Smile and Nod: Beowulf DVD

Smile and Nod: Beowulf DVD

You have to give credit to The Originals. Steve McQueen, Ferrari, Coca-Cola and the straight razor all have a special place in my heart. Sure, the newer models are flashier, more fully functional and, perhaps, better, but The Original is where it all started; the inspiration for the new. Without them, we'd still be sitting on our hands wondering why nobody had ever thought of driving fast, looking cool or shaving.

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I saw Beowulf at the cinema with those 3D-speccys, and left pretty unfulfilled. Here are my main problems with it:

-The voice acting. The King Of The Danes speaks with a welsh accent, Beowulf sounds like he's from Peckham, and the monsters talk to each other in Jamaican. Perhaps they were trying to show diversity or something, but all I could think when the characters spoke to each other was 'Gosh, don't they sound funny'. Ray Winstone in particular, as he kept pausing and breaking after every couple of words. There were no American accents, true, but it's hard to take characters seriously when they sound like the assembled cast of Royston Vasey.

-The rating. Now, I'm not a cinema conservative. I like blood, gore, tits and cussing as much as the next man. But I really think the ratings people need a good slapping for rating this film '12'. To put it in perspective:

The Matrix in Blighty is rated 15. Particular adult moments include a policeman getting his elbow snapped by Trinity, a few choice swearwords and the odd gunfight. Nothing too hardcore, no major blood or guts, but the ratingsfolk decided to 15 it. Fair enough, I suppose.

Now, some choice moments from Beowulf. A man getting impaled on a chandelier by Grendel (indeed, the whole first Grendel fight scene is pretty grim). Beowulf being eaten by a seamonster, then fighting his way out through it's eyeball, before slitting the entire thing open (we're talking proper internal aeration here). Beowulf waking up to find everyone hanging from the ceiling. Angelina Jolie naked (there's a thin layer of slime covering here, but believe me you see everything). I'm in no way a prude, but I took my 12 year old brother to see this and I really don't think a lot of the stuff was suitable for an audience of minors.

- The womenfolk in the film. Kinda ties in with the above point, possibly. Now, I'm not a die-hard feminist, but the portrayal of women in this film was downright awful. Every single lady in the movie is portrayed as an object of lust and desire. Every single one. The queen, the servants, Grendel's mother, Beowulf's concubine. The women exist in the film to provide cleavage, and to tempt the men ('Just a quick gobble' one man tries to persuade his wench). 'Oh but that was how women were treated back in the Dark Ages' I hear someone cry. That may be, but it doesn't explain why one of the women has to squeak out little orgasmic moans while she's cleaning the table (with a fine camera shot down her bra-less cleavage to boot). I ain't going to call this Lotr-meets-Debbie-does-dallas or anything silly like that. It just seems inappropriate, especially in a film that will be seen by kids, to portray women as nothing more than tits-and-arse. Even 300 gave women some slight dignity.

Anyways, I'll cut it there, and try and stay on topic. Good article. I personally felt the changes to the plot were horribly cliched, and that you were being very kind to the poor film but ah well. A not particularly impressive example of shine and glitz over heart and storytelling.

Yeah the CG version was utter crap, but not just in the fact that the CG was unconvincing. The way they dealt with the story was boring (any attempt to film Beowulf is going to require you to change the story a bit, since there just isn't much story in the original) and the pacing of it was bad.

On a side note, there is indeed a properly acted version of Beowulf out there, starring none other than Gerard Butler. It's still very much an interpretation of Beowulf, but it's really not a bad film.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0402057/

When I left the theater after watching Beowulf my first thought was "did I like that or not?"
After more thought I came to the conclusion that it must be exactly average or something, because I just couldn't really figure it out.

I can agree to two, and only two things about seeing that movie.

1) Hee Hee, Titties
2) Even my girlfriend was disappointed by the plot holes, and she has only heard me talk about my ancestry in relation to it!

Beowulf (the one with Christopher Lambert) wasn't all that bad... campy sci-fi/fantasy. Me likey. Then again, I also liked Krull... so maybe take this recommendation with a grain of salt. ;-)

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
- The womenfolk in the film. Kinda ties in with the above point, possibly. Now, I'm not a die-hard feminist, but the portrayal of women in this film was downright awful. Every single lady in the movie is portrayed as an object of lust and desire. Every single one. The queen, the servants, Grendel's mother, Beowulf's concubine. The women exist in the film to provide cleavage, and to tempt the men ('Just a quick gobble' one man tries to persuade his wench). 'Oh but that was how women were treated back in the Dark Ages' I hear someone cry. That may be, but it doesn't explain why one of the women has to squeak out little orgasmic moans while she's cleaning the table (with a fine camera shot down her bra-less cleavage to boot). I ain't going to call this Lotr-meets-Debbie-does-dallas or anything silly like that. It just seems inappropriate, especially in a film that will be seen by kids, to portray women as nothing more than tits-and-arse. Even 300 gave women some slight dignity.

