Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Beowulf (2007)

Directed by: Robert Zemeckis
Written by:
Neil Gaiman and Roger Avary, based on the poem
Starring: Ray Winstone, Robin Wright Penn, Brendan Gleeson, Anthony Hopkins, Crispin Glover, John Malkovich, Alison Lohman, Angelina Jolie

This being the animated version of the Beowulf story, as opposed to that thing with Gerard Butler which came out a little while ago.

I'm still not sure what to think of this movie. It awed me. First off, it was kind of better than the Gerard Butler one. I liked Gerard Butler, and I kinda liked Grendel even though he maybe wasn't that close to the guy in the original text (I'm not really a Beowulf nerd. I don't care). However, Sarah Polley's performance totally canceled out anything that might have been good in that movie. She was really annoying and has blocked off all other memories of the picture. Why did she have to be in that?

Oh well. I thought doing it as an animated feature was probably a good idea. I guess 'animated' isn't quite the right term, but it's close enough. But instead of just doing the action scenes with really shitty, distracting CG, they made everything the same level of realness. They could also enhance that actors as much as they liked (example: Ray Winstone is about three inches shorter than John Malkovich. They also made Anthony Hopkins look a couple hundred years younger).

On the other hand, it creeped the hell out of me. It looked too good to really be animated, and yet not quite real enough somehow. There was a real uncanny valley thing going on there. It kept startling me. And I kept waiting for Shrek to show up, but I think that had a lot to do with the busty wenches.

I think it may have been released in 3-D, though. They shouldn't make 3D movies. They just look stupid when you watch them at home.

Still it was COOL, and so frigging epic. Yes, it was ridiculously macho, screaming guys beating the living crap out of each other (and yet they spent a lot of effort to not show any nudity), but it's a huge epic action movie. It's supposed to be frickin' macho.

I also liked the guy what played Beowulf, Ray Winstone. I wasn't familiar with him (I remembered him in The Departed but that's about it), but according to IMDb, he's been in like five million movies, many of which I've seen. He was good. He reminded me of Sean Bean, kind of, only with a different accent. I thought, 'how come Sean wasn't in this movie?'. Then I thought, 'hey, they should do a movie like this only about Odysseus, and he could be in that'. I think this is a fantastic idea and they should begin work on it immediately. In fact, they could get Robert Zemeckis to do it just so the director wouldn't look like a total hack.

Moving on, John Malkovich was barely in the movie, and yet his accent still sounded like a speech impediment (you just knew I was going to poke fun at him - I can't help myself).

He wasn't really that annoying, though. Angelina's accent was a whole lot worse. It sounded remarkably like her Greek accent in Alexander (she's only thirty two and she's getting the mom roles - okay, neither Grendel's mother nor Alexander's mom are typical 'mom roles'. Still, she's only, like, eleven months older than Colin Farrell. How sick is that?). And she had high heels on. That was really weird.

Actually, she didn't really bother me that much either, but I didn't think it would be fair to beat up on John Malkovich and leave Angelina unscathed. And you know I'd hate to be unfair to John Malkovich (no really, I'm afraid he'll come to my house and eat me). And Crispin Glover was speaking, like Anglosaxon or something, so that's cool.

Anyway, this movie was pretty entertaining. It kept me occupied for a couple hours at least. One of the better action movies from last year. Keeping my fingers crossed for an animated version of The Odyssey (dammit, I want them to make that movie so much).


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