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M. Wagner





Joined: 01 Sep 2007

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PostPosted: Sun 18 Nov, 2007 9:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Henri Chandler wrote:
What is that accent Angelina is using? Is she supposed to be hungarian or something?

She sounds exactly like the Polish girls in phone sex tv commercials.
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Shamsi Modarai




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PostPosted: Sun 18 Nov, 2007 11:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, I am currently doing an M.A. in Medieval Studies and Beowulf is one of my most favorite peices of literature ever, so I feel I'm already rather biased against this movie. Razz Especially after finding the Beowulf & Grendel movie to be an atrocity of epic proportions. Even the gorgeous Gerard Butler and the beautiful Icelandic landscape could not have savaed that movie for me. Evil

Therefore....I have next to zero expectations for this movie. Even less because my most hated nemesis, Angelina Jolie, is in it. :-P

Now, I feel bad because I LOVE Neil Gaiman, so I suppose I am secretly hoping that the script for this movie is good at least, even if I myself am not really planning on seeing it anytime soon. Out of curiosity, to anyone who has seen it: what did you think of the script overall?

Wa biš žam že sceal of langože leofes abidan.

~ The Wife's Lament
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Hisham Gaballa





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PostPosted: Sun 18 Nov, 2007 12:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I went to see it with my wife last night. And to be honest it was actually quite entertaining.

Yes the costumes look like they escaped from the set of Gladiator (why are 6th century AD Germans/Scandinavians kitted out as Hollywood Romans?), the original story has been messed about with severely (Why can't Hollywood just accept that sometimes evil just happens, there is no explanation?), the dialogue is often laughable and Ray Winstone's estuary accent is really annoying (My name is Beowuff, I've come to kiw yaw Monstuh), but it was great fun and we both enjoyed it.

Oh yes another thing I forget, the accents in general were appalling. They were just all over the place, John Malkovich and Robin Wright in particular kept switching between a Swedish (?) accent, RP and at one point something that sound quite Welsh. My wife and I cringed quite a few times at the accents.
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Karl Knisley




PostPosted: Sun 18 Nov, 2007 2:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello
I thought ,all-in-all,it was a good movie. It didn`t blow mw away ,like the, Fellowship of the Ring or the first,
Pirates of the Caribean.But I`ll buy it when it comes out on dvd. They can do so much more with CGI than live action.
You have to pay actors, to much, to get torn in half. Happy I look forward to more like it.
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Steve Grisetti




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PostPosted: Sun 18 Nov, 2007 4:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks, all, for the reviews. You have convinced me to prevent the theater from picking my pocket again. I'll wait for the DVD, then rent, not buy.
"...dismount thy tuck, be yare in thy preparation, for thy assailant is quick, skilful, and deadly."
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Karl Knisley




PostPosted: Sun 18 Nov, 2007 5:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Steve Grisetti wrote:
Thanks, all, for the reviews. You have convinced me to prevent the theater from picking my pocket again. I'll wait for the DVD, then rent, not buy.


Hello
This is definitely a movie to see on the big screen.Despite its flaws,it is an eye full.I think its a like it or hate it flick.
You need to see it and make your own call.Just a thought Happy
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Hisham Gaballa





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PostPosted: Mon 19 Nov, 2007 1:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Karl Knisley wrote:
Steve Grisetti wrote:
Thanks, all, for the reviews. You have convinced me to prevent the theater from picking my pocket again. I'll wait for the DVD, then rent, not buy.


Hello
This is definitely a movie to see on the big screen.Despite its flaws,it is an eye full.I think its a like it or hate it flick.
You need to see it and make your own call.Just a thought Happy


I would agree with that. If you are going to see it all, see it in a cinema. A small screen would just emphasize the flaws. Think of it as a Roller coaster ride: it's silly, it's childish, it's pointless, but also exhilarating and fun.

OK I'll try and be more specific about why I liked it in the end. I think the animation has come in for a lot of stick, and in many cases rightly so. Many of the people, including the Danish Queen, look like they are straight out of Shrek. But other bits are very good. Grendel, while not how, I imagined him is terrifying. The fight scenes are massively over the top, but they are exilarating. There is also a bit of comedy, although I suspect much of it is unintentional. Ray Winstone's accent is hilarious, and the scene where he is fighting Grendel in the nude yet plates, crockery, goblets, swords, chandeliers, people always manage to obscure his wedding tackle is extremely funny as well. The other battles, with the sea serpents and the dragon are also great to watch. As the story progresses, despite the modern language and drastic alterations, you do start to get a feel of the epic poem that lies behind it. When Beowulf descends into the Sea Hag's cave to confront her, it is genuinely creepy. Nearly all the acting is pretty appalling, but even that seemed right somehow. On the other hand Brendan Gleeson (as Wiglaf) and Hopkins were pretty good.