Sounds like a movie to see then, eh? ;)

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
- The womenfolk in the film. Kinda ties in with the above point, possibly. Now, I'm not a die-hard feminist, but the portrayal of women in this film was downright awful. Every single lady in the movie is portrayed as an object of lust and desire. Every single one. The queen, the servants, Grendel's mother, Beowulf's concubine. The women exist in the film to provide cleavage, and to tempt the men ('Just a quick gobble' one man tries to persuade his wench). 'Oh but that was how women were treated back in the Dark Ages' I hear someone cry. That may be, but it doesn't explain why one of the women has to squeak out little orgasmic moans while she's cleaning the table (with a fine camera shot down her bra-less cleavage to boot). I ain't going to call this Lotr-meets-Debbie-does-dallas or anything silly like that. It just seems inappropriate, especially in a film that will be seen by kids, to portray women as nothing more than tits-and-arse. Even 300 gave women some slight dignity.

thats actually the only thing about this film i somewhat enjoyed. if people think women have it bad now you can imagine in the days when women WERE considered property it was alot worse. i interpretation was simply that women had almost no rights in those day and WERE just objects of desire. and though it may be taky or tasteless or whatever else you wanna call it i think it was a simple amusment by the director, i think people have lost their sense of humor when it comes to women these days, and if we're all being honest with each other i think we can agree some women ARE whores looking for "a quick gobble" and flirting shamelessly, i mean honestly it's not like barmaids don't have a reputation for being kinda 'loose'

overall this movie blew hard in my opinion. i've said it before and i stand by it, body actors suck as voice actors, the only one who's voice connected even a little with his image was anthony hopkins. other than him they all felt sort of empty.

the story was no good compared to what i understand beowulf to be, i've read the book in highschool and i remember an epic level of ass stomping as well, but the whole movie seemed to be aimed at exposing beowulfs weakness, thinking with his pecker. which sucks, i think kevin nash described this problem the best when refering to why goldberg never got over in wwe "if i go to see a hulk movie i have an expectation and if the first scene is the hulk being gang raped in a guatamalen prison of course i'm going to be pissed and leave the theator" trying to make beowulf seem "human" by exposing his flaws is major B.S. plain and simple. beowulf was a ledgend in a culture where "rape and pilage" were compliments.

oh but i can say one good thing about the movie, i learned from whatching that movie that if you plan to have sex with angelina jolie you have to kill her IMMEDIATLEY afterwards.

I didn't quite understand why they would make a CGI movie with the exact likenesses of the voice actors themselves. Wouldn't it be easier just to film them if you're so keen on having them in your movie?
Granted, Hopkins does have an excellent face for film and Jolie is so shapely.
So very, very shapely...
*ahem* but it seems kinda redundant to me.

nightmare_gorilla:

thats actually the only thing about this film i somewhat enjoyed. if people think women have it bad now you can imagine in the days when women WERE considered property it was alot worse. i interpretation was simply that women had almost no rights in those day and WERE just objects of desire. and though it may be taky or tasteless or whatever else you wanna call it i think it was a simple amusment by the director, i think people have lost their sense of humor when it comes to women these days, and if we're all being honest with each other i think we can agree some women ARE whores looking for "a quick gobble" and flirting shamelessly, i mean honestly it's not like barmaids don't have a reputation for being kinda 'loose'

I work in a pub, and the barmaids there would probably thump you for saying that. In fact, one of them kicked a guy out because he was flirting with her so shamelessly.

And how does the fact that some women are 'loose' justify their being portrayed as shameless tarts on screen? Using that logic, we could get away with using all sorts of insulting stereotypes in movies. Even my mum, who's usually pretty laid back about these things, thought it was in poor taste to show women like that.

Women may have been treated as strumpets back in the old days, but that doesn't mean every woman in the film has to act out the role of temptress. It's like the Witcher- just because it's set in Olden Times doesn't excuse the fact that all the women are as easy as the first level of Mario For Toddlers.

Now, I'm not a die-hard feminist, but the portrayal of women in this film was downright awful. Every single lady in the movie is portrayed as an object of lust and desire. Every single one.

WELCOME TO THE TIME PERIOD!

I hate when people bitch about historical accuracy in a film. I mean, sure, go ahead and take liberties if you want, but if you got the balls to have white men shouting nigger in pre-civil war days, then my hat is off to you. You're supposed to learn from history, not forget it, and if they are portraying women as objects of sexuality and lust, then good job on being accurate to the times.

And if a woman gets pissed about it, then maybe she should go do the feminist movement a favor and educate herself, instead of reacting emotionally with bitching and ignorant anger.

