Sunday, June 6, 2010

A Persian Weekend

I just had a sumptuous free lunch, a treat from Mitch's mom for accompanying her to a supposed birthday lunch of her sister. It didn't turn out quite as expected so we ended up at Mister Kebab instead, which is not a bad choice either. In fact, it was a stomach-filling and satisfying experience. I have a staple thing for beef Kebabs, hot rice with margarine on top, sided with plump grilled tomatoes because for Persian dishes, I seldom explore. Ox brains and the like aren't my type. And truth is, it's hard to find affordable, authentic persian dishes that stick to the real taste. Now I know the reason why Mister Kebab echoes so far to the south, which is enough to stir southerners to make that journey to West Ave. The place serves a variety of Persian dishes at an affordable price. I'm a true blooded Southerner and I seldom ever go beyond Greenhills, but for a quick and cheap Persian variety fix, this is definitely worth it.

While I savored my beef kebab, I cannot help but automatically pull the most recent movie experience I had this weekend. The food and the movie have a direct connection. Yesterday I was able to watch Prince of Persia: Sands of Time with Mitch. Verdict? It was an..okay movie, not as bad as Clash of the Titans, but did not come close to the epic greats either. The 200 bucks a ticket was a bearable purchase for more comfortable theater chairs in Promenade, the digital projector system and the productions efforts of Walt Disney.

I am quite familiar the game Prince of Persia, though I have not finished it. I think I knew what to expect from the start. Great action scenes in an old Persian village for a playground, sword fights, acrobatic stunts, eye candies and sadly I expected good acting since I have always been impressed with Jake Gyllenhaal. But this is just a pure action-eye candy from the start. I don't even know if Jake Gyllenhaal was even the right fit. There's something odd from the neck up. Don't expect the female lead to save the movie either. Watching Princess Tamina in fake tan and luscious lips reminds me of Gemma Arterton in Clash of the Titans. But wait, it is Gemma Arterton! Can you believe it?! Sadly she didn't redeem herself from her Clash of the Titans role. Just bless her that she has a beautiful face. She plays again a rectified damsel in the distress slash eye candy that throws witty lines in a husky bedroom voice...again. But with forgettable acting...again.

The only character I felt for was the one played by Ben Kingsly. I felt the hatred and the subordination even if his lines were minimal. Superbly powerful, but sadly he's the bad guy so ideally you wouldn't root for him. You could also give thanks that Alfred Molina was there to provide a cute punch.

If you know the Prince of Persia game, you shouldn't expect anything more from what you see in the game. In fact you should expect a little less. Sure there are fight scenes, the eye candy, the acrobat scenes in a Persian village, but sadly there isn't anything new except for the vast temple deteriorating visuals, the profiles of the eerie Hassansins and an artistic sandstorm, which are clearly products of technological advances that usual movie goers had already seen. The ending was even a slight letdown if I might add. If you want to risk watching it in 3D, go ahead, maybe it would enhance something. But try at your own risk. For those who are not familiar with the Prince of Persia, the outcome will be the same I think since the movie's plot is a far off cry from the game.

Prince of Persia and Pirates of the Caribbean have the same producer. It almost has the same flavor in production and pacing, but my vote goes to the Pirates than than the Persian. You go see for yourself. But after that, if you get disappointed, go eat at Mister Kebab to give the Persian flavor another try. At least it's satisfying and a meal is less than 150 bucks.

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