We are in the midst of summer blockbuster season, and with a three-day weekend coming up, we get two enormous releases this week, both involving the desert of the mid-East.
“Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time” is a sword and sandal epic based on a video game about a prince and princess who team up to prevent a sandstorm that could destroy the world. While game-based movies have in general been disappointing, this one has some intriguing possibilities. First is its star, Jake Gyllenhaal, a first-rate actor and movie star. Second is its director, Mike Newell, who has shown himself to be adept with grand, special-effects adventure, drama, and comedy (“Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” “Donnie Brasco,” “Four Weddings and a Funeral”). And third is the producer who improbably turned an adventure park ride into one of the most successful film franchises of all time, Jerry Bruckheimer (“Pirates of the Caribbean,” “National Treasure”). All are proven audience-pleasers, so I am hoping for something special.
Also this week: “Sex and the City 2,” which begins with a wedding. Carrie’s friend Stanford (Willie Garson) marries his boyfriend in a wedding so over-the-top it includes both swans and Liza Minnelli. The story then takes the characters on a trip to Abu Dhabi. While there are certain to be romantic complications, it looks like this film focuses on the heart of the series, the friendship between the four women. And I can promise the wardrobe will be amazing!