Thursday, November 29, 2007


Eric and I had a date night last night and went to see Beowulf. We had read that it is best seen in an IMAX theater, but we contented ourselves with the 3D theater in the Provo mall. We enjoyed the movie enough that I thought it merited its own post.

It was awesome to watch it in 3D, except for the many places where blood comes flying at you from unfortunate characters, or when Grendal is dripping some kind of bodily fluid right by the queen [shudder]. Watching everything in CGI was interesting, too. Sometimes the characters looked very real, at other times they were obviously altered. They used motion capture technology like what they did for Gollum. It's encouraging that the filmmakers thought that even Angelina Jolie was not perfect enough and needed improvements to make her body more desirable. Or it's really depressing, take your pick.

Upon exiting the theater Eric asked me what my favorite part of the movie was. I answered quickly that it was the fight with Grendal. Until I explained myself there was some concern that I had enjoyed that part more than was appropriate. You see, when Beowulf fights Grendal he does so without the benefit of armor. Or clothing. As finely built a man as CGI Beowulf is, that was not the real source of my enjoyment. Being a PG-13 movie, the filmmakers were obligated (thankfully) to cover any part of Beowulf that should not be seen. This was generally accomplished through strategically placed candles, helmet points, or shadows that wouldn't normally exist. However, they were not satisfied to simply block his lower half. They preferred to keep the blockage at only barely enough to cover Beowulf's manhood. It would have been much less amusing if they didn't try to make sure we saw most of his upper thighs. Are we supposed to be tantalized by the ''almost but not quite" nature of what they weren't showing? Beowulf is also exceedingly lacking in hair that does not grow on the head or face. I do have to admit gratitude that they showed the fake character, rather than the real actor. Viewers are probably not meant to laugh like fools during the fight, but I couldn't help myself.

I am not one of those people unfortunate enough to have been made to read Beowulf in school. I was curious to see how well the movie followed the story. After reading summaries in CliffsNotes, Wikipedia and The Great American Bathroom Book I came to the conclusion that the stories are very different. Beowulf has a tragic flaw rather than being the kind hero, rules an entirely different country, and has nothing to do with the conception of a gold dragon. Grendal's mother doesn't die and is a seductress. And, as shown in the picture at top, wears stiletto heels.

At the end of the night we had a good time, despite the laughing and the little bits of animated T&A. And we got to keep our super sleek and stylish 3D glasses.

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