Before I start, I’ll just say that it’s been a looong time since my last visit to cinema (!) Great sound effects, large screen- those ARE some things that can make a film look better than actually is. In other words, I liked “Beowulf”, even if it’s not true to the original story, even if it’s made in that crappy looking 3D effect or whatever you call it. (Note: no major spoilers ahead.)
First things first: I absolutely hate movie changes. If you dislike a book plot, then do not turn a book in question into a movie. I am one of those people who believes that Peter Jackson butchered one of the greatest novels in the history of literature (I loved “LotR music and nature, though). Harry Potter films- ugh. You got the idea. But, for some reason, this thing didn’t bother me in “Beowulf”. There are couple of reasons for this: first, I haven’t read the poem (!). Second, some of those changes really made sense (others didn’t, though).
What I’m saying is, nobody likes flawless heroes anymore, and some of the changes are made in a “realistic” way: some of those changes could really be a part of the original story. A great epic has to have a strong message, and it’s usually: people are weak, do not mess with power. In that light, “Beowulf” changes make sense, though they make story look more like an Ancient Greek epic (you will be punished if you do not follow the rules- see: hubris). In overall, “Beowulf” plot makes sense, and the best thing is- it does look like an old story (morality, social complexity, gender issues- it’s all there and it’s ancient, it does not belong in our time).
On the other hand- animation. Ugh. I hate CGI, 3D computer animation and all that crap. That simply does not look realistic (Gollum, anybody?) And this motion capture technique is interesting, but still faaar away from being just okay, not to mention perfect. However, animation didn’t bother me in “Beowulf”, once I got used to it (it took me approximately 15 minutes or so). I still don’t think it’s a good idea, but it does have one advantage: monsters look real. More real than in a regular film (CGI monsters always look pretty fake, don’t you think?)
One more thing, Ray Winstone was brilliant. I don’t know where they found him, but his voice and diction are just perfect. His animated self was not bad, either (:D) The most annoying thing in the film was naked Angelina on high heels (?!?). (She agrees on this, BTW). I bet she would look more powerful as a lizard monster. But, Hollywood baby, is a rotten thing.
So, in overall, 3 ½ jefflions out of 5 for this.
PS- Not showing male private parts was just lame. If he’s naked, don’t you think full frontal nudity is… expectable? Or was that sooo (politically) incorrect, unlike, say, ripping someone’s head off? I’ll never understand why violence is okay, while sexuality is not. Especially in a film full of sexual references.