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Beowulf (Director's Cut) (2007)

A movie directed by Robert Zemeckis

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  • Mar 18, 2008
I am Ripper... Tearer... Slasher... Gouger. I am the Teeth in the Darkness, the Talons in the Night. Mine is Strength... and Lust... and Power! I AM BEOWULF!

Easily the best line from a movie that I can remember and this is one of the many reasons why I gave this film a 5 star rating.

For those who aren't familiar with the notion of Beowulf, let me fill you in and give you the lowdown of where it all came from. Beowulf is an epic poem without an author, thought to have been written some time between the 8th and the 11th Century. The story of the film seems to follow the poem quite accurately but I must be honest that I haven't read the full poem myself.

The Movie: Beowulf, an arrogant man who is known as the hero of Geats, comes to defend a Danish mead hall from a relentless monster known by them as Grendel. Grendel is a 20 foot tall beast that can be described only as a freak of nature and after killing most of Beowulfs most loyal men Beowulf manages to take down the monster. After the battle Beowulf questions the king about Grendels father who the king says "you wont have to worry about the father" it is Grendels mother who he must now go after to free the kingdom of its curse. When Beowulf finds the lair of Grendels mother we learn she is a temptress who uses her sexual seduction and god like beauty to tempt Beowulf with a bargain he can't refuse. Give me another son and I will make you king.
Foreword a few years and we are shown a very different Beowulf, he is beaten and broken, he has lost all excitement from the battles and challenges he faced before he was king. We see him confronted by an enemy soldier who challenges Beowulf to a fight, Beowulf confronts this soldier and tells him "You can't kill me, I'm already dead."

The Review: At the risk of telling you too much, I will stop there but let me tell you what I thought of the movie. This is made entirely in CG which I found unbelievable to say the least as this is once again a leap ahead in this type of animation. At times I felt myself questioning whether they had filmed some parts in live action and had animated the CG around it. I was shocked to find out that, no this film is 100% CGI and it truly is spectacular although at times a let down. There are parts where you think "Wow that has to be real" but then there are parts where you say to yourself "Oh Come On that just looks stupid." Blended together however the scenes do work well.
The voice cast is amazing. Ray Winstone, who delivered the best line in the movie (Shown Above) Anthony Hopkins & Angelina Jolie are just 3 huge names that lend their voices to this film. I have a sneaky feeling also that Angelina may have lent a bit more to this movie than just her voice.
This is a surprisingly good movie that seemed to have a bit more emotion in it than I had expected, and the inclusion of what seemed to be excerpts from the original poem into the script, made it all the more special.

Overall a brilliant movie and although my review refers to the Blu-Ray version which isn't available in the US just yet I would still recommend you get it. If you wait for the Blu-Ray version however, you will enjoy it that little bit more.

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More Beowulf reviews
review by . January 11, 2011
The Story of Beowulf Rendered With PULP Re-Envisioning By Robert Zemeckis....
Everyone knows the story of “Beowulf”, most folks have read the epic poem when they were in high school, I have read the story in Bulfinch’s mythology and movies such as “Beowulf and Grendel” have portrayed the poem to a much more accurate degree albeit it was met with mixed reviews. This story (known as “Song of Beowulf” to some) may be the oldest written story in Northern Europe and was a strong part of its oral history. Eventually the story has been passed …
Quick Tip by . February 03, 2010
A flat, shallow piece of filmmaking that relies too heavily on spectacle & not enough on story. A very weak treatment of the epic poem.
review by . April 03, 2010
When I was but a callow freshman my mother, an archetypal Danish monster*, meaning well, made me sign up for a Mediaeval English Literature class. At the time this aggrieved me, but despite myself I enjoyed it immensely, and especially the really old bits - derived from Icelandic and Old High German, prominent among them Snorri Sturluson's sagas in which people ritually burn each other and the anonymous Danish legend Beowulf. It's a great story, even in its original old English (which considerably …
review by . November 15, 2008
Hrothgar the King, he built a new hall   For frolicking, drinking and fun   He stocked it with mead, and opened the doors   And soon the par-tay had begun     Grendel the monster awakes from his sleep   Disturbed by the noise from Heorot   He slashes and slays until Hrothgar appears   And challenges him there on the spot     Grendel and Hrothgar, they stand eye to eye   Then Grendel runs …
review by . August 08, 2008
Numerous takes have been done on the Beowulf legend, but this is probably the most expensive one to date, and surely the most ironic one to date, in that it is animated, yet primarily for adults. The twist on the story is new, Beowulf sleeps with Grendel's mother, who in turn bears a dragon as a child. Beowulf then dies while stopping the dragon from destroying his kingdom.     Several things to know before watching this movie. First of, don't let the kids watch it. The amount …
review by . January 13, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
The story of Beowulf is the oldest story of the English language. It's an epic story about a heroic man who seems capable of doing supernatural deeds. When I was a senior in high school I read Beowulf for the first time and loved the story and themes the story was about. I enjoyed reading the story even more years later in college when I had an opportunity to read a few portions in the original Old English. I enjoyed the story just as much a few later when I read Semus Heaney's translation soon …
review by . November 16, 2007
Pros: Amazing FX     Cons: May be to violent for some.     The Bottom Line: A solid film that delivers the goods.     Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot. The classic Epic poem Beowulf has come to the big screen in a stunning CGI extravaganza under the direction of Director Robert Zemeckis.      For those not familiar with the poem, it is an ancient Danish poem that talks of the heroic …
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Steven Stewart ()
Ranked #95
Currently studying Law at University, my main interests revolve around Politics. I read quite a lot and love learning about History. Not just the history of a specific time, place and person, but I'm … more
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Spectacular animated action scenes turn the ancient epic poemBeowulfinto a modern fantasy movie, while motion-capture technology transforms plump actor Ray Winstone (Sexy Beast) into a burly Nordic warrior. When a Danish kingdom is threatened by the monster Grendel (voiced and physicalized by Crispin Glover,River's Edge), Beowulf--lured by the promise of heroic glory--comes to rescue them. He succeeds, but falls prey to the seductive power of Grendel's mother, played by Angelina Jolie... and as Jolie's pneumatically animated form rises from an underground lagoon with demon-claw high heels, it becomes clear that we're leaving the original epic far, far behind. Regrettably, the motion-capture process has made only modest improvements sinceThe Polar Express; while the characters' eyes no longer look so flat and zombie-like, their faces remain inexpressive and movements are still wooden. As a result, the most effective sequences feature wildly animated battles and the most vivid character is Grendel, whose grotesqueness ends up making him far more sympathetic than any of the mannequin-like human beings. The meant-to-be-titillating images of a naked Jolie resemble an inflatable doll more than a living, breathing woman (or succubus, as the case may be). But the fights--particularly Grendel's initial assault on the celebration hut--pop with lushly animated gore and violence. Also featuring the CGI-muffled talents of Anthony Hopkins (Silence of the Lambs), ...
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Director: Robert Zemeckis
Screen Writer: Roger Avary, Anonymous, Neil Gaiman
DVD Release Date: February 26, 2008
Runtime: 115 minutes
Studio: Paramount Home Entertainment
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