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John Hawks Reviews 10,000BC

Sure, his review* of 10,000BC is making the rounds … but it is utterly fantastic.

Update: The Globe and Mail says this about the film:

The story is set among an improbable mountainous tribe of Caucasian/Rastafarian/native North American mammoth hunters, who resemble nightclubbing Calvin Klein models who speak in slightly accented formal English. So formal is the speech, in fact, it seems possible the “BC” in the title possibly refers to “before contractions.

*It’s more a ‘review of reviews’ or a ‘review of viewers’ comments.’

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  1. Dave Walker wrote:

    My fave review was Dana Stevens “Me Want Good Caveman Movie” on (

    “Depictions of early humans have the potential to ask the big questions: Where does language come from? What should our relationship be to nature, to technology, to other humans? A good caveman movie also tackles more immediate concerns: What me do when fire go out? How me escape from stampeding woolly mammoth?

    Rather than taking the trouble to imagine what early civilization might have been like—its culture, its language, its warfare, its family life—the movie simply transposes a banal Hollywood epic into Paleolithic times. Or maybe Mesolithic. Emmerich … excels at staging grand-scale chaos, but he’s no stickler for detail. So what if the construction of the pyramids didn’t really overlap with the existence of the woolly mammoth? Can you honestly say you don’t want to see a herd of crazed mammoths stampeding down the ramps of a pyramid in progress?”

    Yes. Yes I do want to see stampeding crazed mammoths. Maybe on DVD, on bargain night.

    Wednesday, March 12, 2008 at 10:18 am | Permalink
  2. Dave … fair comment (and thanks for the link). Hawks runs the risk, of course, of being called ‘no fun.’ (No one likes the know-it-all who deconstructs a film.)

    What I appreciate about his post, however, is that he collected the taken-for-granted ideas about history and anthropology as expressed in viewers comments about the film.

    By all means, go and enjoy the movie. Go and hate the movie. But, for Hawks (and me), there is also a tremendous amount of fun to be had at the expense of popular notions of history.

    (To put it another way, Hawks is poking fun at the people who are actually critiquing the film’s nay-sayers.)

    Wednesday, March 12, 2008 at 10:39 am | Permalink