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A couple more 10,000 BC reviews come roaring in!!!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. I don't know if I ever thought this was going to be something that rocked my own socks off... but I was definitely hoping for better early word on 10,000 BC. We have two negative reviews that just came in from the recent test screening. This is still early on in the process, so hopefully they figure out how to save this by the time it hits theaters. Both reviews contain spoilers so tread lightly! Enjoy!

Attended an early screening of Roland Emmerich's 10,000 B.C. on Saturday evening in Chattsworth and thought I'd throw a quick word your way. I've been to a dozen of these test screenings over the last year or so, and I'm very rarely moved to want to write in and offer my two cents, but in this case, I feel compelled. Some spoilers to follow: This movie is just downright lame. I'm not much of a Roland Emmerich fan, but I've at least found most of his movies in the past to be enjoyable, passable entertainment. Not so here, this movie is gentle as a kitten and it's irritating. Remember in Stargate when the team goes through the portal and they're almost all massacred? That was cool. Remember in ID4 when the First Lady bit it, along with 3/4's of the world? That was righteous. Remember in The Patriot when Mel lost no less than two sons to those evil Brits? Then killed about a million men in retribution? That was badass. In this movie, however, I'm sad to report, we get nothing but soft-PG little league shit. First of all, the plot is ripped-off wholesale from Apocalypto. A benign tribe is attacked by an evil tribe, many of them are killed, many others imprisoned. The evil tribe then leads them on a long journey back to their masters who are busy building temples and pyramids and offering sacrifices to their gods. The hero (played by some guy I've never heard of, though he does a decent job) has to save his girl (played by the When a Stranger Calls chick, who has bright blue eyes in this and about two lines of dialogue) from the evil baddies who I think are supposed to be Egyptians, but who are played mostly by white guys. Along the way there are encounters with wild animals, booby-traps, and other tribes, never once posing any real threat to our hero, who we have no doubt will save the girl and win the day. Nothing new is offered here. There's an encounter with a stampede of woolly mammoths that reminds us exactly of the dinosaur stampede in King Kong, there's a one-on-one fight with a mean snuffalufagus that concludes in the same way Anthony Hopkins duel with the bear concludes in The Edge, there's a Xerxes duplicate who is defeated using the same tactic as in 300, plenty of imagery stolen from Troy, supposedly rousing speeches that pale in comparison to Bill Pullman's in ID4 (way to go, Roland), and the biggest offense of all--none of it can be taken seriously because of the lack of violence. Seriously. This is an "epic" movie filled with battles and there are more on-screen kills in Jurassic Park for Christ's sake. Remember that mammoth stampede? Nobody gets trampled. Remember that slaughter scene where the evil villains kill most of the nice tribe? We KIND OF see one person get stabbed. There's another scene (sorry, but completely ripped-off from Jurassic Park) where a bunch of big turkey things pick-off people in a field of tall grass...only problem is, it's all cut so fast you never see what's happening, you certainly don't see anyone get killed, and when the smoke clears it's hard to tell if ANYONE was killed at all. I'm not a gore hound, but if you're making an adventure movie with good guys versus bad guys and lots of spears and daggers, then forgive me if I ask for a LITTLE PG-13 Temple of Doom-level violence to get my blood pumping! Peter Jackson managed to make a PG-13 movie with people getting eaten by creatures and that made over a hundred mill...come on, Hollywood, you don't have to cater to 8-year-olds, and NEWSFLASH, Hollywood: 8-year-olds LIKE to see people die in movies. I hope Stephen Sommers reads this and doesn't royally fuck up GI Joe! Mr. Emmerich, please bring back your balls or for God's sake, just retire. I'm sure people will have lots of other aspects to critique (for instance, the ridiculous fucking Hollywood ending where the hero defeats the villains and destroys the pyramids, then tells us that the pyramids were swallowed by the sand...HUH? Last I checked, the pyramids are still around, and I don't care how evil the Egyptians were who built them, they BUILT THEM, and no white boy came along and stopped them, as the movie would have us believe), but this one really gets my goat, so I'll leave it at that. Should you use this, call me BK.

Ouch... next?

