Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Eight Below |
Actors: Paul Walker, Jason Biggs, Bruce Greenwood, Moon Bloodgood, Wendy Crewson
Director: Frank Marshall
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Kids & Family
The unforgiving terrain of Antarctica comes to life through the wonder of Blu-ray Disc technology in this amazing tale of courage and loyalty. Eight incredible dogs, left behind when their research team is forced to flee, ... more »
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A great movie -- and here's why I think so......
Richard L. Pangburn | Bardstown, KY USA | 02/23/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Inspired by the Japanese movie (released in the United States as ANTARTICA), which was based upon the true story of a 1958 Japanese expedition, the real antecedent of this movie is Egerton R. Young's marvelous memoir of his dogsled team, first published in 1902. This was the first book to detail the different personalities among dogs and the first to describe their work ethic and sense of responsibility.
Jack London acknowledged his debt to Egerton Young's memoirs (among other sources) which he took to craft the dogsled team in THE CALL OF THE WILD, something missing in the various incarnations of the novel on film. EIGHT BELOW captures the real intelligence of siberian huskies (well, two of them are malamutes) better than any movie I've ever seen. Sure, this is just a movie and tricks were used to make it appear that these dogs do what they seem to do. But huskies do smile, laugh, worry, think, and bond--and if you don't agree, then you just don't know them.
Yes, there are some sentimental and maudlin moments in this film, but there is also a sense of naturalism and a declaration of personal responsibility. An adventure film that is rare and welcome and worth seeing again.
The musical score is beautiful and nicely edited to fit the mood of each scene, ambient but not overwhelming. Both humans and dogs are underplayed, and it struck me as a movie for adults who can use their imagination to fill in the gaps in understated dialogue and character development. The beauty of the scenery is often breathtaking.
It was a nice touch that one of the dogs, the oldest, is named Jack, and one is named Buck. Buck was also the name of the protagonist in THE CALL OF THE WILD and Jack was the name of Egerton Young's real dog upon which Buck was based. Of course it may be just a coincidence.
The other dogs include the twins, Truman and Dewey (a Democrat and a Republican), Shorty, Max, Shadow, and sweet Maya, the lead dog. Dog people will have no trouble distinguishing between them.
Those who love this film might be also interested in Egerton Young's MY DOGS OF THE NORTHLAND, Jack London's THE CALL OF THE WILD, edited and annotated by Daniel Dyer, and Gary Paulsen's WINTERDANCE: THE FINE MADNESS OF RUNNING THE IDITAROD."
Great Family Adventure Movie! More like 4 1/2 stars
scherf.com | Las Vegas, NV USA | 02/18/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is an excellent family movie about an Antartica adventure. Although Jason Biggs of American Pie is in it, this time he's the usual goofball but without any stupid humor and not one bad word anywhere in the film. It's safe family entertainment. The story is about a scientific post in Antartica that uses eight Huskies to get around with selds in the snow-barren wilderness of the South Pole. Trouble starts for the dogs when Winter arrives early and the dogs have to survive by themselves which is documented in the film as is also the human aspect of leaving the dogs behind to fight for themselves. The scenery and photography is breathtaking and it is a well-made Disney movie. It is based on a true story and that makes it even more interesting. Don't compare this film to Snow Dogs as this film is not a comedy and the location, storyline and premise are completely different. Aside from the dogs as heros, Paul Walker plays the human hero and he plays the role of an expedition guide very believably. Some concepts of the human psyche which may have been intended to be communicated in this flick, clearly miss the mark as these are not communicated, but it doesn't matter ... it's a clean family movie which the juniors as well as dog lovers will really appreciate and enjoy. Also, a lot about the behavior and kindness/faithfulness of the four-legged friends is shown. My wife liked this film very much and she said the DVD once released is a definite buy. Although this movie is two hours long and there are some slow passages, the two hours don't seem like two hours at all. This film is about a very real adventure and it's well worth watching it."
Credit Where Credit is Due: The Real Stars of a Fine Movie
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 09/12/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"EIGHT BELOW is a satisfying film on every level: the story is excellent (based on fact), the script is good, the direction by Frank Marshall is tight and fast paced for a two hour film, the scenery is spectacular and the cast is committed and well chosen. But the real stars of this film are the eight wondrous dogs who for much of the film carry the entire story of being on their own in the Antarctica winter for five plus months - and for the most part surviving through bonding and obvious devotion to each other. They are splendid - beautiful to watch in action and touching to observe in their interaction. But the dogs alone could not have made this happen without the other true stars of the picture - the dog trainers. They deserve mention, so here they are: Michael Alexander and Sally Jo Sousa are the main trainers and are well supported by Tammy Blackburn, Tracy Gardhouse, Thomas L. Gunderson, Rowan Harland, Trish Judd, Dea Valentin Kristensen, Grace McLeod, Scott Rowe, Andrew Simpson, Cherie Smith and Tim Williams. There! The kudos go to them and their names are buried in the credits.
The story is one of dedication and devotion of a group of sledders in the Antarctica who take researchers, such as Doctor McLaren (Bruce Greenwood) who is looking for a meteorite from Mercury, on their missions. The main dog lover and trainer is Jerry (Paul Walker in one of his best performances) and he is assisted by Katie (Moon Bloodgood) and Coop (Jason Biggs). When Jerry is out with the eight dogs taking Doctor McLaren to fine his meteorite, a major storm arises and the dogs and the two men barely make it back to the station, McLaren suffering a broken leg and saved by the bravery of the dogs and Jerry. The crew must evacuate and Jerry insists the dogs be taken out with them, but he is promised that the pilot Katie will return for them, a deed which goes unkept because of the severe weather. The dogs are left to fend for themselves and Jerry is heartbroken, making every feasible attempt to rescue them. By films ends we have witnessed the miracle of survival of the dogs and a demonstration of the profound bonding between man and animal.
This film may seem slight from the photo on the DVD, but it is one of those family oriented films that breaks barriers and delivers on a grand scale some very important emotional content. The cast is excellent (the dogs of course being the main characters). The production values are superb except for a strangely mawkish score by Mark Isham. Well worth your time and attention. Grady Harp, September 06"
Does anyone love Huskies as much as I do??
Prof. McFz | Minnesota | 05/29/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have grown up with Huskies and have one currently. The thing I like the most about this movie is the way it depicts the emotion, enthusiasm and intelligence of this breed of dog. I was so proud to see them on screen doing what they love to do. The movie made me want to raise and train sled dogs, particularly Huskies. I would recommend this movie to anyone who loves dogs and adventures, but bring a tissue for the sad AND happy moments!"