November 15, 2007, - 2:52 pm

Early Movie Review: 3-D Spectacle “Beowulf” is Fun “300″ as Played by WWE Characters

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.

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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.

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3 Responses

“Skankgelina Jolie”-lol! Can I quote you on that one?

Jew Chick on November 15, 2007 at 3:55 pm

No need for me to call her that, becuase I have a Sailor Moon reference for her…Kaorinite.
Since I’m the only anime fan in this blog…I guess I’ll give this movie a shot. But not becuase it’s an anime, mind you.

Squirrel3D on November 15, 2007 at 5:20 pm

I’m approaching this movie with great apprehension precisely because it has been significantly altered from the original. There is no lust or sex and few opportunities for humor because the original story is primarily mythic with a pointed Christian undertone.
While I realize that it was probably difficult to make this into an interesting story because of its basic narrative structure (Beowulf kills Grendel and saves Hrothgar’s thanes from being eaten, Beowulf fights Grendel’s dam, and Beowulf fights the dragon and dies in the process), I’m not so sure that the additions of lust and jokes will really help kids to understand the tale.
Sadly, much of what is interesting in Beowulf was probably lost in the filming. (such as Grendel and his dam belonging to the race of Cain and are thus not human, the culture of the Germanic peoples as evidenced in things like the boasting/flyting contests, and the extended discussion on what constitutes a good king or ruler).
Perhaps, our kids would enjoy the story more if they didn’t read books like Beowulf in a vacuum, if they were actually taught something about the history and culture of the people that produced the work…(oh no wait, I forgot–we can’t possibly teach our kids anything about the history and culture of Western Europeans because that would certainly disrupt the “white man is inherently evil” anthem that is drilled into our kids’ heads every day) Therefore, our kids have to learn things about our cultural past in dumb-downed sexed up versions which Hollywood is only too happy to oblige……

isolde on November 19, 2007 at 12:32 pm

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