Beowulf

We went to see Robert Zemekis’ Beowulf tonight. In 3D! It was good.

Spoilers Ahoy.

Bloody and gross, in spots, but good. An interesting twist on the classic Beowulf. It was imagined as a “what really happened” rather than a true retelling of the tale. Of course, there are still plenty of fantasy elements, like Dragons.

The film is rated PG 13, so when Beowulf decides that he will meet Grendel naked (because Grendel has no armor, and Beowulf has no sword that can kill a monster) the circumlocutions they go through to present some physical object to cover his swinging johnson eventually border on slapstick. The helmet, the candlestick, the carefully placed elbow… it’s silly.

Overally, one thumb up. Especially for the digitally enhanced, naked, Angelina Jolie.

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One Response to Beowulf

  1. Ken says:

    It was definitely jarring (for me) watching the first few minutes of Beowulf. Robert Zemekis seems to have overcome the “dead eye” stare of The Polar Express, but has yet to realize that people blink… if the eyes are the windows to the soul, then these characters have no soul. I couldn’t tell if I was watching marionettes or a cartoon.

    One of the cool things about CGI is to make people and places appear as they couldn’t or don’t otherwise. A photorealistic Angelina Jolie or a fat Anthony Hopkins could just as easily be played by real-life Angelina Jolie and Anthony Hopkins with some prosthetics. I don’t “get it” or appreciate (artistically) why some people were rendered they way they were. Rendering photorealistic actors to appear as they really are only makes me look for the defects or “uncanniness” of their character.

    The rendering of the Grendel was probably the best use of CGI in the entire film. His exaggerated height, ragged appearance, movement, and the reason why he was vexed by the mead hall were all very well done.

    One thumb up, maybe, but not two. It’s a movie I might watch again to look for detail I missed the first time, but it doesn’t have the character, depth, or “staying power” that makes appreciate Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings for repeated viewings.

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