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Bartholomew & Phool2056 Visit 10,000 B.C.!!

Merrick here...
For such an OBVIOUSLY Geeky movie...from a high-profile Geek director (love him or hate him)...and for a film that's been as heavily promoted as this one...we've received precious few reviews of 10,000 B.C., which opens FRIDAY. And maybe this is why we haven't heard too much. Here's a less-than-enthusiastic look at the movie from Bartholomew Richards. And, BELOW that, you'll find a slightly more accepting perspective...
Well, I saw 10,000 B.C. today at a free preview screening, and I have to say, it's pretty awful. I don't think Roland Emmerich is a genius or anything, but I'll admit that I enjoyed The Day After Tomorrow and Independence Day as much as the next guy. This flick should have been entertaining as hell; I mean, come on, woolly mammoths, sabre-tooth tigers, giant ostrich-monsters. How could these things not be entertaining? Well, I guess it was entertaining, but not in the way it was meant to be. After the box office success of The Day After Tomorrow, I'm kind of surprised that Emmerich would be relegated to a second-tier blockbuster such as this one, but hey, that's the way things are. The film is a mess, the marketing resembles 300, the plot resembles Apocalypto, the dialogue resembles Batman & Robin and the acting resembles a typical Dead Teenager movie. The film begins in the tundra with a small (yet somehow multi-ethnic) tribe of mammoth hunters that talk a lot of shit about who is going to kill the mighty mammoth, or something like that. While a lot of money went into the special effects of the film, I don't think much went into costume and make up. The actors have random face paintings in this sequence and all members of this particular tribe have dreadlocks. I mean, I know they didn't have showers back then, but come on. Anyways, after they kill a mammoth, a bunch of ugly dark-skinned guys with eye-liner come to take a bunch of the tribe members as hostage. One hostage is the beautiful Camilla Belle, who looks pretty damn hot considering the dreads, the dirt on her face, and those really weird eyebrows of hers. This lends to the plot, however, because D'Leh (Steven Strait) is in lurv with Miss Belle (named Evolet in the movie). So he sets off to free his tribesmen and his blue-eyed girlfriend from the evil grasps of the guys with dark skin and eye-liner (racism alert). If this plot sounds derivative, that's because it is. It's essentially Apocalypto, if the hero of that movie was running towards civilization instead of away from it. D'Leh even has the responsibility of fulfilling a prophecy or two along the way, and he gets to bring his friends, including Tic'Tic (Cliff Curtis, and no, I'm not making these names up) Along the way, in a matter of days, our heroes travel from the tundra, though snowy mountains, the jungle, the savannah, to the desert, to a civilization that resembles Egypt, but isn't Egypt. There's a big monument of a cat that looks like the sphinx, but isn't a sphinx and doesn't have a human head. In the desert, D'Leh befriends a few tribes of quasi-Africans to overtake the "Mountain of the Gods", which is a pyramid being built on the backs of the prisoners and some more woolly mammoths, which can, surprisingly, survive in the desert. I mean, I was expecting to suspend my disbelief a little bit, but the leaps of logic presented in this movie are massive. The action isn't as entertaining as it should be, although the CGI is impressive, it's still obvious in many scenes that the actors are working against a green-screen. The editing doesn't build suspense as it should and there's almost no gore because of the PG-13 rating. When Gibson gave us human sacrifice, he gave us a guy ripping hearts out of people before beheading them and throwing them down the stairs of a pyramid. The best Emmerich can do for human sacrifice is push a man off a ledge. 10,000 B.C. doesn't have a fraction of the energy of Apocalypto, or even 300, which I didn't like much either. I can't recommend this movie, even to those that are just looking for a fun blockbuster. It's not worth your money, it's even worse than Jumper. If you need to see an action movie, I hear next week's Doomsday is supposed to be good, if not, you could always see Rambo again.

Yeouch. Okay...here's Phool2056
I just got out of a student screening of the somewhat keenly awaited 10000 BC. The verdict: Not great. I feel bad writing as negatively about it as I'm probably about to, because watching it wasn't a miserable experience by any means. Its action scenes are fun enough to keep it out of the boring total waste of time category, but they're pretty heavily borrowed from other things, mostly Apocalypto, Jackson's King Kong, and eensy bits of the Jurassic Park franchise. I mean, yeah, not dinosaurs, but a big mouth with teeth is pretty much a big mouth with teeth. That's the thing that disappointed me the most. I mean, obviously it's not Citizen Kane, so I wasn't too surprised by the occasionally clunky dialogue and cheaply sentimental music, but the creatures didn't do it for me. The idea of getting to see monsters from a different, mostly unexplored era was the biggest appeal here, and they just didn't deliver. I'm hardly an expert in special effects, but there's something about a really well done creature that makes part of your brain forget that it's not real and give out a childlike "wow" when you see it. I got that from the aforementioned Kong and probably felt it most strongly, in recent years, during the Hippogriff flying sequence in the third Harry Potter movie. I did not get it here. So that was a big problem. You don't go to a movie like this for the story, but the story here is clearly trying to be some kind of tremendous epic thing, complete with Christ symbolism. This is, frankly, tiresome and way too common in movies nowadays. Probably why movies with brooding antiheroes are becoming so popular. What the story does well is to facilitate the thing we're here to see other than the creatures, which is the landscape and design of the place. The characters go on a sort of tour, which lets them check out, however briefly, a couple of different civilizations, and those were pretty cool. The climax takes place in what appears to be a big proto-Great Pyramids at Giza, which is kind of neat, but again, the effects left me kind of cold. There was a lot wrong with Apocalypto, but the reveal of the great Mayan city was pretty undeniably staggering. This just felt like, ho-hum. Big ancient CG city. So, not too exciting. I'm glad I didn't pay to see it, but I was fairly amused, and not always at the movie's expense. I look forward to watching bits of this late at night on HBO with my stepfather, when I visit my folks--that's how I usually see movies like this. If you use this, this is Phool2056 from the boards. Thanks.


