- Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
- Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
- Resolution: 1080p/24
- Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit), English 2.0 Descriptive Video Service, French Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
- Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
- Region: A
- Rating: PG-13
- Discs: 3
- Studio: Walt Disney Video
- Blu-ray Release Date: September 14, 2010
- List Price: $44.99
Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures
(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)
I’m sure with a powerful franchise name like Prince of Persia and the backing of such a Hollywood heavyweight like Jerry Bruckheimer (The Pirates of the Caribbean), it must not be difficult to rope such stars as Sir Ben Kingsley and Jake Gyllenhaal into signing on for a feature film based on a console game. Unfortunately, it seems that despite all the miserable attempts over the years at crossing over genres, people still haven’t learnt their lessons that video games to do not good movies make. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is no exception.
What is, I’m quite certain, a pleasant gaming experience, since lots of kids and not so young gamers seem to love it, has been turned into a long, laborious and clumsy film that, despite its razor thin plot and constant action sucks all the fun out of Prince of Persia.
Jake Gyllenhaal assumes the duties of the titular character, an orphan and adopted prince of Persia, who after an attack by his country’s army on the holy city of Alamut, is framed for the assassination of his father, the king of Persia. He ends up on the run for his life with Alamut’s princess, Tamina (Gemma Arterton) and in possession of a mystical weapon, the Dagger of Time, that enables the holder to slip back in time a few minutes and change events. He must save the dagger from his brother and uncle and perhaps even the princess who all covet its power.
With clumsy dialogue and direction that sometimes tries to simulate the side scrolling game play of Prince of Persia to varying degrees of success, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time often collapses into mere silliness, dullness, and the agonizingly awful. At least Pirates of the Caribbean, based on a theme park ride, was so over-the-top with humour and outrageous situations that it could be enjoyed for what it was, an eye-pleasing popcorn flick. This is tedious action as shallow as a puddle with no sense of humour.
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is relatively grainy and textured film with saturated midtones and an earthy palette. The AVC/MPEG-4 1080p/24 encoding from Disney presents the 2.40:1 film nicely, keeping the grain intact, offering deep obsidian blacks, extended shadow details, sharp details, a clean source and a lack of compression or major processing issues.
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) soundtrack rumbles, whooshes, and whirls, with a great balance of discrete and ambient use of the surround channels, clean dialogue, and smooth high frequencies. The Middle Eastern inspired score sounds lush and dynamic and everything is well balanced into the mix.
There are hours worth of supplements to dive into here, but most of them are in the Sands of Time in-movie feature.
The supplements provided with this release are:
- Sands of Time (1080p/24; Dolby Digital 5.1) — This BD-J based in-movie feature offers up over 40 behind-the-scenes featurettes that give background information on the action, Middle Eastern history, and loads of interview segments. The downside is it switches your audio option from the excellent lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix to a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 version.
- Deleted Scene (2.40:1; 1080p/24; Dolby Digital 5.1) — The Banquet: Garsiv Presents Heads
- D-Box — D-Box motion code enabled
- DVD — Standard Definition DVD copy included.
- Digital Copy — Digital Copy for transfer to Mac/PC and iTunes/Windows Media-enabled portable devices.
The Definitive Word
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time offers an excellent home theatre entertainment experience with a good value of bonus features if you can get past the terribly cheesy movie itself, that is.
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