Eight Below

Eight Below

4.6 21
Director: Frank Marshall

Cast: Frank Marshall, Paul Walker, Bruce Greenwood, Moon Bloodgood

     
 

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Eight brave sled dogs search for the master who is looking for a way to rescue them in this adventure drama. An American geologist (Bruce Greenwood) flies to Antarctica to participate in a project at the United States Research Base, where he teams up with arctic guide Jerry Shepard (Paul Walker) and hisSee more details below

Overview

Eight brave sled dogs search for the master who is looking for a way to rescue them in this adventure drama. An American geologist (Bruce Greenwood) flies to Antarctica to participate in a project at the United States Research Base, where he teams up with arctic guide Jerry Shepard (Paul Walker) and his best friend, Cooper (Jason Biggs). The scientist soon discovers that Shepard also has eight other valuable friends -- a pack of sled dogs he's worked with for years, who have rescued him from a number of tight spots. As the three men explore a frozen mountain region, an unexpected accident coupled with a massive storm front forces them to fly to safety, leaving the dogs behind. Shepard is determined to rescue his canine friends, but he has to wait until the weather will allow him to travel back to the mountain, while the dogs struggle against the elements to survive as they attempt to make their way back home. Eight Below was inspired by a true story involving Japanese researchers exploring the Antarctic in 1957; the story was made into the film Nankyoku Monogatari.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
It would be easy to dismiss this movie about dogs stranded in the Antarctic as just another Disney wildlife film, not unlike those the studio churned out during the 1950s and '60s. But Eight Below is a rattling good yarn and not as kiddies-oriented as its trailers would have you believe. An expedition to the South Pole, commissioned by Dr. Davis McClaren (Bruce Greenwood), comes to an abrupt end and requires the immediate evacuation of everyone in the camp. Youthful guide Jerry Shepard (Paul Walker) is forced to leave behind the eight huskies that made up his dogsled team, forcing the canines to fend for themselves while he tries unsuccessfully to mount a rescue effort. Director Frank Marshall juggles two sets of characters -- humans and huskies -- and does an altogether admirable job. The efforts of the stranded dogs to scavenge food and keep from freezing are detailed with remarkable realism, and a combination of scene compositions, camera angles, and ingenious editing makes it appear that the dogs are communicating with each other. The human performers, for their parts, have the advantage of being given dialogue, and they make the most of it. As the film's nominal star, Walker does a better-than-adequate job, but secondary lead Greenwood nearly steals the show with his superior performance as the scientist who regrets leaving the dogs behind -- especially because they saved his life on the trip to the camp -- but sees it as the only real option. At times Eight Below is pretty grim, befitting the predicament of its four-legged protagonists, but all in all it's a stirring and uplifting drama that will entertain adults as well as kids.
All Movie Guide
Embedded in the children's movie Eight Below is a story that appeals to adults. Unfortunately, it emerges only in the first half. Disney's tale of eight sled dogs abandoned during an Antarctic storm, the film definitely starts out with the rhythms of a harrowing adventure. Screenwriter David DiGillio lays the groundwork, offering an insider's look at the world of Antarctic exploration, as well as the unique personality types who make the sourthernmost land mass their area of expertise, among them Jerry Shepard (Paul Walker). Jerry's transportation of a scientist (Bruce Greenwood) to a remote mountain -- a treacherous trip Jerry advises against -- turns into a handful of thrilling set pieces, involving caverns hidden by snow, frigid waters, storms, the threat of frostbite, and a heroic group of exceptionally trained dogs. Combine that with some lighter moments and some gorgeous cinematography, and Eight Below has a great vibe going. It's when the humans must evacuate that the movie wanders into the precious territory of a kiddie film, losing track of that vibe. Whenever director Frank Marshall checks in on the dogs, the jaunty flute music kicks in, and the action tends to take on the whimsy of a talking animal movie. There's also a certain inauthenticity to these passages, since they involve imagining how the dogs might survive in this environment without humans -- a speculative exercise at best. Meanwhile, as Jerry makes repeated attempts to get back to them, even through political channels back in the U.S., his character is sentenced to a lot of frowning and looking forlorn -- a stark contrast from the man of action we saw in the first half. Eight Below exceeds expectations by quite a bit, but it would be even better if the second half could match the first -- and if it were 20 minutes shorter.

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Product Details

Release Date:
06/20/2006
UPC:
0786936709902
Original Release:
2006
Rating:
PG
Source:
Walt Disney Video
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
2:00:00
Sales rank:
7,440

Special Features

Closed Caption; Deleted scenes with audio commentary by director; "Running With the Dogs: The Making of Eight Below"; Director and producer audio commentary; Director, actor and director of photography audio commentary

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Paul Walker Jerry Shepard
Bruce Greenwood Davis McClaren
Moon Bloodgood Katie
Jason Biggs Charlie Cooper
Gerard Plunkett Dr. Andy Harrison
August Schellenberg Mindo
Wendy Crewson Eve McClaren
Belinda Metz Rosemary
DJ Abdel Max
Timbalada & Os Zarabe Maya
Koda Bear Maya
Jasmine Old Jack
Apache Old Jack
Buck 65 Shadow
Adrian Noble Shadow
Troika Buck
Flapjack Buck
Dino Truman
Chase Rucker Productions Dewey
Babi Floyd Dewey
A. James Ryan Shorty
Carl Jasper Shorty
Lightning Shorty
Connor Christopher Levins Eric McClaren
Duncan Fraser Captain Lovett
Dan Ziskie Navy Commander
Michael Simms Armin Butler
Daniel Bacon Bureaucrat #2
Laara Sadiq Bureaucrat #3
Malcolm Stewart Charles Buffett
Dexter Bell Worker #1
Garry Chalk Boat Captain
Brendan Campbell Waitress
Michael D. Adamthwaite Wharf Boat Captain
Buddy Cain Crew Member
Damon Johnson Jamison
Richard Sali Frank
Alexios A. Panou Howard
Mike Nowak Conductor

Technical Credits
Frank Marshall Director,Executive Producer
C. Mitchell Amundsen Cinematographer
Andrei Andrianko Set Decoration/Design
Deborah Aquila Casting
Gary Barber Executive Producer
Roger Birnbaum Executive Producer
Heike Brandstatter Casting
Don Burgess Cinematographer
Fitch Cady Production Manager
John Clothier Camera Operator
Douglas Craik Camera Operator
Patrick Crowley Producer
David DiGilio Screenwriter
Luc Étienne Asst. Director
Kirk H. Francis Sound Mixer
Don French Asst. Director
David Hoberman Producer
Mark Isham Score Composer
Christine Iso Executive Producer
Masaru Kakutani Executive Producer
Oakley Lehman Stunts
Todd Lieberman Executive Producer
David R. Markowitz Asst. Director
Coreen Mayrs Casting
Christopher Rouse Editor
Roy Lee Executive Producer
Aaron Sims Art Director
Jeremy Stanbridge Art Director
Marshall Virtue Stunts
John Willett Production Designer
Andy Wilson Camera Operator
Tricia Wood Casting
Jori Woodman Costumes/Costume Designer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Eight Below
1. Opening Credits [4:22]
2. Bottom of the Planet [10:34]
3. The Expedition [7:55]
4. Melbourne [7:15]
5. Impending Storm [9:42]
6. Evacuation [14:34]
7. On Your Own [7:09]
8. Deep Winter [5:22]
9. Can't Let Go [12:19]
10. Teamwork [9:11]
11. Hope [9:23]
12. Return to the Base [5:02]
13. One More [9:51]
14. End Credits [7:28]

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