Prince of Persia - The Sands of Time
   Director: Mike Newell, Walt Disney Pictures, Rated M, 116 mins

It is hard to believe that this latest blockbuster from noted filmmaker Jerry Bruckheimer (Pirates of the Caribbean) and director Mike Newell (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) is based on a popular video game.
   Irrespective, this exciting fantasy adventure which is set in the mystical lands of Persia has a fascinating storyline, spectacular scenes and settings, plenty of action and great special effects.
   Prince of Persia-The Sands of Time tells the story of an outcast prince and a mysterious princess’s race against prevailing dark forces to safeguard an ancient sand filled dagger capable of releasing the ‘Sands of Time’–a weapon that can reverse time and allow its possessor to rule the world.
   Playing the lead role of Prince Dastan is Rendition star Jake Gyllenhaal who, as a young street orphan, was adopted by Persian King Sharaman (Ronald Pickup) and brought up in the royal household together with his ‘brothers’ Garsiv (Tobey Kebbell) and Tus (Richard Coyle).
   Against the King’s wishes Dastan joins in his brothers’ conquest of the Holy City of Alamut where they capture the beautiful but fiery Princess Tamina (Gemma Arterton from Clash of the Titans).
   During their victory celebrations Dastan is accused of murdering the King but manages to escape together with the Princess. With the mystical dagger in his possession Dastan begins his hazardous quest to right a terrible wrong and stop an evil mastermind’s plot for ultimate power.
   Besides the wonderful chemistry between the leading characters there is an impressive performance from Academy Award winning actor Ben Kingsley (Ghandi) and that of Alfred Molina (An Education) whose comical role results in some great one-liners.
   Once again action supremo Bruckheimer has demonstrated what a great filmmaker he is by transforming a video game into a visually pleasing motion picture by adding such appealing ingredients as ancient myths, well orchestrated action sequences, humour and romance.
   Academy Award winning Australian, John Seale’s splendid cinematography helps ensure another Bruckheimer movie has provided a level of escapism and entertainment that most of the audience should enjoy.
VIC'S VERDICT:       4 Rubber Stamps

   Director: Scott Stewart, Sony Pictures, Rated MA, 100 mins

Following the recent release of such apocalyptic movies as The Book of Eli and The Road comes aridiculous apocalypse rendition from director Scott Stewart that incorporates religious undertones and has angels as its focal point.
   Even though there are similarities to the horror movie Zombieland it is evident that Stewarts’s Legion lacks any real plot or storyline.
   In essence, an out-of-the-way diner in America’s Mojave Desert becomes the unlikely battleground for the survival of the human race.
   As depicted in the opening scenes, God, having lost faith in the human race, has sent down a legion of angels to bring on the apocalypse with humanity's only hope lying with a renegade angel, the heavily tattooed Michael (played by the talented Paul Bettany from The Da Vinci Code) and a group of strangers trapped in the diner owned by Bob Hanson (Dennis Quaid from G.I.Joe-Rise of the Cobra).
   According to Michael he is there not only to protect the inhabitants from the attacking zombie-like hordes but in particular to safeguard the diner’s waitress, Charlie (Adrianne Palicki) who is the love interest of Bob’s son Jeep (Lucas Black) and is eight months pregnant with a child considered to be humanity’s salvation.
   With the exception of Bettany, the performances of the rest of the cast are quite ordinary, particularly from an actor of the calibre of Dennis Quaid whose role was just disappointing.
   Despite some unsavoury scenes Stewart has still managed to inject some interesting CGI effects and action sequences including a fight sequence between the two angels Gabiel (Kevin Durand) and Michael.
   In the end there is no need to rush to watch this version of the apocalypse when there is a ‘legion’ of better movies around on DVD.
VIC'S VERDICT:       2 ½ Rubber Stamps

   Release date: 16 June
   Director: The Spierig Brothers, Lionsgate, Rated MA, 98 mins

Sony’s latest DVD is an interesting vampire movie written and directed by the Spierig Brothers.
   It is cinematically appealing due to some impressive settings and a credible line-up of well known stars but possibly weakened by the number of unpalatable scenes that show an excessive use of blood and gore.
   It is ten years after the outbreak of vampirism with almost everyone having been converted and just five percent of the population still human.
   With their prey dying off the vampires are beginning to starve, creating a world wide dilemma for sufficient supplies of human blood.
Ethan Hawke playsEd Dalton, a haematologist looking for a synthetic blood substitute that could save the vampires and stop human extinction. Ed is also a reluctant vampire, struggling with the morality of killing to live and troubled by the cold greed of his boss Charles Bromley (played by distinguished actor Sam Neill).
   Besides Hawke and Neill, the other acknowledged star is Willem Defoe but the cast also includes a number of Australian actors including Vince Colosimo, Isabel Lucas and Claudia Karvan-who plays Hawke’s love interest.
   Besides being made in Australia, Daybreakers has an engaging storyline, is filled with striking images and will ultimately appeal to those who really like vampire type movies.
   Sony’s DVD also contains a number of special features including:
  • Commentary from the directors and the creature designer;
  • Making of the Daybreakers featurette; and
  • A Poster Gallery.
VIC'S VERDICT:       2 Rubber Stamps

Sea Beast
   Release date: June
   Director: Paul Ziller, Sony Pictures, Rated MA, 83 mins

This DVD is a real ‘creature feature’ that fails to even reach the standard set by the classic creature movies of the 50s such as The Creature from the Black Lagoon.
   Former teen star Corin Nemec plays Will McKenna, a fisherman who swears he saw a reptilian like creature take one of his men during a fishing trip.
   Returning to his small seaside town he goes along with the story that the guy was washed overboard until people around town start turning up half-eaten.
   It seems the sea beast which paralyses its victims with venom before killing them has followed his boat back to the mainland.
   Despite some average acting by the cast, the creature CGI effects appear to be quite plausible for this type of movie while the gore is both ample and gruesome.
   Unfortunately there are no special features on this DVD.
VIC'S VERDICT:       3 ½ Rubber Stamps

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