Yes, Black Panther was epic and awesome and fun and spectacular, but then there’s the world of Aardman:
Sure Black Panther made a quadrillion dollars this weekend, but I, as a matter of taste and policy, will always hand my non-existent award for the best movie of the weekend to anything made by Aardman or Laika given their rich and heart filled celebrations of feature length storytelling utilizing old school stop motion animation techniques.
The thing to remember about movies like Early Man is that they are hard to make. Made one frame at a time with no key framing (yes there is some frame blending in post production, but that’s beside the point) and everything obviously made from scratch, there are no do overs or second takes without A LOT of effort, so anything and everything that can be done right and locked down in advance (ie story) has to be.
Early Man is no exception. It’s visually wonderful and I imagine, mesmerizing for children who nowadays are coming out of the womb already jaded and with Apple and Samsung smartphones in hand. It’s also really easy to follow and understand, with a simple and straightforward plot that has appeal on both sides of the pond.
Usually when reviewing movies, I like to good-naturedly rip on a film by writing a logline that celebrates the silliness of the plot in question, but Early Man’s story is bare essence and charming and so here’s what it’s about in a nutshell:
In order to save their small prehistoric valley home from strip mining, a cave man and his tribe must beat an evil Bronze Age civilization at a game they don’t know how to play: soccer.
See? What’s not to get? If you’re trying to decide what to see in theaters prior to next Friday, I’d pick this over Black Panther….primarily because Black Panther will be in theaters until Christmas 2022 and this may only last a week or two without moviegoers’ support and it deserves to stick around for a while.