Hey everyone. Tullius Octopus here again, and this time I've got a review of Roland Emmerich's latest extravaganza 10,000 B.C. Be forewarned, this review will contain spoilers. First off, I must say I was looking forward to this flick. In my mind, I pictured a fun adventure along the lines of Jurassic Park meets Ice Age meets Clan of the Cave Bear (even though that was more like 35,000 B.C. but whatever). The trailer slightly increased my interest by offering a multitude of giant beasts, which I was certain would make up for what would inevitably be a terrible plot. Unfortunately, 10,000 B.C. did not even live up to such moderate expectations. The scenery is actually very beautiful, and Emmerich does make good on the "hordes of giant beasts" promise (the effects for the most part looked pretty polished to me as well), but the script was so bad that I ended up leaving the theater feeling quite annoyed and crestfallen. This thing makes Cave Bear look like a masterpiece. Like Michael Bay, Emmerich definitely has a great flare for visuals, and his films usually make money because they're filled with action and special effects which, sadly, is all the ideal target audience cares about (that being teenage males). However, some of his films (particularly his earlier ones) actually have some other noteworthy elements. Universal Soldier probably features the best performances by Van Damme and Lundgren (or as good as those two are capable of); Stargate actually had a pretty cool concept, until the final half hour turned into a ridiculous shootout in the desert; and ID4 cannot be faulted for being an all around fun time at the movies. Unfortunately, Emmerich has done little since then that might register on the scale of "cool." And I have to say that 10,000 B.C. does nothing to buck the trend. This is perhaps my least favorite Emmerich movie. The idea intrigued me when I first heard about it, but it honestly feels like there was no effort put into the script or into any of the characters, which is why the film is so disappointing. Not that I was expecting Paul Thomas Anderson or anything, but at least something on the level of Michael Bay, which is not asking for much. I'll give a brief rundown of the plot, which will probably end up sounding more interesting than it actually is. Our hero is a guy named D'Leh (I know this only because I looked it up on IMDB; after following his journey for ninety minutes, I still had no clue what his name was), and he's played by an actor named Steven Strait, who I had never heard of before, but another quick check on IMDB showed that he was in The Covenant, which explains why I'd never heard of him before. So D'Leh is part of this tribe whose name escapes me, but I'll refer to them as the Dreads (since they all sport some nifty dreadlocks). In fact, there isn't really much continuity in regards to the appearance of this tribe, aside from their dreadlocks. The actors seem to come from completely different ethnic backgrounds, whether its Mongolian, Middle Eastern, Hispanic or Kiwi, etc. This didn't really bother me, but it did make me appreciate Apocalypto a lot more. Anyway, the Dreads live way up in the frigid cold mountains and like to hunt woolly mammoths (or is the plural just mammoth?). D'Leh is in love with Evolet, played by Camilla Belle (who looks quite fetching with dark dreads and brilliant blue eyes). Aside from her, everyone else in the tribe views our hero as an outcast. When D'Leh was very young, his father seemingly abandoned the Dreads and never returned, and the kid got a lot of flack for it while growing up. He was raised by the great Cliff Curtis (who will not rest until he has played every race and culture known to man), who acts as a wise and noble surrogate father for our hero. The best scene in the film is near the beginning, and it shows the tribe warriors on their mammoth hunt (which is basically like the buffalo hunt in Dances with Wolves, but with mammoths!). D'Leh ends up killing a mammoth single handedly (more because of luck than any skill), and the tribe praises him. However, before long a group of shadowy marauders descends upon their village and snatches several people as slaves, including Evolet. The rest of the film chronicles D'Leh's journey as he attempts to retrieve his lost love. The marauders are pretty lame villains, sporting all the usual clichés of bad writing. Their leader is an odious looking fellow with a voice that's been manipulated with so much bass that he ends up sounding like Jaye Davidson in Stargate. It becomes kinda humorous after a while. Eventually D'Leh meets up with some badass African warriors and he's able to track the marauders all the way to their destination, which turns out to be a pyramid building site (hence the need for captured slaves). The scope of these scenes are, admittedly, kinda cool. Thousands of workers are shown constructing the pyramids with the help of mammoths (I could enjoy this because I had long since dispensed with any form of logic). The weirdos running this operation are a bunch of odd-looking chaps with long fingernails. I've forgotten what they were called too, but I will refer to them as the Gasps! because they always speak as though they're shocked and choking on something. So the Gasps! worship this creepy Pyramid God figure who is always hidden behind a veil and speaks in an angry, unintelligible manner. For a moment, I swear that I thought he was going to be Ra from Stargate, in which case 10,000 B.C. could've acted as a prequel to that film, and there would've been a nice "Emmerich full circle" thing going on, but no such luck. It turns out he's just some crazy, old dude and his purpose is never really explained anyway. The movie ends with D'Leh and his warriors leading a slave rebellion against the Gasps! and bringing an end to their despicable Pyramid God. I wish the action in these final scenes was even remotely interesting, but it isn't. Just a lot of people running back and forth, mixed in with some slow motion spear throwing and people yelling "NOOOOOO!!!" Pretty lame for a rousing finale. There are a couple of sweet "mammoth moments," but honestly, I got pretty sick of mammoths after ninety minutes. In the end, it just didn't seem like Emmerich had his heart in this one. I know it's an early cut, but the film is all over the place, and I doubt any reshoots or brilliant feats of editing could mold it into cohesion. On top of that, the dialogue is so hackneyed that I honestly feel the movie would be better if the actors spoke a completely new language, without subtitles. We'd still get the gist of what they're saying, and it would probably improve a lot of the scenes. Well, sorry to ramble on for so long. If you're one of those people who love movies simply for the scenery and landscape shots, then you might actually enjoy this. If not, prepare to be disappointed.

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