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Prince of Persia:
The Sands of Time

The bad news about the Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time combo pack from Disney is that it doesn't include the game. Otherwise, it's a satisfying package that offers as much or as little in the way of bells and whistles as you'd want.

First, the movie - unfairly maligned in theaters, but strongly entertaining for a family movie night. Here's the Fanboy Planet review from May.

Despite its PG-13 rating, it's reasonably bloodless though exciting in its action sequences. (If you have younger family members, stay away from the deleted scene - likely cut because it raises the bar on gruesomeness.)

Though romance rears its head, it's more in the form of bickering between Prince Dastan (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Tamina (Gemma Arterton). Any actual chemistry passes over the heads of younger kids, who will just think it's funny. And at times, funny it is, because who can resist an ostrich race?

On Blu-ray, it's a beautiful transfer, too. Gorgeous cinematography pops out of the screen, though yes, the CG effects on the actual "sands of time" look even more computer generated. It might not be noticed, but the audio transfer does clip a little of the dialogue resonance. The score, however, still fills the room.

Then from time to time you can hit the spinning Dagger of Time that pops up to access Disney's "Cinexplore" option - every studio has a different name for it, but this may be the cleverest context for it I've seen so far. If you click on the dagger with your remote, it takes you back a bit and throws in some extra behind-the-scenes features, some self-aggrandizing, some reasonably interesting.

Most of the same background information shows up on an extra on the regular DVD, so those without Blu-ray won't miss anything beyond the cool interactive factor. On that disc, the transfer is fine; it's just that each time I watch something on high definition, I feel a little piece of my non-snobbiness flake away and I notice the difference just a little bit more.

Then again, Disney tells me that I should in the second most (unintentionally) hilarious anti-piracy ad campaign I've seen. I'm against disc piracy, but the way they use Tinkerbell for this - well, clap your hands If you don't want to see DVDs die.

As for the digital copy also included, my snobbery does continue in that I don't really watch movies on digital devices because I like big screens. Blame age if you must. But despite enjoying Prince of Persia, I can't turn back the sands of time.

Oh, heck -- one more look at the Mighty Ostrich:


Derek McCaw


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