Random Thoughts on Movies: Prince of Persia and Robin Hood

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

It’s a movie based on a video game. How much are you expecting from it? Remember Super Mario Bros.? Mortal Combat? Tomb Raider? Doom? This is a notch above, but just barely. Game creator Jordan Mechner served as a producer and storywriter, so it looks at times very much like a live-action video game, with improbable logic and impossible physics. The story is about video-game level as well. Really, all this movie lacks is a controller. Gemma Arterton is pretty hot.

Rotten Tomatoes.com: “It doesn’t offer much in the way of substance, but Prince of Persia is a suitably entertaining swashbuckler — and a substantial improvement over most video game adaptations.” – 39% (Rotten)

Entertainment Weekly: “As sword-and-sandal fantasy movies based on videogames and starring a buffed-up Jake Gyllenhaal go, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time goes pretty well.” – B

Random Thoughts: Meh. It was OK for what it was.

Robin Hood

I wasn’t particularly keen on seeing this, but my son and his buddy wanted to see both of these movies, and they played as a double feature at a local drive-in. I volunteered to drive.

About 90 minutes into it, they were ready to leave. I didn’t argue. We were not Merrie Men.

Rotten Tomatoes.com: “Ridley Scott’s revisionist take on this oft-told tale offers some fine acting and a few gripping action sequences, but it’s missing the thrill of adventure that made Robin Hood a legend in the first place.” – 44% (Rotten)

Entertainment Weekly: “As you meander through the dense, dark forest of high-minded murk that is Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood, here are a few things that you won’t be seeing: a scene in which Robin Longstride (Russell Crowe) steals from the rich and gives to the poor. A scene in which he dons a disguise to win an archery contest, or gets Friar Tuck to carry him across a stream, or leaves the Sheriff of Nottingham fulminating in his boots. A moment when Robin’s men behave in a way that could remotely be described as ”merry.” A rousing sword fight. A pinch of lightness, frivolity, comedy, adventure, or – wait, I think this is the word I’m searching for – fun.” – C-

Random Notes: Rent the Disney version instead.

The First Step In A Long Road Trip

Yesterday my 16-year-old son Cameron took the test to get his learner’s permit, and aced it with 100%. Well done!

Now that he’s about to prepare for getting his driver’s license, I’m hoping he can put aside the years of bad habits he may have picked up from Mario Kart, Gran Turismo, and Grand Theft Auto. When he’s behind the wheel for real, there’ll be no running down pedestrians or ramming into police cars at high speed, please!

I Passed!

On Monday, May 17,  I went for my Pre-Admission Test in preparation for my upcoming discectomy, date TBD.

My PA was a lovely young lady by the name of Angela, who had been on the job for about a month. She took my blood pressure (“Excellent!”), stethoscoped me (“Wow! Your lungs sound clean!”) and asked me the usual questions about my basic health: “Nausea? Dizziness? Alcohol use? Drug use? Depressed?”  To this last, I responded that I was a little bit bummed because Lost was ending, but other than that, life is good.

She asked me what type of surgery I was going to have, and when I told her, she waved it off as if I’d said I was going to have a splinter removed from my finger. I’ve gotten that response from just about every medical-type I’ve talked to, which eases my mind somewhat.

When Andrea was finished with me, I went over to the hospital building of the little compound, where they took four or five vials of blood, a few chest x-rays (why they took pictures of my chest when it’s my lower back that’s getting cut open is a mystery to me), a container of urine, and did an EKG.

The end result, as far as I can determine, is that I’m healthy enough to go under the knife.

Now all I need is a date and time.

Updated: Just got a call from the Doc’s office. Surgery is scheduled for June 8.

Updated: Got a call an hour later. The office girl said, “If there’s a cancellation, would you mind moving your surgery up?” I said, “To when?” She said, “Tomorrow.”  Sorry, Misty. I need at least a couple of days notice if I’m going to have back surgery!

What If I Fail The Test?

So the wheels have been set in motion for my back surgery.

I met with the surgeon a couple of days ago and told him the nerve block wasn’t blocking out my nerves too well, and, as I mentioned in my last post, I’m not willing to spend whatever time I may have left shuffling around in pain. Let’s do this!

He agreed that all nonsurgical methods have been explored, and this really is the only way I’m going to get any relief.

He’s aware from our previous conversations that I do a bit of MMA training, and he knows that I really don’t want to be away from it for any length of time. He used to train himself years ago, and knows that if you’re away from it too long, it’s tough to get back up to speed.

So he told me Tuesday that he’s going to do the minimum amount of surgery that I need to relieve my problem, which is the open discectomy  that I wrote about previously. This would require only a day or two in hospital, and I wouldn’t be laid up a significant amount of time.. The absolute minimum, he explained, would be endoscopic surgery, but that may be only a short-term solution in my particular situation.

More intense options would be fusion or disc replacement, which would pretty much be overkill, and stretch my convalescence time out way too far for my taste.

(Keep in mind as I explain this that I tend to hear doctors the way dogs hear humans in that Gary Larsen cartoon:

which is to say, it mostly goes in one ear and out the other. So if you’re reading the above exchange and thinking the doc doesn’t know what he’s talking about, don’t; I might be remembering the conversation incorrectly.)

Anyroad, the surgery will be done sometime in June (“Everybody wants it done in June,” he said when I made my request). He’ll have to check his schedule and get back to me with an exact date.

The first step, though, is pre-admission testing, which is all sorts of blood work and so on. I report to the testing station on May 17.