Sunday, 9 December 2007


Dir: Robert Zemeckis (The Polar Express, Cast Away, What Lies Beneath, Forrest Gump)
Cast: Ray Winstone, Robin Wright Penn, Angelina Jolie, Alison Lohman, Crispin Glover, Anthony Hopkins, John Malkovich

Seen: December 4/07 at Scotiabank

Reason to see: It's Epic! It's Beowulf! Also nearing an end to my See 1 film a week in the theatre for a year, this is week 50/52.

I will be the first to admit I was surprized not to enjoy this film. Epic story, new/inventive visual technique of blending live action into animation and great characters. While all those are true, it did not hold my interest. I will note that is available to be seen in 3D and I saw it in a regular theatre setting (I can't see in 3D). I believe that if seen in 3D it would be a lot more fun, but in the regular theatre it's quite goofy seeing things flung directly at the screen. I also found the animation distraction - sometimes it looks animated, sometimes it looks so real that it felt inconsistent as a whole, and other than the 3D factor and I don't know why they would choose to do a film like that. That being said I did think the landscape and use of colour for the visuals was quite effective. I feel that the animation they used was like selective visual sampling, this face with that body and this voice. Which is such a shame, I think all of the actors involved would have provided us with a great film had it been live action.

Although there were a few good action sequences I was a little surprized by how some of them were treated. There was also a fair amount of gender crap, and of course with a story set in 507 AD I would expect that to some extent but this went a little beyond and a little bizarre. I wish they had focused more on the characters and the story rather than the spectacle.

Warnings: Violence, gender crap

There is a lot of shock-buzz about the fact that this film is rated PG-13, and that is the American rating because here in Canada it has a 14A rating, which I believe to be more appropriate. I don't usually comment on ratings but this film is quite violent and suggestive for PG-13.

Shannon's Overall View:
I thought it was goofy
I might watch it again if it was on
I'd recommend it as a fun movie for 3D and action fans

21 minutes of preshow including 14 commercials, and 5 previews : Wanted, Jumper, The Golden Compass, Cloverfield and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

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© Shannon Ridler, 2007


Marina said...

I waited to see it in 3D because I just knew that if I saw it at a regular cinema, I simply wouldn't enjoy it. As you pointed out, the animation was distracting for me as well because at some points it was so realistic I nearly forgot that it wasn't real and at other parts, it was clear that it was 'animated' (using the term loosely).

What I loved most was the last 20 minutes (with the dragon) and the way in which camera angles and POV's were used in ways that would not be possible with a live action film.

Unfortunately, I'm not sure I'll ever sit through it again, even if it was on TV.


Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

I have similiar thoughts on it Marina! Mostly distracting, I didn't quite like the dragon parts (hello, vertigo!), but did like some of the tones they acheived in the mead house, they really created some amazing atmosphere.

Almost everyone I know who saw in the 3D said it was a lot of fun, so I'm some people out there are enjoying it!

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