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March 05, 2008

Beowulf - 4

When criticizing the adaptation of this ancient tale, the writers of this version have beat the critic to the punch. Neil Gaiman and Roger Avary are clear that this is there version of what they consider to be an ever evolving text. Since the original was passed down orally and then copied repeated by monks with paper and ink, Avary and Gaiman claim that personal edits are an inherent part of this particular story. So if you are going to dislike the film for this reason you'll want a degree in English and some history lessons in the genealogy of the text. My dad keeps telling me that I am half Frisian, which are the descendants of British and Dutch vikings, so this story is suppose to be in my blood. And I guess, lucky for me, I find these stories more interesting than the actual story of Beowulf. Robert Zemeckis' motion capture filming technique that he started using with The Polar Express annoys me. I think it looks dumb. How's that for a philosophical critique? I don't mind the reverse Oedipal interpretation of this telling of the tale (Grendel's mother is now the super-sexualized Angelina Jolie), it was mostly just the bad graphics and voices and the aesthetics of the piece that turned me off to it. If you like this type of animation and adventure tales then this will probably satisfy your tastes. As for me, I'm going to go back to reading up about Frisians on Wikipedia.

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