Beowulf movie poster

Computer-animated comic-book transcription of the unloved epic poem of the 8th Century. Director Robert Zemeckis goes even further with the motion-capture technique of The Polar Express, staking out the borderland between live action and cartoon, and throwing in 3-D to boot. Ray Winstone, voicing the dragon-slaying hero, has been prettified beyond recognition (unless you recognize him as Sean Bean), but Anthony Hopkins, if not his bare bum, is easily recognizable, as are John Malkovich, Brendan Gleeson, Robin Wright Penn, and Angelina "Fat Lips" Jolie. The novelty -- motion capture plus 3-D -- wears off eventually but not early. The visual effects are as liberated as any CGI, and are less apt to clash with their surroundings than the CGI in a live-action film. Still, we get plenty of clang and clank from the brutality, the gore, the coy nudity (in places approaching the fig-leaf silliness of an Austin Powers spoof), and the sheer bombast. 2007.

Duncan Shepherd

This movie is not currently in theaters.


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