How’d we get so lucky? Vern is back again with a review of EIGHT BELOW!!!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here about to head off to bed so I can be chipper for tomorrow’s flicks at the Santa Barbara Film Festival, but I noticed another review by our own outlaw Vern trickle in via this fancy electronic mail box. I couldn’t help but immediately read it… laugh out load at least a dozen times and then post it up for the rest of you folks to enjoy. Without any further ado, here is the man himself!

Howdy fellas,

I’m only watching number movies this week. You saw my review of 2001 MANIACS. I’m planning on seeing THE THREE BURIALS OF (whoever it is, Miguel Arteta or somebody) but there was this screening of Walt Disney’s new picture EIGHT BELOW INSPIRED BY A TRUE STORY, so I went to that first. This is a dog movie, and usually a movie like this would have a trailer set to either

a) “Bad to the Bone” or
b) “Atomic Dog”

and then the poster would say, “Every Dog Has His Snow Day” or some stupid shit like that, and the dogs would be wearing sunglasses and possibly giving a thumbs up, if dogs had thumbs. This one had a corny but serious trailer with no talking dogs, and the poster says “The Most Amazing Story Of Survival, Friendship, And Adventure Ever Told.” Well shit, I like most of those things. Especially friendship and adventure. Survival I guess I could take or leave, but when combined with friendship and adventure, and when it’s amazing, that might be pretty good. And they can’t say that in the ad if it’s not true, so how could it go wrong?

Eight BelowI’ll try to cut to the chase here because I saw that Master Worm already reviewed the movie a couple days ago. So I’ll back him up, this is actually a pretty decent adventure movie. Paul Walker plays Jerry, a guide for Antarctic expeditions who gets pressured into taking a scientist (Bruce Greenwood) on an unsafe journey looking for a meteorite. They’re worried the ice might crack so they take a sled pulled by eight dogs instead of a snowmobile. Jerry loves the dogs, he calls them his “kids,” he talks to them, and basically acts like he’s their coach. The section of the movie where they journey to the mountain to look for the meteorite is well executed, with lots of tense moments where it seems like a person or dog could go at any moment. In fact, the first time you even saw ice crack a kid in the theater started bawling. Actually, I think I would have to blame that on the general pussyness of the kid and not the movie itself. Come on parents, what the fuck are you doing with these kids, jesus. But it’s pretty suspenseful anyway.

Before long Greenwood bites it, Walker and the dogs save his life, and they almost get stuck in a sudden storm. When they get back to the base they’re forced to evacuate, and there’s no room on the plane for the dogs. Jerry of course is the dog coach so he wants to stay, but they convince him they’ll come right back for the dogs if he just goes with them.

Fucking liars. If dogs are man’s best friend, then what kind of a man betrays eight dogs? The worst part is that Jason Biggs plays a wacky sidekick character who they say is a cartographer, but he never actually does anything to help anybody until near the end and even then it only takes basic map skills. Obviously the smart thing to do would be to leave this fucker in the snow and take a couple of the dogs in his place. I’m sure it crossed their minds but it was probaly too hard to decide between the dogs. Anyway, the rest of the movie is divided between two Amazing Stories of Survival, Friendship and Adventure: Jerry traveling around the country all bummed out trying to find somebody that can fund a trip to rescue the dogs, and the dogs themselves escaping from their leashes and trying to survive by eating birds and crap. It’s hard out here for a pooch.

I really liked the scenes with the dogs on their own, unleashed, etc. I’m not sure it was quite as great as Master Worm said, but it was some pretty good shit. Somebody in the talkback from his review mentioned Caroll Ballard. Okay so I admit it, I fucking loved FLY AWAY HOME. It was a long time ago though and I’m a different person now. EIGHT BELOW INSPIRED BY A TRUE STORY is not as artful or authentic-feeling as a Caroll Ballard picture, this is more like old Disney movies. But that’s okay.

