11/16/2007

Beowulf...

"A man like you could own the greatest tale ever sung."

When Colton and I went to Comic Con back in July, we were saturated with a ton of promotions for a yet-to-be released movie that recreated an over 1,000 year old epic poem. Since we didn't see any footage (only print ads and a sidewalk painting), we didn't get very stoked. However, my mind was changed upon seeing a trailer.

I remember having to read the epic back in high school. And, right along with almost everything else that my teachers made me read, I hated it. Editor's Note: That's right The Great Gatsby and Jane Eyre, I'm looking at you. But, after last night's viewing of Beowulf, I want to go back and read it again...

Beowulf
Running Time:
1 hr. 53 mins.
Directed By: Robert Zemeckis
Starring: Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins, John Malkovich, Robin Wright Penn, Angelina Jolie, Brendan Gleeson, Crispin Glover, and Alison Lohman

Usually, this is the place where I say that what follows will be a spoiler free review. But this story has been around since somewhere between the 8th and 10th centuries. So, if I spoil the plot for you, maybe you should have paid attention in 11th grade Lit class...


So, what was good?
  • The Casting. Did you see who I listed as the stars of this movie up above? 2 oscar winners and one oscar nominee. Not to mention awesome character actors like Brendan Gleeson and Crispin Glover. Plus, Ray Winstone as the great Geat warrior is UH-mazing!

  • The Performance Capture Technology and Animation. If you're not familiar with the performance capture technology, see LOTR: The Two Towers or Return of the King, King Kong, or The Polar Express. One of the differences between this movie and Zemekis' other performance capture, The Polar Express, is that he didn't make the on screen character look like the off screen performer. In real life, Ray Winstone is quite a stout guy. On screen, Beowulf is cut like a rock when he strips naked to fight the monster, Grendel.

  • The Story. Yes, the movie is based upon the anonymously written epic poem. But, the screenplay was co-written by Neil Gaiman and Roger Avary. Gaiman's one of the greatest graphic novelists of all time. And Avary, well, Avary's some other guy.

  • The Themes of Legacy, Honesty, Honor, and Sacrifice. Beowulf sells his soul to Grendel's mother for fame, glory, and power. However, even though he's tormented with guilt for the rest of his life, he's eventually redeemed by choosing to right his past wrongs. In such a tragic story, one spanning a lifetime, it's evident that it's never too late to choose to make things right.

  • One Word, One Number, and a Letter: IMAX 3D! Huge... 3D... Loud... If you have the chance to see this in IMAX 3D, do whatever you can to see it. Sell your car, your iPod, your baby, or your collection of Garbage Pail Kids. Whatever you have to do...


    But...
  • Nothing. Other than the inconvenience of having to drive a little farther to find an IMAX, waiting a little longer to get in because of a tripped fire alarm, and extra cost due to the IMAX 3D, this movie was simply UH-mazing.


    And so, to Beowulf, I give the honor of being awarded a certified 4 Yarmulke™ rating.


    Great movie! Definitely an opening night flick! Go see it this weekend...
  • 2 comments:

    S. said...

    High praise! Maybe I'll have to check it out. I'm in San Diego also, so I know there are a few iMax theaters around. Now to find the time... Thanks for the review.

    Oh, and glad you made it off the steeple safely. Best of luck with your life changes ahead.

    Josh(ua) Treece said...

    Go to the Mira Mesa Edwards. Up the 15 north, get off on Mira Mesa Blvd. So sweet!