Prince of Persia (2008, Third-Person Platform Game, 360) – 6/10 review

Senior Producer: Bertrand Helias
Producer: Ben Mattes
Creative Director: Jean-Christophe Guyot
Art Director: Mickael Labat
Lead Programmer: Charles Jacob
Lead Programmer Gameplay: Cyril Meynier
Director Narrative: Andrew Walsh
Lead Game Designer: Thomas Delbuguet
Lead Game Designer: Kevin Guillemette
Level Design Director: Francois Emery
Nolan North: The Prince
Kari Wahlgren: Elika
Music: Stuart Chatwood
Music: Inon Zur

Prince of Persia (2008)

Some dude wandering the desert thanks to a sand storm and a wayward donkey carrying his treasure runs into Elika, a princess. He’s just in time to see her father release Ahriman, a dark god, who plummets the land into corruption and only Elika, who has mysterious light powers, can stop him. With the dude’s help, of course. Sorry, nearly forgot that; I’m sure he’s vital.

6/10

Unusually and impressively looking like incredible concept art rendered directly onto your screen, this Prince of Persia has the odd feeling of a project completely redesigned late into it’s life. While tiny heads on all our characters, super-human feats performed by our human hero (who appears to be not needed by the story though a spectacular climax does interestingly justify his presence SPOILER because he is needed to resurrect Elika; he takes exactly the same course of action as the father, for the same reason and note how both Gods keep saying the same thing; the gameplay didn’t need him but the climax of the story did), an inconsistent tone that doesn’t fit the genre or seriousness of each situation and a making-tosh-up-as-we-see-fit story can be overlooked, the game completely misses the mark with unresponsive and uncertain controls that never quite consistently coalescence into fluent awesomeness. This problem becomes critical during the occasional combat sequences as the controls become even more unresponsive and unpredictable. Music’s good, though.

This game contains mild adult dialogue and blade violence, fantasy violence, unpleasant fantasy scenes.

Links

House M.D. 6.02 Epic Fail (2009, Medical Black Comedy Drama TV) – 6/10 review

Hugh Laurie: Dr. Gregory House
Lisa Edelstein: Dr. Lisa Cuddy
Omar Epps: Dr. Eric Foreman
Robert Sean Leonard: Dr. James Wilson
Jennifer Morrison: Dr. Allison Cameron
Jesse Spencer: Dr. Robert Chase
Creator: David Shore
Peter Jacobson: Dr. Chris Taub
Olivia Wilde: Thirteen
Rick D. Wasserman:
Freda Foh Shen:
Andre Braugher: Dr. Darryl Nolan
Producer: Marcy G. Kaplan
Producer: Sara Hess
Supervising Producer: Liz Friedman
Co-Executive Producer: Greg Yaitanes
Writer: Sara Hess
Writer: Liz Friedman
Director: Greg Yaitanes

House M.D. 6.02 Epic Fail (2009)

House quits his job at Princeton aware that returning will likely lead him to undo all the progress he’s made. So he turns his attention to possible hobbies (apparently he doesn’t need money) to use as pain management for his leg. Meanwhile, Foreman demands House’s job even when Cuddy points out that House’s job only existed because House did it.

6/10

It never ceases to amaze me how poor the understanding of videogames is by television and movie creators. So here we have some unloved Nineties technology dressed up with a side order of daft future tech (such as facial expressions mirrored onto player avatars) used in the set-up to the patient-of-the-week and then later revisited as a hallucinogenic symptom. Foreman inherits House’s job when House decides not to return to the environment that got him into his current situation and immediately sets about taking the patient to the brink of death before hitting upon the medical solution. It’s easy to overlook, however, that the writers did allow Foreman to get the solution himself, legitimately, even though, as expected, SPOILER House had got there earlier that day just by looking at a posting on the internet. I am never convinced by grumpy Foreman – Omar Epps always seems to overplay that – but the relationship between him and Thirteen was nicer and more interesting than expected. Best bit was House boasting that he’d got a dog to pee in Wilson’s toilet which, however you slice it, is awesome.

Links

Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom (2006, Third-Person Action RPG Game, PS3 exclusive) – 6/10 review

Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom (2006)

6/10

It looks quite nice (the characters fluttering cloaks and all the water / acid effects are superb and it does run in 720p unlike a lot of PS3 games) and all the pieces are there to make an entirely satisfactory action RPG. Sadly, that includes the traditional iffy camera that makes bosses much more difficult than they should be (indeed, the last boss is so not fun that I couldn’t be bothered to persist and defeat him) and the rest of the game consisting of splatting, quite enjoyably it has to be said, off-screen monsters.

This game contains extended extreme fantasy and supernatural violence, unpleasant scenes.

Classified 15 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over.

The Fountain (2006, Romantic Fantasy Drama Movie) – 6/10 review

Director: Darren Aronofsky
Writer (Screenplay): Darren Aronofsky
Writer (Story): Darren Aronofsky
Writer (Story): Ari Handel
Hugh Jackman: Tomas, Tommy, Tom Creo
Rachel Weisz: Isabel, Izzi Creo
Ellen Burstyn: Dr. Lillian Guzetti

Fountain, The (2006)

A conquistador attempts to force access to the temple of the Tree of Life. A scientist races to find a cure for his wife’s cancer and hits a breakthrough using material from a tree in Central America. A man and a tree in a bubble in space is traveling to a far nebula.

6/10

What is it about film directors’ personal films and getting their lead actors to shave their heads? That said, there is some real quality here, principally from Hugh Jackman, who really connects emotionally with the part and the audience. There is also a stand-out scene when his character uses the sap of the Tree of Life to repair a stab wound, the film generally looks quite striking and it’s definitely a film worthy of discussion for film students. It’s the kind of film that no-one in their right mind would green light as a commercial prospect but that 20th Century-Fox and Warner Bros. can be proud to have in their catalogue as an intriguing piece of art that works on a level higher than a series of images flickering before your eyes; a movie that should be made and watched, even if you don’t like it or understand it.

This movie contains a sexual swear word and graphic violence, gory and unpleasant scenes, an unexpected sort-of-unpleasant scene and sexuality.

Classified 15 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over.

Turning Point: Fall of Liberty (2008, Alternative History WWII First-Person Shooter Game, 360) – 6/10 review

Turning Point: Fall of Liberty (2008)

Without the charismatic leadership of Winston Churchill (who died in a car accident several years before), the German invasion of Europe has gone in favour of the Nazi’s and they’ve set their sights on America. A New York construction worker finds himself putting down his hammer and picking up sub-machine guns and putting the forces of evil back in their place.

6/10

Desperately unpolished and technically deficient first-person alternative history shooter. There’s no accuracy to the shooting, not because that is just the nature of the weapons, but because the game has wads of invisible scenery that you can’t shoot through surrounding every object in the game. It’s a big shame as the premise has potential (you see off a 1950’s Nazi invasion in New York, Washington D.C., and London; locations not available to traditional World War II games), the bomb-wiring mini-game works well and there’s something endlessly satisfying about putting down evil dictators who want to rule the world. It also has a certain old-school PC shooter charm and, being shorter than average but long enough, doesn’t outstay it’s welcome. A generous six, then.

This game contains bloodless gun violence, melee violence, occasional strong melee violence.

Classified 16+ by PEGI. The game is only suitable for persons who have reached the age of 16 or over..
Classified Violence by PEGI. Game contains depictions of violence.

Hellboy: The Science of Evil (2008, Third-Person Action Game, 360) – 6/10 review

Ron Perlman: Hellboy
J├╝rgen Prochnow: Von Klempt
Lead Game Designer: Chris Palu

Hellboy: Science of Evil, The (2008)

Hellboy continues the fine tradition of punching evil Nazi’s until they stop trying to use the power of the occult for their own nefarious nastiness.

6/10

Though not a direct movie tie-in (it was released in the same year as Hellboy II: The Golden Army), this feels like one but, by and large, a good one. Though the boss battles are disagreeably protracted, the levels don’t flow as part of a worthless story badly told, animation takes precedence over slightly odd control (shoot is on the left trigger and your Y charge attack is frequently ignored), and poor collision detection means you can’t grab enemies or items unless you are exactly on the same level and where the game wants you to be, this game features good-looking enemies and environments, good length, decent voice work, good game animations and it’s all rather sensibly presented. Somewhat remarkably, however, Konami never released the whole game with two chapters and 160 gamerpoints missing from the retail disc and never made available as DLC. This is a shame as it’s clear that developer Krome Studios have put some love into this.

This game contains mild bad language and extended extreme stylised fantasy violence.

Classified 12 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 12 years and over.

A Countess from Hong Kong (1966, Romantic Comedy Movie) – 6/10 review

Writer: Charles Chaplin
Director: Charles Chaplin
Marlon Brando: Ogden
Sophia Loren: Natascha
Sydney Chaplin: Harvey
Tippi Hedren: Martha
Patrick Cargill: Hudson
Margaret Rutherford: Miss Gaulswallow
Charles Chaplin: An Old Steward
Music Composer: Charles Chaplin

Countess from Hong Kong, A (1966)

A Russian countess stows away on a liner headed for America and complicates everyone’s life.

6/10

A mistakenly-cast Marlon Brando (original choice Rex Harrison would have worked a treat) catatonically drones his way through this romantic comedy which is otherwise smooth and good-looking (Sophia Loren in outsize pajamas, cool) but thin on both romance and comedy. This is Chaplin’s final movie as actor or director and it’s a shame he didn’t finish his career with Limelight.

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.