Blog 554: Movie Night V

I’m sure that, when I finally leave home, I’ll just not watch television at all. Instead, I’ll spend all night on the computer, lapsing into fitful and uncomfortable dreams. But hey, since I’m still here and full televisual control is a rarity, I’m just going to keep on buying trashy DVDs whenever I get some time alone.

This year, in my first week alone I ended up watching the original Superman, bought Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and continued watching current BBC crime drama series The Fall

Saturday: Superman

My friends like superheroes much more than I do. In preparation for the up-coming reboot Man of Steel, we watched the original Superman film from 1978. Gosh… I haven’t seen a film so full of holes since Prometheus. Lex Luthor makes some stunning intuitive leaps, like knowing that kryptonite will hurt Superman based on absolutely no evidence, not to mention Superman’s bizarre slew of powers. Super-strength, flight, invulnerability, x-ray vision…

Like the Hulk, Superman is just a bit too random to make sense to me. I can only square it if the Kryptonians genetically engineered themselves, but why would they genetically engineer themselves to have all these powers that are totally nullified on their home planet?

Not to mention kryptionite itself — if it can nullify the tremendous power of Superman just by being in the same room as him, why the hell doesn’t it completely demolish the squishy humans standing nearby with its radioactive bombardment? (And if it was decaying fast enough to do that, it’d probably become inert pretty quickly.)

Superhero nonsense aside, mind you, as a film it was utter mince too.

With all the technology in the world, we still can't stop Superman's flying from being hideously embarrassing.
With all the technology in the world, we still can’t stop Superman’s flying from being hideously embarrassing.

Sunday: Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

I was recommended this film when it came out at the cinema, as a fantasy swashbuckler with a romance sub-plot. For £2.50, and on the strength of that recommendation, it seemed worth a punt. I can’t remember who recommended it.

Now, I’ve never played any Prince of Persia games so I can’t vouch for its faithfulness to the source material — but as a film? Brilliant. I loved it. A true swashbuckler to the bone, there’s parkour and backflipping and rope-swinging and sword-fighting galore. Buckles are swashed all across the land, banter is exchanged with wit and charm and — yes — there’s a romance sub-plot.

Apparently Jordan Mechner, the creator of the video game franchise itself, also masterminded the film storyline, so that involvement probably gives it more weight than most video game adaptations.

Anyway, kudos to whomever gave me the original recommendation — you know me well.

As this is a film that involves time travel, and we all know what I think about time travel as a plot device,  we do need to take a moment to examine its mechanics for holes. And here? I’m totally okay with it. It works.

Well, maybe it’s not time travel as such, because the future ceases to exist. The traveller’s consciousness goes back in time and zaps back into his body in the past, rather than ending up with multiple duplicates existing simultaenously. The original future he “came from” no longer exists and time continues moving from that past moment again. An interesting way to sidestep all the paradoxes that usually plague such plot devices — I guess it’s more like a time S-bend…

Gosh, I really want some Prince of Persia Lego now. Why am I always so late to the party that things are discontinued before I can get them?

Monday: The Fall

A crime drama series that’s been on over the past few weeks, Gillian Anderson is summoned to Belfast to review a dead-end investigation and realises it’s a serial killer (alas, not aliens, though recent BBC mystery catastrophe Mayday tried to pull magic and that was… well). The twist is that we viewers know who the murderer is and get to witness his crimes… and his normal family life around them.

The problem is that the murderer is a creepy bastard, but his adoring wife and his work colleagues seem completely oblivious to just how creepy he is. It also seems fashionable these days for the villains in crime dramas to be perverts — whatever happened to rampages for revenge or political revolution?

It’s passable enough but I’m not particularly enthused either way. I just want to see Creepy McCreepyface get his just deserts — but knowing modern crime drama, that other cheap ass-cliché will kick in at the end and he’ll get shot/commit suicide rather than having to face justice. No messy trial that way.

He doesn't look shifty at all, no sirree.
He doesn’t look shifty at all, no sirree.

The Verdict

I think there’s a clear winner here: Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time ticked all the boxes with gusto and a giant shit-eating grin on its face. Good job!

It’s not over yet, though, because when I bought Prince of Persia I also picked up John Carter (okay, we already know what I think about that) and a three-film box called simply The Fantasy Collection

2 thoughts on “Blog 554: Movie Night V”

  1. I’ve seen prince of persia twice, once in the cinema and once on a dvd. It really is a classic kind of fun. And the timetravel is the way I’ve always seen time travel: it always struck a nerve when characters travelled through time, only to have other people travel after them as if they’re travellling lateral distance rather than going somewhere and being able to do changing the future and changing the fact that there was a guy trying to go after you in the first place.
    If you travel to the past, the place you’re leaving shouldn’t exist anymore.


    1. Yeah. The only other place I can think of where time travel works is Terminator — because they travel into the past, but their actions in the past cause the future to turn out as it did, so the paradox is sustained. Most other places just go mental; Looper is a recent example of a paradox car-crash.


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