HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Mountain Men, The
Epic
Best Before Death
John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum
Isabelle
Non-Stop New York
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood
Oblomov
Alita: Battle Angel
We the Animals
Ibiza Undead
Wings of Eagles, The
Beats
Body Parts
Shock of the Future, The
Friday
High Life
High Noon
Comes a Horseman
Scandal in Paris, A
Greta
Fight, The
Pink Jungle, The
Skiptrace
Double Date
Mind of Mr. Soames, The
Long Shot
Sherlock Holmes
Amazing Grace
Monitors, The
Memory: The Origins of Alien
Mesa of Lost Women
Banana Splits Movie, The
In Fabric
Sisters Brothers, The
Aniara
Flamingo Kid, The
Queen, The
Avengers: Endgame
Vanishing Act
   
 
Newest Articles
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
Hammer's Bloodthirsty Bad Girls 1970: Lust for a Vampire and Countess Dracula
Hammer to Fall: Kiss Me Deadly on Blu-ray
Home of the Grave: The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum on Blu-ray
   
 
  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 2489 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, while true life fantasy tale Welcome to Marwen was a flop.

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 star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
  Derrick Smith
   

 

Last Updated: