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10,000 B.C.

I donít know what the thought process was behind making a movie such as 10,000 B.C. ($36). Were the filmmakers hoping to come up with a smarter version of ONE MILLION YEARS B.C. or did they just want to make a movie with digital effects, so they could depict humans along with the extinct animals that were actually alive when relatively modern man walked the face of the planet? Well, 10,000 B.C. isnít much smarter than ONE MILLION YEARS B.C., but then again, this movie isnít as brain dead or terrible as some critics have made it out to be. However, I donít want to give the impression that I thought 10,000 B.C. was particularly good either, but will give the film credit, as it is nice to look at. Bottom line- 10,000 B.C. is pure popcorn fodder that requires very little thinking from the audience and a whole lot of suspension of disbelief.

The premise of 10,000 B.C. focuses on a tribe of hunter/gathers whose mammoth hunting way of life is about to come to an end- thanks to their introduction to an up and coming concept called civilization. Along the way, there is a bunch of mumbo-gumbo about a prophecy involving a blue-eyed heroine and a hunter whose destiny that will change everything. What follows is the abduction of the girl, which cases the hunter to become a warrior who raises an army trying to get her back. Also added to the mix are some well-timed appearances by a saber-toothed tiger, plus a grand climax involving the uprising of thousands of captured slaves, who were being forced to erect a great pyramid to honor a mysterious being dubbed the Almighty. The cast of 10,000 B.C. includes Steven Strait, Camilla Belle, Cliff Curtis, Joel Virgel, Affif Ben Badra, Mo Zinal, Nathanael Baring, Mona Hammond, Marco Khan, Reece Ritchie and Joel Fry. Omar Sharif narrates the tale.

Warner Home Video has made 10,000 B.C. available on Blu-ray Disc in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the VC-1 codec. In general, the 1080p presentation is exceedingly pleasing, delivering excellent levels of image detail. Principal photography is quite crisp looking, but sequences employing visual effect have been softened to make the mixture of live action and digital elements more seamless. However, some of the digital effects are a bit dodgy, which is brought to forefront by the hi-def presentation, but this is a flaw in the original production and should not be construed as a flaw in the presentation. Colors are rich, vibrant, fully saturated and utterly superb. Additionally, the flesh tones come across in a very pleasing manner. Blacks are perfect, whites pure, plus the picture produces great shadow detail. The elements from which 10,000 B.C. has been mastered are free from flaws. Grain is on the mild side and may have been digitally manipulated like much of the image.

10,000 B.C. is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel Dolby TrueHD soundtrack. There is plenty of action throughout the course of 10,000 B.C., so it should come as no surprise that the movie features a fairly aggressive sound design. Sound effects are well deployed throughout the entire soundstage, with all of the outlying channels springing to life. Sound leap and charge out at the viewer; effortlessly panning in all directions. Fidelity is relatively impressive for both the music and sound effects, plus the bottom end of the track provides all the necessary rumble. Dialogue is always crystal clear and easy to understand. Good thing? Bad thing? Thatís for the individual to decide. English, French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 channel tracks are also encoded onto the disc, as are English, French and Spanish subtitles.

The interactive menus allow one access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as a few extras. Featurettes include Inspiring An Epic (thirteen minutes, interview based) and A Wild And Wooly Ride (thirteen minutes on mammoth effects). Deleted Scenes and access to a Digital Copy close out the extras.

10,000 B.C. isnít a particularly memorable piece of cinema, but goes well enough with a bucket of hot buttered popcorn. Warnerís Blu-ray release looks and sounds quite good.


10,000 B.C. 

10,000 B.C. [Blu-ray] (2008)


DVD & Blu-rayDisc reviews are Copyright © 2008 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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