1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Action packed adaption of the classic epic
If you are a literary nut looking for a sophisticated adaption ot the Beowulf epic you might be a little disappointed. However, if you are a little more open-minded or enjoy a good action flick this one is great. The fantasy like setting is extremely well done and somehow the use of modern technology doesn't seem out of place here. The storyline is changed slightly...
Published on Jan. 8 2003 by Blah
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Pass On This One
The epic poem that is Beowulf ranks as one of the greatest pieces of literature man has ever produced. When a reader ponders the ideas found within this wonderful work of art the mind simply boggles at the depth and richness running throughout the poem. Glimpses of the old Europe abound in this tale about Hrothgar, Beowulf, Grendel, and Grendel's mother, a Europe of...
Published on Nov. 2 2003 by Jeffrey Leach
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Pass On This One,
This review is from: NEW Beowulf (DVD) (DVD)The epic poem that is Beowulf ranks as one of the greatest pieces of literature man has ever produced. When a reader ponders the ideas found within this wonderful work of art the mind simply boggles at the depth and richness running throughout the poem. Glimpses of the old Europe abound in this tale about Hrothgar, Beowulf, Grendel, and Grendel's mother, a Europe of drinking halls, campaigns of conquest, human destiny, and dark monsters creeping through the night. Simultaneously, a reader of Beowulf glimpses the stirrings of Christianity, which would soon overrun all of Europe and put an end to the old ways. Scholars of Beowulf never tire of writing articles and books about this piece of literature and new translations of the work continually appear. If you wish to read Beowulf, and I recommend you do so as quickly as possible, check out the spectacular Seamus Heaney translation. Do not, under any circumstances, watch this cinematic version of Beowulf in lieu of reading the poem. Not only does this movie not follow the epic in any significant way, the film also takes a decidedly B movie approach to the whole topic. "Beowulf" stars Z movie star Christopher Lambert as the enigmatic hero, another point you would do well to consider before popping this disc in your DVD player.
At some point in the future, in a time never elaborated upon by the filmmakers, a fortress stands watch on the borderland between good and evil. The soldiers in the fort, led by a king named Hrothgar and his right hand man Roland, fight endlessly with a mysterious creature who shambles out of the dark each night to claim a new victim. The garrison rapidly diminishes under the onslaught of this malevolent apparition until one day a man rides up to the fort claiming that his destiny involves fighting evil. This man is Beowulf, played with mind deadening woodenness by a bleach blonde Christopher Lambert. The men manning the fort are naturally suspicious of this new arrival, but after Beowulf fights the creature to a standstill the men are more accepting of his presence. In no time at all, Beowulf antagonizes Roland, wins the admiration of Hrothgar, and catches the eye of the king's busty daughter Kyra. The killings continue unabated until the big showdown between Beowulf and Grendel, the name of the being haunting the soldiers in the castle. A further surprise appears in scenes involving Hrothgar's dream encounters with a mysterious blonde apparition, a woman who has something to do with the death of the king's wife and who eventually plays a big role at the end of the film.
Initially, I warmed to "Beowulf." Despite Lambert in the lead role, most of the actors did a better than expected job in their roles. The gorgeous Rhona Mitra did an adequate turn playing Hrothgar's daughter. Charles Robinson, who played Mac on "Night Court," does as much as he can in the role of the fort's chief weapons master, and the actors playing Hrothgar and Roland did acceptable work as well. The set pieces looked better than average for a B movie, as did the armor and weapons used by the characters. The movie starts with a nice fight scene between Beowulf and a small army outside of the fort, and this too gave me hope that the movie would rise above my original expectations. As the movie wore on, I discovered my interest waned considerably. The CGI effects used for Grendel and his mother looked cheesy and uninteresting, and Lambert's portrayal of Beowulf tended to grate after the first thirty minutes. The soundtrack contributed greatly to my sense of irritation. The filmmakers saw fit to imbue this project with a booming techno beat, and used it every chance they got whether the scene called for it or not. Sometimes this music does work, but far too often it distracts and annoys. To keep boredom at bay, I began to count how many times Beowulf executed fancy back flips during the combat sequences. In fact, it seemed that the only thing Lambert's character did after awhile was jump around, strike poses, and mutter cryptic phrases about the evil in the fort. As the final credits rolled, I knew I had just finished watching a typical B movie stinker.
