10,000 BC (2008)
Massive, massive Sambo Alert.
Good Lord. The story of a white caveman who unites the tribes of Africa to go after the Alien civilization building the pyramids...I just can't wrap my mind around the awfulness of this film. And yet...I'd be lying if I didn't say I was chortling, and enjoying myself. This iteration of the Tarzan myth is so blatantly insane that it's like a monster mash of my own grade school re-imaginings of Edgar Rice Burroughs. It is legitimately awful enough to be a kind of wicked fun. The mammoth stampedes are great, the saber-toothed Tiger underused. Did I mention the staggering racism of this thing? I mean, its the first truly, deeply racist film of the 21st century, and deserves some kind of award. Wow. For connoisseurs of bad cinema, an "A"--get REALLY loaded and bring your friends. Everyone else, beware. Maybe a "C" if you're in a good mood. For the politically correct, Oh My. Where oh where is Mystery Science Theater 3000 when you need them? Producer Roland Emmerich is one scary dude. Not enough to make me hate "Independence Day," but close.
The Bank Job (2008)
On the other hand, Bank Job is one of the neatest caper movies I've seen in years. Straight-forward example of British Crime cinema starring the under-appreciated Jason Statham (he would make a perfect Willie Garvin if they did a Modesty Blaise movie, dammit) dealing with a bank robbery in 1970 engineered to recover scandalous pictures of Princess Margaret . Casually excellent, tense, exciting, naughty, funny, and sexy. It isn't that the Brits make better movies. It's that when one of their movies makes it all the way over here, it tends to be better than typical Hollywood stuff--sort of the way immigrants outperform average Americans. Makes it worth while to go out of your way to check out good foreign film. This is a good one, a professional product about a group of very unprofessional thieves in way over their heads. And, oh...it seems to have been based on a real crime. The names were apparently changed to protect the guilty. A legitimate "B+" for caper movie fans. A "B" for the rest of you guys.
Saturday, March 08, 2008
10,000 BC (2008)
Posted by Steven Barnes at 10:37 PM