I guess I was the only person that enjoyed the movie? Granted, I can enjoy many a simple film. I still say The One is a great action flick, and honestly, Beowulf is the same. I mean, it's Beowulf. Everything you summed up was the fighting and violence. Well, that's the original story, isn't it? Isn't Beowulf essentially an action film? It was intended to be an action film, and Neil Gaiman gave it a twist that confused me at first (I am also familiar with the original fable), but I gradually figured out. The very, very end disappointed me, truthfully, but everything else...well, I plan on buying it, that's for certain.

As for the CG, 1) I had read about that when the movie was first announced, so I just shrugged and figured "what the Hell". 2) Maybe it's because I've grown up enjoying 8,000 kinds of animation, but the CG didn't bother me. The character proportions weren't even realistic, for the most part, so any moment it looked fake, well, I didn't care.

I just find it tough to be so nit-picky about seeing a movie for an hour and a half or two hours. I mean, I won't praise the movie like I will Suicide Kings, or another deeper, more interesting film that can truly achieve art, but Beowulf was just what the original story was: fun and violence.

WELCOME TO THE TIME PERIOD!

What time period? Beowulf is legend, not history.

-- Steve

(PS: I kinda liked Thirteenth Warrior myself, for what it's worth. It was a bit ponderous, but it had its fun bits. Haven't seen the current rendition, though, and seeing as I was underwhelmed by the 300-DVD experience I'll probably stay away from this "large screen spectacle" flick.)

Anton P. Nym:
What time period? Beowulf is legend, not history.

-- Steve

(PS: I kinda liked Thirteenth Warrior myself, for what it's worth. It was a bit ponderous, but it had its fun bits. Haven't seen the current rendition, though, and seeing as I was underwhelmed by the 300-DVD experience I'll probably stay away from this "large screen spectacle" flick.)

It's legend, yes, but given the general frame of time the movie was estimating the events to take place, well, you can simply go off of that.

Just because something is a legend doesn't mean it has no time frame of reference.

Also, forgot to mention Thirteenth Warrior. Great film, though I've never been able to bring myself to read the book it was based on.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

I work in a pub, and the barmaids there would probably thump you for saying that. In fact, one of them kicked a guy out because he was flirting with her so shamelessly.

And how does the fact that some women are 'loose' justify their being portrayed as shameless tarts on screen? Using that logic, we could get away with using all sorts of insulting stereotypes in movies. Even my mum, who's usually pretty laid back about these things, thought it was in poor taste to show women like that.

Women may have been treated as strumpets back in the old days, but that doesn't mean every woman in the film has to act out the role of temptress. It's like the Witcher- just because it's set in Olden Times doesn't excuse the fact that all the women are as easy as the first level of Mario For Toddlers.

see this is what agrivates me, people can make jokes in private about women but the second one catches wind of it you're imediatly painted as a male supremist who wants women to stay in the kitchen and squirt out kids whenever men feel like these women have too much free time. when will people realize that generalizations about women are the exact same as generalizations about everyone else, terribly innacurate and based on out-dated concepts and stereotypes. AND WE DO GET AWAY WITH PORTRAYING DISGUSTING STEREOTYPES IN MOVIES OF ALL TYPES, NOT JUST WOMEN. damn, is this the first movie you've ever seen.

oh yeah, these women would "thump me one" for saying that? kinda proves that women don't have a sense of humor about themselves and that none of you actually read what i wrote. did i say "i think all women who work in bars are loose sluts who'll sleep with a guy so long as their not too drunk to move"? no i said "they have a reputation for being loose" actually trying to be tasteful a little bit, i'm sure the women you work with are fine upstanding examples of strong women who wouldn't sleep with a man under any circumstances....

do people still call them barmaids? i figured nowadays they were called waitresses, by barmaid i meant old pubs in the dark ages an all, if they are indeed barmaids still then well maybe generalized opinions and stereotypes depicted in movies and tv aren't as accurate as i originally thought...

and when you say "all" women in the film you must mean 2 out of 4. the queen was not a "temptress" and in no way did she shamelessly flirt with anyone. sure beowulf desired her it's natural for a man to think something dirty when he sees a beutiful woman, it's just our biology to be that way. and grendels mother hardly seems like an object to me, it seems to me she was in controll of the situation from the word go, it was her will, not beowulfs that led to the sex in it. and she came out on top, seemed like a strong woman to me.

so the barmaid and the concubine were bad examples of women, and honestly watching a movie like this and complaining about the few women in it being poor role models is like complaining that chev chelios from "crank" is a poor represantation of a moral man, it's one of those "duh" moments and has absolutley NO AFFECT on the big picture of a movie,

yeah i'm with these other guys, it may not be history but it is trying to create a mood and in order to do that they kind of have to depict women being treated the way they were

I'm waiting for when all animated porn will take hold, there will be scads of the stuff.

I didn't watch, but hearing Neil Gamain and Robert Zemeckis were involved drove me away from it. I honestly can't imagine a good movie being made today.

In response to the person who said the monsters talk in Jamacian, no they do not.

That was Old English

 

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