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10,000 BC
Reviewed by Various artists, © 2008

Format: Movie
By:   Roland Emmerich
Genre:   Cavemen and tigers
Review Date:   March 12, 2008
RevSF Rating:   4/10 (What Is This?)

A smattering of opinions from survivors, who gathered on the RevolutionSF boards to discuss and hopefully, to find some measure of peace.

Rating:

Flow: **

Special Effects: *****

Character Development: *

Entertainment value: *****

I don't even know where to start, but I will tell you right away, this movie was fantastic for all of the wrong reasons.

I went with a group of other archaeology students and, before having seen the film, joked about having an anachronism drinking game. We would have been drunk by ten minutes into the movie, and would not have remembered anything past fifteen minutes.

The film starts off in mountains somewhere. Let's assume Europe, for the sake of a coherent geography. There is a group of people living in mammoth-bone tents (huzzah! something that really happened!). Among these people are D'leh (the main guy) and Evolet (the main girl.)

They're in love, but you wouldn't know it by the way they interact, but maybe that's just how people showed their love back then. D'leh wins Evolet through a lie: he went on a mammoth hunt and took the mammoth down himself, but said that he did it on purpose. In reality, he caught his hand in the net (yes, they used a net to catch a mammoth). He admits his lie, and loses Evolet. And the white spear that has a crocodile-skull sheath.

What follows is, well, interesting. They travel from the mountains, over a very short bit of tundra, straight into the Chinese jungle (bamboo, karst topography), into grasslands, into desert and to the "head of the snake." They must have found a network of short-distance stargates or something, because they jumped everywhere but the Americas. Don't worry. The Americas were not completely left out.

Along the way, they gather some people to help them on their quest, which, after running into some Africans, becomes to go set a bunch of people free (the four-legged demons are Egyptians who are off to collect slaves). All of these people follow the guy who belongs to "the people from the mountain" for reasons that I will not disclose and that you have probably already figured out.

Additionally, there were two languages at 10,000 BC: English and Other, and fortunately they run into a guy who can speak both.

Along the way, they encounter a slew of prehistoric beasts which (in some combination) should have been extinct, on another continent, or not domesticated. First is the largest mammoth ever (the bull; for some reason, they went hunting for the biggest and strongest instead of the weak guy).

The only mammoth that came even close to that size is known only in North America. Second is the saber-toothed cat, which was far too big to be anything but Smilodon, extinct at 10,000 years ago and only known in North and South America.

They then encounter some humongous Terror Birds, again known only in South America and spanning 62 million years ago to 2 million years ago.

At some point, apparently, the Egyptians managed to domesticate mammoths (in the desert, yes) in order to help them build the great pyramids at Giza.

That's not the only thing that the Northern Africans did. Apparently they also domesticated corn and chile peppers (both domesticated in Mesoamerica about 6,000 years ago).

I will not get into the archaeology It would be too painful for me.

As far as dialogue goes, 10,000 BC contains the usual semi-accented mostly contractionless semi-gramatically incorrect speech that one would expect of such a movie. The dialogue has some memorable moments, such as when D'leh realizes that it has to be dark out in order to see the stars. Really?

This is a movie that must take place on Pangaea over some ridiculously long span of time. It is also hilariously inaccurate. It really should have been placed on a different planet.

On a high note, the megafauna looked magnificent, if not a bit large. I suppose that the mammoths were given a bit of a trim, too, before heading to Africa, though not enough to make them elephants. From the RevSF blog Confessions of a B Movie Fanatic.

* * *

It was crap from a discerning point of view. My wife and I were led to see it because a friend of ours was testosterone-hyped to see it (and I really expected one of the mammoths to run into something and explode, a la a tricycle in an episode of The Simpsons), and I fear saying this here, but I've been nothing but honest with you kind folks . . . I kinda liked it.

In part, because it had such horrible, mockable, qualities: Omar Frikkin Sharif doin' the narration? PLEASE.

Steven Strait, or as you might know him, Warren Peace from Sky High as the lead caveman.

Once you realize who the guy is, and if you liked him in Sky High (which I did, immensely), you kinda start enjoying the movie, if nothing else for knowing the actor is in one of this weekend's biggest movies, so if he got a good deal, he's getting paid. Rock on, fellow human. I'd do what you're doing if I were able to not geek out every waking moment of my life. Also, I'd have to move to Cali, and get in shape, so here's to you.

And there were mammoths! And a Saber-toothed tiger! I didn't get the same rush seeing them there as I did seeing a frikkin lightning-catching pirate skyship in Stardust, hell, not even the same rush I got from the original Jurassic Park dinos, but there was a twinkle there. It was nothing I'd seen on screen before, so that was a little cool.

Granted, the CG was bad, the story worse and the acting somewhere in between (when you could discern what was going on).

Throughout the film our testosterone-pumped friend was unable to enjoy the movie because three people directly behind him were talking, non-stop, throughout it. He did nothing about it, and his ability to even comprehend the film was hampered.

That distraction allowed me to make some choice comments during the first two-thirds of the movie, very MST3K-like, to my wife, who I kept in gigglefits until we realized who the star was.

So rent it, or watch it when it's free in a year or so on Comcast or some other provider, get a few friends together and mock your way to laughter! You may yet squeeze some enjoyment from the rind of this terrible blood orange. -- From Lloyd Woodall, aka Frogwart

* * * The lowest point of the movie is watching Warren Peace up there poke his spear at a CGI mammoth, and he had this look in his eyes like, "I can't believe I'm poking a freakin' stick at a tennis ball on a string, I feel like such a re-re, I'm sorry, mother." -- Dharma Bum


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