Year 2, Day 66 - 3/7/10 - Movie #431
BEFORE: Another film about primitive man, but this one an action film.
I know that I should probably at least acknowledge the Academy Awards that are happening tonight, but I'm sort of locked into a chain of films, and besides, I don't feel very connected to tonight's awards - even though they increased the Best Pictures nominations to 10, I still managed to see exactly zero of the nominees. This is largely since I've been concentrating on movies I missed in the past, and I have managed to watch a number of Best Picture winners in the past 14 months, like "The Departed", "No Country for Old Men", "Schindler's List", "The Deer Hunter", "Million Dollar Baby", "Slumdog Millionaire", and "From Here to Eternity". I do have some other winners on my list of films to watch, like "On the Waterfront" "The French Connection", "Kramer vs. Kramer", "Chicago", and "Bridge On the River Kwai", but that would mean bouncing around on my list, and I'm honestly not in the mood for that.
THE PLOT: A prehistoric epic that follows a young mammoth hunter's journey through uncharted territory to secure the future of his tribe.
AFTER: I struggled with this one late last night, my eyes kept closing as I tried to follow this film's plot. Which either means it's a terribly non-interesting film, or perhaps I was just exhausted, or suffering from the dreaded movie burn-out. After a few hours of falling asleep, rewinding, trying again, falling asleep, etc. I finally gave up, went to bed and finished the film the following afternoon.
Perhaps it would have been better on a bigger TV - I usually watch films on a small TV in my basement, and I've been meaning to shore up the entertainment center down there so it can support a larger, heavier TV, but it's hard to find the time to accomplish this. I really need to take a week's staycation and take care of some of these things around the house...
The film, right, the film...it's exciting enough, I suppose - there's lots of CGI mammoths and saber-toothed tigers, and armies of warriors, and slave revolts. But also there's a lot of supposition about what life in ancient times was like - I understand that there are a lot of gaps to be filled in, and every story is going to fill them in differently, but in the strictest sense, what we have here is an event movie created out of pixels, with no major stars, a loose battle/quest plotline, all flash and very little substance.
If I'm judging just on the spectacle of it all, the CGI mammoths are a little better than what you might see on a History Channel documentary - but for some reason the story failed to hold my attention. I found a lot of the dialogue hard to follow, like when the army marching through the desert found their way by following "the eye of the snake", which I think was a star, but was never really properly explained. The giant birds that were like ostriches crossed with velociraptors were also pretty weird (and supposedly died out about a million years before...)
RATING: 4 out of 10 sailboats