28 March 2008

Ink Blots - Beowulf

From the makers of The Polar Express... comes the bloodiest movie I have ever seen. Too bad Tom Hanks wasnt around to feed the demon. I was blown away by this movie. The cinematography and action were amazing, and at several points, my jaw dropped in amazement at what I was seeing. Some people agreed with me, as this film made $82 million in 2007, which is quite impressive for an animated adult fantasy (see Fire & Ice or Lord of the Rings or Strings or countless others), in spite of its $150 million budget.

Beowulf tells the tale of the hero, Beowulf, who defeats a demon Grendel, becomes king and then must face a dragon born of his own tragic making. Grendel attacks twice, tearing people in half, eating guts, and just being a real SOB. Beowulf takes him down, then goes for his witch mama / Angelina Jolie, but makes a deal instead. Oh, our poor flawed hero. But lucky us, this results in probably the best dragon action sequence I have ever seen, and the way this dragon is defeated must be seen to be believed!

I can see how the motion capture effect could be off putting to some, but frankly I loved it. It looked very realistic, but with a subtle otherworldliness that enhanced the movie's feel. Video game cut scenes, these were not. And the performances seemed genuine. I wouldn't want every movie to use this technique, but her, it worked. I cannot say enough good things about this movie. Maybe its a guilty pleasure, but it sure entertained, and the story was surprisingly well developed (go Gaiman!). This is a love it or hate it film, and though I am not sure if it would hold up to repeat viewings after the shock values subsided, for now, I bow to Beo and give him an A.

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