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WARNER

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Roland Emmerich
Cast:
Steven Strait, Camilla Belle, Cliff Curtis, Joel Virgel, Affif Ben Badra, Mo Zinal, Nathanael Baring, Mona Hammond, Marco Khan
Writing Credits:
Roland Emmerich, Harald Kloser

Tagline:
It takes a hero to change the world.

Synopsis:
From Roland Emmerich, director of Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow comes an awesome new adventure about a time when mammoths shook the earth and mystical spirits shaped human fates. This special effects spectacle is an eye filling tale of the first hero (Steven Strait), who sets out an a hold trek to rescue his kidnapped beloved (Camilla Belle) and to fulfill his prophetic destiny. Battling a saber toothed tiger and prehistoric predators, he'll cross uncharted realms, form an army and discover an advanced lost civilization. There, he will lead a fight for her liberation - and become the champion of the time when legend began.

Box Office:
Budget
$105 million.
Opening Weekend
$35.867 million on 3410 screens.
Domestic Gross
$94.770 million.

MPAA:
Rated PG-13

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Widescreen 2.35:1/16x9
Fullscreen 1.33:1
Audio:
English Dolby Digital 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
French
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
French

Runtime: 109 min.
Price: $28.98
Release Date: 6/24/08

Bonus:
• Alternate Ending
• Additional Scenes
• Previews


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; Harman/Kardon DPR 2005 7.1 Channel Receiver; Toshiba A-30 HD-DVD/1080p Upconverting DVD Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.

RELATED REVIEWS


10,000 B.C. (2008)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (June 23, 2008)

Director Roland Emmerich takes his eye for bombastic spectacle back to prehistoric times for 2008ís 10,000 BC. Members of the Yagahl tribe hunt massive elephantine beasts called Mannaks to survive. When those critters grow scarce, the Yagahl come on hard times, and some foresee the end of their civilization.

However, a seer called ďOld MotherĒ (Mona Hammond) predicts the future arrival of a great hunter, one we get to know as DíLeh (Jacob Renton). Eventually we meet him as a young adult (Steven Strait); as predicted, he kills the Mannak, and he also wins the right to his desired mate, Evolet (Camilla Belle).

Or so it appears, but DíLeh soon reveals the truth: he only stayed with the Mannak because his hand was caught in a net, and the creature died when it accidentally ran into his spear. DíLeh cedes his claim to Evolet since he won her with a lie.

DíLeh soon gets a chance to prove himself again, though. Mysterious ďdemonsĒ raid the Yagahl village and kidnap Evolet. DíLeh goes after her and encounters all sorts of adventures as he attempts to rescue his beloved.

As I prepped this review, I realized that Emmerich hadnít directed a film since 2004ís The Day After Tomorrow. That surprised me, as I didnít think heíd waited so long between movies. I guess thatís his MO now, since a similar gap occurred between Day and 2000ís The Patriot.

To some degree, I regard those long waits as a bad thing because I take some pleasure from the directorís flicks. Emmerichís movies rarely make a lick of sense, but theyíre always exciting and enjoyable. Heck, I even got a kick out of the much maligned Godzilla remake from 1998.

Unfortunately, BC stands as Emmerichís weakest effort since 1992ís Universal Soldier. Actually, I could argue BC is Emmerichís worst film period, simply because I canít remember Soldier well enough to compare the two. Is it better than BC? Maybe, maybe not, but Emmerichís most recent effort doesnít live up to even the modest pleasures of its other predecessors.

Most of the problems relate to story and characters. The plot remains threadbare at best and doesnít offer much to sustain 109 minutes of movie. The various scenarios exist mostly as an excuse for some prehistoric action, and they offer little to make themselves interesting or compelling. The clunky, stilted narration doesnít help matters either.

The same goes for the characters. We donít find a single memorable personality, partially because all the actors play them in the same somber, ponderous manner. Thereís no real variety on display, so they all blend into one. I donít think weíd care about them anyway, but the homogeneity becomes a drag.

Admittedly, no one goes to an Emmerich movie for rich characterizations and dynamic stories; we take in his flicks for basic popcorn-chomping thrills. Unfortunately, BC rarely delivers the goods in that domain either. Oh, the CG beasties provide good rendering and seem more realistic than often is the case. However, thatís not enough to create vivid action sequences.

Again, the lack of interesting characters harms matters to some degree, as the creatures show more personality than the humans. Even if I attempt to allow for that issue, though, thereís simply something missing from the action sequences. Theyíre not bad, but theyíre not all that involving, and they certainly donít compensate for the movieís other flaws.

I donít mind the general stupidity found in BC. Others have criticized dopey sequences like the one in which DíLeh tells a saber-toothed tiger he rescues not to eat him and the kitty complies. Sure, thatís absurd, but you canít worry about logic in this sort of flick; you just need to go with the ride.

And thatís fine with me when we get a lively, fun ride. 10,000 BC simply never merits the suspension of disbelief. It presents a rough, rambling narrative without the dynamic thrills that might allow me to forget its flaws. Too little entertainment develops in this forgettable adventure.


The DVD Grades: Picture B/ Audio A-/ Bonus D+

10,000 BC appears in both an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 and in a fullscreen version on this double-sided, single-layered DVD; the widescreen image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. Only the letterboxed picture was reviewed for this article. Due to the compression involved, I feared the image would be a mess, but it usually looked fine.

Only a few problems marred sharpness. Some moving shots tended to look a bit rough and blocky, but those were in the minority. Most of the film showed pretty positive definition, with only a smidgen of edge haloes on display. No issues with jagged edges or shimmering materialized, and source flaws remained absent.

In terms of colors, the film usually went with either the chilly blue winter look or the greens of the warmer climate. This meant a decided lack of variety among the hues, but the transfer rendered them with appropriate clarity. Blacks seemed deep and firm, while shadows displayed good delineation. The motion artifacts were the main reason my grade dropped to a ďBĒ, as the rest of the transfer looked nice.

Long ago I learned to expect excellent audio from Roland Emmerich films, and 10,000 BC continued that tradition. The soundfield proved consistently active and involving. Quieter scenes present a good sense of place and atmosphere, while the action sequences open things up in a dynamic manner. Creatures roared and jumped around the room, and the scenes placed us in the action. Surround usage was quite full, and the mix created a strong setting for the adventure.

Audio quality was always excellent. Speech appeared natural and concise, with no edginess or other issues. Music seemed rich and dynamic, and effects followed suit. Those elements were crisp and clear, and they showed terrific bass response. Though this wasnít one of the best Emmerich soundtracks, it certainly was good enough for an ďA-ď.

Only a few minor extras appear here. 10 Deleted Scenes run 10 minutes, 37 seconds, while an Alternate Ending goes for three minutes, six seconds. The latter just adds some sappy campfire ramblings from the narrator. As for the other 10 sequences, they provide minor character moments but nothing substantial or memorable.

A few ads open the DVD. We get clips for The Dark Knight, Lego Batman: The Video Game, Batman: Gotham Knight, Gametap and Primeval. No trailer for BC appears here.

I often dig the cartoon thrills of Roland Emmerichís flicks, but I canít find much to enjoy about 10,000 BC. Not only does the film suffer from the usual bland characters and moronic story details, but also it lacks the expected action thrills. The DVD provides excellent audio along with generally good picture and a small set of supplements. This is a decent release for an unmemorable movie.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2.3333 Stars Number of Votes: 21
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