Definitely my favorite part of the movie is a weird section where the dogs come across the corpse of the whale from FREE WILLY and start eating the fat fuck. Finally he’s good for something. Before I was even able to process this landmark crossover between children’s animal films, a fucking BIOLOGICAL MUTANT jumps out from INSIDE the dead orca! According to the movie this was “a leopard seal, more leopard than seal if you ask me” but the thing looks like a fucking dinosaur or one of them animal-human hybrids we’re supposed to be on the lookout for. I mean the body is all seal but the head looks like a dinosaur with sharp teeth and everything. I noticed seal puppeteers on the credits but it looked all CGI to me which was a weird touch in a mostly organic old fashioned movie. Anyway, it is my belief that this is actually the seal from the movie ANDRE. I haven’t seen the movie but I’m sure there is something that causes him to mutate at the end. He was always jealous of Willy’s sequels so as soon as that kid-jumping showboat got free, Andre tracked him down and slit his throat. How embarrassing that right when he’s wearing Willy’s blubber Ed Gein style some heroic, hungry dogs come along and catch him in the act.

Although it’s set in 1993 for some reason, EIGHT BELOW INSPIRED BY A TRUE STORY is based on a 1983 Japanese picture known in the US as ANTARCTICA. That movie was supposedly based on something that actually happened to Japanese scientists one time. Personally, I felt that Paul Walker and Jason Biggs were not very convincing as being Japanese. But otherwise they do okay. I actually don’t have a problem with Paul Walker like the Worm and many other online individuals do. He’s stiff and square but he has a nice guy quality that makes me like him. I think I described him before as the popular jock guy in high school who was too nice for you to hate. I guess alot of people do hate him though. So think about this. He’s one of the stars of Clint Eastwood’s Iwo Jima movie FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS. And I don’t know about you but I’d bet a WWII drama directed by Clint Fucking Eastwood would have a pretty good chance of getting the top Screen Actor’s Guild Award, the best ensemble. Which means it is very possible that in the near future Paul Walker of 2 FAST, 2 FURIOUS will soon have a SAG Award, just like Ludacris.

Anyway, even if you hate Paul Walker, you’d probaly admit he’s a little better than usual here. It’s hard not to feel for a motherfucker just trying to save some dogs. I mean, I’m no dog fan. Dogs eat cat shit out of the litter box. Dogs eat their own vomit. Dogs bark messages to you asking you to kill. And they eat babies and shit. Fuck dogs. But these aren’t ordinary dogs, they are dog heroes. Come on you fucking money people, let the dude save his hero dogs. Enough of this red tape, those courageous pooches are dying out there!

The movie is not perfect. There’s some lame comic relief moments here and there. Luckily no dog shit or ass-sniffing jokes, just dog slobber. Also there’s a couple laughably corny moments. My favorite was the part where Bruce Greenwood has turned down a chance to help search for THE GREAT AMERICAN COURAGEOUS CANINE HEROES WHO SAVED HIM FROM CERTAIN, PAINFUL DEATH, and you can’t really tell if he feels guilty or not. And then he comes across his kid’s crayon drawing that says, “My hero: the dogs that saved my daddy.” (Not pictured: the human who deserves at least as much credit as the dogs. I guess kids hate Paul Walker too.)

I was a little disappointed though. I could swear the trailer had a line where Greenwood yelled “Those dogs saved my life!” and then he or somebody else said, “There’s eight heroes out there!” That would’ve been some funny shit, but it’s not in the movie. Must be one of those lines made just for the trailers, like “Now you’ll have to deal with both of us!” from THE NEGOTIATOR or “We will win these star wars, and we will have the revenge of the sith!” from whichever star wars that was.

There is one kind of goofy thing in the movie where whenever they come back to the dogs they write the date on the screen, then “DAYS ON THEIR OWN:” and then a dramatic pause before they write how many days it is. It’s just funny because I figure if you really want to know how many days it is you could just remember the date they got stuck there and add it up yourself. But the dramatic pause makes it seem like you have no clue which direction it’s gonna go. Is it gonna be more days? Is it gonna be less days? Anything could happen!

I enjoyed the corny bullshit but what makes the movie surprisingly decent is a certain amount of restraint and good taste. I guarantee you that at least one guy at Disney, if not a whole roomful of guys, was tearing out his hair thinking it was a big mistake not to make the dogs talk. You can just imagine what Eddie Griffin would be saying in some of these scenes, too. They could’ve and would’ve Cuba Goodinged the shit out of this movie, but by some miracle they didn’t, and for that they deserve something. A cookie I guess, something like that. Of course, they could always fuck it up if there’s a sequel, and I think there could be. I think this will be a big hit. Not because it’s good, but because it’s for kids and is advertised on TV. There’s a scene in the movie where the dogs break into someone’s base and eat all their rations. The poor bastards are gonna come back there thinking they have enough food to survive the winter and they’re gonna find the place trashed and probaly dog shit all over the place. So the dogs will come save them but this time they’ll be wisecracking dogs that keep getting hit in the balls by various obstacles. And they’ll come across the mutant seal monster again but at the end he’ll rescue them and become part of the team. Because they’re gonna have to add a couple more members if they’re gonna call it NINE BELOW.

