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Beowulf (Unrated Director's Cut)

3.6 out of 5 stars 556 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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 beast's ruthlessly seductive mother, who will use any means possible to ensure revenge. The ensuing epic battle resonates throughout the ages, immortalizing the name of Beowulf.

Additional Features

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

Special Features

  • A Hero's Journey: The Making of Beowulf
  • Beasts of Burden
  • The Origins of Beowulf
  • Creating the Ultimate Beowulf
  • The Art of Beowulf
  • Deleted scenes
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Easter Eggs: Coffee Break with John Malkovich

Product Details

  • Actors: Ray Winstone, Crispin Glover, Angelina Jolie, Robin Wright, Anthony Hopkins
  • Directors: Robert Zemeckis
  • Writers: Anonymous, Neil Gaiman, Roger Avary
  • Producers: Jack Rapke, Jacob Peratrovich, Jacqueline Lopez, Josh McLaglen
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Widescreen, Color, Director's Cut, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: February 26, 2008
  • Run Time: 115 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (556 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0011NVC9I
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,922 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Beowulf (Unrated Director's Cut)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Written around 700 AD and being of unknown authorship, "Beowulf" may be one of the purest fantasies ever told--it was one of the first to tell the story of a warrior who fought demons and a dragon. In the hands of director Robert Zemeckis and screenwriters Neil Gaiman and Roger Avary, the story transcends what we might have envisioned when reading the epic poem. This latest film adaptation is a triumph of classic storytelling, giving us a both hero to root for and monsters to be afraid of; it's a story told in the language of entertainment, having the power to capture its audience with compelling characters and breathtaking visuals. It's an honest to goodness fable that tells it like it is, completely free of long-winded setups and complicated details.

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.
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Format: DVD
Beowulf is a great story, it would not have lasted over thousand years if it wasn't. This 2007 all CGI version deviates considerably from the original story's truest and perhaps even its most enduring elements. The villain Grendel is portrayed as if we have the opportunity to sympathize with him. I remember upon his first attack in this film thinking that the Grendel from the epic poem would never have been so bold as to attack while his enemies were not asleep. Never would he come face to face with King Hrothgar on his throne. He is a cowardly and vile monster. I also remember studying Beowulf and thinking that this is the ultimate pagan hero. Courageous even if to a fault, boisterously politicizing himself to the gods by listing off each of his own unearthly tasks, challenging any evil no matter what it may be, even if it looks exactly like a naked Angelina Jolie. Most of all, he was to be a shining example of pride and honesty. It's funny, until now I never realized how I may have idolized Beowulf during my High School readings but just like those young pagan lads a thousand years ago listening to tales of the great warrior around a giant bonfire, I guess in a way I did and still do. The Beowulf we get here is tricked and tormented and his time as king is essentially based on deception. He is flawed in ways that make him less a hero.

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.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I've seen this movie on my Toshiba HD player, haven't seen the 3d yet, hope to get it soon. I will be able to watch it because my OPPO 93 is region free.

Update:
Just received the movie today and I'm not disappointed; great movie in 3D. I thought I could only get the region 2 addition; I was really happy to discover that I had the region free addition. I didn't have to go in and change the language settings, it was ready to go when I put the movie in. The sound made my system come to life and the picture was done in HD quality, this is not a bootleg which I was kind of worried about at first, I must say those thoughts have been erased. Great addition to my 3d collection and I would strongly suggest every movie fan to pick this copy up; before the prices go though the roof. Don't say I didn't warn you...............
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
"We men are the monsters now."

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.
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