Gemma Arterton Weekend – Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010)

Director: Mike Newell

Writer: Boaz Yakin, Doug Miro, Carlo Bernard (Screenplay) Jordan Mechner (Video Game)

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, Ben Kingsley, Alfred Molina, Steve Toussaint, Toby Kebbell

 

Plot: A young fugitive Prince and Princess must stop a villain who unknowingly threatens to destroy the world with a special dagger that enables the magic sand inside to reverse time.


Tagline – Defy the Future

Runtime: 1 Hour 56 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Action Adventure

 

Story: Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time starts in the land of Persia, ruler Nizam (Kingsley) and brother to the king Sharaman (Pickup) leads his armies in battle with his generals and rebellious prince Dastan (Gyllenhaal) still keeping his streetwise behaviour in him. The latest show of strength sees Dastan lead an attack on Princess Tamina (Arterton) city bringing the two cities together.

When Dastan gets framed for the King’s death, he goes on the with Tamina only to learn about a dagger that can control time, that his brother really wanted from the siege, Dastan must prove his innocence and return home while unlocking his own destiny.

 

Thoughts on Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

 

Characters – Dastan was born on the streets, but raised in the place after impressing the king, he still remains close to the people on the streets which leaves him unable to follow orders. He leads an assault on a new kingdom only to find himself a pawn in a game of power for control of Persia and must learn his true destiny and save the kingdom. Tamina is the princess of a new land that the Persian’s claim, she is forced to marry one, but knows the secrets behind the dagger and the power it gives. She is willing to help get the dagger to safety and away from those who will use the power for their own greed. Nizam is the brother to the king, Uncle to Dastan, he has always lived in the shadow of his brother and no matter who takes over, he will not be king. Sheik Amar is a man that Dastan keeps running into on his travels, a man that is driven by gold which he sees with the bounty on Dastan’s head.

PerformancesJake Gyllenhaal is good when it comes to the action and physical side of the film, though his accent does bounce around at times. Gemma Arterton has the look of a princess, though the accent involved is questionable, for the location she is meant to be from. Ben Kingsley is an easy choice for a villainous character, which is fine he doesn’t get truly challenge in his role, while Alfred Molina adds comedy it can lighten up the movie enough.

StoryThe story is adapted from the video games series, which had a smart idea of a dagger that could control time and the battle for power of the dagger. The film does follow those lines well showing us that not everything is going to be easy for our hero and he simply won’t know who to trust when it comes to gaining power for good or evil. It does follow a trend which was going on at the time with the unlikely couple from different worlds that are slowly falling in love as they look to save the day, with unlikely friendship and enemies made along the way. The idea of a weapon which could possesses the ability to change time is interesting addition to the normal adventure movie too.

Action/Adventure/FantasyThe action in the film is good and entertaining, it includes the fights and battles which will show the number of people fighting for each side. The adventure side of the film shows us how far Dastan must travel to make his position right in the kingdom, going through location which would be considered dangerous on other days. The weapons power adds in the fantasy element which sees us reverse time when suited.

SettingsThe film does use the generic temple style cities and royal locations as well as the open deserts to show us where out character is going on their adventure.

Special EffectsThe effects are a mixed bag, when we see the time rewind, we do get a unique look which is good, the weakness come from certain larger scale moments.


Scene of the Movie –
The rewind of time scenes.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The giant CGI moments.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun video game adventure movie, it has an idea which can become just like we could imagine a video game playing out which is what we would like at times.

 

Overall: Enjoyable adventure film.

Rating

 

 

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Polar (2019)

Director: Jonas Akerlund

Writer: Jayson Rothwell (Screenplay) Victor Santos (Graphic Novel)

Starring: Mads Mikkelsen, Vanessa Hudgens, Katheryn Winnick, Fei Ren, Ruby O Fee, Matt Lucas, Robertt Maillet

 

Plot: The world’s top assassin, Duncan Vizla, is settling into retirement when his former employer marks him as a liability to the firm. Against his will, he finds himself back in the game going head to head with an army of younger killers.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Bloody Filled Action

 

Story: Polar starts when Duncan Vizla (Mikkelsen) a deadly assassin, is reaching retirement age, at 50, he has saved his money and is embracing retirement, only with two weeks before he is due to retire, he gets an offer to complete a new assignment from Vivian (Winnick).

