Saturday, November 24, 2007


Seldom do I question why the MPAA gave a movie a lower rating than it deserved. Watching Robert Zemeckis’ new adaptation of Beowulf, I was amazed at what snuck into its PG-13 rating. As entertaining as this film may be, believe me, it is not for the whole family.

Here Zemeckis masters his computer animation technique that he introduced with his dull Polar Express. Remember that story you read back in high school? Didn’t think so. A giant, ruthless monster attacks a village and its king (Anthony Hopkins) sends for a hero to slay the demon Grendel. Beowulf (the always fabulous Ray Winstone) travels the seas with his men to take on the challenge.

What follows are exciting battles and utterly jaw-dropping special effects. As Grendel's scheming mother, Angelina Jolie plays the role with a seductive prowl that you will enjoy. Her lack of clothes (and Winstone for that matter) defy the film’s rating. But it makes for one hell of an exciting ride. At the risk of ruining the adventure, I'll stop there.

I had the pleasure of seeing Beowulf in 3-D, glasses and all. And I must say, that feature made the movie. I can't vouch for the regular, flat screen version you're used to, but I imagine it isn't nearly as thrilling. In 3-D, the images literally jump off the screen and into your lap throughout the entire film. It is some of the most fun I've had at the movies this year, which doesn't necessarily credit the film's content. Forget the cheesy 3-D you've seen before. Zemeckis has created a movie that will stand as a landmark in the next phase of cinema.

See this one in theatres. If you can, see it on one of the 100 3-D screens that it's playing on. This won’t nearly be as good on DVD. You'll miss out on a massively breathtaking ride that will leave you in a permanent state of joy. This is the future of cinema, people. B+

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