Wow, it’s a slow week for retail entertainment. That makes this the perfect time to catch up with a film that was unfairly overlooked when it was released at the theater. It’s only competition are two romances and the last time I checked Valentine’s Day doesn’t fall in October. Who wants to go down the creepy tunnel inside the tomb first?
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time – Sometimes people just don’t show up for a party. I have worked jobs where you throw Customer Appreciation catered events and invite only your best clients, and it is always a rule of thumb that only 20% are actually going to show up. Disney hired a name actor (Jake Gyllenhaal) who took the role seriously, worked out in the gym for months and promoted the film like nobody’s business. They hired Mike Newell, who was coming off what was then called the best of the Harry Potter films to date (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), to direct. In supporting roles, they hired award winners in Ben Kingsley and Alfred Molina to anchor the film and do the heavy lifting. Where did it go wrong? I don’t know. The marketing still looks great, and no one in their right mind could possibly complain about the PG-13 rating. I have a feeling this is a film that will quietly make it’s budget back on DVD, especially once the holidays hit.
Letters to Juliet – The story of a girl (Amanda Seyfried) who goes on vacation with her boyfriend to Italy. Her boyfriend is there on business to sample food and wine for his business. Instead of enjoying this once in a lifetime opportunity, she proceeds to exclaim, “Boring!” and complains, complains, complains. Fast forward a little bit, she meets a blond haired guy that treats her like a jerk. What’s that? You bet that they fall in love by the end of the movie? Who in their right mind would leave their boyfriend for an a-hole they just met in a foreign country? Seriously, everyone has watched Taken at least three times by now, right? All joking aside, Vanessa Redgrave is supposed to be marvelous in this, so I’m happy that she was able to enjoy Italy while getting paid, but Amanda Seyfried needs to find some real movies to star in soon. I realize it’s hard out there for young actresses, but Rachel McAdams made The Notebook and then got out. Stay in Nicholas Sparks territory too long and it’ll be nothing but scripts for My Sister’s Keeper 2 landing on your doorstep.
Just Wright – Am I the only one that finds it funny that Common plays thugs in 90% of his movie roles? I mean, I realize that’s not very PC, and I am actually very PC in my life, but you’ve got a guy that is Mr. Unity and Strength on his albums, but every script that lands on his desk that calls for Angry Gunman #2, he’s like, “Sign me up!” That actually has nothing to do with Just Wright, I just think it’s funny. In Just Wright, a physical therapist (Queen Latifah) falls in love with a basketball player (Common) that she is helping recover from a career-threatening injury. Meh. I saw the trailer, and it was just 100% meh. It had scenes that appeared to be lifted directly from the Whoopi Goldberg stinker Eddie. When we recycle Whoopi plotlines, the terrorists have won.
Seriously folks, go with Prince of Persia this week. As a matter of fact, skip renting it, buy it, especially if you have kids. Splurge and pick up a couple of those plastic swords they’re always beating each other with in Target, too.