Fire Sciences Movie Reviews
Very realistic and with a few moments of good humor! Much more authentic then many caveman movies where everyone is dressed in clean furs and well fed! A must see!
The movie itself is not at all politically correct, which I appreciate, too often we wish to impose modern morals and social behaviour on the ancient world, as one sees in Clan of the Cave Bear. Not here, this film tackles clanwars, cannibalism, rape, sexuality, and even alcoholism. The one thing that did surprise me was that apparently the main characters, the Ulum tribe, were not supposed to be neanderthals, even though (based on modern understanding of neanderthals) their social behaviour was very much like the neanderthals' and was totally unlike archaic homo sapiens. However, this movie functions very well in familliarizing modern man with the totally alien world of our ancient ancestors.
Now for the DVD special features. The special features are what really set this DVD apart. Through the director commentary, and also a commentary with the exec. producer and a couple actors one really gets a sense of what a harrowing project this film was to make for all involved. From shooting in the remotest wilderness, to training animals, to working under the harshest conditions imageinable from neckdeep in frozen water in Canada to barefoot on 140 degree rocks in the middle of Africa, this movie must have been as hard to act through as life must have been for our ancient ancestors. Ron Perlman, in part of his commentary mentions that he still feels the frostbite he got while shooting this movie every time it gets cold. The special features really are brilliant and they will give you a much deeper appreciation of the movie you are watching.
Edward Judd is excellent in the role of Peter Stenning, a cynical newspaper columnist who has fallen from the top of his profession into a whiskey bottle but rises to sobriety once again admist the crisis. Janet Munro is adorable as Jeanie Crane, the weather ministry worker who leaks the story of the ages to Judd and ends up falling in love with him in the process. Leo McKern, widely known for his later role as Rumpole of the Bailey, is simply superb as Bill McGuire, the paper's science expert and Stenning's best friend. His sharp wit and tongue make his character a joy to watch.
Added into that mix is an amazingly authentic recreation of a newspaper work environment. I don't know the actor who plays Mr. Jefferson, the newpaper's editor, but he should have gotten an Oscar for his portrayal. I heard somewhere that he was a former newspaper editor--and it shows in his performance.
The special effects are minimal and unsophisticated, but the tension in the story builds as the lethality of the crisis becomes apparent to everyone and mankind makes a frantic, last-second attempt to prevent its ultimate undoing.
As far as the DVD goes, it is a very nice package. It includes commentary from Val Guest, the director; a nice set of production stills; and radio advertising spots for the movie. The audio sync does appear to be a hair off in some spots, but it wasn't all that noticeable. The picture quality is crisp and the audio is clear. I especially like the colorized (sort of) opening and closing sequences. Overall, a very nice packaging of a wonderful movie. One of the top sci-fi films of all time in my opinion.
You can almost feel the temperature rising as the film progresses.A great demonstration of what may happen if mankind continues to stupidly detonate nuclear warheads.