In the age of heroes comes the mightiest warrior of them all, Beowulf. After destroying the overpowering demon Grendel, he incurs the undying wrath of the beasts ruthlessly seductive mother who will use any means possible to ensure revenge. The ensuing epic battle throughout the ages, immortalizing the name Beowulf. Academy Award® winner director Robert Zemeckis tells the oldest epic tale in the English language with the most modern technology, advancing the cinematic forum through the magic of digitally enhanced live action. A stellar cast is led by Ray Winstone ("The Departed," "Sexy Beast") in the title role. Joining him are Academy Award winner Anthony Hopkins as the cursed King Hrothgar, John Malkovich, Robin Wright Penn, Brendan Gleeson, Crispin Glover, Alison Lohman and Oscar Winner Angelina Jolie as Grendels mother.
The process of creating Beowulf
was more interesting than the movie itself--though many of the movie's fans will be disappointed that the "making-of" featurette does not include Angelina Jolie in her skin tight motion-capture suit. We do, however, get to see Ray Winstone (who admits he has a less than heroic physique), live horses bedecked with plastic dots, a "Robo-Grendel," wire props painted fluorescent pink and orange, and a poor production assistant whose job is scooping up horse poop. Other featurettes discuss the monster design (including giving a sea monster a single eye because, apparently, cyclopean creatures have mythological street cred); how excited the filmmakers were to combine Winstone's gruff voice with a preposterously burly bod; and a brief bit discussing the original epic poem, how much director Robert Zemeckis hated it, and the various liberties the screenwriters took with it. But for anyone interested in computer animation, the most interesting extra feature may be the deleted scenes. Because they were cut long before the animation was finished, they show the process at a variety of different stages--at some points the faces don't even move, making Beowulf
look like a Thunderbirds
-style puppet movie. --Bret Fetzer