In theaters November 16th, 2007
I think Beowulf should have be advertised more blatantly as an entirely animated film, since it is. Knowing that ahead of time I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more. Visually stunning, hyper realistic at some points, and a little too clean and eerily perfect in others. I'd have preferred more consistency. My immediate critique upon leaving the theater was "Shrek's Final Fantasy." But as with both of those films they hyped the animation factor where with Beowulf, it is never mentioned in ads or press releases. Of course with fantasy movies today you cannot help but expect a heaping pile of CGI to bring the various monsters, daemons and dragons to life, but when it comes to the actors, it distracts when you are expecting a certain level of reality yet despite brutal battles, strenuous physical acts or a dragons throaty fire you never see a single bead of sweat on any of the characters perfect unnaturally glowing skin, not even when Beowulf battles Grendel stark naked. It is a fantasy to the extreme. However, for being the first made for digital 3-D theater going experience it was entirely enjoyable. The 3-D thankfully lacked much of the purposeful over the top in-your-face gimmicks movie goers were subjected to in the 80's era 3-D films like Friday the 13th part 3 and JAWS 3. Beowulf's 3-D was more incidental but for a few scenes and merely added a new and welcome depth to the movie going experience. Comic geeks and cult movie fans everywhere will be drawn to the film in droves (as was proven at last nights advance screening) due to Neil Gaiman (Mirrormask, Sandman) and Roger Avary (Pulp Fiction) names being attached for having adapted it for the big screen.
If I had to judge on a five star scale, I'd throw it three and a half.
- Max Michaels