Tuesday Movie Blog: Jake Gyllenhaal’s royal pain

What to rent instead of going to see Prince of Persia

Life’s profound question: was it the chicken or the egg? Did I not like Prince of Persia (PG-13) because of the movie itself, or because the people next to me at the theater took off their shoes and proceeded to prop their feet on the seats in front of them? Did I think Jake Gyllenhaal’s accent sounded like Eliza Doolittle trying to speak proper English (“The rain in Spain falls…”), or was it the phone conversation a woman nearby had during the movie?

It was probably a cumulative effect. The audience was atrocious; the movie was atrocious. The audience laughed at random things—mostly involving unfunny jokes about taxes—and characters actually used the film’s title in dialogue. “You truly are a Prince… of Persia.” All I know is that Prince of Persia is a waste of time, energy, and some pretty amazing actors. In this case, the chicken laid an egg … of Persia. (In theaters.)

My Grade: D


Rent It: Alice in Wonderland (PG, 2010). Tim Burton’s flawed but beautiful take on a classic story. My Grade: B

Queue It: Heights (R, 2004). A little-appreciated movie that follows an actress (Glenn Close) and her daughter (Elizabeth Banks) over the course of a day. It is a great film simply because of its immense performances. Also with Jesse Bradford and James Marsden. My Grade: A-