Friday, March 7, 2008

More Bad SciFi

Fans of science fiction, particularly real science fiction, aren't likely to be impressed with the latest offering from Roland Emmerich:

For the wackiest portrayal of the Stone Age since The Flintstones, we have no hesitation in recommending 10,000 BC, an adventure that starts in an icy Pleistocene village and ends in a vast desert where an Egyptian civilization has magically taken form.

Windsor Star Review: 10,000 BC
Anyone who's seen the trailers for this thing shouldn't be surprised at the observations of the more thoughtful movie critics. Here's another one:

The new Roland Emmerich movie "10,000 B.C." can be recommended to those who have (1) never seen Mel Gibson's vastly superior "Apocalypto"; (2) never seen the matchless "Lord of the Rings" pictures; or (3) never seen a movie before in their lives. To call the film derivative would be to over-praise it. Much of the story and several key sequences - especially one set in a huge pyramid city swarming with slaves - are ripped straight out of the Gibson movie, while the stampeding mastodons and snowy New Zealand mountaintop panoramas (along with some sub-Howard Shore soundtrack symphonizing) will surely stir feelings of familiarity among Frodophiles.

'10,000 B.C.': Time Bomb, By Kurt Loder
Yes, I thought I'd seen that somewhere before - like on The Flintstones. Emmerich, as you may recall, was responsible for the stupid, but amusing, Independence Day. My guess is that this one will be just as stupid, but far less amusing:

Still, there are nanoseconds of accidental poetry, like the visible tear stains on Evolet's resting face. But then comes a moment of Mesolithic silliness, like a "Braveheart"-ish speech by D'Leh to his men, or a reference to snow as "white rain" or Omar Sharif's narration. And the less said about historical accuracy, the better.

'10,000 B.C.' quest for early flair is just too Neanderthal
Independence Day at least featured skilled and accomplished actors like Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum. Not so with this turkey:

While the plot might look good on paper, it falls flat on screen and turns out to be just another run-of-the-mill hero story. The end result was made worse by weak acting and poor dialogue across the board.

Watching [Steven] Strait is uninteresting and uninspiring; he may have the look of a hero, but lacks the emotions and speech.

Prehistoric epic gets trampled
Another critic observes:

While the CGI induces laughter and a little bit of confusion, purposeful attempts at humor fall flat. The dialogue, besides being trite, is randomly dotted with absurd guttural noises presumably aimed at mimicking the era’s speech. Especially insufferable is the young Baku, the bumbling comedic relief, whose antics fail to prompt anything but embarrassment and the odd awkward chuckle.

Despite Visuals, "10,000 B.C." Is An Epic Disappointment
I haven't seen this film, nor will I do so without being paid handsomely (very unlikely), or being threatened with bodily harm. The only reason I'm writing about this thing is that it just represents another example of Hollywood's attitude toward the genre. These days, if you want to see good science fiction, you should turn on your TV.

It's hard to remember the last film I saw that could genuinely be called "science fiction". I think it was Contact. It definitely was a long time ago. Ten thousand years ago, agricultural societies were just getting started. The old world of hunter-gathering humans was changing into the world we live in now. Considering how interesting and dangerous those times actually were, you'd think that someone could write an interesting tale about them that was featured a passably accurate setting. Instead, we're treated to colossally expensive tripe like this.


Bustednuckles said...

Contact was a great movie.
I don't watch much Tee Vee and I don't go to the movies maybe, once every two or three years. I don't see much out there that interests me.

Cujo359 said...

Same here, at least as far as movies go. I don't watch a whole lot of TV, either. I mostly survive on recordings and DVDs. But if you want to see good science fiction these days, then TV's where you have to look for it. Other than Serenity, I can't think of a scifi movie in the last few years that even qualifies as thoughtful, and that was based on a TV series.