November 15, 2007, - 2:52 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
It’s definitely not for kids. And I didn’t care for the right-in-your-face naked CGI rear ends of Beowulf (Ray Winstone) and Grendel’s Mother (a skank played by a skank–Angelina Jolie). But I thoroughly enjoyed “Beowulf“–the 3-D marvel, in theaters tomorrow (Friday). And, yes, guys, this movie is for you. Dragons, fire, monsters, kings, warriors, swords, damsels in distress–this has all those and more.
It’s the story of the swashbuckling, but exaggeratingly braggadocious, fair-haired warrior Beowulf who saves Danish King Hrothgar’s (Anthony Hopkins) kingdom from the monster Grendel, who has been terrorizing and murdering his people. While fighting him naked (there’s a lot of trouble taken to obfuscate Beowulf’s groin region with various objects), Beowulf manages to kill Grendel and win Hrothgar’s queen (Robin Wright Spicoli, er . . . Penn) for whom he lusts. But that’s only half the battle. The bigger battle is to resist the charms of Grendel’s skanky demon mother and kill her, instead of sleeping with her and spawning new Grendels. But man is mortal, subject to lust, and, alas, not brave enough to resist temptation. Or is he? This also stars John Malkovich who is vintage funny, obnoxious, weird Malkovich in this one.
Yes, guys, Angelina Jolie is naked (and far better looking in animation than in reality), but those regions are obfuscated in the animation (but for a better crafted rear end). Sorry.
“Beowulf” is getting panned by some critics, but I disagree with them. If you’re an adult who enjoys epic, swashbuckling tales of old, you’ll probably like it. If you liked the far superior “300,” you’ll definitely like this sort of comic book version of it.
It’s like “300” on steroids, a little drunk, and starring WWE characters who have far less courage and morality. That’s because “Beowulf” doesn’t really take itself seriously. There is a lot of parody and silly humor sewn into this movie based on the epic poem they force you to read in high school. In fact, Beowulf is played by Ray Winstone, who resembles a much hotter version of WWE’s wife-beater Stone Cold Steve Austin. That’s the computer generated imaging (CGI) working, as the real-life Winstone is schleppy and his onscreen Beowulf is a hot, muscular blond warrior adonis.
This movie is a new form of CGI. Real actors–Anthony Hopkins, Skankelina Jolie, and others are filmed in real life, painted over and presented in 3-D. It looks like part animation, part real.
The 3-D effects in this one are so real, so in-your-face, it’s almost headache-inducing (and in my case, it was headache-inducing). Points of spears and, yes, as I wrote, the butts of swashbuckling Beowulf and Grendel’s mother. Limbs of dead or maimed characters coming at you, along with water, blood, and other flying objects. Characters faces right in yours. It’s really fantastic to see. And while it’s great in a standard moviehouse, it’s best seen at an IMAX theater, if there’s one close by.
Again, definitely not for kids–as it’s bloody, violent, scary (all made more so by the AMAZING! 3-D effects), and full of adult themes and sexual double entendres. And it’s definitely not the textbook, dull tome I remember reading in school. So, it doesn’t serve educational purposes.
Enjoyable and entertaining. And very fun.
Tags: 3-D, Angelina Jolie, animation, Anthony Hopkins, Beowulf, CGI, Debbie Schlussel It, Denmark, Grendel, Hrothgar, imaging, John Malkovich, King, Queen, Ray Winstone, Robin Wright Spicoli, Stone Cold Steve Austin