Thursday, October 29, 2009

The (p)reviews are in.

Jerry Bruckheimer screened the Prince of Persia trailer for game and movie sites this week. Today, we get the reaction: mostly positive, so far. Even better is the news that the trailer for the Jake Gyllenhaal movie will appear online November 3, making the wait only four Days after Tomorrow. (The trailer will premiere in theaters on Friday the 13th with the movie 2012.)

Update: IGN:

IGN will premiere the Prince of Persia: Sands of Time trailer on Monday, November 2 at 7:00 p.m. PST. Stay tuned.

IGN: "The trailer is definitely a winner" detail has been spared to create a very realistic portrayal of ancient Persia, as seen in the sweeping shots of the expansive city, the beautifully costumed characters and the eye-popping special effects that surround the presentation. ...

We're big fans of the Prince of Persia videogames and were naturally skeptical of the franchise's translation to the silver screen, but based on what little we've seen of the movie in the trailer, we're excited. Gyllenhaal works as the Prince, despite our initial reservations. There's plenty of well-choreographed action sequences complemented by spectacular special effects. The chemistry between the characters is already apparent. And there's enough fan service in the trailer alone to satisfy most naysayers. We're left with the impression that the Prince of Persia series is getting the full Pirates of the Caribbean treatment -- and we suppose the trailer works because we're looking forward to sitting down in the theatre, popcorn in lap, and escaping.

Movie Web: A film that could easily spawn a blockbuster franchise

"The film really feels like a revamped version of an Indiana Jones film, only this is set centuries before and also has the benefit of the amazing special effects and cutting-edge technology. ...

...despite the numerous misgivings many had about the casting of Jake Gylennhaal - it truly does look like he pulls off this Dastan character in wonderful fashion, and they did a nice job in the trailer teasing the chemistry between Dastan and white-hot newcomer Gemma Arterton's Tamina."

Destructoid: "Does everything a good action movie trailer should"

... it features fantastic locations, impossible stunts, a brief overview of an interesting story, and a hint of romance. ...

As expected, the action is heavy on the CG, but as a result the free running in the trailer is as unbelievable as in the games, if not more so. Some specific moves shown off in the trailer will be familiar to fans of the games, while others are so fantastic that a game would be hard pressed to replicate them outside of a cut-scene or quick time event.

Joystiq: The good, the bad and the ugly

The Good: There is plenty of "platforming" in here, where The Prince leaps, jumps, chimneys down walls, and narrowly escapes nefarious traps. That's a nice nod to the game, which first appeared on home computers back in 1989. You'll also hear a couple of familiar sound effects, like the psssshwt! of an arrow as it narrowly misses The Prince. The trailer was filled with heroic action featuring a very ripped Jake Gyllenhaal, performing everything you'd expect from the franchise's protagonist: sword fighting; wooing Princess Tamina, sweeping back his emo hair and ... err, more jumping. Lots of jumping. There's also a some witty repartee between Dastan and Tamina, a la Indiana Jones and Marion Ravenwood. What better movie to emulate?

UGO: "Looks to be a loose rather than literal adaptation of [the] original story"

No stranger to making movies of the swashbucking variety, Mr. Jerry Bruckheimer produced, and what the trailer lacked in traditional 'splosions — 9th century technology, and all that — it made up for in massive sandstorms, collapsing temples, and an awful lot of fancy CGI. The camera jumped from dreamlike vistas of Arabian cityscapes, to the microscopic innards of an hourglass, to a close-up of a lunging serpent's tonsils. Those of you who are fans of the "less-is-more" approach to cinematography will probably experience FX-induced nausea upon viewing this trailer, but you oughtta know by now that Bruckheimer doesn’t make movies for weaklings like you.

Coming Soon: "The mythical land of Persia... looks stunning"

Although the footage we saw was brief, which made it difficult to see where the story is going, the rivalry and tension between the prince and princess was very clear. Their witty banter was entertaining and well-written.

"You really enjoy telling me what to do don't you?" Gyllenhaal's character sarcastically asks.

"Only because you're so good at following orders," the princess quickly snaps back.

"Don't press your luck. The Sands of Saint, they strike terror into the heart of all they cross," he replies.

"Such a noble prince - leaping to assist the fallen beauty," she says.

"Who said you were a beauty," he laughs.

"There must be some reason why you can't take your eyes off me," she says.

He then tries to say something but begins to stutter, not knowing how to respond to the princess' feisty comebacks.

Fandango: "Telltale signs of a 2010 blockbuster: big stars and a fun, fantasy-action storyline"

The scenes where Jake uses the dagger to release the Sands of Time look well-polished, although Bruckheimer says they're still working to perfect it. The first time Jake uses the dagger, the sand and an electric-like current course through him, and he sees himself being brought back in time to a moment where he and Gemma are lip locked. He's floating above himself and suddenly morphs back into his own body. "Only the holder of the dagger is aware of what's happening," says a man's ominous voice. I'm guessing that's Alfred Molina, the prince's mentor.

One clip has Jake showing off his physical strength by scaling up a wall, while arrows whiz by all around him. Jake and Gemma have a few comical, flirtatious moments, trying to one-up each other in zippy comebacks, and in the trailer's last few cuts, we see a scene of the two of them in a temple that's falling apart. The sand around them starts to sink in, more arrows whiz by and a destructive whirlwind finishes it off. While most movies adapted from video games don't translate to the screen too well, so far, Prince of Persia looks like a fun PG adventure.

Collider: "Two minutes of awesome"

... based on the trailer, it looks like they spent a small fortune making “Prince of Persia”. It’s easily the most expensive video game-based movie ever made and this could be the film that shows Hollywood what they need to do to make an adaptation that works.

As I watched, I felt like they’ve mixed a “Lord of the Rings” type quest with the fun atmosphere of a “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie.

ETA more trailer reviews:

As a bona fide tentpole movie, Prince of Persia possesses all of the same qualities that made Bruckheimer's previous fantasy franchise, The Pirates of the Caribbean, a success: breathtaking action, international intrigue, a roguish hero, and an attractive heroine.

GirlGamer: But I’ll be the first to admit that after seeing the trailer, I found myself eating a bit of the proverbial crow as Jake Gyllenhaal turns out to be quite engaging as the Prince.

The trailer itself is lush, loud, and beautiful.

Crave Online: Producer Jerry Bruckheimer has set his sights high for this one, and if the trailer's any indication, by the looks of things (as well as the price tag) Prince of Persia makes a strong case to break the mold.

A funny account of some fans waiting around for a look at Jake and Anne on the set of LaOD:

My wife tells me she and our two daughters are going to walk around the corner to Shannon's house because Shannon had called to say Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway were talking in the vacant lot outside her bathroom window.


They never got inside Shannon's. There was no need. While they were still on the stoop, Gyllenhaal ran right past them for the corner coffee shop, Hoi Polloi, evidently to use the bathroom. (Pennsylvania's film tax credit buys a lot of coffee.)


It was our daughter Clare, celebrating her 10th birthday that night, who provided the best reporting of the evening. When I asked what she thought of seeing a famous actor on her birthday, she said, "It looked like he really had to go because he ran into Hoi Polloi."

When you gotta go...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

LaOD PoP Sesame Street

The NY Post has a picture of Jake and Elmo from Jake's appearance in this, the 40th season of Sesame Street.

Some new photos of Jake Gyllenhaal on the set of Love and Other Drugs in Pittsburgh today. You can see more shots of Jake and Anne Hathaway at the source:

There's also word that Prince of Persia will have a PG13 rating, "for intense sequences of violence and action." Bring it on, baby!

You've probably heard that the PoP trailer will premiere 15 Days After Tomorrow, with the movie 2012. Here's another fan-made trailer, while we wait for the real thing:

(Photos courtesy of WPXI.)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Questions for Jerry and Jordan?

New pics of Jake Gyllenhaal today - we haven't seen him in a while. Out with his father in NYC:

Apparently, there is a Prince of Persia movie Facebook group. And they are apparently accepting questions for Jerry Bruckheimer and Jordan Mechner. Jake is apparently not answering questions - maybe next time! I can think of a few questions for the other two Js:

Question from Ultra_impatient:

When is the *&$%ing trailer coming out?

Fanmade trailers are nice and all, but we want the real deal.

Question from FL_TAR_FAN:

In your opinion (JB), would the cast of PoP make good racers in The Amazing Race?

All that parkour and swordplay and horse riding would be good experience, right?

Or, do you think Jake Gyllenhaal would be a good contestant on TAR? And could he team up with former racer Mike White for the next go-round?

I think they might have to work on their signals!

If you have a real question for J+J, you have until tomorrow to submit it. Or tell us what you'd really like to ask.

Also, IGN posted a video preview of PoP - nothing new really, but they did have praise for the footage they've seen so far:

(Photos courtesy of IHJ and flickr/Vincent Kessels.)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Coming attractions?

It's the week for fake movie trailers! First, we got to see the pitch that Jordan Mechner put together to sell Prince of Persia as a movie. Then the adventures of BalloonBoy unleashed a series of Jake Gyllenhaal/BubbleBoy tweets and spoof ideas.

Now comes the preview for Oceans 40, a fictitious and funny proposed sequel to the Oceans movies. Oceans 40 will feature a cavalcade of stars from A-list to Z, with Jake, Leo, Hugh and others joining Brad, George and the gang.

Hilarious! And though I know this is intended as an absurd commentary on the Oceans series, I'd love to see Jake in a caper movie. Can't you see it already?

Okay, maybe notsomuch in that second photo... That's more like the sequel to Grizzly Adams.

That's more like it!

Oh, maybe Penelope Cruz can join!

One more Jake-related movie video. Fran Healy from Travis relating the story of Love WIll Come Through, a song on the Moonlight Mile soundtrack.

Good to see they still keep in touch!

This video has been up on youtube for a year, but I don't remember seeing it before. Some new/old video clips, which is always fun.

Finally, Empire Online had a poll that listed Jake at #16 on the list of Sexiest Male Movie Stars. You can vote on whether you think Jake should be higher or lower on the list. So far, most people seem to think Jake should be lower. Unless they mean a lower number, I don't know what they are smoking! Vote here if you want to have your say.

(Photos courtesy of IHJ. Oceans 40 trailer from HISHEdotcom.)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Pitching a Prince

Updated to include a photo of Jake Gyllenhaal filming Love and Other Drugs in Pittsburgh on Monday. Thanks to the folks at Boring Pittsburgh, who have more photos of the action.

We don't have a real trailer yet for Prince of Persia. But thanks to Destructoid, we have the prototype for the Jake Gyllenhaal movie:

Prince of Persia movie pitch trailer (2003) from jordan mechner on Vimeo.

In 2003, Prince of Persia creator Jordan Mechner had a sit-down meeting with Jerry Bruckheimer and Disney executives. The goal, to sell them on the idea of a Prince of Persia film.

Mechner explains it took him a week to cut up the above pitch trailer in Final Cut Pro, using existing footage from the Prince of Persia: Sands of Time game. He says that designing the trailer was a challenge, as many of the key scenes, locations, and characters from the film simply weren't in the game.

"So rather than attempt to explicitly tell the story of the movie in the trailer," he writes, "I set out to convey the kind of movie it would be."

What you won't see in the trailer -- time freezing, sand monsters, and the game's eerie vision sequences. They're apparently not in the movie, instead replaced by Jake Gyllenhaal's abs and five o'clock shadow.

Sounds like a fair trade-off to me :)

Mechner also talked about possible sequels. And he emphasized that PoP is not a video game movie, but a swashbuckling adventure.

Yeah, I think we could all take a few more of these:

While we continue to wait for the trailer, let's review the first PoP footage we got a good look at:

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Those socks don't match those shoes

Jake Gyllenhaal on the set of Love and Other Drugs, rocking the shades and the, er sandals and socks.

As you may recall, this is not Jake's first encounter with tragic footwear. He's done the socks and sandals before:

And he's worn these awful Lakertastic Nikes on at least two occasions:

Then there are his trusty soft clogs. Comfy, no doubt, but not chic:

But thank the heavens, at least he's not wearing Crocs.

Oh, dear...

(Photos courtesy of IHJ.)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Love and Other Drugs Running

It's clear that the team behind Love and Other Drugs knows how to showcase their leading male. Here's Jake Gyllenhaal, running in character:

"Gonna fly now/flying high now/gonna fly, fly, fly...

"Oh, no, that's Philadelphia, not Pittsburgh!"

"What - you don't have your own spritzer?"

Awkward extra/interloper: "I can do that tongue thing, too."

Everyone else: "NO! You really can't."

"I hate these earphones! I want my earbuds!"

"I am going to kill them if they can't take out that huge, G-20 poster that is clearly an anachronism and I have to do this freaking scene again."

"You're kidding, right?"

"Okay, one more time..."

Leaning guy: "So he's 'good-looking' and has some muscles. It's not like he can fly. Wait..."

Even more awkward extra or interloper: "Shit, my hand is stuck in my pocket! Maybe no one will notice."

Blog reference removed at blogger's request.

(Photos courtesy of the amazingly fast