To the south of us, 23 miles, of the very suburban fringes of our region, there is a movie theater with a monster screen--at the end of this multiplex is a gargantuan 600 seat screening cavern with a movie screen so large you can barely take it in.
My wife and I are seriously addicted movie buffs, and so whenever a new "spectacle movie" opens, we'll travel down the interstate to the monster screen to see it. There is no way, for example, we will see the upcoming Indiana Jones sequel anywhere else in Minnesota.
Nothing truly good was playing this weekend, so we went down to see "10,000 BC," which just opened.
Much to my amazement, the movie actually answered one important historical question that has been haunting scholars for many, many years. Just how, exactly, did the Egyptians manage to construct the pyramids with their limited technology?
The answer has now been given: they harnessed woolly mammoths, imported from the northern tundra, to gigantic sleds that hauled the massive stones up ramps.
Lord in heaven, ladies and gentlemen, you have never seen such silliness on a movie screen in all your life. In the year 10,000 BC the neanderthals wore dreadlocks and somehow managed to trim their beards into neat fu manchu styles. Some neanderthals had already learned to harness and ride horses. From northern Europe, the sands of the Saraha were but a week's walk away.
("Sure," my wife said. "The continents were all pushed closer together then, don't you know.")
The giveaway that this film might not be historically accurate came in one bit of dialogue:
"Take care in this jungle," said one wise old neanderthal to his young ward. "For this unholy place is teeming with computer-generated saber-toothed tigers the size of greyhound buses."