Film Friday: ‘10,000 BC’, ‘Bank Job’

by W. Andrew Powell

10,000 BC

Steven Strait in 10,000 BC

This week in theatres, take a stroll back in time as a pre-historic young man has to rescue the love of his life after she is kidnapped by a roaming gang of warlords in Roland Emmerich‘s 10,000 BC. Or follow a car salesman who gets wrapped up in a bank caper rife with gold, gems, and more than a little bit of dirty English laundry in The Bank Job. Also arriving this week, a middle-aged woman finds herself living it up when she becomes a “social secretary” in Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, and the overprotective chief of police takes his daughter on a College Road Trip.

10,000 B.C.
Writer, director and producer Roland Emmerich gets his kicks wreaking havoc with stories about aliens (Independence Day), unnatural disasters (The Day After Tomorrow), and galaxy-hopping adventures (Stargate). In his latest film, Emmerich and writer/composer Harald Kloser look back in time at an age when civilization was just rising, mammoths roamed the plains, and gods were apparently busy enslaving people.

D’Leh, played by Steven Strait, is a young man who has fallen for a young woman named Evolet (Camilla Belle). Their tribe, living high in the mountains, are happy enough with their lot in life until a raiding party attacks and kidnaps Evolet. Gathering a group together to hunt the raiders, D’Leh embarks on a journey that will take him to new lands, and fledgling cities, all the while gathering more people in the impending fight against an overbearing empire.

As popcorn movies go, Emmerich really knows how to make this kind of story a lot of fun, and the scenery and special effects are bound to be incredible. There are no early reviews as of press time, but I’m all for another epic tale from Emmerich and his amazing cinematographer Ueli Steiger, who are sure to make this story into a huge adventure.

The Bank Job
What’s that? A bank heist movie starring Jason Statham? And it’s inspired by a real robbery at the Lloyds Bank in Marylebone London? Personally, I could watch Statham butter bread and I would be amused, but The Bank Job is going to be a big movie this weekend, and all signs point to it being an edge-of-your-seat caper.

Statham stars as Terry, a car dealer who gets drawn into a big robbery that could essentially set him for life. What Terry doesn’t know is that his partner in crime Martine (Saffron Burrows) also has her eye on dirty laundry that involves the criminal underworld, the British government, and the Royal Family. Terry and his crew will walk away with a fortune, but they’ll also have to deal with a scandal that could rock the country.

The film certainly is a bit smarter than Statham’s usual fare, and is based a lot on facts dug up on the actual events. Reviewers are also calling the film unique, and engrossing.

“Director Roger Donaldson keeps the suspense crackling,” Peter Travers said in his review for Rolling Stone. “By the end, you’ll want to know more about a heist that literally did shake the empire.”

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
The year is 1939 in London, England and Miss Guinevere Pettigrew (Frances McDormand) has found herself working as a “social secretary” for an American star Delysia Lafosse (Amy Adams) after loosing her job as a governess. Swept up by Delysia’s whirlwind lifestyle, and trying to help the star deal with both her career and love life, Miss Pettigrew is a fish out of water who may just excel at this strange world of fashion and stardom. If only she can survive the meddling of fashionista Edythe Dubarry (Shirley Henderson).

The critics seem to love Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, with the Hollywood Reporter calling McDormand and Adams “gifted actresses”, while most other reviewers are praising the film as a cheeky, and sophisticated screwball comedy.

College Road Trip
Yes, it’s another fine comedy from Disney, starring Martin Lawrence and Raven-Symone as a father and daughter who have to work out some trust issues as daddy’s little girl heads off to college. Lawrence plays the over-protective, police chief father, who forces his daughter, Melanie, to let him escort her to all of the nearby colleges where she is considering going to school. The oddity of the film is that it was directed by Roger Kumble, the same guy who was responsible for the gross-out comedy The Sweetest Thing, and Cruel Intentions.

Aimed primarily at the teenage set, it’s pretty safe to guess that this will be another silly, and ridiculously bad comedy from the House of Mouse.

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