Sunday, April 23, 2006
Ok, which one of you smart guys peed on the spot I'm kneeling on?
Just like the other Disney movie before this the trailer for Eight Below also made a huge impression on me enough for me to promise myself that I wouldn't let this pass without watching it. No surprise there, this was one of the truly cool movies where animals took more meaty roles over their human counterparts (excuse the puns). The story was based on the 1983 movie, Nankyoku Monogatari (South Pole Story) which in turn told the story of a very real incident that happened to a fifteen-dog sakhalin huskies team that a Japanese expedition team left in Antartica in 1958 (only two dogs survived the storm). See links provided at the bottom of this post if you want the details of that true story. Being a huge dog person myself it was easy to emphatize with Paul Walker's character Jerry in wanting to do everything he can to get his dogs out of the wilderness as soon as possible. While others may say that it was the cold-hearted scientist, Doctor Davis McClaren (Bruce Greenwood) who was the only villain in the movie I'd like to say nay and add that the supposed "leading lady," Katie (Moon Bloodgood) was also an unfeeling umm... *female dog*. She's an unfeeling, insenstive partner who kept on coming on to Jerry and telling to forget about the dogs. Can't believe he's still got the hots for her after everything she said. Good thing I'm not the only feeling the same thing, as some movie fans complained about the same thing.
But aside from that one complaint I'd also like to give kudos to the Director, Frank Marshall for putting it all together and successfully pulling it off. The dogs stay true to form and their scenes didn't come off looking pathetic managing to squeeze out a few sobs here and there from the audience which in the hands of an incapable director would have come out looking forced and booed off the box office. This was one of my favorite scenes in the movie:
While the movie had a semi-happy ending I think it's more important that people came out of the movie with enough sense to take better care of their pets. Or at least I hope they did.
* From Tennessee to Hollywood: How two unwanted rescue dogs end up in Disney's movie Eight Below
** ANTARCTICA: The Film
*** The True Story and Photos of the Dog
**** Check out also the review in Hollywood Jesus for more insightful reactions to this great movie.