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

Transformers not transfixing

If you go to see anything other than a summer action flick in this one, you will be sorely dissapointed. The acting was okay, script was horrid (almost as bad as the writing for this review), directing was…intense?, cgi was as expected (nothing ground breaking). I am sure that this movie would have been the bomb if I was 14 years old and there is nothing wrong with that. I thought the plot lines were silly, there were so many holes in the story that it resembled swiss cheese, and the battle between optimus prime and megatron was a big letdown. Megatron only showed up in the last 30 minutes of the movie which was a shame. He was always my favorite transformer. His character for the movie, of course, was dumbed down to evil villain who sought nothing but the destruction of everything and could not shut up about how evil he was. And how did he learn english? Optimus said that the autobots had learned english by studying the internet. However, Megatron landed on Earth at the latest in 1930 according to the movie yet when he was unfrozen he spoke perfect villainese in english. Good movie if you like to watch car chases and explosions. 2.5 hours of that is too much though and I seriously gave thoughts to walking out of the movie theatre and I would have if I would have had anything else on the planet to do at the time. Saw two trailers that were pretty cool, though. One was Will Smith’s new movie I Am Legend and the other was J.J. Abrams movie codenamed Cloverfield.