By the way in case you’re wondering SIX OUT OF EIGHT BELOW is the final score. Spoiler.

anyway thanks,


p.s. There has been some complaints in the talkbacks that you can’t tell what I’m saying about a movie, so here is the review translated into Shalit. “EIGHT BELOW is GREAT BELOW! Mush your pups right to the theater for a funtastic good time. It turns out you CAN teach a dog new tricks, if there’s eight of them and the trick is to stay out in the snow for a long time! These bitches will leave you in stitches, and a fearsome encounter will SEAL the deal! (inside a dead whale.) You’ll sit up and beg for more! And vomit and then eat your own vomit and then lick your owner’s face! etc. What I’m trying to say through the medium of dog puns is that this movie is pretty decent but it wouldn’t surprise me if there was better movies out there I should be seeing. what the fuck is wrong with me. the end.”

Originally posted at Ain’t-It-Cool-News: http://www.aintitcool.com/node/22438

View the archived Ain’t-It-Cool-News Talkback

  • Feb. 10, 2006, 6:10 a.m. CST

    One of the best…

    by CatVutt

    …Vern reviews yet. “Definitely my favorite part of the movie is a weird section where the dogs come across the corpse of the whale from FREE WILLY and start eating the fat fuck.” Classic.

  • Feb. 10, 2006, 7:03 a.m. CST

    Funniest thing I’ve seen on here

    by rog1835

    That made me laugh. Good work.

  • Feb. 10, 2006, 7:17 a.m. CST


    by Golitsyn1

  • Feb. 10, 2006, 7:17 a.m. CST


    by seppukudkurosawa

    I do remember the time when you reviewed Fly Away Home and you pretended to be on mushrooms at the time so as to give yourself cred…and thre’ve been a few other slip-ups over the years; I think we’re gonna have to change the name of those Badass Outlaw Awards to Most Pussy Kids Movie Awards. Goddamn Vern, I remember when you were a real man and you liked Lee Marvin, Mifune and Clint, but now it looks like you’ve swapped them all for your new buddy Paul Walker… And I used to think you were cool. [Note: fucking hilarious review, keep up the good work. And I agree Fly Away Home was classic].

  • Feb. 10, 2006, 7:19 a.m. CST


    by Gus Nukem

    you could review Chuck Norris’s lates film “The Cutter”. It was just released in Greece (in DVD) and seems interesting. – Did it screen in cinemas in the USA? I don’t know.

  • Feb. 10, 2006, 7:22 a.m. CST

    Crying children

    by proper

    When I was a kid I was taken with some other kids to see E.T..When E.T. died (Spielberg style)kids around me started crying,then the kids who were sheep started crying because the other kids started crying and I had the dilemma,do I cry because it seems the trendy thing to do?,or do I call it like I see it and laugh at those kids.I laughed but still enjoyed the movie as much as I could.In retrospect I’m glad because there might of been a early 80’s version of Vern looking across the theatre thinking “Come on parents, what the fuck are you doing with these kids, jesus”.And it was good training for hanging around here too.I’ll watch this on TV on a rainy day.

  • Feb. 10, 2006, 7:30 a.m. CST

    Great Review

    by Golitsyn1

  • Feb. 10, 2006, 7:33 a.m. CST

    What’s the betting that one of the dogs dies…

    by Zino

    …in one of those “heartbreaking” Disney moments. Like Bambi’s mum. Or like in Honey I Shrunk The Kids where the ant dies. Anyway, I bet the other dogs gather around, nudging him and shit, before finally realising that their pal is gone (sniff). Then the camera slowly pulls away, and one of the dogs lets out a cry…

  • Feb. 10, 2006, 7:34 a.m. CST

    Isn’t it always the case

    by johnnyangelheart

    that Vern’s reviews are better than the movies?

  • Feb. 10, 2006, 8:26 a.m. CST

    Vern, what do you do for a living?

    by PhilConnors

    Cause I sure hope it involves getting paid. To write stuff. You’ve gotta helluva talent if you can make me actually click on a review of a movie about dogs and keep my interest long enough to read the whole thing. Well done.

