Thursday, July 26, 2007


The highly-unanticipated trailer for Robert Zemeckis's Beowulf is online. I can hardly contain my non-enthusiasm. I guess it's nice to see that Ray Winstone beefed up and turned his keg into a six-pack before donning the motion capture sensors for the mov... oh, wait, he's still fat.

I guess this is Zemeckis's new thing -- CG motion capture photo-realistic movies. I've never seen the point. Making something that looks like Tom Hanks or Angelina Jolie is possibly an impressive technical feat, but what's the point? It's the dog that stands on its nose at the county fair -- neat, but why? What are you trying to tell me that wouldn't be best left to the actors themselves, or to a stylistically enhanced, imaginatively painted CG canvas (rather than a literal depiction)? Zemeckis has always been one for showing off movie magic with no apparent depth. I could have made an independent feature with the money and talent he spent on changing the color of Bill Clinton's ties in the archival footage in Contact.

And accurate representations of actors, apparently, does not extend to accurate representations of the oldest narrative in Western literature. Grendel looks curiously like a muddy zombie, by way of the recent Mummy flicks. Angelina, listed on IMDb as "Grendel's Mother," looks her usual hot self, but WTF? Isn't Grendel's Mother supposed to be the most wretched of subterranean Hellspawn? The most rank and vile of monsters? From her lines, I actually thought she might be a sexed-up version of the Dragon, but even so, that's taking quite a liberty. I'm all for reinvention and adaptation (John Gardner's Grendel is a monsterpiece and you know I love Crichton's Eaters of the Dead), but this obvious Hollywood coat of gloss on what is one of the most tried and true and simply beautiful epics has already lost my vote. At least they did their research and got Angie's early Anglo-Saxon stilettos right (below). Stilettos? Come on, Bob Z. Sheesh.


zak forrest said...

finchers new movie is gonna be mocapped animated as well (not sure on the specifics... but im sure THAT will be dope as hell

Endergirl said...

Actually, it's false that Angelina is in this movie at all. It's just Marianne Pearl in stilettos. And she WON'T CRY, dammit.