21 November 2007 | Astralan
To CGI or Not to CGI, that is the question?
I have read Beowulf a couple of times. It's great northern European mythology, and mandatory reading when you are young in my opinion (Along with Norse, Greek and Roman Mythology as well). And though the movie wants to re-write some of the epic, you will need to separate the Hollywood version from the beautiful measure of the original works. Being a work of CGI, you will also have to allow for the flaws of pure CGI work. Very stylized and beautifully colored, it is an epic adventure that elevated Zemeckis' previous work "The Polar Express" to a new level. Polar was beautifully modeled after Chris Van Allsburg illustrations for his book, but Zemeckis' adaptation to the story went a little over the top when it became a musical. Even though most of Beowulf's story line is answered here, it did make me pause and wonder:
Why didn't Robert Zemeckis just direct this thing in real life instead of virtual?
With the capabilities of dropping in CGI into real life action, this telling of the story could have had so much more of an impact if the expressions were more poignant. Look what he did with "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?"? Zemeckis is fully capable of it. Also, to add to this, when you have CGI characters like Jacksons Gollum and King Kong to compare notes with, the modeling here just isn't up to snuff. I felt the entire movie came off like a gigantic "cut-scene" to a video game than a full featured animated project. I can only give this a little better than a good, hence the exclamation. I do this sadly. You really should see this in a theater, bigger than life. The dragon is excellent, the ugly v/s the beautiful is wild, the sequencing is uneven, though at the end it takes you on a great ride. Oh, and for you people that want to go see Angela Jolie nekkid? IT'S CGI!!! I've seen harder stuff on Fox networks! Seeing my wife and I saw this as a matinée, the crowd was on the sparse side and there was literally no kids present. I couldn't get a solid feeling from the audience though most people as they left seemed genuinely happy with their experience. I'm sure it was PG13'd because of the sequences with Angela, otherwise it would be a solid PG. I wouldn't suggest this for a kid under 8.