So all in all it's still a cracking good story with a genuine epic feel to it. One word of warning though, if you are a bit squeamish, it is a surprisingly violent film.
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Joel Chesser




Location: Oklahoma
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PostPosted: Mon 19 Nov, 2007 7:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I really enjoyed this movie and will be seeing it again.
If one is looking for something that is exactly like the story, you will most likey be disappointed. The first half of the movie was very impressive to me in that it was very faithful to the text. From the moment Beowulf enters the cave of gredel's mother it goes down hill. This, while dissapointing at the time, is tollerable if one stops comparing it and just settles into the story.

I was very pleased, on the whole, with the armor. The swords are probably a little late, but still fit in well I think, barring the two hand and half swords, one of which seemed to be otherwise accurate. I had a problem with Beowulf's metal cuiress toward the end, but the rest of the armor seemed accurate to me.

While I echo the sentiment that some of the charecters looked shrekish, I thought most of the animation was extremly well done, with some of the facial close-ups being amazingly stunning.

All in all I think it was an enjoyable and well done movie. Far better then Beowulf and Grendel. I would highly recommend it, and would give it an 8/10 score.

..." The person who dosen't have a sword should sell his coat and buy one."

- Luke 22:36
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James Barker




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PostPosted: Mon 19 Nov, 2007 9:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Joel Chesser wrote:
I had a problem with Beowulf's metal cuiress toward the end, but the rest of the armor seemed accurate to me.


Beowulf and Grendel had the right look for a Geat from the time of the story if you get rid of the leather armor over the maille; from what I have seen in the trailers of the CGI movie he has on Roman armor from the 2nd c BC- 2nd c AD and to make it worst they made it look like leather instead of metal when the Romans used metal. Late Romans (3rd c on) used maille and not cuiresses so why would he have such out of date armor?

James Barker
Historic Life http://www.historiclife.com/index.html
Archer in La Belle Compagnie http://www.labelle.org/
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Joe Fults




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PostPosted: Mon 19 Nov, 2007 5:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

See it at a bargain theater and it will be a bargain.

Not sure anything is worth seeing at a premium location.

"Our life is what our thoughts make it"
-Marcus Aurelius

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Mon 19 Nov, 2007 8:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Karl Knisley wrote:
Steve Grisetti wrote:
Thanks, all, for the reviews. You have convinced me to prevent the theater from picking my pocket again. I'll wait for the DVD, then rent, not buy.


Hello
This is definitely a movie to see on the big screen.Despite its flaws,it is an eye full.I think its a like it or hate it flick.
You need to see it and make your own call.Just a thought Happy


Yeah in 3D IMAX it's impressive: 6 story high screen. Eek!

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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S. Mighton





Joined: 16 Aug 2007

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PostPosted: Tue 20 Nov, 2007 2:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you're going to see it, you might as well see the IMAX 3D version. The Danish queen still looks like she's from Shrek but the rest looks good, especially Angelina Jolie's bronze liquid-covered body; she's never looked hotter. The armour seems way off, but if you expected anything else, then this is probably the first time you've ever seen a Hollywood movie. Also, Beowulf is apprently immune to cold and frostbite and has no need to cover his legs during the winter in Denmark.

The best part is certainly Beowulf's insistance that he fight Grendel 'fairly', meaning fully naked and unarmed. This seems like nothing short of lunacy, after Grendel has devastated Hrodgar's mead-hall and slain many armed warriors with apparent ease. His legendary prowess however, easily the rival of his courage and boasting, turns out to be more than sufficient for the task.
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Tue 20 Nov, 2007 12:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here is an interesting article at Salon.com comparing the movie to LOTR

http://www.salon.com/opinion/kamiya/2007/11/20/beowulf/
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Shamsi Modarai




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PostPosted: Tue 20 Nov, 2007 2:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oh my goodness, that is a wonderfully written article (albeit a negative review of the movie). I am going to make all of my friends who don't understand why I love Beowulf (the poem) so much read this. Thank you for sharing!
Wa biš žam že sceal of langože leofes abidan.

