Movie review: Beowulf


A very well made movie combining good story telling, nice visuals, good characters, and an awesome soundtrack

Years ago – back in the early 90’s – I had a goal to direct the first fully computerized movie with famous celebrities. I wanted the film to be done in such a way that the viewer could not tell that the images were computer generated. Beowulf is the closest I have seen come to my dream.

The story of Beowulf is a classic, much like the Iliad. I remember reading it as a teenager and being mesmerized by the monster, Grendel, and the battles between him and Beowulf. The late night attacks on the mead hall, the carnage, and the courage where all visualized over and over again in my head, especially late at night as I lay staring at the ceiling. I vaguely recall some of the poem but the movie brought it all back to life.

Beowulf was originally an old poem written by an anonymous person sometime in the early 8th – 11th century. It revolves around the warrior Beowulf and his fighting of monsters, particularly Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and a dragon at the end of his life. The movie, as usual, embellishes a bit on the story line but, I must admit, I liked the bend they put to it. I think they fudged a bit by making Beowulf’s return to Geatland not really an issue in the film but other than that I think this is a fine movie about bravery and mistakes.

I watched this movie with my remote headphones on which I just got new batteries for. I have not used my headphones in about a year and a half so that might have something to do with what I have to say next. The soundtrack is awesome. Not that it is something that you would play in your car or anything but it fit so well with the epic battles that it gave the movie a life of it’s own.

My rating: 4.0 stars

Intersting and weird facts…

  • 111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321
  • If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle; if the horse has one front leg in the air, the person died as a result of wounds received in battle; if the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes.
  • Clans of long ago that wanted to get rid of their unwanted people without killing them use to burn their houses down – hence the expression “to be fired.”
  • Canada is an Indian word meaning “Big Village”.
  • There are two credit cards for every person in the United States.
  • Only two people signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, John Hancock and Charles Thomson. Most of the rest signed on August 2, but the last signature wasn’t added until 5 years later.
  • “I am.” is the shortest complete sentence in the English language.
  • The term “the whole 9 yards” came from WWII fighter pilots in the South Pacific. When arming their airplanes on the ground, the .50 caliber machine gun ammo belts measured exactly 27 feet, before being loaded into the fuselage. If the pilots fired all their ammo at a target, it got “the whole 9 yards.”
  • The word “samba” means “to rub navels together.”
  • The international telephone dialing code for Antarctica is 672.
  • The glue on Israeli postage stamps is certified kosher.
  • Mel Blanc (the voice of Bugs Bunny) was allergic to carrots.
  • Until 1965, driving was done on the left-hand side on roads in Sweden. The conversion to right-hand was done on a weekday at 5pm. All traffic stopped as people switched sides. This time and day were chosen to prevent accidents where drivers would have gotten up in the morning and been too sleepy to realize that this was the day of the changeover.
  • The very first bomb dropped by the Allies on Berlin during World War II killed the only elephant in the Berlin Zoo.
  • Dr. Seuss pronounced “Seuss” such that it rhymed with “rejoice.”
  • In Casablanca, Humphrey Bogart never said “Play it again, Sam.” Continue reading