Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Beowulf


I AM BEOWULF

So shouts the computer graphic version of Sean Bean (I guess he dropped out after the graphics had been done to be replaced by Ray Winstone). Its the old british poem of a warrior who faces his demons, quite literally.

A pretty decent film actually. You soon see past the computer graphics, in much the same way you accepted the humans in the Shrek movies very easily. It has to be said that Final Fantasy had set the bar for animated realistic humans but this film surpasses that, particularly towards the end with the older characters complete with greying beards and battle scars.

Angelina's role is nothing but a cameo. There was a little hype surrounding her part but as is ever the case it's unjustified.

Some nice set pieces particularly the battle with Grendel and the finale with the dragon.

As is the norm with Hollywood the original story is adapted. In the original the female demon is beheaded by Beowulf, but in the film he sleeps with her, and there's more to the dragon in the film than in the original tale. So whilst its a shame that the uneducated will now be misinformed as to the original tale I'd like to think it'll at least prompt to go and check it out. The twisting of the story isn't as bad as that film that made out it was the Americans who captured the Enigma Machine during WWII.

Oh, and there are some cinemas showing this in 3D. I really recommend trying to see it like this. The film uses it pretty well and yes you get the obligatory spear into the crowd shot! There's a great piece with a pointed flag pole and near rectal impaling that had every laughing.

This has been the only film I've seen this year where the audience applauded at the end, albeit only a smattering. Whilst I liked it, I wouldn't go that far.

Eastern Promises


Its a film about Russian Gangsters in London, Covent Garden in fact. I've not seen any Russians there, other than tourists. Perhaps they're super secret and only let film cameras in.

Yeah, it was OK. Not remarkable really except for the fight in the swimming baths, which was pretty tough going and what you'd expect from Cronenbourg.

Rent it, or steal it, from a Russian of course!