November 16, 2007 Beowulf
Studio: Paramount Pictures Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence including disturbing images, some sexual material and nudity.
Chances are you ran across "Beowulf" at some point during your high school career. The epic poem has long been required reading for many english classes. Now the ancient tale has been ramped up with 21st century technology.
"Beowulf" is called the oldest tale in the english language but screenwriters Neil Gaiman and Roger Avary manage to infuse the story with plenty of fresh elements.
As the story opens Danish King Hrothgar (Anthony Hopkins) has a big problem. A monster named Grendel (Crispin Glover) is ravaging his kingdom. That catches the attention of Beowulf (Ray Winstone), who travels across the sea to meet his destiny.
Beowulf succeeds in vanquishing Grendel but that feat earns him the wrath of the monster's demon mother (Angelina Jolie).
If you've ever read Beowulf you realize how confusing a story it is. There's plenty of action in the beginning and end but it was always tough for me to figure out how to get from one part to the next.
The screenwriters take care of that with a pretty novel idea involving Beowulf and the demon.
This movie has all of the slashing swords you would expect for an epic set in the sixth century and the stellar voice cast includes John Malkovich and Robin Wright Penn.
But the biggest appeal of "Beowulf" is the look.
Director Robert Zemeckis is once again diving into the arena of motion capture technology. And like in his "Polar Express," Beowulf's world is a marvel of sights and action.
When you add 3-D the movie literally jumps off of the screen. The action sequences are incredible with the climactic battle one of the most amazing things I've seen at the movies. You'll forgive the waxy look of the human characters because of how Zemeckis tells his story through tremendous fight scenes. Don't rob yourself of a great experience. Make sure you see it in 3-D to get the most pleasurable viewing possible.
On my rating scale, "Beowulf" hits a Home Run.
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