Thursday, April 3, 2008

BEOWULF - UNRATED

The legendary warrior BEOWULF (Ray Winstone) takes on the horrific monster Grendel (Crispin Glover, WILLARD) and the creature’s seductive mother (Angelina Jolie, TOMB RAIDER) in ancient Denmark. You remember - you read about it back in high school.

Robert Zemeckis (BACK TO THE FUTURE) continues his unhealthy love affair with modern technology with this cold, mostly uninvolving computer-animated adventure based on the ancient epic poem. The script by Neil Gaiman and Roger Avary is fairly decent, and almost manages to invest the film with some soul.

Unfortunately, the CGI animation and motion-capture performances, while technically quite remarkable, place a huge barrier between the audience and its plastic, action figure-looking characters, and it’s difficult to get emotionally involved in the story. Visually, it’s pretty amazing, but the neither live action-nor-fully animated nature of the filmmaking can be off-putting.

Paramount’s DVD is, like the film, technically astounding. The 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen direct digital transfer is crystal sharp, and the Dolby 5.1 audio is thunderous. The Unrated DVD is fairly loaded with special features, including deleted scenes, numerous "making of" featurettes, and trailers.

Clearly, I found the movie to be disappointing, but if you’re a fan of the movie already, the DVD is definitely worth having, as the presentation is unarguably excellent.

BUY: Beowulf (Unrated Director's Cut)