Beowulf / 2008 Paramount / / /

As individuals likely know, Beowulf is an adaptation of the Old English myth of the same name. Essentially, a Danish kingdom is being attacked by a horrendous monster – Grendel (voiced by Crispin Glover) – and there is only one individual that can help the kingdom – Beowulf. Beowulf is different from other heroes, both in past and present , in that there are some serious character flaws. Beowulf may ultimately be the knight in shining armor, but there are a number of chinks and scuffs in that armor. While individuals that are intimately familiar with the story of Beowulf may not completely appreciate the story that is told in this iteration of the movie, the basic storyline points are all captured during this film.

The CGI efforts give the story a particular vibrancy that far outstrips normal, human-only versions of this film, whether they be on film or on stage. The success of a movie like Beowulf, the adaptation of 300, and the earlier successes of the Lord of the Rings trilogy open up a whole range of new films to be tapped. This could mean that, should the trend continue into 2010 and 2011, that we could see some of the Euripedes tragedies or even some other national myths transferred into movie form. Beowulf follows heavily on the tradition of earlier films like “A Scanner Darkly”, but creates a much more natural molding of the CGI and human elements of the film.

Doing this, the film is able to more fully involve viewers and keep them watching the movie until the action dries up. The extras that are present on this DVD are many, and will undoubtedly imbue individuals with information to fully gain an insight on the film. This means that there are scenes that were originally cut out from the original PG-13 (theatrical) version, along with some additional featurettes, perhaps the best being that which details the filmmaking process. The film, the additional elements provided the film, and the context provided by those additional elements blend together to create a compelling DVD that will be in more than out of an individuals’ DVD player. For fans of the original myth or of solid movies in general, Beowulf is a must buy film, and it should be considered one of the first in the early parts of 2008.

Rating: 7.4/10

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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