Beowulf (Director's Cut) [2007]

Actors: Ray Winstone, Angelina Jolie, Anthony Hopkins, Robin Wright Penn, Brendan Gleeson
Robert Zemeckis
Number of discs:
Warner Home Video
DVD Release Date:
17 Mar 2008
Run Time:
110 minutes



The ancient legend of Beowulf is retold twist here by director Robert Zemeckis who uses the same CGI process he used in Polar Express in which human actors are ?overlaid? with computer imagery.

The screenplay by Neil Gaiman (Stardust and the Sandman graphic novels) and Pulp Fiction scribe Roger Avery bring a modern twist and sensibility to the proceedings, taking the story into unexpected and rewarding directions.

Whatever you may think of this movie and the recent 300, one has the niggling suspicion that maybe all movies will look like this one day. You may moan that Beowulf looks more like a PlayStation game than anything else, but the fact remains that this version definitely makes previous ?versions? such as Beowulf (1999, starring Christopher Lambert) and Beowulf & Grendel (2005, ironically starring a pre-300 Gerard Butler) look rather ordinary in comparison.

Confined to the small screen the faults of the CGI process used to make Beowulf are minimized. The dead staring eyes of the ?actors? and the unrealistic movements of textiles and horses are no longer as jarring as they are on the big screen. This director's cut promises "bolder, never-before-seen images" but I couldn't really spot that many differences - if any! - between this version and the one shown in theaters.

THE DISC: The special features chronicling the performance capture processes employed on the second disc are brief but interesting. Alas we do not get to see star Angelina Jolie in any of them nor do we get any audio commentaries, which is a pity.



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