  • Feb. 10, 2006, 8:28 a.m. CST

    Saw this last weekend…

    by Ninja Nerd

    WAY too many kids at our screening. The well-fed little mutant that sat behind me was evidently ADHD and kicked my seat every 15 seconds. His fat ass Dad was no help. However, even that didn’t detract from a pretty good movie. We have a pair of female Huskies and I can tell you, they are WAY smart dogs. So, the dog parts of the movie rang true for us (with the exception of the whole mutant seal thing)while the humans were kind of weak. Still, it didn’t suck. I told my wife the fact the seat kicker and his Dad didn’t get a boot to the head from me was proof of that! Overall…good for most kids, although not all 8 dogs survive and the mutant seal part made several kids freak a little at our showing. Not bad for adults, especially if you grew up on those fake Disney True Life Adventure films in school when the teacher was too hung over to deal with your ass.

  • Feb. 10, 2006, 9:17 a.m. CST

    Review in Shalit – hilarious.

    by Lujho

    Vern, please translate every review you do into Shalit from now on, at least until you run out of puns, if it’s not too much trouble, thanks.

  • Feb. 10, 2006, 9:17 a.m. CST

    The site should be renamed “Aint It Vern News”

    by cagirl

    Great review as always Vern. If I wasn’t married already I’d be your slave.

  • Feb. 10, 2006, 9:18 a.m. CST

    Rothgar: The link is right above the P.S. in the review

    by FatPaul

    But here it is again anyway:


    The review also has a link to where you can buy his book, Five on the Outside.

  • Feb. 10, 2006, 9:23 a.m. CST

    “Aint it Vern News”

    by cagirl

    Not sure where my first post went, but it’s worth saying again, great job as usual Vern!

  • Feb. 10, 2006, 9:24 a.m. CST

    Damn, i got cached!

    by cagirl

    Sorry all for the double post.

  • Feb. 10, 2006, 9:26 a.m. CST

    Rothgar: Not sure exactly what you’re saying.

    by FatPaul

    But, uh, thanks or screw you or whatever would be an appropriate response.

  • Feb. 10, 2006, 9:59 a.m. CST


    by Snowden’s Secret

    “what makes the movie surprisingly decent is a certain amount of restraint and good taste.” Strange comment considering, well, did you READ your own review? This was perhaps the LEAST restrained and tasteful review ever. Funny, maybe, but about as restrained as Sam Jackson in a Tarantino movie.

  • Feb. 10, 2006, 10:20 a.m. CST

    It’s dangerous to read Vern’s reviews at work.

    by Gilderoy

    I laughed out loud at the comment about the mutant seal wearing Willy’s corpse Ed Gein Style….oh my God.

  • Feb. 10, 2006, 10:31 a.m. CST

    Some of the dogs die?

    by dr_buggerlugs

    Maybe I’m just too British for my own good, but I don’t want to see the dogs die. I didn’t care which of the humans died in Independence Day…all I cared about was whether the damn dog made the jump or not!

  • Feb. 10, 2006, 10:53 a.m. CST


    by IAmLegolas

    Where’s your UNDERWORLD : EVOLUTION review?

  • Feb. 10, 2006, 11:01 a.m. CST

    I hate that the subject lines have been reduced.

    by brokentusk

    Every time I type a subject it doesn’t fit and I end up just not bothering to post a talkback. As always, hilarious review Vern.

  • Feb. 10, 2006, 11:33 a.m. CST

    These bitches will leave you in stitches…

    by colematthews

    Another Vern Classic. When I first saw this trailer in front of “Narnia”, I knew this was a film I would never see, but would stil mock to my friends, or at least point to in some future “what’s wrong with Hollywood”-type discussion. Appropriately, I immediately reserved it a place on my “Films I Will Never See…” list, giving it an honored spot between Chocolat and Cider House Rules. (No, my list is not Alphatetical, and no, my list does not contain the complete works of Lasse Hallstrom, since I did see What’s Eating Gilbert Grape) However, not I find myself wanting to check this out, if only because a crazed, half-leopard-half-seal mutant has got to be more exciting than the entirety of Nanny Mcphee. Geez, February sucks.

  • Feb. 10, 2006, 11:45 a.m. CST

    The best thing I can say about this review is…

    by LaudnerGomez

    That it wasn’t written by that tool Massawyrm. THANK GOD!

  • Feb. 10, 2006, 12:37 p.m. CST


    by filmicdrummer17

    You’ve got to be kidding me. You don’t even make sense.

  • Feb. 10, 2006, 12:53 p.m. CST

    ‘kids hate paul walker too’

    by ectocriminal

    but i hope running scared is good.

  • Feb. 10, 2006, 12:57 p.m. CST


    by FatPaul

    My computer screen is only so wide, you know.

  • Feb. 10, 2006, 1:01 p.m. CST


    by cagirl

    How does Whedon’s cock taste? I liked Serenity & Firefly too, that doesn’t mean everything he does is good and it sure isn’t a basis to defend another reviewer…stay in school kids or you’ll end up like tonay12.

  • Feb. 10, 2006, 1:03 p.m. CST

    Rothgar: Okay, I just wasn’t following the terminology

    by FatPaul

    I couldn’t tell if it was a genuine “big-up” or the more sarcastic version. “Big-up, my man Optimus Prime,” and all that. Anyway, you’re welcome. And Vern is probably the best film reviewer working today, just to get back to the topic.

  • Feb. 10, 2006, 1:17 p.m. CST


    by seppukudkurosawa

    That kind of talk makes me a sad sexual harrassment panda…:(

  • Feb. 10, 2006, 1:24 p.m. CST

    Where’d you get this Muslim shit?

    by seppukudkurosawa

  • Feb. 10, 2006, 1:25 p.m. CST

    Tonay, I fucking hate you

    by Uncooked_Meat

    Seriously, what’s it take to get a motherfucker banned around here?

  • Feb. 10, 2006, 1:26 p.m. CST

    In love with Vern?

    by El Vale

    Join the club

  • Feb. 10, 2006, 1:27 p.m. CST

    Howdy Vern

    by Mr Nice Gaius

    Don’t you just miss the days of ol’ Ringbearer9 and GoatZinger? Not like these young upstart whores like Tonay12.

  • Feb. 10, 2006, 1:31 p.m. CST

    Are these the same mates…

    by seppukudkurosawa

    who you pretended to be a girl to and had cyber-sex online with so that you could send a transcipt of the conversation to all their friends? Because in case you aren’t aware, that also incriminated yourself as well dude…

  • Feb. 10, 2006, 1:41 p.m. CST

    Seriously, somebody ban Tonay pronto

    by seppukudkurosawa

    I don’t get this shit at all… You’re like someone who jumps out in front of cars and laughs when the car swerves out of the way. What the fuck can you get out of messing with AICN? Does it fill that special void you get for not having any women in your life other than your mother? Are you injured or something and you’ve got nothing better to do than fuck around online pissing people off 24/7? Explain yourself boy.

  • Feb. 10, 2006, 1:49 p.m. CST

    Saying Paul Walker will be in Flags of Our Fathers…..

    by IndustryKiller

    means nothing. It doesn’t even resemble an argument against his horrible acting. I have a theory that it is almost impossible to suck in a war film. No one ever does. Vin Diesel is pretty good in Saving Private Ryan and even Chris Klein doesn’t suck as much as usual in We Were Soldiers. The war film is about the worst barometer of talent in all of filmdom. Paul WLkaer is terrible and he always will be. End of story.

  • Feb. 10, 2006, 1:53 p.m. CST

    Tonay12, Allah will

    by blackwood

    own your ass. God is good. Vern’s cool too.

  • Feb. 10, 2006, 1:56 p.m. CST

    I don’t know what they said to you, but I ain’t Muslim

    by seppukudkurosawa

    Not that there’d be a problem if I were… Hows about I crack a few Greek jokes about you then Tonay?

  • Feb. 10, 2006, 1:57 p.m. CST

    for fucks’s sake, seppukudkurosawa


    stop rising to the bait. do not feed the trolls.

  • Feb. 10, 2006, 2:02 p.m. CST

    Glad the dogs don’t talk…

    by Wee Willie

    Remember “Dinosaur”. The first ten minutes were amazing, transcendent, visual, powerful… then the egg dropped into the tree and the fuckin’ monkeys started talking… What could have been a classic turned into a piece of stale shit.

