So we received free tickets to see Beowulf at an advanced screening on Tuesday. I'm always stoked about something free. We probably wouldn't have seen this movie in the theater if it wasn't free. Overall a pretty good deal.
I liked the creative liberties that they took with the story. The author Neil Gaiman helped to write the screenplay, so it has some great fiction elements. I was caught up in the story hoping and fearing with the characters. The action was fun, fantastic, and beautifully rendered. I will say that there are no truly dynamic characters - this is more of a character study than it is a character development.
The CGI is phenomenal. I'm just amazed at the level of the technology (and I still love technology . . .). It's still not a complete replacement for live action, but when there was no motion the images were photo-real. The CGI is betrayed by the motion; it was the little things like a stiffness in the cheeks or lips as they talked or in their arms and legs as they walked. So close, but not quite enough to fool me into thinking that it's real.
Blog entry thoughts:
So for all the free-goodness of this movie experience, there were a few flaws that crept into the experience. First, it was in 3D - which was kind of cool, but there were certain scenes where they played with the effect a little bit too much. It was distracting at times to have a spear leaping out of the screen or having horses leaping over my head.
Second, this event was hosted by some radio/TV hosts from local stations. I saw them talking to each other in the front of the theater and a thought occurred to me, so I shared it with the wife: TV and Radio hosts are the kids who were nerds in the AV club in high school. The desperately wanted to be cool, but were shut out from the popular group. After growing up they found their chance to "be cool" by being on TV/Radio, but their definition of cool is still based on high school. That's why DJ's tell some of the stupidest jokes and laugh constantly about farts. The wife says, "Maybe."
So, before the movie started they took it upon themselves to work the crowd: "Is everyone excited?! I can't hear YOU!! OK, show me you're excited by chanting: Beowulf, Beowulf, BEOWULF!" The wife looks at me and says, "You're right." Sad as it is, they were doing everything they could to be "cool" for the ghosts of their high school disappointments.