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Old 08-25-2014, 04:00 PM   #1
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Beowulf Revisited

I just recently watched the Zemeckis 2007 Beowulf again across three days....woah 2007?.....it's quite interesting to me because of the long shots in it.....and it's also surprisingly bloody......the more you think about it the more you come to the conclusion that its a unusual and unique animation....especially considering its wide release...although you can still see that it was compromised...so I spose maybe not quite as unusual.

What do you think of the design work done on Grendel?



Now I only know this version of Beowulf but would really like to see more version or even hear a audio book of the original.....but here is a list of the changes that were done.

The portrayal of Beowulf as a flawed man and a braggart.

The portrayal of Hrothgar as a womanizing alcoholic.

The portrayal of Unferth as a Christian.

The portrayal of Grendel as a fragile childlike creature rather than savage demon monster
Beowulf's funeral.

The portrayal of Grendel's mother as a beautiful seductress, more of a succubus rather, who bears Grendel as Hrothgar's child and the dragon as Beowulf's child (this is also the case in the plot of the 1999 film Beowulf, with the exception that the dragon is entirely absent there)
the fact that Beowulf becomes ruler of Denmark instead of his native Geatland.
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Old 08-25-2014, 07:33 PM   #2
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This is the version I was introduced to as a kid.
Grendel Grendel Grendel from 1981.


The impression was, what a weird little story. Kinda like Bambi meets Godzilla, "Where in the world did this come from." And that opening theme really gets stuck in your head. We laughed about it as kids and then moved on to something else.

Then I read the original poem in high school and POW, I loved the story. I'm not sure if it was because it was actually that good or because anything remotely action packed in class would've seemed amazing.

Anyway, I've always liked the story of Beowulf and I didn't think the changes in the 2007 version were necessary. I remember watching the behind the scenes way back and apparently Zemeckis has always disliked the story and thought it was boring and his changes have finally made it film worthy. Ah well.
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Old 08-25-2014, 11:16 PM   #3
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I realize I'm in the minority here, but I actually quite liked the Beowulf film. There's a lot that's great about the original epic, but it was meant to be told around the fire over numerous nights, not to be told as a single story. It has four chapters that don't really have much to do with each other. I don't think you could make a compelling movie of the whole epic without making some major changes.
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Old 08-26-2014, 03:44 AM   #4
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I think specifically the Zemeckis 07' version although tenuously at best based upon the original old English tale probably in all honesty perhaps sharing just the title between them. Never the less for me at least in a digestible "contemporary" CG rendered feature length offering overall managed to pull it off. Anyway all things considered as alluded too above when the poem's antiquity and scope are taken into account most certainly directorial changes are par for the course.
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Old 08-26-2014, 04:16 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sakboi
I think specifically the Zemeckis 07' version although tenuously at best based upon the original old English tale probably in all honesty perhaps sharing just the title between them.


It was (somewhat) closer then that. Basically it assumed that every time we hear something described by Beowulf, instead of told directly, he was lying his ass off. Beyond that, most all of the major plot points are the same.
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Old 08-26-2014, 04:45 AM   #6
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@Meloncov - Agreed, a misinterpretation after further thought of what I saw onscreen in 2007.
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Old 08-26-2014, 05:38 PM   #7
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It was 3 chapters and the first 2 are the same story. The battle between Grendel's mother and Beowulf was especially cool but that doesn't exist in the film. The disjointed bit was the Fire Dragon but still, it's not like you couldn't tell what was going on.

I liked the 2007 version also, its just that Beowulf is quite a bit lamer in it and in my mind he's this larger than life hero. Not a fat guy which showed in the motion capture all too often.
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Old 08-26-2014, 06:00 PM   #8
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Whatever you may think about it, in the end Beowulf's most important legacy is that it has pretty much killed any chance for an adult oriented CG feature for a long time.

Unless you count Avatar as an animated feature... and anyway, the sequels may easily forgo live actors for the leads
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Old 08-26-2014, 10:18 PM   #9
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That movie never really had the charisma for me.
I was impressed with the graphics and all, but the main story, characters was like an empty cup's for me... characters interactions... something was wrong.
I watched it few times, but never really get any close to liking it.

It's somehow weird, because that was a Zemeckis, and I really expect something better. His 3D Christmas Carrol was also not a masterpiece, but way better then Beowolf, imho. Not to mention he is a director of legendary Back to the future.
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Old 08-27-2014, 12:30 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laa-Yosh
Whatever you may think about it, in the end Beowulf's most important legacy is that it has pretty much killed any chance for an adult oriented CG feature for a long time.

Unless you count Avatar as an animated feature... and anyway, the sequels may easily forgo live actors for the leads


I dunno, I been playing WATCH_DOGS and all the cinematics in there all looked more sophisticated than the BEOWULF movie.

The lighting was better, the texturing, and most of all the facial acting seemed more alive in WATCH_DOGS than BEOWULF.

Like that cold stare Aiden gives Damien when he says: "You need me. But I don't need you." BEOWULF seemed to be a bit short on stuff like that.

So I agree BEOWULF may have derailed that development, but also I think the technology has advanced far enough that maybe we're near that point again where someone should give it a go.
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Old 08-27-2014, 04:40 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WyattHarris
It was 3 chapters


I was including the battle against other humans that takes place between the battle with Grendel's mother and the battle with the dragon (it's admittedly much shorter than the main three parts).
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Old 08-27-2014, 11:02 AM   #12
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I still find it creepy watching this movie. Not because the design and aesthetic which is actually really nice, but mostly the lack of eye blinking in the characters. Takes me right out of the movie into creepy zombie-ville.

I first noticed this at the cinema - then I watched Polar Express and A Christmas Carol. They all had the same issue. It's as if Robert Zemekis hates blinking!
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Old 08-27-2014, 02:27 PM   #13
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Maybe he should get over that hurtle by motion capturing Kristen Stewart.
 
Old 08-27-2014, 10:46 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Obraxis
I still find it creepy watching this movie. Not because the design and aesthetic which is actually really nice, but mostly the lack of eye blinking in the characters. Takes me right out of the movie into creepy zombie-ville.

I first noticed this at the cinema - then I watched Polar Express and A Christmas Carol. They all had the same issue. It's as if Robert Zemekis hates blinking!


I noticed that too....it's strange.....you'd think that if they were going for realism...which they clearly were....that they would get onto this problem.
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Old 08-28-2014, 12:48 PM   #15
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I thought we all agreed never to speak of Zemeckis’ Beowulf ever again…
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