  • Feb. 10, 2006, 2:11 p.m. CST

    Sorry TV, I’ll just ignore him next time he comes on

    by seppukudkurosawa

    (You just know there’ll be a next time). And anyway everytime I respond to someone like Tonay they end up getting banned and the talkback looks like I’m holding a conversation with myself in cloud cuckoo land.

  • Feb. 10, 2006, 2:12 p.m. CST

    Tonay12: RIP

    by Mr Nice Gaius

    And just like that (it appears), he’s gone.

  • Feb. 10, 2006, 2:18 p.m. CST

    Industry Killer

    by Vern

    I guess that part wasn’t very clear. I didn’t mean “he’s in FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS so he must be good” but more like “let this haunt your nightmares: he could get a SAG award next year.”

  • Feb. 10, 2006, 2:58 p.m. CST

    I’d see this is if all the dogs lived and Biggs died

    by zikade zarathos

    but now that I know that he lives and two of the dogs die… I’ll pass.

  • Feb. 10, 2006, 5:17 p.m. CST

    why we care more about dogs…

    by ikkyu

    ‘cos a dog is ALWAYS pleased to see you. dogs do not care how rich, beautiful, powerful or cool you are – they’re just pleased to see you. you know where you are with a dog, ‘cos they’re crap liars. a dog will never stab you in the back. we don’t feel so much for humans ‘cos we tend to think a human usually has SOME say in what’s happening to him or her, but if a dog’s in trouble, it’s hard to really believe it’s the dog’s fault. a dog is loyal. you can trust dogs (even if you know they’ll nick your hotdog as soon as your back’s turned – at least you KNOW they’ll nick your hotdog, and they won’t try to pretend like they didn’t either). deep down, we don’t trust humans ‘cos we know what an untrustworthy fuck we are ourselves. a dog, tho’ – a dog is a man’s best friend (or a woman’s – dogs don’t give a fuck). hence, since beginningless time, if in a movie you need to make your audience cry, you take out a dog.

  • Feb. 10, 2006, 5:49 p.m. CST

    Two of the dogs die you idiots! It’s in the review!

    by -guyinthebackrow

    “By the way in case you’re wondering SIX OUT OF EIGHT BELOW is the final score. Spoiler.” Get it?!

  • Feb. 10, 2006, 8:09 p.m. CST


    by Vern

    Nope, I don’t get paid for my writing. Except when people buy my book, which is not that often. But you know what, the world needs me.

  • Feb. 10, 2006, 8:44 p.m. CST

    whomever mentioned ‘underworld:evolution’…

    by occula

    i would LOVE to read some vernage on that one, especially some insightful musings on the skinemax(TM)-style interspecial hump-fest. or, ya know, any of the other parts of the movie, which i’ve completely forgotten, because all else was obliterated in the wake of that scene. well, it was obliterated before that scene too, possibly because i doubled up on my strattera that morning. in what other movies does the dog die, besides ‘old yeller’?

  • Feb. 10, 2006, 11:33 p.m. CST


    by LeckoManiac

    other movies where dogs die…off the top of my head Butterfly Effect (in a truely horrific scene), Secret Window…there are bound to be more

  • Feb. 10, 2006, 11:35 p.m. CST


    by Biowolf

  • Feb. 10, 2006, 11:36 p.m. CST


    by Biowolf

    Woops. Thanks for the great review. I would like to jump on the bandwagon requesting your review of Underworld Evolution.

  • Feb. 10, 2006, 11:37 p.m. CST


    by Biowolf

    Don’t a couple of dogs die in Where the Red Fern Grows?

  • Feb. 11, 2006, 4:06 a.m. CST

    Underworld Evolution

    by Vern

    Wouldn’t I have to watch Underworld 1 first? This sounds like a heavy task but I will consider taking it on. I gotta be honest though, Doom and Transporter Evolution are higher priorities for me right now.

  • Feb. 11, 2006, 6:39 a.m. CST

    Vern, you can’t survive “by eating birds and crap”…

    by Mike Nesmith

    …birds maybe. Not the crap part. And I THINK that the dogs would know that due to evolution (or, heck, even Intelligent Design would probably put in a good word for them not eating shit). So that part of the film is probably not the part based on true events. Still…trapped out in a snow storm, and being dogs…who knows what could happen?

