Media

Movie Renter's Guide Number 155 - February, 2008

ARTICLE INDEX

 

"Beowulf" (HD DVD)

movie-beowulf.jpgSynopsis

In the 6th century, Denmark, King Hrothgar (Hopkins), his new wife Wealthow (Wright-Penn), and their subjects are tormented by a beast from Hell, Grendel (Glover) who lives in a cave. Whenever the people have a celebration that makes loud noises, Grendel comes and kills some of the revelers.

One day, Beowulf (Winstone) arrives and says he and his archers will kill Grendel and free Hrothgar's kingdom of the beast.

After doing so, Hrothgar is so appreciative, he gives his throne to Beowulf.

But something is amiss, and a curse now settles onto Beowulf, one that he now realizes was Hrothgar's doing in the first place.

Specifications

  • Paramount
    2007, Color, Unrated, 1 Hr 54 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • 1080p
  • English DD 5.1
  • English/French/Spanish DD Plus 5.1
  • Directed by Robert Zemeckis
  • Starring Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins, John Malkovich, Robin Wright-Penn, Brendan Gleeson, Crispin Glover, Angelina Jolie
    Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Graphic
  • Sex: Yes
  • Language: No

Commentary

The film is based on a legend, and in fact, is the oldest existing piece of literature in the English language. The original story must have been honed and fine tuned over thousands of campfires during the several hundred years of its telling, so it is virtually perfect. Having a brilliant director and superb actors makes this movie a must-have for any collection.

As everyone knows, Toshiba just announced it is cancelling its support and development of HD DVD, and Beowulf is not on Blu-ray. This is definitely a movie that should be re-encoded (at the higher bit rate that Blu-ray allows), so that consumers can continue to enjoy it in the future. Beowulf is one heck of a movie.

I sure would like to know what kind of a diet Ray Winstone went on to get in shape for this movie. Maybe I should just stop going to Starbucks so often.

Technical

Taking live action and adding CGI over it makes the whole thing blend beautifully, instead of having conventional live action with obvious CGI special effects that seem to be separated from the actors. Topping the whole thing off with it having been produced in 3D sets the stage for future film making in the world of fantasy adventure.

Extras

These include The Making of, The Art of, Designing the Creatures, and other things.