Thursday, August 11, 2011

Beowulf Movie Review

A lot of the hype around the recent movie Beowulf concerned Angelina Jolie's... appearance... in the film. Having recently watched it, I would say that is the least of the reasons to watch this film.

I really liked how realistically it depicted life during the Dark Ages. As a roleplayer, I really looked at the details as to how life worked during this historical period. It seemed like the movie makers took their time in doing their research to accurately portray this world.

I was also impressed with the depiction of Grendel, the troll-like creature from the movie. Often in DnD we treat creatres like Trolls like mid-level cannon fodder. Kick down the door, kill the creature. But in real life if a creature like Grendel charges at you, how would you act? In Beowulf, that feeling of dread really comes across. Grendel is killing brutally left and right and the soldiers are helpless to stop it. It really highlights how different the "hero" is from the average man.

The actual CGI was great at a distance or during movement but in any close-ups of the human face it looks like plastic dolls. CGI still has a ways to go before it is photo-realistic. The matting of real actor faces was okay - you could tell who you were looking at (was that Ginny from Forrest Gump?) but the mouths sometimes didn't match exactly what they were saying or floated a little on their faces.

Final analysis: Beowulf is worth watching, tells a good story, and is of interest to fantasy roleplayers.

1LR Rating: 14 out of 20 - It's a hit!