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Relying on the same motion capture technique he utilized in "The Polar Express," Zemeckis has crafted an entirely computer generated film that has an appropriately surreal look. This is especially true of the characters, which exist in a gray area between the realistic and the fantastic; they don't look phony by any means, but they're not completely authentic, either. I suppose part of this can be blamed on the limits of computer technology, which still isn't able to fool an audience despite major advances. The thing is, I don't think the film should have looked too realistic, simply because it's telling an unrealistic story. "Beowulf" is a purely imaginative piece, and as such, the film needed a purely imaginative look. Zemeckis chose to make the entire thing one big special effect--there are no individual effects that enhance live-action scenes.
Taking place in the sixth century, Ray Winstone voices the title character with the perfect mix of pride, arrogance, and youthful impulsiveness.Read more ›
There is something to admire in that fearless definition of heroism held up high in the original tale. Something even more endearing about this ultimate clash between good and evil.Read more ›
Robert Zemeckis's "Beowulf" has, I think, been grossly misunderstood. The popular consensus appears to be that it is another mo-cap failure, all exaggerated, adolescent, computer-generated violence with zero substance. While the film certainly has its flaws, the visual effects techniques employed to create it have apparently blinded many to its rather clever deconstruction of the Beowulf story.
Now, it's inarguable that the original poem is a treasured literary classic, but what some of the more "academic" reviews either don't seem to grasp or conveniently choose to ignore is that the poem is over a thousand years old and is an entirely different medium to the modern blockbuster; literature is an individual experience, interpreted through the prism of the reader's - or listener's, if hearing an oration - imagination while film is a defined, temporal experience intended for a mass audience. What works in one can be disastrous in another.
The key obstacle in adapting "Beowulf" is the narrative structure. The story is split between three battles: Grendel, Grendel's mother, and the Dragon. Classical three-act structure, you say? Not quite. There's a fifty year gap between the last two acts. Furthermore, Beowulf himself is a static character, an idealized hero without flaw. These present no real issue in poetic verse, but in a film that is expected to flow smoothly from narrative point A to narrative point B in two hours or less, a static protagonist will bore the audience and such an enormous time shift will seem unjustified.
Therefore, writers Neil Gaiman and Roger Avary strove to accomplish with their adaptation what any good adaptation ought to do -- find a new reason to tell this ancient tale.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
very corny, overly sexualized instead of implied sexuality of the timePublished 10 days ago by Karis
Dvd came as expected, fast shipping too. The movie itself is a good interpretation on the book with an interesting twist towards the end.Published 1 month ago by ThR0b
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