Review: Prince of Persia The Sands of Time Blu-ray

Prince of Persia Blu-ray/DVD boxSTUDIO: Disney | DIRECTOR: Mike Newell | CAST: Jake Gyllenhaal, Ben Kingsley, Gemma Arterton, Alfred Molina
RELEASE DATE: 9/14/2010 | PRICE: DVD $29.99, Blu-ray $39.99, Blu-ray/DVD combo $44.99
BONUSES: deleted scene, interactive behind-the-scenes feature
SPECS: PG-13 | 116 min. | fantasy | 2.40:1 aspect ratio | DTS-HD audio | English, French, Spanish subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie | Audio | Video | Special features | Overall

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time movie scenePrince of Persia: The Sands of Time came to Blu-ray with Walt Disney Studios‘ usual pinache.

The fantasy movie, which is based on the popular videogame of the same name, stars Jake Gyllenhaal (Brothers) as the Prince of Persia, who is framed for the king’s murder after he discovers a dagger that allows the bearer to go back in time. Produced by big-movie creator Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire‘s Mike Newell, Prince of Persia also stars Ben Kingsley (Shutter Island), Alfred Molina (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice) and Gemma Arterton (Clash of the Titans, The Disappearance of Alice Creed). The performances are a little over the top, but this is the kind of movie that focuses more on the action, comedy and special features, all of which deliver.

The action and special features are particularly highlighted in this high-definition version. The movie looks and sounds great. The colors are bright and the details of the architecture and engravings on the dagger are clear. The gold of the city and in the time-travel segments shimmers nicely, as does the sand of the desert.

The sound gives a subwoofer a workout, with booming and pounding during the film’s many fight sequences. Even the soundtrack has a lot of bass, which will keep the floor rocking throughout the film.

At first glance, the special features list is small: just a deleted scene and an interactive behind-the-scenes feature.

The single deleted scene, between Gyllenhaal and Arterton, doesn’t add anything to the story, and it’s easy to see why it was cut.

The interactive behind-the-scene feature is where the aforementioned pinache comes in. With the “Sands of Time” feature switched on, viewers can, while watching the movie, rewind time to find out how the movie was made, so the feature instructions tell us. Periodically throughout the movie, a picture of the dagger shows up in the bottom right corner of the screen. If the viewer clicks their remote to select the dagger, the movie pauses and, with a swish of gold sand reminiscent of the time travel scenes in the film, the picture changes to a quick featurette about the movie’s production. The actors, Bruckheimer and others are interviewed in these featurettes, which look at all aspects of production from costumes, set design to visual effects.

The behind-the-scenes segments are produced well and interesting. The only drawback is that they’re only available while watching the movie. As fun as the time traveling idea is, watching the 116-minute movie and all these behind-the-scenes pieces (more than 40 are offered) really extends the couch time, and for many viewers, it might be too much for one sitting.

The three-disc Blu-ray version of Prince of Persia also includes the movie on DVD, playable in regular DVD players, as well as a disc with a downloadable digital copy of the film.


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About S. Clark

Sam Clark is the former Managing Editor/Online Editor of Video Business magazine. With 19 years experience in journalism, 12 in the home entertainment industry, Sam has been hooked on movies on since she saw E.T. then stared into the sky waiting to meet her own friendly alien. Thanks to her husband’s shared love of movies, Sam reviews Blu-ray discs in a true home theater, with a 118-inch screen, projector and cushy recliners with cup holders.