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Category:    Home > Reviews > Action > 10,000 B.C. (Warner Blu-ray + DVD)

10,000 B.C. (Warner Blu-ray + DVD)


Picture: A-/C+†††† Sound: B+/B-†††† Extras: B-†††† Film: C



Has anyone else noticed how the word ďepicĒ is loosely thrown around these days?10,000 B.C. is the latest example of a film that is so desperate to sound bigger than it is that even casting Omar Sharif as the narrator demonstrates the drastic measures to hide the films high ambitions.Then again, like many of Roland Emmerichís films, it never lives up to the hype.


Iíve never really been impressed with any of his films to date, although perhaps the most entertaining film that still holds up decently is Independence Day.Stargate was a mixed bag overall and never knew what to do with its plot after the first half of the film, Godzilla was a total wreck (no pun intended), The Patriot was an absolute dreadful piece of filmmaking, and The Day After Tomorrow showed signs of promise, but lost all of its steam after the special effects kicked in.Itís not that Emmerich doesnít know how to make a good film, he knows how to attack people, but unfortunately special effects canít save a poor script!Rather than trying to make over-the-top popcorn epics, he should focus on just being a gifted storyteller and let the action come naturally instead of just trying to Ďwowí the audience with one boom after another.


The trailers for this film didnít really help tell the story; it was more of a flashing of visuals in an attempt to build hype towards the film.The story centers around the prehistoric tribes and in particular one mans quest to bring security to the future of his tribe, but that path wonít be easy as there are tribal wars, slavery, and other events in history coming to existence as well, including the building of the Great Pyramids of Egypt.I personally enjoyed this section of the film the most as I have always had a fascination with the building of the pyramids and the manpower that was spent building them.


10,000 B.C. cost about 105 million dollars and most of that money is on screen, but the film struggled to make that money back, so the studio is hopeful that the DVD and Blu-ray sales will soar.So how do the video releases stack up?


Well, first let me address the fact that despite Emmerich being one of the more successful hack directors in Hollywood his films typically perform well on video, especially in the technical department.Even when a film is dreadful as the case with The Patriot, the Superbit DVD and now the Blu-ray are worth owning just for the visual and sonic nature of those discs.The same is true of the Independence Day Blu-ray disc, which going back to DVD was one of the first titles that was often referenced for good sound quality, even if it was a simply Dolby Digital 5.1 mix.Godzilla was also issued as a Superbit DVD and Stargate is available on Blu-ray as well with a decent DTS-HD mix.


Itís unfortunate though that 10,000 B.C. was not given a DTS-HD mix, instead we get a Dolby Digital TrueHD 5.1, which is far superior to the tame Dolby 5.1 mix on the DVD set, but a DTS-HD mix would have been a great addition, especially if it was a 7.1 release.Sonically-speaking the Dolby TrueHD mix does have some great moments that will rival many other current TrueHD mixes, but I was hoping the film would have a sound design that would rival some of Emmerichís work in the past, but at this point it looks like The Patriot is still at the top in terms of audio quality.


The films visual style is accurately represented on the Blu-ray, but the DVD shows itís limitations in depth, color fidelity, and saturation that gives the Blu-ray a three-dimensional look.Some scenes (especially those with heavy special effects) demonstrate a bit of softness that is probably due to the limitations of the film being shot in Super 35 rather than with real Panavision lenses. The 2.40 X 1 anamorphic 1080p image overall looks sharp and detailed and quickly shows how the standard definition by comparison just canít handle all of the detail in the frame, especially darker sequences, which on the DVD look more distraught.


Extras include a special feature on bringing the prehistoric wildlife to the big screen as well as some in-depth moments on how real history inspired this narrative.There is also an alternative ending, which I actually think worked just as well if not better than the actual theatrical cut and there are some extended scenes as well, which were rightly cut from the film.



-†† Nate Goss


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