Tuesday, December 4, 2007


Classic literature comes to life as a 3-d movie...sometimes. I elected to see it in a non-3-D theatre. This was possibly a mistake. Close-ups designed for psychological impact lose a lot of that impact when the face you are seeing looks cheesy and cartoonish...which without 3-D is exactly how a lot of the characters looked.

This brings up an interesting point. The 3-D glasses can be quite annoying to wear...is there a huge market for movies that can be viewed with or without them, but look and feel better with the glasses? Maybe.

Be that as it may, Beowulf (2007) tells the story of self-indulgent, passionate, self-promoting hero Beowulf (Ray Winstone) as he struggles to defeat Grendel (Crispin Glover), a whining, mewling murderous troll who happens to be the son of the aptly named "Grendel's Mother" (Angelina Jolie) and the King. Once Grendel is slain the celebration is surprisingly muted until Beowulf insists on a celebration.

Unfortunately, when Beowulf is celebrating, all his men are killed. It is then revealed that Grendel's mother is still in the area so he must go after Grendel's mother. When he returns the King realizes he did not slay her but rather slept with her. He commits suicide, leaving the kingdom to Beowulf.

Years go by and finally the sins of Beowulf come back to haunt him as he must battle his son, the Golden Dragon (also Ray Winstone). In a final climactic battle he shows himself an actual hero, finding a way to slay the dragon, though it costs him his own life. As the movie ends, Grendel's mother is seducing his long time advisor.

The special effects were nice, but more for aficionados of special effects than a reason to see the movie. The animation was nice, but outside of 3-D it was hardly spectacular. It was actually a bit distracting. The story is okay but not gripping. It tends to be a bit longish and disappointing in that the most entertaining characters are killed off early. Overall, it was a movie with a lot of promise that failed to deliver.

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