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.