering vile, stupid sex one liners and puns.  Again, read my full review column.

THREE MARXES
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*  “Prince of Persia:  The Sands of Time“:  Although there was nothing objectionable about this movie and it has a decent message, it was just boring.  So much action, so much swashbuckling, and yet so slow and unexciting.  And it’s based on a video game, which should tell you something (the video game-based movies usually stink).

Jake Gyllenhaal plays Dastan, the adopted son of the King of Persia.  He helps his brothers invade a neighboring city to capture it and its beautiful princess and discovers a magical sword that–using special sand–turns back time.  Soon, though, he is framed for killing the king and is on the run from his brothers and uncle (Ben Kingsley) along with the princess.  Throughout, he and everyone else goes back and forth in possession of the magical sword and its powers.  His uncle sends the Hassansins (a weird perversion of the real Arabic word for assassins, “hashashin” or “hashashiyin”) to try to kill Destin using very obviously computer-generated snakes.

Like I said, nothing really bad about this movie, and the message–good versus evil–is clear, with good predictably winning out.  I just thought it was boring and sleep-inducing.  Not a “bad” movie.  But not a great one, either. It’s missing the sparkle of usual Disney fare.

Fine for your family, though some young kids might find the few snake scenes to be scary.

ONE REAGAN
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Watch the trailers . . .

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9 Responses

So sick of Jake Gyllenhaal.

Go back to Brokeback you poseur.You’re not a heroic action figure.

ebayer on May 28, 2010 at 4:02 pm

Well, I’m willing to give him the chance, though this is not the kind of movie I typically watch.

skzion on May 28, 2010 at 4:39 pm

BTW ebayer, he also was Donnie Darko, lest you forget.

skzion on May 28, 2010 at 4:40 pm

I wonder if I predicted it properly with this overdub:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZGe3cehqE8

Phil on May 28, 2010 at 5:55 pm

so the big hollywood releases this Memorial weekend are all set in the middle east. Coincidence or psychic phenomenon?

ender on May 28, 2010 at 10:04 pm

I liked Prince of Persia more than I expected. It was old-fashioned daring-do and spectacle. It was a “family film” in the way of Gunga Din or Swiss Family Robinson–but with more visual (in a way I considered fun). I liked Gyllenhaal as the hero: he was more appealing than bland Orlando Bloom and lacked Harrison Ford’s obnoxious smugness. It’s geared especially to ten-year-boys, but there’s something for everyone. The topical allegories were silly (unsuccessful search for WMDs, trying terrorists in courts to prove commitment to the “rule of law,” and a nod to tea partiers in lots of grumbling about taxes) but these passed so quickly they weren’t intrusive. As you said, Debbie, good versus evil and good triumphs. A wholesome diversion, light on hip glitz, feisty freedom fighters and New Age values–and that’s a good thing.

I didn’t hate Sex and the City 2 as much as I did the first. From a male point of view, this one was less mean-spirited. Samantha is, yes, a caricature of the Ugly American, but that was self-conscious and comic. To me, she’s a vulgar Lucille Ball–oblivious to the feathers she ruffles and commotion she wreaks through her narcissism. The gay wedding was purposefully, over-the-top campy which is preferable to politically correct earnestness. There were plenty of digs against Middle Eastern repressiveness and prudery that I liked. Best part was that liberal critics were driven wild by the film; they want Westerners to be ultra-sensitive to other cultures, and this one was not. It was vulgar, a little broad, and complacently decadent. Obama will censor films like these when he cements his power as dictator (right after he bans all frivolous trips to Las Vegas).

Burke on May 29, 2010 at 8:22 am

I have another theory about the reason for the inclusion of the bra-less nanny in Sex and the City 2, and it differs from your own theory that she is included to titillate the males in the audience. Everyone knows that most women can receive no greater pleasure than to gossip cattily about another woman who doesn’t observe proper social decorum, especially when a breach of that decorum threatens possession of a male sweetheart or husband. Having a nanny in the movie who constantly jiggled and bounced (in full view of Charlotte’s husband) as this nanny did did gave lots of opportunities for these four friends to raise their eyebrows, purse their disapproving lips and make wittily snide remarks. I’m sure the women in the audience loved it, and I can almost imagine them pursing their own disapproving lips every time the nanny appeared.

Burke on May 31, 2010 at 9:09 pm

I went to an advance screening of Prince of Persia at the beginning of May.

I left the theatre thinking this movie will not be memorable at all in a couple of weeks.

Sure enough, I was right, the movie was so scary par that I just about forgot the story.

I give Prince of Persia 2 George Bush Jrs.

trewsdetroit on June 2, 2010 at 10:48 am

Actually the theme of prince of Persia (if not the story) was stolen from the “NEXT”… Same thing about guy going back in time (or seeing forward) all the time and at the endo going back all the way just in time to save the day:) good spec effects but boring.

Mike on November 1, 2010 at 1:44 pm

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