Readers Talkback
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  • March 4, 2008, 8:49 a.m. CST

    Caa Caa, Do Do, Shit

    by BatRastard

    first!

  • March 4, 2008, 8:49 a.m. CST

    First

    by Maceox

    Loser!

  • March 4, 2008, 8:52 a.m. CST

    no shit sherlock

    by JBouganim1

  • March 4, 2008, 8:53 a.m. CST

    Who in there right mind

    by eric haislar

    thought this was going to be good?

  • March 4, 2008, 8:57 a.m. CST

    by roninhobbit

    So this guy liked Independence Day and Day After Tomorrow, but didn't like 300? Congratulations, I no longer care what you think about any movie.

  • March 4, 2008, 8:57 a.m. CST

    Tic Tics with Pine!

    by Kloipy

    any UCB fans out there?

  • March 4, 2008, 9:02 a.m. CST

    It's no Citizen Kane

    by David Cloverfield

    People have to stop saying that especially in reviews. I'm a man of serenity, but that sentence annoys the hell out of me for various reasons. The movie sounds hilariously offensive though :)

  • March 4, 2008, 9:04 a.m. CST

    what's sad

    by Bloo

    is that I have friends that not only WANT to see this but are eagerly EXPECTING this movie, which means thanks to my hookups as a movie reviewer I'll be bringing them along when I go see it for my column and they'll enjoy it and I'll probably be lukewarm to hating it<P>and that makes me sad<P>what was the last good caveman/caveman type movie, Clan of the Cave Bear with Daryl Hannah? Caveman with Ringo Starr?

  • March 4, 2008, 9:06 a.m. CST

    i think their history is off by 5,000 years or so.

    by Dr. Sid Schaefer

    10,000 BC? huge cities and monuments? seriously? that's some fine detective work there, lou!

  • March 4, 2008, 9:32 a.m. CST

    by ForkTongue

    "I'm kind of surprised that Emmerich would be relegated to a second-tier blockbuster such as this one, but hey, that's the way things are." <p> Hasn't this been Emmerich's pet project for years? He got it made probably because of the success of Day After Tomorrow. And Independence Day sucked. Hate to break to to you.

  • March 4, 2008, 9:50 a.m. CST

    SHOCK NEWS!

    by kwisatzhaderach

    Roland Emmerich makes terrible movie.

  • March 4, 2008, 10:28 a.m. CST

    THIS JUST PROVES ONE THEORY

    by Bean_

    That Bob Marley's music is timeless.

  • March 4, 2008, 11:02 a.m. CST

    Best caveman movie?

    by Darth Macchio

    Come on dude! That's easy! Quest for Fire!!! Naked Rae Dawn Chong jumping around on all fours!?! No dialgue!? Ron Pearlman? More naked Rae Dawn Chong?!?!?! Are you kidding?!?!

  • March 4, 2008, 11:13 a.m. CST

    Did I step in dogshit or does this movie just stink?

    by LargoJr

    Wrap it up folks, this ones going to be available in the chap bins in 2 months just in time for summer zombie movie time after work

  • March 4, 2008, 11:15 a.m. CST

    Emmerich for Tomb Raider III

    by Billy The Fish

    ...Because the first two movies just weren't quite shit enough.

  • March 4, 2008, 11:22 a.m. CST

    PLANT

    by BigTexas42

    oh, wait...nevermind. Force of habit.

  • March 4, 2008, 11:27 a.m. CST

    Get ready for 9,999 B.C. on Sci-Fi.

    by Diagnostic

    They should make this the absolute last movie made in HD-DVD format.

  • March 4, 2008, 11:36 a.m. CST

    Am I the only one that read . . .

    by Nice Marmot

    . . . that the new Dark Knight trailer, focusing on Harvey, was going to be shown before this flick? Apparantly I just imagined it or read incorrectly.

  • March 4, 2008, 11:39 a.m. CST

    Bloo

    by Lost Jarv

    That would have to be Troma's epic "Nymphoid Barabarian in Dinosaur Hell". <P>It's certainly better than anything Emmerich could do. <P>Where are the brigade of flora to post "C'mon guys, give it a chance"?

