Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (Blu-ray) (2010)

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Released 18-Oct-2010

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-Making Of-x42
Featurette-Making Of-An Unseen World
Deleted Scenes
Alternative Version-DVD Copy
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2010
Running Time 115:56
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Mike Newell
Studio
Distributor
Jerry Bruckheimer Fi
Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
Starring Jake Gyllenhaal
Gemma Arterton
Ben Kingsley
Alfred Molina
Steve Toussaint
Toby Kebbell
Case Amaray Variant
RPI $49.95 Music Harry Gregson-Williams


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 EX
Italian dts 5.1
Spanish dts 5.1
Hindi dts 5.1
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
Not 16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Italian
Spanish
Dutch
Swedish
Norwegian
Icelandic
Danish
Finnish
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     Dastan (Jake Gyllenhaal) is the youngest, and only adopted, son of the Persian king in the dusty days of kings and queens. Having lived the first decade of his life on the streets, Dastan was adopted after the King witnessed him bravely, and acrobatically, defend another street urchin from some of city's brutish enforcers.

     After leading the invasion of what turns out to be a reasonably peaceful city on the suspicion they are harbouring weapons of mass destruction (well, the olden days equivalent thereof), Dastan is framed for the murder of his adopted father. He goes on the run with the Princess of the invaded city (Gemma Arterton), with his two brothers' and their men in pursuit. Not long into his escape, Dastan discovers that the real reason for his fathers' murder was not to merely take the throne, but to capture a magical Dagger that he found during the invasion. A dagger that has the ability to roll time backwards by using a special magical sand, with the holder of the dagger being the only person aware of the reversal. Dastan uses this to his advantage as he attempts to clear his name and unearth who is behind the death of his father. In his quest for answers, Dastan turns to his trusted uncle Nizam (Ben Kingsley) for assistance, but struggles to reach him thanks to the price on his head. He also befriends an ostrich racing bandit "businessman" (Alfred Molina) and his gang (chiefly his knife throwing African bodyguard).

     Prince of Persia is very loosely based on the long-running video game franchise of the same name. The film cheerily picks a handful of the more film-worthy story ideas and broad settings from the games, rather than being an adaptation of any of the games. Unfortunately, the stigma of inferiority that tends to surround films that have anything to do with video games appears to have outweighed any existing brand recognition in this instance as the film failed to perform as well as one might have expected from a Jerry Bruckheimer tent-pole feature, and that failure has nothing to do with the quality.

     Prince of Persia is a cracker. The action is fantastic. Featuring a well-honed balance of live stunt work and CGI, there is no shortage of excitement in Prince of Persia. The way the action is shot marks a return to good old-fashioned action direction, with plenty of longer cuts to fight scenes and acrobatic work. The dusty Persian cityscapes are magnificently designed. They both look great and offer a well designed foil for the stunt work and combat.

     Also a welcome return to classic style is the story itself, which follows the classic Disney live action adventure formula with shades of other desert classics such as Lawrence of Arabia. The characters are playful and well rounded. The light humour of Alfred Molina’s reluctantly heroic bandit geezer is an excellent counterpoint to the more serious leads. Ben Kingsley is up to his usual high standard, even for what was likely to have been a paycheque gig, as he returns to the sub-continental region with a decidedly un-Ghandi-like character.

     Prince of Persia is a mighty fun desert swashbuckling flick that holds up well to repeat viewing.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     The film is presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio in 1080p. The video looks excellent. The image is sharp and clear, with a mild filmic level of grain present throughout. The colours are rich and bold, with a palette that really suits the style of the film. Shadow detail is excellent and blacks are deep and well distinguished. There is no sign of any unpleasant video or film artefacts in the image.

     The film features English subtitles for the hearing impaired, which look to be accurate and well timed based on the portion sampled.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     The film features a choice of English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1, English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 and French, Italian or Hindi DTS 5.1.

     The audio is everything you would expect from a studio tent-pole action film. The dialogue is clear and easy to understand. There are no issues with audio sync.

     The film features a sweeping classical score from Harry Gregson-Williams, which strongly recalls the style of big desert epics form days gone by. Very fitting and well suited to the material.

     The surrounds get a good workout throughout the film, as does the subwoofer.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

CineExplore: The Sands of Time

     A series of 42 making-of vignettes, each running around 1-2 minutes and totalling about 77 minutes of content altogether, are viewable throughout the film with the CineExplore option turned on. A dagger pops up on screen at appropriate moments to allow viewers to branch off to this content. Alternatively, the segments are all available to access via a separate menu. All these segments are in 1080p.

Deleted Scene (1:26)

     One deleted scene is offered. In it we see the King's sons present him with gifts from their victorious battle; gifts of severed heads on platters. I wonder why that didn't make the cut in a Disney produced adventure film... Presented in 1080p.

An Unseen World Making Of Featurette (15:13)

     Featured only on the DVD disc of the set, thus presented in PAL format, this is a short "making of" featurette that is largely cut together from bits and bobs of the Blu-ray CineExplore content.

DVD Copy of the Film

     A PAL formatted copy of the film on DVD.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The various international versions available are all identical to the Australian Region B edition (which is coded for A/B/C), save for variety between trailers for other films that are included on the disc and non-English languages.

Summary

     A cracking, swashbuckling adventure in an exotic desert setting, Prince of Persia is a cracker. Audio and video for the film are excellent. The extras are genuinely interesting and diverse.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Adam Gould (Totally Biolicious!)
Friday, December 10, 2010
Review Equipment
DVDSony Playstation 3, using HDMI output
DisplayOptoma HD20 Projector. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderPioneer VSX2016AVS. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX2016AVS
Speakers150W DTX front speakers, 100W centre and 4 surround/rear speakers, 12 inch PSB Image 6i powered sub

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