Movie Review – ‘Eight Below’

Hello everyone! 🙂

Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!

It’s time to talk about another Disney film I saw on Disney+ lately, and it happens to be the 2006 film ‘Eight Below’. I did see the trailer for ‘Eight Below’ on a Disney DVD one time – 2006’s ‘The Shaggy Dog’, in case you’re wondering – but I never got around to seeing it until now. What did I make of it?

I enjoyed it! It’s a moving story about survival. Eight sled dogs become stranded in the wilds of Antarctica during the most unforgivable winter on the planet. The dogs’ owner Jerry stops at nothing to rescue them, whilst the dogs must learn to survive before they can be reunited with their master.

What’s interesting about this film is that it happens to be a remake of a 1983 Japanese film called ‘Antarctica’ and it’s inspired by a true story. I didn’t know about this when it came to checking out the film on Disney+. The film itself is fascinating in depicting the journeys of Jerry and his eight dogs.

The film stars Paul Walker as Jerry Shepard. There’s also Bruce Greenwood (who I’ve seen in ‘Star Trek’ (2009) and ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ as Christopher Pike) as Dr. Davis McClaren. It was very interesting to see the relationship between Jerry and Dr. McClaren in the film’s first act in Antarctica.

The film starts off with Jerry and his dogs taking McClaren to find some piece of meteorite for scientific investigative research. On their way back, a storm is about to brew. McClaren ends up having an accident and Jerry and the dogs rescue him before he must be taken away to a hospital. 😐

The dogs gets left behind whilst Jerry and McClaren have to be taken to hospital. It was astonishing and disturbing to find that the dogs had to survive on their own for many months in one year during a harsh winter in the Antarctica. I’m amazed most of the dogs were able to survive during the film. 🙂

Sadly, a couple of dogs die in the harshness of Antarctica, but it was fascinating to see the dogs interacting with each other and how they communicated with each other. The dogs are real and aren’t animatronic or CGI. You believe in the dogs’ expression and they must be really well-trained.

The film also features Moon Bloodgood as Katie, Jerry’s romantic interest. I like how the romance angle between Jerry and Katie is developed as it’s not an instant “I love you” situation between them. Katie grows concerned for Jerry’s well-being when he’s constantly not giving up on his dogs. 🙂

Jason Biggs stars as Charlie Cooper, the comic relief of this film. It’s nice when Katie, Charlie and McClaren meet up with Jerry in New Zealand as they make their journey to Antarctica in the film’s second half. Charlie has a problem with one of the dogs wanting to lick his face, which was funny. 😀

Something to mention is that this film is directed by Frank Marshall, who produced a number of films with his wife Kathleen Kennedy and Steven Spielberg. A coincidence is that Frank Marshall also directed ‘Alive’, another film set in a wild dangerous snowy landscape and was based on a true story.

Despite the film being set in Antarctica, apparently it was filmed in Svalbard, Norway and British Columbia, Canada. I wouldn’t have guessed the filming locations weren’t the real Antarctica in the film, but it’s really effective and at least the story and the drama do come across in the final product.

‘Eight Below’ is quite a compelling film featuring eight dogs surviving in the harshness of Antarctica. It does seem slow at first, but as you get more into the film and appreciate the main characters and the dogs, you do become emotionally invested. My Mum became emotional after watching this film.

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now!

Tim. 🙂

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