Beowulf (2007)

NOVEMBER 3, 2007


Shockingly enough, I can’t remember much about a poem I read in 9th grade, so I don’t know how much of the source material was changed/removed for Beowulf. Then again, I DO remember that the story was an oral tale that was told for hundreds of years before being written down, and has been re-translated several times since, so really, it’s kind of difficult to pinpoint what is “faithful” and what isn’t... it’s sort of like the monster movie version of a game of Telephone.

Either way, it’s still a mostly enjoyable film, which is all that matters. The CG, all motion-capture animation is some of the best ever seen on film (far less creepy and odd than Polar Express), and the action sequences rival those in any live action film of a similar nature. However, I should point out that the film’s finale seems to have been written with the video game in mind, as Beowulf has to dodge trees, time his jumps, and even locate the weak spot on the bad guy. I half expected some moving platforms or maybe a powerup to get thrown in.

As said, the “acting” is far superior to the other films of its kind. Crispin Glover in particular; you can TELL it’s him, even though he’s been deformed and turned into a trollish mumbling thing. The rest of the cast more or less looks like their real life counterparts, with the exception of Ray Winstone, who has been made to look like Sean Bean for some reason. Winstone is a fantastic actor, and although he usually plays villains, it’s certainly understandable why they would want an actor of his caliber to play what is essentially the lead role, but it IS a bit distracting that he resembles another actor so much (especially one who has played Odysseus, a character fairly similar to Beowulf to begin with).

At Comic Con, we were told the film would be R, but that is not the case anymore. Still, it’s fairly graphic for a PG-13, and there’s even some nudity on Angelina Jolie’s half snake woman thing. Also, Sean Beanstone plays an entire scene nude, and while his privates are usually obscured, I am sure the animators snuck in a frame or two of CG penis for people to enjoy on DVD.

I know it’s stretching it for horror, but I mean, come on, it’s a movie about a giant monster that runs into a dining hall and tears people apart. That’s certainly horrific, no? They can’t all be LionsGate scarecrow movies.

What say you?


  1. Very psyched to check this out. I've heard great things. And of course, it really does appeal to the English major in me....

  2. I loved the poem in school. I always pictured great gruesome scenes so I think that it translates well. Sounds like or looks like it might feel like I watching sequences from the game, Baulders Gate or something though.

  3. Ray Winstone is such a dude!

    He's plays the good guy in Sexy Beast which, whilst not for HMAD, is a great film. He also plays an excellent psycho WIll Scarlett in an 80s British TV series of Robin of Sherwood, with a soundtrack by Clannad and lots of witchcraft. It's a very cool series :-)

  4. As someone who remembers the poem from highschool I thought this movie was a pile of steaming shit. Zemeckis took way to many creative liberties when making this movie for example, spoilers to follow!!!!

    In the poem Beowulf kills Grendels mother, Hrothgar doesn't kill himself, the dragon is not Beowulfs son, because Angelina and her CG boobs are dead in the story she isn't there at the end having a staring contest with Wiglaf. I read some place that Zemeckis made these changes because he thought the story didnt have enough subtext and he wanted to make it more interesting. Well he is a fucking retard because people at all levels of academia are still analyzing and studying this story from a literary and historical stand point. Gratz on fucking up one of the best and oldest stories around Zemeckis you giant douche.

  5. Can you believe I have a Master's in English Lit., and was NEVER required to read Beowulf? Truly, the university system failed me. Weird about Zemeckis though, because it is rather odd to view a literary work that has been studied for 1,000 years as not having enough subtext.....

  6. For starters, I respect everyone's rights to express an opinion, provided they make a point and have some basis to what they claim...

    What does not makes sense to me it's trying to give an opinion,trash someone else, and not bothering to give your name (even a e-name). It's just the equivalent of a prank caller, and not a valid claim, just like someone who trows a rock at someone and hide the hand.

    With that said, I have to say that I don't know the poem (I'll search for it, rest assure, as I enjoy reading the source material of most of the movies I see), so I can't make claims about changes in the movie, but still, I had some troubles with the movie, I thought it dragged a lot of times (the staring contest it's ones of them, I thought it was nearly unbearable)
    the whole "pass the curse to the hero-king-to-be-made" was interesting but a little too slow for my taste, the movie could have been 80 minutes instead of almost 2 hours.

    And although the animation was very good, the expressions on the faces (specially the ladies)was kinda flawed. The Action sequences were top-notched to say the less, in particular the last epic battle, it could never been made with actors and look so cool.

    Not a Bad film, for all means it's a very good movie to watch, but "the future of cinema" as some claim? No, not by a long shot, and I saying this as a fan of Zemeckis's earlier works.

    In some moments I was expecting an "X" to appear, followed by an "O" or a triangle, since reminded me of the game "God Of War" a lot,I'm not a big gamer, but I must confess, I can't get the question out of my head; Would it be too much to ask for a God of War movie now?

  7. Hey Zed I am the anonymous poster sorry to hit you in the head with a rock and hide, I didn't realize the internet machine was such serious business. :)

    At any rate I have to agree with the video game feel of the movie. I even turned to my friend during the screening and asked, "So, when do we get to start playing?" Also if this really is the "future of cinema" as some people claim I am going to kill myself. Even though the animation was good it was no substitute for real people. Also according to one of my co-workers the battle scenes are less video gameish in 3D. On a side note I am sickened to my very core to see that rat bastard Zemeckis actually got the top spot at the box office this week. For the love of god people go see "The Mist" a real R rated horror movie this weekend and bury Beowulf and that fuck Zemeckis , shit go see "Enchanted" just don't give that ass anymore money!

  8. I shed a tear or two when Grendel was killed.

    Nah, well maybe not, but I read the poem not too long ago and I guess this movie fulfilled its expectations.

  9. ....And here we are again...

    I searched as much as I could about the poem and found at least 3 versions on film,(netflix, table for one!) and every single one of them different in a way or other, so we just watched a remake of a remake of a remake of a...uh, what?

    Talk about a remake invasion, at least this one had animation in it, wich gave us more expression out of the hero than Christopher Lambert's acting.
    (please bring Akira soon)

    Anyway, as I said, a good (ok, I said a VERY good, my bad) movie to watch, but I think it's going to be one of those overrated movies,I too agree that animation can be a cool thing, but never a substitute for real actors (except Christopher Lambert, ok, I'm kidding).

    I'm eagerly waiting for The Mist, let's hope doesn't let us down, although Darabont has been one of the best Stephen King-to film translators, one can set his hopes a little to high every now and then.


Movie & TV Show Preview Widget