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This is a sweeping odyssey into a mythical age of prophesies and gods, when spirits rule the land and mighty mammoths shake the earth. In a remote mountain tribe, the young hunter, D'Leh (Steven Strait), has found his heart's passion—the beautiful Evolet (Camilla Belle). When a band of mysterious warlords raid his village and kidnap Evolet, D'Leh is forced to lead a small group of hunters to pursue the warlords to the end of the world to save her. Driven by destiny, the unlikely band of warriors must battle saber-tooth tigers and prehistoric predators, and at their heroic journey's end, they uncover a Lost Civilization. Their ultimate fate lies in an empire beyond imagination, where great pyramids reach into the skies. Here they will take their stand against a powerful god who has brutally enslaved their people.
For more about 10,000 B.C. and the 10,000 B.C. Blu-ray release, see 10,000 B.C. Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on June 30, 2008 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.0 out of 5.
Starring: Steven Strait, Camilla Belle, Cliff Curtis, Joel Virgel, Affif Ben Badra, Mo Zinal
Narrator: Omar Sharif
Director: Roland Emmerich
» See full cast & crew
10,000 B.C. Blu-ray Review
Is this movie worth hunting down for your collection?
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, June 30, 2008
Only time can teach us what is truth and what is legend.
If I were to agree that 10,000 BC was as bad as I had heard it was, what would that make movies like One Missed Call and Meet the Spartans? What about the various gems that play on the Sci-Fi Channel that I had the displeasure of viewing over the weekend, like Reptilian and Manticore? Compared to all of that dreck, 10,000 BC is a fantastic movie. Those aforementioned films are so bad, however, that by "fantastic," I mean a solid 2-2.5/5 type of movie. Perhaps comparing any Hollywood film that is considered an A-list movie from an A-list studio to a couple of Sci-Fi Channel train wrecks, the worst parody I've ever seen, and a completely worthless horror flick, is the proverbial apples-to-oranges comparison, but at the end of the day, each of these is still a movie that someone thought was going to be good enough or, at the very least, as I believe was the case with Meet the Spartans, had the potential to earn enough money to turn a profit, to bother producing. At least 10,000 BC offers viewers a competently made and acted movie with a real musical score, solid production values, impressive set pieces, and very good special effects. It is simply a far superior movie to any of the film's I've graded with our lowest scores, but it is by no means a "great" or even "good" film, either.
10,000 BC is a simple story with some mystical undertones that don't add all that much to the story itself. A prophesy (there is always a prophesy) foretells of a warrior and his woman who will lead the tribe from hunger, but not before some four-legged demons bring an end to the world they know. That warrior is D'Leh (Steven Strait, The Covenant); his woman is Evolet (Camilla Belle, When a Stranger Calls); and those demons are simply members of a more advanced civilization with crude body armor and horses. These bad guys (and many other aspects of the movie, for that matter) reminded me of Pathfinder. D'Leh must win the right to be with Evolet by obtaining the tribe's sought-after white spear by killing a mammoth. D'Leh, of course, kills it, but because he is a man of good conscience, he instead leaves the spear with fellow tribesman Tic'Tic (Cliff Curtis, Sunshine), for D'Leh feels he did not kill the beast fairly. When the prophesy enters its fulfillment stage and Evolet is kidnapped by the four-legged demons, D'Leh, Tic'Tic, and others venture out to exotic lands to find her, meeting new tribes and fulfilling even more prophesies along the way. Will D'Leh find his true love and fulfill his destiny, or does fate have other plans?
As I mentioned in the open of this review, 10,000 BC isn't the finest movie ever made, but it looks and sounds terrific. It's certainly not bad enough to be labeled as a "disaster," due in large part to the spit and polish applied to the end product. Underneath all the glitzy effects, admittedly impressive set pieces, and the above-average score by Harald Kloser (Alien Vs. Predator) and Thomas Wanker (The Day After Tomorrow), 10,000 BC has a wholly generic feel to it. It's not always a completely predictable movie, but it's never surprising in its actions or resolutions, either. All of the chase and action scenes are well-staged but not all that exciting. I think that's the genesis of the main problem with this movie. For as novel as the idea for the film is, the novelty wears off quickly; it becomes a standard-fare movie with a plot line that would fit into most any movie of this style, set in any era or with any civilization several hundred years ago or later, or even involving a modern era tribe, yet albeit a still-undeveloped one. Scene after scene reminded me of the superior Apocalypto. 10,000 BC, so many times, feels like the kid brother to that movie. It's far less violent, a bit underdeveloped, slightly less coherent, and as a result, this Roland Emmerich (The Patriot)-directed film is decidedly geared more towards mass audiences in every aspect of its existence than is Apocalypto.
This unoriginality truly is the bane of 10,000 BC's existence. I could probably think of dozens of movies that might feel ripped off by this one, from the aforementioned Pathfinder and Apocalypto to even Battlefield Earth, Alien3 (the famous scene where the alien gets in Ripley's face) and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. 10,000 BC even features the ubiquitous Braveheart rip-off when D'Leh gives a "rally the troops" speech before the final confrontation. There is narration from the legendary Omar Sharif (Hidalgo) that sounds like it's straight out of a bedtime story, mostly because of the put-the-kids-to-sleep tone of his delivery. Despite the broad range of movies that 10,000 BC manages to borrow from, it's still a fairly entertaining movie in its own right. It's well-paced and is over before you know it, which is probably one of its finest assets. Still, I'm not sure what the point of the movie was at the end of the day. It's a good concept that is almost completely ruined by its lack of originality (even if its setting was ripe for a fairly original adventure) but remains oddly watchable nevertheless.
