Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|History Channel Clash of the Cavemen|
Actor: Clash of Cavemen
Director: Not Available
It was an epic battle of brains versus brawn that determined the course of human history. In this scenario, based on scientific theories, witness our prehistoric ancestors as they clash with a completely different species ... more »
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B Grade, but worth the viewing.
Houston Mark William | Hong Kong | 09/30/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Clash of the Caveman was a B Grade Documentary, with a credible narrative that gives a simple case story of 65kya to 30kya when Neanderthals engaged with the new kids on the block, Homo sapiens. The producers could have done a better job with Neanderthal morphology, especially leg length, and facial features, especially the females (I am very sure both Neanderthal and Homo sapiens females would have been much hairier than the silk skin beauties presented). Overall I think the description of tool technology was well done, but no unique features of modern art was introduced, especially the possibility of the Neanderthal flute. Also, language was without doubt the defining skill which produced us (modern humans), but the subject is just skimmed over with little explanation of the relationship between the basal ganglia and hand use in technology construct, art, or even sign language. Also, use of fire is only touched on, and this would have been an interesting discussion, as there is no proof that Neanderthals actually cooked food. Overall the documentary is pleasant, but I am still waiting for a producer that can give a complete narrative with Neanderthals properly introduced as possibly the most successful hominids of all time."
Rokit | 10/15/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Well, I saw this DVD at Best Buy and decided to get it because of the exciting title, "Clash of the Cavemen", and the fact that it used quote, "state-of-the-art CGI" or Computer Generated Images. I was all pumped up for this documentary thinking there were going to be some cool battle scenes and special effects. Turns out there's no battle scenes whatsoever. In fact, they make the Neanderthals look like a bunch of sissies. They're either running away from the Cro-Magnons, getting captured by the Cro-Magnons, or hiding from the Cro-Magnons. Compare that to what it says on the back of the DVD: "In Clash of the Cavemen, cinematic re-creations and state-of-the-art CGI bring to life the Neanderthals--stocky, powerful and able to tolerate intense pain--and their foes, the Cro-Magnons--weaker and more fragile but with a superior brain capable of complex thought." Clearly, the person who directed the film and the person who wrote the back of the DVD were two different people. Also, there's a scene where the smart Cro-Magnons are teaching the dumb Neanderthals how to fish. So, not only do we not have any clashes going on, but now the Neanderthals and Cro-Magnons are actually fishing buddies. The "state-of-the-art" CGI is all but a few cartoon stills with motion graphics. If you ever saw the cartoon on MTV called the Max, then you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. Considering that cartoon came out 13 years ago, the CGI in Clash of the Cavemen is hardly state-of-the-art. Listening to the different scientist's take on the Neanderthals and Cro-Magnons was interesting, but the bottom line is that this documentary didn't live up to its title or its description on the back. I was very disappointed. Hopefully one day a film maker out there will actually do the Neanderthals some justice."
Speculative, but still good
M. Shepherd | 11/08/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As with most "docunentaries" on the prehistoric world, this one is more than a little speculative.
But keeping that in mind, I do recomend it. It is interesting, entertaining, and filled with thought provoking (if unproven) ideas.
Better than most Neanderthal TV Hype
Ron Braithwaite | El Indio, Texas United States | 07/21/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I am fascinated by Neanderthal science but am appalled by much Neanderthal speculation. I thought this program was better than most in this regard but still 'proved'[by showing it happen] that there was Cro-Magnon-Neanderthal hybridization. There may have been and, although there is some suggestive DNA evidence, nothing yet approaches absolute proof.
The problem is that Modern man and Neanderthals are closely related, indeed, probably sharing a common ancestor less than 800,000 years ago. We have all been treated to the less-than-fascinating information that human and chimp DNA is an approximately 98.5% match--and--our genetic lineage separated from chimp lineage at least 7 million years ago. Therefore, simple extrapolation would strongly suggest that our genetic 'identity' with Neanderthals must have been in the high 99%, WITHOUT [or before, depending on your preference] hybridization of 'pure' Neanderthals with 'pure' modern humans. To separate the tiny amount of DNA that may have been added SINCE [hybridization] our last common ancestor is far more ticklish than the proverbial needle-in-the-haystack.
It may have occurred but, at the present time, it is still speculative. What isn't speculative is that we shared the vast majority of our genes with Neanderthal but were quite different anatomically and probably culturally. Neanderthal technology, as indicated by stone tools and weapons, barely changed in 250,000 years. It almost makes us wonder whether stone chipping could have been genetic rather than learned behavior. Allmost certainly, however, it was 'learned' because we, as Neanderthal's closest ancestors, aren't driven to chip stones.
I also take issue with dressing up modern people to 'look' like Neanderthals. This introduces a host of possible problems. Quite likely Neanderthals did look quite a bit different than modern man and it is difficult to achieve the same effect by using human doubles. Drawn pictures might come a lot closer but still we are left with the problem of hairiness and clothing--things we know nothing about. A non-tanned hide is virtually useless as clothing even if used as a throw-over or poncho. Therefore, Neanderthals may have known the complex technology of hide tanning--or--they must have gone naked.
Nakedness in Ice-Age Europe would seem an impossibility but was it? Extant rhinos and elephants are largely 'naked' but Ice Age rhinos and mammoths were covered by thick layers of warming hair/fur. Might Neanderthals have been especially adapted to the cold by having real warming pelts of hair? I simply don't know. Nobody does.
One thing we do know, however, is that Neanderthals were, at one time, the only human species in Europe. There may have been hybridization but nobody really questions the fact that modern man is--skeletally, at least--virtually identical to early modern man of 60,000 years ago. No one can also question that our biotype survied and the Neanderthal biotype disappeared from the surface of the Earth. Why, I ask--if Neanderthals were so similar to H. sapiens and [at one time, at least] must have greatly outnumbered modern humans in Europe--aren't we Neanderthals pondering over the mysterious disappearance of H. sapiens?"