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Saturday afternoon at the pictures [Feb. 12th, 2018|03:16 pm]

[personal profile] durham_rambler wasn't sure he'd have time for a silly movie this week, but he was due at the cinema café for a meeting, at just precisely the time of the Saturday afternoon showing of Early Man. So we walked into town together, and then he went to his meeting and I went to see the latest from Aardman animation. I might have had doubts about going to what is technically a children's film on the Saturday afternoon of half-term week, but in fact they were a great audience, and the bonus is that you get to see an entirely different set of trailers.

Early Man, according to Nick Park's commentary for the trailer on IMDB is "a Prehistoric underdog sports movie" (from the 'neo-Pleistocene' era, of course). A Stone Age tribe are evicted from their valley by invaders from the Bronze Age, for whom it is simply a place to mine for ore. But young Dug (aided by his faithful hog, Hognob) challenges the Bronzians: the fate of the valley will be decided by a game of football. Seeing the bombastic and showy game played in the Bronzian city, Dug realises the meaning of the tribes ancestral paintings: once, long ago, they invented this sport of the tribe...

If I can get this much enjoyment from a film about football, someone must be doing something right. There is constant slapstick humour, of course, but there are also plenty of clever verbal gags: I liked the stall in the Bronzian city selling 'Jurassic Pork', and another one called 'Beaker Folk'; and I don't know which I liked better, the reminder that 'you haven't eaten your primordial soup, or the soup itself, ominously green and full of - well, that would be telling. The city itself is full of eye-candy, glorious Bronzepunk decorative work.

Given how full the screen is of the most creative anachronism, it is probably perverse of me to be bothered by the fact that the tribe subsist mostly by hunting rabbits. I didn't bat an eyelid at the Giant Man-Eating Mallard, but apparently I draw the line at the depiction of rabbits as native to Britain. Go figure.

This entry cross-posted from Dreamwidth: comments always welcome, at either location.