The boss Blut (Lucas) doesn’t want to let his former employees retire, as he is looking to eliminate them claiming back their retirement funds, he sends he best team to kill Duncan, with Hilde (Ren), Sindy (Fee), Karl (Maillet), Facundo (Grant) and Alexei (Cruddas) trying to put the old guard down.

 

Thoughts on Polar

 

Characters – Duncan Vizla is known as the deadliest assassin in his field, he is reaching the age of retirement in this field though, he has been putting his affairs in order ready for the next stage of his life. He must fight the next generation of assassins who are been sent to kill him, using all his knowledge he will take the head of anyone who gets in his way and protecting his neighbour too. Camille is the neighbour that has been through a traumatic experience which sees her being extra jumpy when it comes to loud noises, she befriends Duncan, only to find herself in the middle of the warring assassins. Blut is the owner of the assassin business, he assigns the jobs and decides that after 50 they are no longer required, he has financial gain from this decision and takes great pleasure in hurting people. Vivian is the connection between Blut and Duncan, she doesn’t want to be put in the position on crossing Duncan, only to find herself right there needing to finish the job off.

PerformancesMads Mikkelsen in the leading role is fantastic as we see him feeling like he doesn’t want to be part of the world, living in the shadows, remembering the jobs he has completed. You see all this in his feelings through his limit lines in the movie as the cold-hearted assassin. Vanessa Hudgens is the weakest of the main four, but mostly because of her characters limited involvement in the film. Matt Lucas surprises us here by being the psychopathic leader of the assassins that is over the top which is required through the film. Kathryn Winnick seems to enjoy playing the villainous leading lady filled with the seductive side to her actions. We try do see the rest of the assassins trying to make the most of their time, which is solid enough without being anything great.

StoryThe story here is adapted from a graphic novel, so first we need to know everything will be over the top, which is important to prepare yourself for. When we look at the story, we get one that we have seen before, one that works, an aging assassin becoming the target by their employees who want to eliminate them from the world, leading them to take a stand, facing waves of assassins. As we said this is a formula that works and this is no different, it keeps everything simple, flashy version of it that oozes with its own style that will keep the action fans happy without turning to twist central.

Action/CrimeThe action in this film is big, loud and bloody, we get plenty of moments that could see people looking away at the level of violence being shown here.

SettingsThe settings of the film show where the assassins would be going from the world as they look to stay out of notice as well as showing us the flashy mansion the leader would be happy to live in.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film show us just how violent the action can become as we see and feel a lot of the brutality we see in this film.


Scene of the Movie –
One versus the room, hands up.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The flashback scenes are annoying.

Final ThoughtsThis is a bloody brutal action movie, that does feel like it has been ripped form the pages of the graphic novel and isn’t afraid to hold back.

 

Overall: Bloody and Brutal

Rating

 

 

Logan Lerman Weekend – Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (2013)

Director: Thor Freudenthal

Writer: Marc Guggenheim (Screenplay) Rick Riordan (Novel)

Starring: Logan Lerman, Alexandra Daddario, Douglas Smith, Brandon T Jackson, Stanley Tucci, Nathan Fillion

 

Plot: In order to restore their dying safe haven, the son of Poseidon and his friends embark on a quest to the Sea of Monsters, to find the mythical Golden Fleece, all the while trying to stop an ancient evil from rising.


Tagline – Where there are gods there are monsters.

Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simple & Enjoyable

 

Story: Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters starts as we head back to camp half blood, we learn more about the barrier that protects Percy (Lerman), Annabeth (Daddario) and Grover (Jackson) from the evils of the world. When a stranger Tyson (Smith) a cyclops arrives in the camp the barrier becomes weakened the best warrior Clarisse (Rambin) is selected to search for the Golden Fleece.

Percy learning of a prophecy that shows he could once again save Olympus, he is joined by Annabeth, Grover and Tyson to stop an old enemy that is targeting the same golden fleece which could save the demi-gods.