10,000 B.C. Blu-ray, Video Quality
10,000 BC takes a bite out of Blu-ray with its mostly impressive 1080p, 2.40:1 video transfer. Background detail in this image is only moderately good, but foreground detail fares much better. It's not the most detailed or best-looking disc on the market today, but it's certainly far better than adequate. We cannot only see the caked-on mud and paint on faces, but we are privy to the chunks flaking off as well in close-up shots. All of the adornments worn by the characters look excellent, as does the bamboo armor worn by some characters. Every line, groove, and knot in the wood on the side of boats looks marvelous in high definition. Detail in faces in well-lit scenes is excellent as well. The film's numerous bright, outdoor scenes fare the best; we can even see the cracks on character's lips as they traverse the desert and their dehydrated condition begins to show, physically. The snowy mountainsides seen during the film's first half are marvelously reproduced. Flesh tones appear to be handled expertly, and colors in general are excellent. The red of the "birds" stands out as pleasing and natural, a more muted but realistic shade that plays in stark contrast to many of the reds seen in Drillbit Taylor. Black levels are solid but not perfect, and it is in the film's darkest scenes where film grain becomes visible. Otherwise, I failed to notice the presence of grain in the film's better-lit scenes. All the same, this transfer is a solid one, and despite the movie's generally earthy-toned colors and lack of fine background detail, it's overall appearance is a fine one.
10,000 B.C. Blu-ray, Audio Quality
10,000 BC has come to Blu-ray with an engaging Dolby TrueHD 5.1 lossless surround sound mix. The first time we hear more than basic dialogue and a bit of music comes in chapter three during the first hunt of the film. Each step a mammoth takes results in some good, deep bass. As the herd runs from the hunters, the effect is greatly multiplied, and while it doesn't quite sound like they are stampeding through the entertainment room, the effect is a good one. Bass rattles the couch, and the herd can be heard moving through every one of the speakers connected to the sound system. In fact, bass is definitely one of this soundtrack's strengths. It'll rattle and wallop time and again, greatly enhancing some otherwise tedious action sequences. Dialogue is occasionally hard to decipher during the film's louder action sequences but is generally reproduced with clarity and finesse. There is also some excellent use of the rear channels, featuring the panning of sound as movement is heard through the brush in one particular scene; it moves completely across the rear soundstage causing one of those "look over your shoulder" moments. Nighttime ambience, including the chirping of insects and other natural wonders, permeates the rears at just the right volume to alert us to its presence but not enough to overwhelm our senses and leave us focused on anything but the primary action or dialogue seen on-screen. Although a wonderful soundtrack, this one isn't quite as polished and mesmerizing as the finest tracks we've heard so far, but this lossless soundtrack is certainly the crowning jewel on this disc.
10,000 B.C. Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
10,000 BC doesn't leave viewers in the stone age of home video releases with no supplements to speak of. There isn't much here, but we do have a few goodies, including a digital copy of the film which is found on the same disc as the high definition feature itself. A Wild and Wooly Ride (480p, 13:18) takes viewers behind-the-scenes of the making of some of the important effects and set pieces seen in the film, focusing on the pyramids and the animals. Interviews with various cast and crew members are thrown in. Inspiring an Epic (480p, 12:57) takes a look at the real-life events of this tumultuous period in human history and the influence of Graham Hancock's novel, Fingerprints of the Gods, in the making of the film. Once again, interview clips with cast and crew (as well as Hancock), not to mention clips from the movie, are scattered throughout. Finally, an alternate ending to the film (480p, 3:07) and nine deleted scenes (480p, 9:56) round out the special features department.
10,000 B.C. Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
10,000 BC may be the ultimate "woulda, coulda, shoulda" movie. There was (and still is, thanks to the lackluster final product seen here) a world of potential for a film set in this time period. I believe the filmmaker's hearts and minds were in the right place with 10,000 BC, but they failed to achieve the success that could have been. I'm a fan of director Roland Emmerich's work (Stargate, Independence Day, The Patriot, Universal Soldier), but he missed the mark with this one. That's alright; everyone has an off-day (or an off-movie, in this case) now and then. Despite my disappointment in this film, it's far better than many of the worthless, tired, and downright terrible movies coming out of Hollywood today, and chances are good that Emmerich will be back with another solid, entertaining picture in his next go-round. Warner Brothers' Blu-ray release of 10,000 BC is a passable one, with an above-average video quality and an exciting lossless soundtrack, but only a handful of throwaway supplements. 10,000 BC is probably best experienced on Blu-ray as a Saturday night rental.
10,000 B.C. Blu-ray, News and Updates
• 10,000 B.C. Coming to Blu-ray in June - April 15, 2008
Warner Home Video has announced that they will release the action blockbuster '10,000 B.C.' for Blu-ray on June 24th, day-and-date with the DVD release. Video will be presented in 1080p VC-1 accompanied by a 5.1 Dolby TrueHD soundtrack. Extras include an alternative ...
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