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Beowulf

November 19, 2007

Managed to get to Beowulf at lunch today- good auld flexi;-)

As usual just my thoughts on it- if you want a more in depth review you can check and see if it has been put up yet here Confessions of a Film Critic – was in  the print edition of the Sunday Business Post yesterday (Agenda). 

Nadine O’Regan’s interview with Brendan Gleeson was in the Agenda as well and she just posted it in her blog.  Great interview and she really does get to talk to some very interesting people!  Check out her interview with Tarantino!

Anyway-

The film was better than I expected.  As with all mainstream Hollywood animated films for the teen/adult audience I was not sure if it was going to be good enough to actually entertain you or if it was just going to be a set piece just to show off the animation.  Must say that it worked on all fronts and was very entertaining.

When I first heard Ray Winstone there was no mistaking who it was but I would still expect that cockney accent in the streets of London and not at the helm of a ship!  (The only time I have not spotted his accent was in Cold Mountain where I only noticed his name at the end credits and was then trying to figure out who he played!)  The graphics are extremely well done- sometimes the proportions slightly off and the detail not quite as fine in some shots but other times they are breathtakingly real and you really do have to look twice to check if its real or animated!  (and no I am not talking about Angelina!)

The animation has really come a long way since Final Fantasy- The Spirits Within which is the first film that I remember with stunning real life cgi characters.  As with all cgi films though- they discover different techniques during the making of the film and its not always applied to the work that has already been done so can be slightly uneven sometimes.

The story is not like the original I am sure (being a Yank I was never forced to read this in school) but it is well paced and keeps your attention for the majority of the film.  I didn’t see this film in 3d since it was in CineWorld but that brings me to a niggly point.  There are quite a few sequences that are very obviously done just for the benefit of 3d- it can be quite good if done well and blends into the story so that it surprises you but many of the sequences were not surprising.  I suppose you have to have quite a few of these though to justify the audience wearing the not-so-ultra-hip 3d glasses for two hours!   It could be that I only noticed them since I saw so many 3d fixtures in Disney/Universal this summer- I can imagine that some of the action scenes and the last Dragon scene would have been good though. 

For the most part the voice talent was good- a few synching issues but not too obvious.  Hopkins and Winstone very good and Gleeson doesnt sound too Irish but not sure if Malkovich and Wright-Penn’s voices are really suited.  On the whole the film is well done and would recommend it but still enjoyed Final Fantasy more. 

Funny happenstance as well- got a call during the film (yes phone on silent!)- Ruth from Phantom had been on to say that I had won the Beowulf competition for Cinerama so I will have two very happy boys:-)

I only enter the Phantom competitions on the shows that I havent had any personal contact/emails with….so a very short list indeed now since I seem to have been in contact with half the station at this stage!

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