~ The Wife's Lament


Last edited by Shamsi Modarai on Tue 20 Nov, 2007 2:53 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Jared Smith




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PostPosted: Tue 20 Nov, 2007 2:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My 15 year old daughter just read and studied the academic English translated version of Beowulf for her school class. This past Sunday she went to see the theater version. Her first comment when I asked her about the movie was that the theater version did not seem to resemble the themes and character of the poem. She rated the movie as "just o.k."
Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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Mikko Kuusirati




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PostPosted: Wed 21 Nov, 2007 5:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I really, really dislike the Zemeckis brand motion-capture CGI. They do nothing but shoot the mo-cap and stick it straight on a 3D model, no manual tweaking or anything, which any animator knows never works well unless your model is rendered in photorealistic physical detail down to the imperceptible hairs on their skin, like Gollum or King Kong (Andy Selkirk, BTW, is made of pure awesome Big Grin), and even then it takes an animator to put some finishing touches in to make it look good. Simply superimposing a live actor's gross motor actions on a model loses all the little secondary motions that are absolutely vital to making detailed animation come alive, and skipping animators leaves out the exaggaration of primary motions that is absolutely vital to making more abstract animation come alive - and to top it all of, with CGI that neither quite reaches photorealism nor takes advantage of animation's inherent stylization possibilities, like in this case, you get the worst of both worlds at once.

It's especially bad with facial expressions, but quite noticeable and annoying in the larger action, as well. This was also the main problem with Zemeckis's Polar Express, BTW (and it was a really big one there, too).

And even beyond that, if they're going for such realistic character models, why not just use live footage? It would likely end up requiring less work, looking better and being cheaper. And if you absolutely want to use animation, why not use its inherent strengths, abstraction and freedom of creativity, rather than play directly to its weaknesses? As it is, most of the CGI (apart from the inhuman creatures and the more outlandish sets) ends up being nothing more than an unnecessary and badly implemented gimmick.

There, I'm done. Sorry to dump all that on you... just had to let my inner animator out for a rant, poor little guy has been steaming up the inside of my skull something fierce. Worried

If it wasn't for the Zemeckis style CGI, I'd give the movie a solid three stars out of five - I'm a bit disappointed in Gaiman's writing, and for once I'd like to see the original story instead of all these "reimaginings" (like with The Phantom of the Opera, it's never been done, AFAIK), but it was kinda fun. But as it is, I'm just too frustrated with them wasting all the potential of both live action and animation in one go to form a rational opinion about it...

The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
Rush in and die, dogs -- I was a man before I was a king.
-- R. E. Howard, The Road of Kings
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Wed 21 Nov, 2007 8:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mikko Kuusirati wrote:
Simply superimposing a live actor's gross motor actions on a model loses all the little secondary motions that are absolutely vital to making detailed animation come alive, and skipping animators leaves out the exaggaration of primary motions that is absolutely vital to making more abstract animation come alive - and to top it all of, with CGI that neither quite reaches photorealism nor takes advantage of animation's inherent stylization possibilities, like in this case, you get the worst of both worlds at once.

It's especially bad with facial expressions, but quite noticeable and annoying in the larger action, as well. This was also the main problem with Zemeckis's Polar Express, BTW (and it was a really big one there, too).

And even beyond that, if they're going for such realistic character models, why not just use live footage? It would likely end up requiring less work, looking better and being cheaper. And if you absolutely want to use animation, why not use its inherent strengths, abstraction and freedom of creativity, rather than play directly to its weaknesses? As it is, most of the CGI (apart from the inhuman creatures and the more outlandish sets) ends up being nothing more than an unnecessary and badly implemented gimmick.


I think you nailled it perfectly: It makes the whole acting seem very wooden and KILLS the performances of the actors. Probably why I didn't connect to the story emotionally. Very X-Box style of animation: Great for a game, not so much for a film.

With 300 they used the real actors and may have done a little adjusting of the images to match better lighting.
The backgrounds and effects were animated but not the actors.

As you said the image capture thing doesn't work except if it's the the starting point and then the animators put in the subtleties.

In betweens never satisfy: Go full realism or go to a graphic novel/animation style ! ( Could be any style; But pick one ! ).

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Shamsi Modarai




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PostPosted: Wed 21 Nov, 2007 10:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes, however one feels about the 300 movie, at least visually it was stylized yet watchable. This movie does not sound very watchable......though my curiosity might still get the better of me. Eek!
Wa biš žam že sceal of langože leofes abidan.

~ The Wife's Lament
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Torsten F.H. Wilke




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PostPosted: Wed 21 Nov, 2007 10:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I had a great time watching the movie last night. Inaccuracies and whatever other afflictions have been attached to it so far notwithstanding. Made me want to go out and be a hero, lol...
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