100 movies: The Orphanage & Prince of Persia

100 movies of 2010

I’ve got some movies that have been sitting on my shelf just waiting to get watched. The Orphanage was one of those and I’m now wondering why I left it on my shelf for so long!

El Orfanto aka The Orphanage (08/05/10)
Described as an old fashioned ghost story, The Orphanage mostly lives up to that claim. I say mostly, because my interpretation of the movie takes the ghost out of the film. Not that that’s a bad thing – quite the opposite! It did have all the necessities for an original ghost story – cute but slightly scary children, a very strange looking old woman and a big empty building. I liked the use of minor gore really sparingly in the film. I can count the moments that there was a horrifying image on one hand, which is a good thing. So many horror movies these days rely on the use of gore for the scares. To me this film was less about the scares/ghost story aspect and more about the loss of a child and how a mother copes with that. Very touching.
Rating: 4/5

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (09/05/10)
I have loved the Prince of Persia games since way back when it was a 2D simple platform game. Then when the new games came out on PC I was intrigued. I missed out on The Sands of Time and went into the new game franchise with Warrior Within and have played all the games since. LOVE THEM. So when the announcement was made that there was going to be a movie version of my favourite ever game I was scared. Yes I like the Tomb Raider movies, but even I know they’re not amazing. They’re my guilty pleasure movies. However I wanted Prince of Persia to be different, mostly because the plots of the game are just as enthralling as the game play.

Casting Jake Gyllenhaal as Dastan gave me a bit of a fright – I know he can act but I didn’t think he looked the part! Having seen the film now I am totally onboard with him as the Prince and seeing more of this franchise in movie format. The basic story was taken from the Sands of Time game and built on for the purposes of the movie, adding more characters. As summer blockbuster type movies go, this one ticked all the boxes. Lots of action with nicely put together action sequences. There was some effort put in to make it look like the games, however not too much as to make it cheesy. You’ve got some nice, typical, PoP game moves as well. Which was nice to see!

I had a few mixed feelings about Gemma Arterton as Princess Tamina. I had an irrational hate of her, which Clash of the Titans and Sands of Time have more or less washed away. Ben Kingsley was just phoning it on, as he’s done on all of his recent films that I’ve seen. Alfred Molina was a good bit of comedy and Jake was just awesome. I might be slightly swayed by how he looked in the film, but eh, I’m only human!

There was one thing which did bug me about the film. The use of the Papyrus font for the onscreen location descriptions! Papyrus is not a good font for any kind of subtitles on movies and should not be used! Just don’t do it. Other than that, a good movie with plenty to build on if they decide to do more movies from the franchise of games.
Rating: 4/5

Read more to see the full list of movies I’ve seen so far this year.

100 movies of 2010: Update

100 movies of 2010

I seem to be doing pretty well so far. Average of nearly 1 movie a day since the beginning of the year. I’ll tell you now, it won’t last. But I’ll try and make it last a bit longer.

Unfortunately I watched 2 pretty dufftastic movies, but came back on track to some quality movie watching after those two. Hope to stay back on track. At least for now until I crave a bad movie. I hear they’re good for you every now and then.

(Also for history’s sake I’m adding the date of when I saw the movie)

Max Payne (09/01/10)
I’ll admit, I have a guilty pleasure for 1 game franchise turned to movie – Tomb Raider. I love both of them. Though I never really expect much when it comes to video games turned into movies. Thankfully I was pre-warned about this. It is, not quite the worst movie I’ve ever seen, but close to it. Fair enough it has some decent visuals and the action scenes are pretty to look at. If your attention’s still on them when you get to them.
Rating: 1/5

Mirrors (09/01/10)
Follows the standard American version of Asian horror movie plot line. Down to a T. To its credit it had some decent jumps. Jason Flemyng’s New York accent was amusing at best. Kiefer Sutherland was just Jack Bauer. Wardrobe even dressed him like Jack Bauer – hoodie with short jacket on top. All he was missing was his shoulder bag. Also don’t forget the twist ending. Which wasn’t exactly hard to figure out.
Rating: 2/5

Ali (10/01/10)
Now back on track to some quality. And funnily enough, another biopic. AND the third movie this year with Jamie Foxx in it. Well, I think it’ll be the last, for now. Brilliant movie. The last Michael Mann movie I really enjoyed was Heat. I did like Public Enemies last year, but it looked more fantastic than the movie was. Ali had everything. A lot probably down to the subject matter and Will Smith’s stellar performance. I was in awe. Shame he didn’t get the oscar for this role. I’m not sure when he’ll next get the chance for one. Just everything about this movie was brilliant. Even though I knew the outcome of the George Foreman fight, the way it was done, I was on tentahooks!
Rating: 5/5

Read more to see the full list of movies I’ve seen so far this year.