Beowulf (2007): This didn’t exactly work for me. The animation was sometimes excellent and sometimes uneven. I noticed it over and over again and it bothered me.

The story more-or-less followed the original as I remember it. Beowulf (Ray Winstone) comes to the kingdom of Hrothgar (Anthony Hopkins) which has been haunted or hunted by a bloodthirsty monster called Grendal (Crispin Glover). Beowulf waits all night for the monster to show up and tears off its arm. Then he heads off to its watery, underground lair to find and kill Grendal. Things go a bit off-track here but the ending was more-or-less on target.

The theme did confuse me though. What were the creators (Robert Zemeckis, Neil Gaiman, et. al.) trying to get across?

  • Heroism is a damaging illusion?
  • Don’t believe everything you hear/read?
  • Old English narrative poetry is suspect?
  • Heroes are only human (except they can survive being whomped by monsters)?
  • Having sex with a sea hag is good for your career?
  • Angelina Jolie looks like a girl in a superhero comic when she’s naked?
  • Anthony Hopkins doesn’t?

In my confusion, I turned my, not very pleased, thoughts to the female characters. I thought about the little wooden signs the female characters were holding. Grendal’s mom Angelina Jolie) had “Femme Fatale”; Wealthow (Robin Wright Penn) had “Doormat.” Gitte (Sonje Fortag) had “Boobs” and Ursula (Alison Lohman) was left with “Huh?” I was kind of hoping Wealthow would hit Beowulf with her sign at which Grendel’s mom would snicker and Ursula would choose “sympathetic” in hopes that it is the right expression.

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