If you want to see samples of my comics work, head on over to CapsuleZone! If you want to see my graphic design portfolio, just go to Reno Maniquis Graphic Works! Thanks for dropping by!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

It was Free Comic Book Day yesterday, and for the first time I missed it. I was at a business meeting the whole morning until about 1:00 in the afternoon that I was just so doggone tired and just wanted to go home. Plus, I missed Kuki and Jade that I decided just to forego FCBD and stay with my family. My only regret was that I wasn't able to get a copy of the free comic from Graphic Classics.

Well, I guess I'll just read all about FCBD from other people's blogs. :)

Image from blog.beliefnet.com

Anyway, I just watched Beowulf on DVD this morning, and decided to write my opinion about it. I'm assuming everyone has seen it by this time, so suffice to say there may be spoilers ahead. But really, weren't we all required to read this during grade school? I guess everyone knows the basic story by now.

The one thing that really struck me about this version is that from the get-go, none of the characters are particularly likeable. It's hard to muster any sympathy for most of the lead characters, with the exception of Beowulf's right hand man Wiglaf and the the queen Wealthow. Beowulf himself is a pretty annoying braggart. Throughout the movie, I didn't particularly care what happens to most of the cast. I found myself being more sympathetic to Grendel's plight, since the monster is portrayed as a dejected son (impled to ne King Hrothgar's, actually).

But I guess maybe what director Robert Zemeckis and co. are trying to say is that men can easily fall prey to our own failings and to temptation, as personified by Grendel's mother, who is the master manipulator behind all the bad things happening in this movie. She has no particular motivation, actually, other than enjoying playing around with the humans around her. Even manipulating her sons to do her work. Sons? Yep, she bedded Beowulf and they had a son, the dragon, who in the film's finale seeks revenge against his negligent father.

In the end, Beowulf realizes the mistakes he made, but it comes a little bit too late. All throughout the majority of the movie he has been unlikeable, so when he finally finds redemption in the end, I found myself hard-pressed to even care. In the end, he gets a burial at sea, and Grendel's mother reappears, now setting her sights on tempting Wiglaf, who is now king. It all ends there, leaving it to the audience to conclude if Wiglaf falls prey to her advances or not. All throughout the film I found Wiglaf to be a man of very strong character, and as someone who is very fiercely loyal to Beowulf. I'd like to think that everything ends on a good note.

What else? Man, I found the animation to be very stiff. I don't know why they couldn't have made this in live-action instead of "realistic" (and I use that term very loosely) CGI. I think it would have worked better.

I have to admit, though, that the final battle with the dragon was spectacular, but again, like Beowulf's redemption, it comes a little bit too late. I guess this DVD will be going to my "for sale" bin.


monsanto said...

Funny, I felt the same! I felt that the man not worth the legend that he came to be. When he fights, it is as if all the other stuffs truly are tall tales about him and most of the time, he just get lucky in the end.

Now, Beowolf is not on my hero list because of this movie.

Reno said...

To be fair, this is the only negative depiction of Beowulf that I have read or seen. Most other versions portray him as the hero he's supposed to be. So I wonder why the filmmakers decided to make him so unlikeable in this version.

monsanto said...

Trying to reach ordinary folks to get him and his motivations i guess.

TheCoolCanadian said...

I totally agree with you, Reno & Gilbert. This is one STIFF project and I just wonder why it got made at all. I was expecting more of an unplotted screenplay, (knowing Gaiman's other works) but instead, I found a totally UNAPPEALING structured feature. Everything is just too predictable as well. This is the danger of a well-known material translated to film and making it almost as is. Maybe if this feature was done like the way ROBERT ALTMAN would handle an unplotted story and the characters are well-developed with 3-D layering, it might have been salvaged.

But, no. It was flat and forgettable, and totally a waste of time.

Gio Paredes said...

Hey Reno... check this out - http://iantoy.deviantart.com/art/Maskarado-85346814

Shary F. said...

Hey Reno. I was googling my name for a school project and your blog came up. Who are all those other Shary's and where did they come from???? Anyway, I don't think they should be beating those poor chickens. The extras on the Beowulf DVD are better than the movie. The editor and publisher of Graphic Classics is a really wonderful editor and honest guy. Thanks for speaking well of the book. I like your writing. Bye.

Reno said...

Thanks for dropping by, Shary!