 

Thoughts on Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters

 

Characters – Percy Jackson has now become the star pupil in the camp, only he hasn’t been on any more quest, lost looking for his place in the world, he learns of a prophecy which gives him a purpose in the world as he looks to save the day again with his friends. Annabeth isn’t the warrior we once new from the last film, we do learn more about her past, though she just seems to be standing around letting Clarisse be the warrior figure. Clarisse is the rival in the camp, she is ultra-competitive when it comes to being the best, which sees her selected for the quest. She is very confident that she is can succeed on any quest too. Tyson is the cyclops who arrives in the camp, claiming to also be related to Poseidon, he has been in hiding, considered an outcast for the most part, he does join Percy on his adventure as the two half brothers must learn to bond. Grover does take a back seat more in this film too as he ends up being taken early on during the adventure. Luke is back once again trying to figure out how to destroy the Gods above, showing that he wants to bring Percy onto his side of the battle.

PerformancesLogan Lerman does continue to be strong in the leading role of this film, it is when we look at the supporting roles things start to go downhill, first they waste Daddario and Jackson’s chemistry from the first film, by bringing us two new actors to work with. Douglas Smith doesn’t hit the comedy which is meant to be shown from his character and Jake Abel returning as the villain gets to have fun with the role.

StoryThe story here brings us the next chapter in the Percy Jackson adventures, this time the stakes seem to be higher with the potential return of a deadly enemy, even if we focus more on team work which is important for the characters in the camp environment. This does give us a similar style of adventure and brings more mythology from the Greek history which is always good to see. The biggest weakness of this story comes from the world building we never got to see the next chapter for. The story feels like it could become a wonderful television show which could teach elements of Greek mythology with a modern style which has been the main part of these films.

Adventure/FantasyThe adventure side of this film takes us to new locations which at meant to be American versions of the Greek historic location, which is fun to see, with Tyson seeing them for the first time. The idea of Greek Gods and monsters in the real world is always going to fascinate which it what makes this film stand out that little bit more.

SettingsThe film does take us to new locations which could easily be modern versions of the Greek Gods location, be it the abandon theme park with a cyclops in or the oceans giant monster literally eating everything in its path.

Special EffectsThe effects do take a step back, mostly because of the extra amounts needed in this film, we have Tyson which cyclops eye never looks right and the battles never hit home enough.


Scene of the Movie –
Final battle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The fact we never get the next chapter.

Final ThoughtsThis is still a fun adventure film that does deliver on what it is trying to give us, it doesn’t hit as well as the first film, but can still be enjoyed along the way.

 

Overall: Fun adventure exploring the Gods.

Rating

 

 

Logan Lerman Weekend – Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief (2010)

Director: Chris Columbus

Writer: Craig Titley (Screenplay) Rick Riordan (Novel)

Starring: Logan Lerman, Peirce Brosnan, Uma Thurman, Steve Coogan, Sean Bean, Alexandra Daddario, Brandon T Jackson, Jake Abel

 

Plot: A teenager discovers he’s the descendant of a Greek god and sets out on an adventure to settle an on-going battle between the gods.


Tagline – Worlds collide.

Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Adventure Film

 

Story: Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief starts when struggling high school student Percy Jackson (Lerman) learns about his mysterious father, when a teacher turns into a monster of sorts, Percy is a demi-god and is being targeted by the Greek Gods who believe he has stolen Zeus Lightning.

Percy’s life changes when he is taken to a secret location for all demi-gods by his protector Grover (Jackson), where he must learn to fight like the rest of the demi-gods as he is joined by Annabeth (Daddario) on an adventure to learn who has the stolen the lightning.

 

Thoughts on Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief

 

Characters – Percy Jackson is your average struggling high school student, raised by his mother with no clue about his father. His life is about to change forever when he learns that he is a demi-god and must prove he isn’t the person responsible for the potential war between the gods and learn his place in the world. Grover is the protector of Percy in the real world and helps guide him through the world. Annabeth is the best warrior of the demi-gods in training, she hasn’t been to go on quests before and sees this as her chance to experience the world. Zeus is in search of his lightning bolt with the gods believing it is Percy. Chiron trains the demi-gods in battle, he keeps them safe while they are preparing to any encounters. We do have the gods we know too with Athena, Hades and Poseidon being involved in the adventure.

PerformancesLogan Lerman is good in this leading role, when it comes to this genre, we need a young actor that can bring the energy and the acting which Logan brings. Brandon and Alexandra give great supporting performances which bring together both the comedy and the brains needs to guide Percy. We have the A-listers here too with Sean Bean, Pierce Brosnan, Uma Thurman and Steve Coogan having fun in the role.

