Day 254 & Day 255 – Early Man & The Searchers

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Movie Title: Early Man

First Watch / Repeat Viewing

Running Time: 1 hr. 29 min.

Rated: PG

Who did I watch with?: Flying Solo

Where did I watch it?: Home

Review:

Early Man is from the same folks that produced Wallace & Gromit also known as the greatest clay-mation ever produced. Early Man falls well short of the mark set by Wallace & Gromit. The set up involves a meteor striking the Earth where dinosaurs and humans are frolicking around together. This was a huge unnecessary turn off for me. The cave people discover the core of the asteroid and use it to develop the game of soccer. The descendants of that generation continue to live in the valley until it is threatened by a nearby bronze age civilization. Another big issue with this part of the movie was the pure stupidity of the cave people. It didn’t make them endearing and it didn’t make them funny. It was a complete misfire. This improves later in the movie as the focus mercifully shifts away from the tribal characters.

The first half is pretty weak, but once the premise is established it has some pretty funny elements; my particular favorite being the introduction of giant carnivorous ducks. The voices are pretty well done. Eddie Redmayne stars as Dug the spunky caveman that tries to win back their homeland in a soccer match, Tom Hiddleston plays the corrupt Emperor Lord Nooth, and Maisie Williams makes an appearances as Dug’s love interest Goona. The movie is really much more about soccer than the stone age as it builds upt o a sports match between Real Bronzio and The Brutes. If The Brutes win they will get their land back, but if they lose they will be condemned to life service in the mines. If you can get past the ridiculousness of the premise it isn’t too bad.

Verdict:

I watched this movie to see if it would be useful for teaching ancient civilizations at school. It is not. If you are a huge fan of claymation I would recommend it. Otherwise, skip it.

Tomorrow’s Movie: The Searchers (1956)

 

Movie Title: The Searchers

First Watch / Repeat Viewing

Running Time: 1 hr. 59 min.

Rated: Passed

Who did I watch with?: Flying Solo

Where did I watch it?: Home

Review:

The Searchers stars John Wayne and Jeffrey Hunter on a quest for vengeance that damn near ruins them personally. Ethan Edwards (John Wayne) is a a proud Confederate that takes great pleasure in hunting the Comanche. He has just returned to his old family homestead in the Texas pasture from some possibly shady dealings which netted him a nice sum of money. He is looking to settle down for awhile when the family is slaughtered by Comanche while he and Martin Pawley (Jeffrey Hunter) are out on patrol. Martin was found by Ethan as a baby, but Ethan despises him because of his possible Cherokee heritage. The contentious relationship between these two men as they hunt for the one surviving daughter captured by the Comanche drives the plot of the movie onward over the course of years.

In the meanwhile, they neglect their personal lives entirely. Martin spurns the love of Laurie Jorgensen (Vera Miles) who literally throws herself at Martin. Ethan is wanted for murder in the state of Texas and the rangers are looking for him. Death and failure follow them everywhere they go until they encounter a Mexican trader who leads them to the girl’s location. The only problem is that she is no longer a girl and she has lived among the Comanche for a long time. Ethan wants to see her dead, but Martin still wants to save her. There is always the vague impression that Ethan and Martin are one trigger hair away from putting a slug in one another at all times

Verdict:

It builds to a dramatic conclusion where the end is genuinely in doubt until the final scene. That is a true rarity in many movies today. See it.

Tomorrow’s Movie: Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (2011)

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