The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Warner – 2008
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 109 Minutes
Disc Format: BD-25
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 5.1, English/French/ Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
Starring: Steven Strait, Camilla Belle, Cliff Curtis, Omar Shariff
Directed by: Roland Emmerich
Music by: Harald Kloser and Thomas Wander
Written by: Rolan Emmerich and Harald Kloser
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: June 24, 2008
"Prophecies are meant to be fulfilled"
From Roland Emmerich, director of Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow comes an awesome new adventure about a time when mammoths shook the earth and mystical spirits shaped human fates. In a remote mountain tribe, the young hunter D’Leh (Steven Strait), has found his heart’s passion the beautiful Evolet (Camilla Belle). But when a band of mysterious warlords raid the village and kidnap her, D’Leh leads a small group of hunters to pursue the warlords to the end of the world to save Evolet. As they venture into unknown lands for the first time they discover there are civilizations beyond their own. They encounter other tribes who have been attacked by the warlords and lost members to them. They subsequently band together and form a small army. Driven by destiny, the unlikely warriors must battle prehistoric predators while braving the harshest elements. At their journey’s end, they uncover a lost civilization and learn their ultimate fate lies in an empire beyond imagination, where great pyramids reach far into the skies. There D’Leh will lead a fight for Evolet - and become the champion of the time when legend began.
When you read the above it sounds like the makings of a pretty good movie. 10,000 BC is not what I would call a good movie. The plot was shallow and not very imaginative. The screenplay seemed like it was written in one day by someone who was under the gun to meet a deadline. The performances were pretty bad and came off very much like inexperienced actors in a school play. I remember liking Steve Strait in The Covenant although it was not what I would consider a challenging role. Cliff Curtis has been in numerous films (Runaway Jury, Training Day, Live free or Diehard) and in general does a credible job. I guess part of the problem could be attributed to the writing. I could not help but feel that these characters were not believable and quite frankly at times the acting was laughable. The story is narrated (yawn) by veteran actor Omar Sharif who portrays one of the characters who later in life is re-counting the story. Seeing the trailer would definitely lead one to believe that there was more action in this film than there actually was. There were three types of prehistoric creatures featured in the story. A Saber Toothed Tiger, the Manic (Mammoths), and jungle dwelling giant Ostrich type birds. The encounter with the Saber Toothed tiger was not only brief but less than realistic. The mountain people called the Mammoth like creatures “Manics” and relied upon them for food, weaponry, and other various uses. There were two scenes in the film involving the Manic, both are predictable and involve them stampeding. The only real tense moments came when the tribesman and warlords entered a tall grassy area in the jungle. This area is inhabited by large, aggressive Ostrich type birds that are pretty nasty. The remainder of the story dealt with D’Leh’s quest to find Evolet and fulfill the prophecy as told by “Old Mother” an elder within the tribe who had the power of foresight. In the end I found 10,000 BC to be predictable, a little silly, and mildly entertaining.
The rating is for intense sequences of action and violence. This film should pose no problem for pre-teens and above.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
10,000 BC comes to Blu-ray Disc from Warner featuring 1080p VC-1 encoded video with an average bitrate of 20 mbps and lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 channel audio with an average bitrate of 1.5 mbps.
The video presentation was excellent and near reference in quality. The video had a crisp pristine quality that positively translated to images on screen. It exhibited exquisite detail in both close up and long distant shots. The sequences shot in the snow covered mountain regions, the lush jungle and lost civilization looked incredibly lifelike. These areas contained objects such as snow covered peaks, trees/vegetation, and stone structures that were brimming with intricate minutia that was clearly visible. The physical features and period clothing worn by the cast benefited from the clarity and vibrant nature of the video as well. The use of CGI had a slight softening effect on occasion but that is inherent and ot related to the transfer itself. I thought that the CGI and blue screen work looked less realistic than it should have although I am not sure why. Blacks were rich and inky with plenty of dynamic range and depth. Shadow detail was impressive and probably as good as I have seen. The color scheme used early in the film was on the narrow side but picked up nicely once the tribesman ventured beyond the village. The varying shades of green and brown in the jungle looked very natural and tonally divergent. Once they reached the lost civilization the beautifully vivid and vibrant colors in the costumes worn by the god’s minions looked striking in high definition. Contrast levels were spot on and achieved a nice balance between both bright and dark scenes. I didn’t notice any extraneous video noise or posterization during the film.
The Dolby TrueHD soundtrack was on par with the video and sounded excellent. The mix contains some very deep bass transients that bass heads will love. The stampeding Manic sequence literally shook my room. Dynamics are first rate during that scene as well as several others. The surrounds are used to create a 360 degree sound field during the jungle scene as the tribesman and warlords are stalked by the large Ostrich like birds in the tall grass. Dialogue and sound effects were cleanly rendered across the front three channels with transparent imaging and focus. I appreciated the fact that this sound mix didn’t try and embellish its elements by overuse of the surround platform. It called them into play when it counted and did so to great effect.
The bonus content offered on 10,000 BC contains 2 features that look at production and what it took to bring its elements to the big screen. This includes some background on the real history of the time period and its influence on the story and film design. In watching the additional scenes I felt that there were several that certainly could have remained but in reality they were just continuations of those sequences and didn’t change the outcome. The alternate ending didn’t change the story. Warner includes two codes, one for Windows Media and one for Apple iTunes which will allow users to download a standard definition digital copy of the film to their PC from their website. It can then be transferred to a portable playback device tot take along with you. I thought this was a nice touch and I expect to see more of it in the future.
- A Wild and wooly ride: Featurette
- Inspiring an epic: Featurette
- Alternate ending
- 9 Additional scenes totaling just over 10 minutes
- Downloadable Digital Copy (SD) of the film for use on portable playback devices
10,000 BC is not an inspirational film nor is it meant to be. I think it was intended to be a serious film and it just came off as campy in my opinion. Warner has done a superb job with its presentation on Blu-ray as it looks and sounds great. For those who liked this film they can feel confident in that regard. The addition of a Digital Copy of the film is icing on the cake. For those who may be curious I would recommend renting this one prior to a purchase.
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