StoryThe story follows an unlikely high school student that finds himself learning his true identity as a demi-god and must go on his first adventure with the Gods searching for him. This is a wonderful introduction to the character of Percy and the people will be working with or fighting against. We go through the learning curve with Percy which also brings the mythology of the Greeks to different location around America. We do get darker moments in the story even though it is just as fun as it needs to be for vision of the Greek Gods in modern society. The flaw in the story comes from the fact that Percy does seem to get out of each situation too easily as a lot are dealing with the idea of Gods he wouldn’t know how to battle against.

Adventure/FantasyThe adventure side of this film takes Percy into a world he had no idea of, Annabeth into the real world and the two needing to advise each other through the battles they will face. The fantasy world of Gods and monsters is front and centre here, mixing with he modern day world wonderfully well.

SettingsThe film brings the mythology of the Greek Gods to America where we learn just how the two become one with the iconic locations from history being reimagined in America.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are good, we have a lot that could come off terrible, but this is a success for the ambitious ideas behind different moments in the film.


Scene of the Movie –
Hades meeting in the underworld.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is too easy for Percy to escape certain situations.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun adventure film that is a great introduction to a much bigger series of stories we could see coming in the future.

 

Overall: Fun and enjoyable throughout.

Rating

 

 

Prodigy (2018)

Director: Nathan Leon

Writer: Nathan Leon (Screenplay)

Starring: Tyler Roy Roberts, Cory Kays, King Amir Alahyar, Jeffrey Arrington, Adam Elliott Davis, Adrianne White, Hailey Henry, Embry Johnson

 

Plot: A father must protect his estranged son from the outside world when the boy accurately predicts three end-of-world events.


Tagline – What if he’s right?

Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Thought Provoking Thriller

 

Story: Prodigy starts when widowed father Erik (Kays) is recruited y Dr Faron (Tyrrell) to reconnect with his son Caleb (Johnson) to help unlock the secret to his latest vision, one which will change the world after he has already predicted to world shattering vision. Erik breaks Caleb out of the prison like environment he is being held captive in.

On the run, Erik and Caleb are marked as dangerous with certain people believing Caleb could even be behind the disasters, while on the run Erik gets to learn the truth about his own vision during one of the events to learn the truth about the future of the world.

 

Thoughts on Prodigy

 

Characters – Erik is the widowed father that has been struggling with life and alcohol problems, haunted by his own vision during the event, he agrees to help his son after nearly 10-years away from him, showing that he could do what is needed to help himself and son get the connection that will change the world forever. Caleb is the teenager that has predict world changing events, he believes the world is going to be hit by a third known as the moment ‘The World Turns Black’ and wants his father to be there with him for this moment. Maya is a waitress that helps the two find a new location to hide out in, she believes in a better life after the visions and will help make sure Caleb has the ones that could change the world. we do get to meet people who both want Caleb for their own agendas and people who want to help.

PerformancesCory Kays in the leading role is good because he must deal with his characters own emotional problems, while also learning to be a better father. Embry Johnson gives us slow deliberate delivery for his teenage character which does make it stand out as a performance which shows us the character has been away from the world. Hailey Henry is good in her role in the supporting side of the story, while most of the performances are good through the film.

StoryThe story here follows the world filled with tension after two moments which changed the world, the third I on it way and people have become divided on wanting to know the truth, who should know the truth and what will happen, with only one teenager seeing what is about to come. This is a film that will make you stop and think about what could happen in the future, your reaction to knowing this could be the end and what would you do if you couldn’t explain what you saw. If you liked Midnight Special you will get the same vibes from the film which is one that grab the audience’s attention, this will too as you will want to know where it all ends up going.

ThrillerThis is a film that uses the idea of father and son on the run while an end of the world event could be around the corner. This does keep us going until the very final shot of the film.

SettingsThe film shows us how the characters are in hiding with most of them being through woodland areas off the grid, these do work for the film.

Special EffectsThe effects are only used very sparely which is nice because this could have gone for silly ones, the ones we get are used to show us the dream sequences only.


Scene of the Movie –
The race to the truth.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Turns to one hiding idea too often.

Final ThoughtsThis is a thinking persons thriller that makes you want to look at moments in your own life and decisions you would make in the same situation.

 

Overall: Smart thriller for all.

Rating