HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Ritual, The
Les Girls
Death of Stalin, The
Mission, The
Wild Life, The
Eve of Destruction
Mad Death, The
Lost in Vagueness
Sleeping Beauty
Allure
In Search of Dracula
Fantastic Woman, A
Emmanuelle II
Far from Vietnam
Inherit the Wind
Post, The
King Frat
Commuter, The
Mister Buddwing
Kiki's Delivery Service
Z-O-M-B-I-E-S
Mansfield 66/67
Old Enough
Bleeding Steel
Double Hour, The
My Generation
Geostorm
Pendulum
Certain Magical Index: The Movie - The Miracle of Endymion, A
That Good Night
   
 
Newest Articles
Boris Goes Bonkers, Bela Goes Bats: The Old Dark House and Mark of the Vampire
Charles Bronson's Mid-70s: Breakheart Pass and Others
Kids in America: The Breakfast Club vs Metropolitan
80s Dance-Off: Staying Alive vs Murder-Rock vs Breakin'
The Cinematic Darkside of Donald Crowhurst
Dutch Courage: The Flodder Series
Coming of Age: Boys on Film 18 - Heroes on DVD
Country and Irish - The secret history of Irish pop culture
Wash All This Scum Off the Streets: Vigilante Movies
Force the Issue: Star Wars' Tricky Middle Prequels and Sequels
Rediscovered: The Avengers - Tunnel of Fear on DVD
Sword Play: An Actor's Revenge vs Your Average Zatoichi Movie
Super Sleuths: The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes on DVD
Stop That, It's Silly: The Ends of Monty Python
They're All Messed Up: Night of the Living Dead vs Land of the Dead
   
 
  Beowulf Monstah KillahBuy this film here.
Year: 2007
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Stars: Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins, John Malkovich, Robin Wright, Brendan Gleeson, Crispin Glover, Alison Lohman, Angelina Jolie, Sebastian Roché, Costas Mandylor, Dominic Keating, Sonje Fortag, Greg Ellis, Rik Young, Fredrik Hiller, Charlotte Salt
Genre: Animated, Fantasy, Adventure
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: The year is 507 A.D., and in Denmark King Hrothgar (Anthony Hopkins) is leading the latest celebrations of his people in their new drinking hall, where their famed mead is flowing and spirits are high. All except for his wife Wealthow (Robin Wright), who is reluctant to join in, though the revellers don't notice, and if they did they would not know why. The reason shows up soon enough, as the party reaches new levels a huge troll known as Grendel (Crispin Glover) appears, smashing in the door and ripping up anyone unfortunate to get in his way - but when faced with Hrothgar, he backs down...

And Hrothgar fails to bump him off too, which might have raised suspicions among the survivors, but the king manages to gloss over that by announcing that a new warrior will arrive and dispose of this menace. However, what will be concerning you is more likely to be, good grief, the animation in this film looks awful, as it was director Robert Zemeckis's follow up to his The Polar Express, which used the same motion capture technique. This essentially meant that the actors would wear skintight suits and their performances would be recorded for computer generated effects to be overlaid, sort of a highly expensive and technologically advanced rotoscoping.

But not so technologically advanced that anyone watching it would mistake it for actual people doing real things, as the whole effect was offputting and fake-seeming, where you would recognise the faces of the stars but be confounded if you tried to lose yourself in their thespian stylings because they simply looked weird. Probably the technique was not sufficiently honed to perfection, as without the suspension of disbelief necessary to view this as anything but the next step up from watching someone play a computer game, there was no getting away from the fact that here was some seriously unattractive imagery presented as the state of the art.

Seeing as how many other blockbusters and lesser budgeted movies managed to conjure up graphics that didn't take you out of the story so jarringly, Beowulf made one wonder why Zemeckis persevered with his motion capture, as if the possibilities blinded him to how aesthetically unpleasant his methods appeared. Taking a script by comics writer Neil Gaiman and at one point director of this project Roger Avary, this was an adaptation of one of Europe's oldest surviving tales, but done a disservice here. Emphasis was on the 3D that this was projected in cinemas with, so there were a lot of things thrown and pointed at the screen in lieu of any actual excitement that a better approach might have provided.

If anything, Beowulf here looked less like Winstone and more like Sean Bean, a bodybuilding Sean Bean at that, and though his Cockney accent made for a novel take on the classic hero, it didn't seem quite appropriate. It was still better than whatever accent John Malkovich thought he was doing for his weasely advisor role, but just another example of how Zemeckis did not have a handle on his material. Grendel looks like a fight in a butcher's shop, his mother is an enhanced, gold-painted and nude Angelina Jolie who has unexplained high heels growing out of her feet, and everyone looks overdesigned yet somehow not really thought through. Add to that a tone that mistakes po-facery for gravitas and this Beowulf was a pretty horrible experience, a shame for all the work that had gone into it, as any grand, archetypal themes the original had were jettisoned for empty action setpieces. There had to be a better way! Music by Alan Silvestri.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1835 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Robert Zemeckis  (1952 - )

American writer, director and producer of crowd pleasing movies. The first half of his career is highlighted by hits that combine broad humour with a cheerful subversion: I Wanna Hold Your Hand, Used Cars, Romancing the Stone, Back to the Future and its sequels, Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Death Becomes Her.

But come the Oscar-winning Forrest Gump, he grew more earnest and consequently less entertaining, although just as successful: Contact, What Lies Beneath, Cast Away and the motion capture animated efforts The Polar Express, Beowulf and A Christmas Carol. Flight, The Walk and Allied were also big productions, but failed to have the same cultural impact.

With frequent writing collaborator Bob Gale, Zemeckis also scripted 1941 and Trespass. Horror TV series Tales from the Crypt was produced by him, too.

 
Review Comments (2)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
  Jamie Nichols
Andrew Pragasam
George White
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
  Mark Scampion
   

 

Last Updated: