Friday, 30 November 2007


Last night we saw Beowulf at Letchworth Broadway cinema. It's really sad to go in and realise there are only 10 people in the audience. How do they break even?

Anyway, it lived up to the 3 stars The Week magazine awarded it. There was lots that was very good about it, but enough niggles to make it not the overpowering experience of Lord of the Rings, for instance. Some very good effects, including a magnificent Grendel, spectacularly awful.

I expect you all know this, but it's entirely computer animated, and the makers seem to have to stepped back from trying to portray true realism, and ended up with figures that reminded me most of Lara Croft about 7 or 8 years ago. Rather strange. And the character providing the voice for Beowulf (I'm simply not interested in filmstars, so I've no idea who that was) had a bit of a cockney twang, which was very out of place. Lots of Welsh accents, and some Scandinavian, too.

An interesting touch was the use of bits of old English in places. You could just about follow what was being said and it lent an air of authority to it. Shame it was a Saxon tale from 500 years earlier!

Grendel's mother had been babe'd-up, which allowed them to introduce an interesting extra twist to the story, but then they de-sexed her in order to get a child-friendly rating. She emerges from the water covered with a layer of 'liquid gold', but as that pours off her, it seems to stick to strategic bits, well there's a surprise.

And any time there's the remotest bit of nudity, the camera pans away not very subtly, so you just don't see their bits. Oh yes, violence is fine, but we draw the line at showing naked bodies.

I didn't think it was all that violent, and what there was was done with such speed and in such a blur, you really didn't see that much of it. Not much blood and gore at all.

Overall a great evening's entertainment, if slightly dissatisfying in parts. The sound levels were a bit high, but not as bad as on previous occasions.


asih said...

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Polgara said...

Thanks for the comment, great blog!
Pol x

Rob Clack said...

Thanks for visiting, Pol. btw I love the pancake! Quail's egg, even!