  • March 4, 2008, 11:52 a.m. CST

    Huh?

    by Sithdan

    What was wrong with Apocalypto? I thought it was a masterpiece.

  • March 4, 2008, 12:15 p.m. CST

    It's no "Drop Dead Fred".....

    by Quake II

    I'm tired of the Citizen Cane references with bad movies. Let's be more realistic like "It's no Scarecrow" or "It's no Man With The Screaming Brain". This movie has no appeal whatsoever. The trailers are weak, the history is absurd and the CGI creatures look like XBox 360 enemies. Oh well. Not even worth a post, really.

  • March 4, 2008, 12:34 p.m. CST

    Day After Tomorrow...

    by Kid Z

    ...was dumb as a bag of hammers, but great FX and entertaining in it's mallet-headed way. This one sounds like it's just low rent and moronic. Too bad. Sounds like Emmerich's on the skids now, career-wise. He'll have to slide a lot further to be a Uwe Boll, though.

  • March 4, 2008, 12:57 p.m. CST

    Apoclypthreehundred B.C.

    by knowthyself

  • March 4, 2008, 1 p.m. CST

    I didn't think they could save it...

    by Knoll

    A friend and I saw it last year at a test screening in London. Barring the lack of CG present, it was very clear the film was a mess. When your lead hero's passive, the prophecies mentioned don't amount to anything, and the story is trite, you can't really expect much. It's not an aweful film, just terribly mediocre.

  • March 4, 2008, 1:20 p.m. CST

    The hero is called D'leh? Read it backward...

    by DerLanghaarige

    ...and you get Held, which is German for hero. I wonder if this was a coincidence...

  • March 4, 2008, 3 p.m. CST

    You know what I miss?

    by JumpinJehosaphat

    Surprise hits. Fairly mainstream movies with "crapfest" written all over them at first glance that come along and just knock me out. I think the last one of those I saw was The Matrix.

  • March 4, 2008, 3:09 p.m. CST

    Who would of thought?

    by sfgeek

    This movie looks like complete shit... if anyone had their wits about them they would have picked that up when the main character was speaking in English (in 10,000 BC) which is obviously the way that it was because we know that English was around during those times. Not to get to wrapped up in the language, but it is the most frustrating thing about that potential piece of poop. Even Gibson had the balls to have his characters speak a completely dead language in his period pieces. I just can't get past it, forget the whole part of it clearly being a 300 ripoff among other films. It feels like Meet the Spartans, but trying to hard to be serious. It is hard to face the truth... Hollywood is suffering.

  • March 4, 2008, 3:16 p.m. CST

    com'on guys give it a chance

    by Bloo

    a chance to SUCK!!!<P>thanks for the entries guys, I totally forgot about Quest for Fire and I've never heard of the Troma one, but will be checking it out

  • March 4, 2008, 4:52 p.m. CST

    Really,..this sucked...you're kidding?

    by Sappers Forward

    From day one I knew this was just going to be a pile of shit. When they spend so much money on comercials trying to brainwash you into thinking you want to see it, you know it's going to suck balls.

  • March 4, 2008, 4:53 p.m. CST

    roninhobbit

    by catlettuce4

    maybe that's because 300 was absolute garbage. at least ID4 was entertaining. though day after tomorrow was as if not more worthless than 300.

  • March 4, 2008, 5:11 p.m. CST

    I hadn't even heard of this...

    by pdennett316

    Until I saw a trailer on late night TV here in the UK. From only a brief glimpse the CG looked pretty mediocre, but I thought it could be fun. By the sounds of it, no such luck. <p> I want a decent dinosaur movie, not had one in ages, 15 years by my count.

  • March 4, 2008, 8:16 p.m. CST

    What were you expecting!?

    by FILMFUNK

    The guys Euwe Bolls dad!

  • March 4, 2008, 9:08 p.m. CST

    Note to self:

    by phool2056

    Reducto ad Citizen Kane is no longer a valid movie-looking-at thing. I will take this under advisement. So pleased to receive constructive criticism.

  • March 5, 2008, 12:10 a.m. CST

    I agree plant

    by Miyamoto_Musashi

    I am sure the film is much much worse than what they are saying

  • March 5, 2008, 1:01 a.m. CST

    woolly mammoths > leobloom

    by a_loco

    that shit should be hella entertaining

  • March 5, 2008, 1:30 a.m. CST

    borrowed from jurassic park? again???

    by cloudrider`

    must be emmerich's fav movie. he borrowed it once for godzilla. borrowed it again for the wolf scene in day after tomorrow. and now again? <p>i still think he has great visual talent though(unlike w.s. anderson and those second rate directors he produced movies for), it's just originality that he lacks.

  • March 5, 2008, 10:03 a.m. CST

    Mothra will unleash hell on earth if this flick is No. 1

    by Behemoth

    Let that be a warning to you spineless Hapsburg Chimps who will flock to this like flies to a fetid mound of dung. <p>MOTHRA IS REAL!!