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6 Reviews
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of Concept Art, August 6, 2008
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This review is from: The Art of Beowulf (Hardcover)
Length:: 0:21 Mins

There's a lot to read in this book. The movie script was written by Neil Gaiman. I didn't realize that until I read the foreword. The 160-page book was hard covered and came with a dust jacket.

Captions accompanied the paintings and concept art in the book, explaining the process of design and rational for creation. No storyboards were found in the book. The pages were devoted mainly to matte paintings for conceptualizing movie scenes.

This movie was completely made in 3D using motion caption techniques, similar to those used in Polar Express. The 3D models renders shown were few and far in between. The technology behind was only mentioned in passing.

Character design drawings were there, but somehow I felt that they were not enough. Angelina Jolie only had 4 rendered stills in this book, and all were head profiles. No near nude 3D model were seen anywhere.

This book is mainly for Beowulf fans and concept artists.

(More pictures are available on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Artwork, April 5, 2008
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This review is from: The Art of Beowulf (Hardcover)
I am a lover of concept art and this book really inspired me to keep up with my own artwork, with every page the work just got better and better. The wide format of the book allowed for a much better view of the wide screen production stills. Its a great buy, in my opinion.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful but expensive, April 5, 2008
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This review is from: The Art of Beowulf (Hardcover)
I found the Beowulf movie to be fun but disappointing, primarily because I felt like the deviations from the original story violated the spirit of what Beowulf represents. I've always been a big fan of not only Beowulf but all of the great European sagas. Even though I had serious reservations about the movie's plot, the imagery of the world they were trying to create was much more in line with the visions I have playing before my eyes when I read the sagas. I bought the DVD of the movie and in some of the special features they showed concept art that I thought was really incredible, so I decided to take a chance on this book. I was not disappointed.

The quality is top-notch, both the manufacturing and the art within. I loved reading about their design process and watching the world unfold, in fact it made me feel much better about the movie when I understood what they were shooting for (although my complaints about the plot still stand). The art itself is what really shines here, once I read the words I was done with them, but the art continues to inspire me every time I see it. I've been through the book many times and I've never gotten bored, and it's made a great coffee-table book for guests who are all impressed as well.

The main drawback is the price. The retail price is $40, which is far more than I would pay for a book of this kind. I've seen it on sale for a few different prices here on Amazon, and I was lucky enough to get an excellent deal when I bought it. If you like fantasy art and the old sagas, wait for a price you can handle and I think you'll be pleased.
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4.0 out of 5 stars As a fan of the book & film..., May 19, 2012
This review is from: The Art of Beowulf (Hardcover)
I just had to score a copy of this. In short what you get (and often pretty cheaply too) is....

A hardcover book of landscape shape that has a great wad of stills from the film, shots of the design process and ideas for items such as Grendel that ended up being discarded. Both human and inanimate objects are shown in their design phase and in final detail though the emphasis is on the former. Both Robert Zemeckis and Neil Gaiman are given some words at the start of the book to put forward some of their ideas and there are a whole range of little snippets of information sprinkled throughout the book including the odd quote from the actors. One aspect that was interesting to myself was the photos of the real life actors - behind the scenes shots effectively.

It should be noted that there is precious little discussion of the characters or the technology involved in the process and the reader doesn't get the sense that they are along for the ride in terms of seeing how the movie was put together. But you do get some really quite tasty full page colour plates to feast your eyes on and certainly it's likely some artists or art fans will get some inspiration/pleasure from this aspect of the book.

A niche product to be certain but its not without merit especially if you are a bit of a fantasy-fiction fan. Now if only some of these plates were released as poster sized prints......
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5.0 out of 5 stars VERY NICE ART..., March 5, 2011
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This review is from: The Art of Beowulf (Hardcover)
AMAZING BOOK, AND VERY AMAZING PRICE, A FULLL ART OF A BEOWULF CHARACTERS MOVIE AND ALL PRODUCTION DETAILS... IS A NICE PICE OF ART IN YOUR COLLECTION...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Designing the Vikings of Denmark in detail, May 31, 2008
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This review is from: The Art of Beowulf (Hardcover)
This fine book takes you into the core of designing the Movie Beowulf. While the movie is only a medium level entertainment, this book is surprisingly better than the movie in showing the details of design, from Beowulf himself to the dragon he faces at the end of the movie. You will see the different designs of helmets, swords, sets and landscapes as well as concept art. It is an excellent find.
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The Art of Beowulf
The Art of Beowulf by Steve Starkey (Hardcover - October 25, 2007)
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