Wednesday, June 2, 2010

EXP Podcast #80: Prince of Persia: The Movie: The Podcast

It was a long holiday weekend here in the U.S., but don't think that Jorge and I were taking a break. On the contrary, we engaged in some some field research by trekking to the local movie theater to see the latest video game-to-film adaptation: Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. As long time admirers of the franchise, we proceeded hopefully, yet cautiously. Would the Sands of Time live up to the quality of its source material? Would we be left wishing we could rewind time to before our money left our wallets? Would Nolan North dub over Jake Gyllenhaal's voice? Check out the show to find out.

Some discussion starters:

- For those of you who saw the movie, what did you think? For those of you who haven't, what makes you hesitant?

- Do you have any favorite video game films? What games do you think would work well on the silver screen?

- Given that the player's ability to actively interact with a game largely defines the narrative, can a film do justice to a game's themes?

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- Subscribe to the EXP Podcast via iTunes here. Additionally, here is the stand-alone feed.
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Show notes:

- Run time: 36 min 33 sec
- Music provided by Brad Sucks


  1. Funnily I've played all the PoP games except the first one, guess I gotta go back to that some day.

    Have guys seen the Silent Hill movie?

    I listened to the GWJ guys talk about videogame movies(which was painful really, I mean Resident Evil and the SMB movie, are you fucking kidding me?) and they didn't mention it there neither although in my opinion it's the best vg movie I've seen so far.

    At this point all I expect from a game movie is to capture the most important aspects of a game.

    I've only seen trailers of the PoP movie so far but when they show big Lord of the Rings type battle scenes when the games are basically about this guy running along walls and stuff I'm emediatelly losing my interest. I might be wrong but I just assume that the first game isn't all that different in this regard from the others.

    If a game is about an old mansion and ecountering few zombies with few guns than either capture that in your movie or just don't bother making a Resident Evil movie at all.

    That's why I liked the Silent Hill movie so much, they even try to nail typical videogame stuff like fixed camera angles.

    I guess it comes down to the question if you aim at trying to make an enjoyable movie for everyone willing to disappoint people who actually played the game or vice versa.

  2. Ah! Nice to hear your perspective on it. Generally I agree with most of you said. My final conclusion just falls a bit more on the critical side.

    As for the US-centric themes: yeah I noticed them. But I didn't think they detracted from the experience, on the contrary. I really liked Alfred Molina's character, he was quite funny. Actually, I regretted that he wasn't more involved in the plot. The movie never achieved a sense of chemistry and comradely between the characters as Pirates of the Caribbean did.

    I agree with you that the very first action scene was a highlight of the movie. I just wished they would have followed up with 2 or 3 more scenes like that.

    But in the end, I haven't played any of the 3D Prince of Persia games for long. The movie made me actually get the entire Prince of Persia Trilogy on PS2. So there is certainly a happy end here for me. ;)

  3. Hey Christian,

    I watched Ryan Davis' review of Silent Hill on Giant Bomb, and it definitely looks to be one of the better game movies out there. I don't have much experience with the franchise, but it looks to be fairly true to the series' tone.

    Similarly, the PoP movie has few nice touches regarding how the Prince and Princess interact. The acrobatics are better in the beginning of the movie, but it just doesn't feel the same when you're not the one controlling the action.

    Hi Krystian,

    I know what you mean about Molina: he totally upstaged just about everyone in the movie!

    I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the 3D trilogy. Like you, the movie just made me appreciate the games even more.