  • Feb. 11, 2006, 9:04 a.m. CST

    vern, i know you can do it.

    by occula

    i know vampire movies give us all the retard tingles, and yet somehow we all keep watching them. i bet if you bore down real hard and gave it a good squeeze you could manage. and, curiously enough, you don’t have to see the first one, the second one has so much goddamned exposition lurching through it there’s really no need!! pretty please with my little sister’s cherry on top?

  • Feb. 11, 2006, 9:07 a.m. CST

    oh my GOD! YES!

    by occula

    i just had a flashback to first grade, hiding my copy of ‘where the red fern grows’ under my bed coz it made me too sad. nice. hey mike what’s wrong with eating crap? it’s chock-full of nutrients!

  • Feb. 11, 2006, 1:33 p.m. CST

    dog crap

    by Vern

    While dogs do eat crap, as I said in the review, they do not do it (onscreen) in this movie. It is only implied in the sense that dogs are filthy beasts who eat crap. But as you probaly know you are taking me too literally there, I meant it like “eating birds and that sort of thing.” thanks though bud.

  • Feb. 12, 2006, 4:07 p.m. CST

    I own a porn movie with that title…

    by Spew Askew

  • Feb. 15, 2006, 2:16 p.m. CST

    vern strikes again

    by AZJim


    Post links to your AICN reviews on your own sight sooner, so I can join in the talkbacks. I don’t have time to be checking this site on the off chance you might have posted something here.

    Anyway, I second the request that you translate all of your reviews into Shalit. That was hilarious. And I think part of the point is that you never run out of the stupid puns, because they’re easy, whereas striving for excellence is hard.

    Billy Zane, last seen playing evil American villain in Turkish exploitation film, kills the dog in Dead Calm. But maybe you just meant kids’ films.

    Thanks again, Vern. Buy his book, people!

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3 Responses to “How’d we get so lucky? Vern is back again with a review of EIGHT BELOW!!!”

  1. Great review. I have a real soft spot for this movie like I do for COOL RUNNINGS, another Disney “family” film that, while corny at times, manages to be entertaining without having to rely on too many stupid gimmicks or pop culture references. MIRACLE was another good one, maybe coldness is the x-factor for quality (we’ll have to assume that SNOW DOGS is the outlier to this theory). They’ve done dogsledding, hockey, and bobsledding, maybe they can do a curling movie next.

    It’s odd, I’ve seen this movie a few times but I just recently noticed the dog-based sub-plot to the whole “on their own” story, that there’s the one dumbass rookie dog (the black-and-white one) who at first seems to always be the one who screws up (i.e., chases off birds the dogs were gonna eat, pulls Bruce Greenwood into a crevasse), but at the end he redeems himself by taking on the giant CGI leopard seal to save the “leader” dog. He even catches a bird for her (the dog) at the end, when she’s too hurt to hunt one herself. Aww.

    One other thing I noticed is that I don’t think Greenwood’s done a movie in the past ten years where he hasn’t been killed (I, ROBOT), or at least seriously maimed (EIGHT BELOW; STAR TREK). Even though he managed to escape NATIONAL TREASURE PART THE SECOND uninjured, he still got held hostage in a rat-infested tunnel by Nicholas Cage. Poor guy.

  2. I remember watching this movie on TV a few years ago, without having any idea what the fuck it was about. I figured it would be about some dude trapped in an arctic snowstorm, so I was surprised when they suddenly started to focus on the dogs. Damn, that one was a tearjerker and most of all: Classic live action Disney.

    Also I second the love for COOL RUNNINGS. From what I’ve heard the movie is highly inaccurate and some racist studio executives wanted it to fail (Which is, according to director Jon Turtletaub the reason why they hired him, the guy who previously just made 3 NINJAS), but it’s highly quotable, has a wonderful cast and is a beautiful feel good movie.

  3. Yeah, COOL RUNNINGS is accurate in the sense that CELTIC PRIDE is an accurate depiction of professional basketball, but apparently some of the stuff in the movie actually did happen. For example, the Jamaicans did borrow spare sleds from other teams to compete, and the dramatic walk across the finish line after the crash was approximately what happened (the footage of the actual crash was used in the movie as well). And apparently in real life the other bobsled teams were very supportive of Team Jamaica, which is nice to know. But, you know, it’s a Disney movie so you gotta have wacky characters, unsupportive parents, racist IOC board members, and East German pricks. And line dancing. And John Candy smashing a radio with a pool cue, that’s always fun. Still, it’s an enjoyable movie.

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