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Well Go USA
Blu-ray Disc Released: 4/8/2014
All Ratings out of
Review by Mike Long, Posted on 4/7/2014
How much do filmmakers think about the fact that viewers have relationships with movies? No matter how fantastic the film's premise, we want to be able to relate to the story and the characters on some level. Nothing beats the feeling of unconsciously nodding in agreement when a movie makes a point which rings true. Having said that, we don't like it when a movie tells us something which we already know, or, even worse, when it tries to make a point which has been better served in another movie. Cavemen attempts to explore modern relationships and make statements about the nature of love. However, it isn't as original as it thinks it is.
Dean (Skylar Astin) is a struggling screenwriter who lives in L.A. He shares a large one room apartment, known as "The Cave", with three other guys. Jay (Chad Michael Murray) is a lady's man who is also telling stories of his conquests. Pete (Kenny Wormald) is in a long-term on-again/off-again relationship with Sara (Megan Stevenson). Andre (Dayo Okeniyi) is the cool guy who is always in control. Dean spends a lot of his time with his co-worker Tess (Camilla Belle) and they have a great time together. He has his eyes set on Kat (Alexis Knapp), an elusive girl who he keeps spotting at parties and bars. As Dean attempts to navigate this maze of relationships, he gathers more material for his screenplay.
I can't find any evidence to support this, but Cavemen feels like one of those movies which was shot some time ago and has sat on the shelf awaiting distribution. Why do I say that? It mostly has to do with the film's meandering listless feel. One gets the sense that Writer/Director Herschel Faber may have had a firm grasp on the film's journey from Point A to Point B (more on that in a moment), but everything in the middle feels very incidental and unfocused. This has a lot to do with the fact that the movie doesn't have much of a story. You may have noticed that the above synopsis is mostly character descriptions. That's because besides that and dialogue scenes, we don't really come much else from Cavemen. This is intended as a "slice of life" movie, and one could argue that it's presenting us with characters who have interesting lives (I wouldn't argue that), but there's no substance here.
The most glaring thing about Cavemen is that it thinks it's making salient points about relationships. With the four main characters, Faber wants to present four ways in which men approach love and sex. Dean is the sensitive one who is looking for love. Pete is all about being in a relationship, even if he isn't happy with it. Andre has a girlfriend in New York, but that doesn't stop him from dating in L.A. Jay is the consummate playboy who is only interested in having a good time. These are all stereotypes and weíve seen all of these stereotypes before. The issue at hand is that all of these characters are so flawed, that itís hard to like them. Jay and Andre make morally questionable decisions, Pete seems to be stuck, and Dean is such a dull sad sack that we canít get behind him. The other problem here is that weíve seen all of this done before and done much better. I know that Kevin Smith gets a lot of flack these days, but he really said a lot about men and women in 1997ís Chasing Amy and few films, least of all Cavemen, have come close to the raw honesty on display in that movie.
The movie also insults us with the Tess character. Hmmm...Dean and Tess are best friends who have common interests and enjoy hanging out but when it comes to the question of romance they just donít see each other that way. Are you kidding me? If you donít know where all of this is going, itís time to get out of the basement, shower, and enjoy the world. Not only is all of this telegraphed and very predictable, but the movie doesnít have the decency to present us with some sort of reason for the two of them not to be together. It would have been yet another cliche, but we usually get some banter with characters like this where feelings of desire are masked as feelings of repulsion. Nope, we are simply left to wonder from the outset why they arenít a couple.
I hate to sound like Gene Siskel, but Cavemen is one of those films which can be judged on what it isnít. It could have been a raw and raunchy look at nightlife in L.A. It isnít. It could have been a truly insightful look at relationships and how males and females approach them differently. It isnít. It could have brought us fresh characters and surprises. It doesnít. What we do get is a predictable, lifeless movie which offers nothing new. Cavemen will not be having a second date with me.
Cavemen brought up all kinds of unanswered questions about the living situation on Blu-ray Disc courtesy of Well Go USA. The film has been letterboxed at 2.35:1 and the Disc contains an AVC 1080p HD transfer which runs at an average of 27 Mbps. The image is sharp and clear, showing no distracting grain and no defects from the source materials. The colors look fairly good, but the image is somewhat dark in a few shots. I noted that the picture had a decidedly flat look at times, but the level of detail was acceptable. The Disc carries a DTS-HD Master Audio track which runs at 48 kHz and an average of 2.2 Mbps. The music from the nightclub scenes offers some surround sound and subwoofer action. The scene where Dean chases Tess' car provides notable stereo effects as things pass from one side of the screen to the other.
The lone extra on the Cavemen Blu-ray Disc is a TRAILER for the film.
Review Copyright 2014 by Mike Long