The "Beowulf" DVD is far from a bare bones sort of release. There is a trailer for the film, along with additional trailers for films like "Scream 3." A short behind the scenes featurette is also available. The movie itself looks good for a low budget bomb, and you should still have a good time watching the nice looking women in this movie even if you cannot stomach the lousy dialogue or abominable special effects. "Beowulf" is a must see for those who get a kick out of science fiction cheese films or fans of Christopher Lambert, but all others should stay away.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Action packed adaption of the classic epic,
This review is from: NEW Beowulf (DVD) (DVD)If you are a literary nut looking for a sophisticated adaption ot the Beowulf epic you might be a little disappointed. However, if you are a little more open-minded or enjoy a good action flick this one is great. The fantasy like setting is extremely well done and somehow the use of modern technology doesn't seem out of place here. The storyline is changed slightly from the original work to make it more presentably to the big screen. Some of the things are a little weird but the gorgeous women more than make up for that.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Destroying a Classic.,
This review is from: Beowulf (VHS Tape)I love the poem Beowulf. I've read it several times in the original verse and it is one of the greatest epics in English literature. Several years ago when I heard they were making a movie of this classic tale and that Christopher Lambert was scheduled to star as the legendary hero, I thought it was a good thing. However, I was wrong.
The only thing BEOWULF shares with the classic poem is the name of the hero, the name of the king (Hrothgar), Grendel, and Grendel's mother. That's where the similarities end.
The plot of this film is terrible. The acting is lame (Lambert does a decent job, but his character just doesn't fit in this world). The soundtrack is horrendous and feels like something out of a rave instead of a castle on the outer limits of space. The special effects aren't too bad, but considering the multi-million budget of this movie, they are rather crummy. The lighting in the movie is terrible and detracts from what little action occurs on screen. The dialogue is really bad too, but I guess the sfx budget kept the filmmakers from hiring decent writers.
Overall, BEOWULF is terrible. Not only does it rip apart a classic piece of English literature, but it's even a disgrace to the sci-fi/fantasy genre. Not recommended at all.
3.0 out of 5 stars HOWLER,
This review is from: NEW Beowulf (DVD) (DVD)This version of the epic poem is as many have already pointed out nothing like its source. However, I did like the spider creature that Grendel's mother evolved in, and some of the action scenes were outrageously over the top. This is the worst I've seen Christopher Lambert, who not a great actor, always had some presence (e.g., Resurrection). Gotz Otto as Roland is very good as is Oliver Cotton ar Rhothgar. Playmate Layla Roberts looks mighty nice as Grendel's Mom, so hence three stars for the fact that it kept me entertained. Rent, though...it's not worth buying.
2.0 out of 5 stars Beowulf as you've never seen it before,
This review is from: NEW Beowulf (DVD) (DVD)I watched a pretty terrible movie called Beowulf last night. It stars Christopher Lambert, which is a pretty good indication of the movie's level of badness. The movie is a futuristic retelling of the Beowulf story, and it does a half-decent job of it until the end, when it suddenly veers into an erotic horror tale. I really don't remember the Old English version having Grendel's mom as a hot blonde porn star. I also don't remember the epic being boring, filled with clichéed second-scare, bad cuts between scenes, or Beowulf being such a wooden character.
The movie had two good things going for it: a great industrial soundtrack (which nonetheless doesn't go with the movie at all), and the way it's made me want to reread Beowulf, if only to clear the bad taste of this movie out of my mental palate. I haven't read it for at least ten years, and it's definitely worth the reread. It also made me remember how I want to learn Old English. I'd love to be able to read the poem in its original language.
2.0 out of 5 stars It's just a movie...,
By A Customer
This review is from: NEW Beowulf (DVD) (DVD)There's two ways you can watch this movie:
#1 - as a film rendition of the great epic poem of the same name.
#2 - as a cheesy action flick.
Once you settle into watching this movie as #2, you'll be Ok. If you expect this to be Beowulf ("þæt wæs god cyning!"), you'll be severely disappointed, as the movie seems to just borrow a few key ideas from the poem, but goes on it's own from there.
It took me about 10 minutes to stop looking for parallels between the movie and the poem, and when I stopped doing that, I was finally able to settle into watching the movie.
I wouldn't buy this movie, but I rented it, and for $5, it kept me busy for a couple of hours.
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Action Movie With Midevil Fantasy Twist,
This review is from: NEW Beowulf (DVD) (DVD)It wasn't as good as I had hoped, but it was better than I feared it could have been. Nothing embarassingly awful about it, just a good action flick.
4.0 out of 5 stars Legend to comedy!,
This review is from: NEW Beowulf (DVD) (DVD)I just about laughed the entire movie when i first saw it. I had read about Beowulf before and decided to rent it. When I saw Christopher Lambert with his white hair and crispy voice I couldnt hold the laugh.
It was so funny to see him flip around and beating up people in the siege at the beginning of the film.
The only things I cant say is good is first the ending. its to macho, Beowulf saves the girl and the castle explodes(!). The other is that they use bodybags, gas torches, modern food boxes and even a nightvision telescope(!) this was a bad flaw, but I just laugh about it.
Otherwise, a great and very funny classic.
4.0 out of 5 stars not bad,
This review is from: NEW Beowulf (DVD) (DVD)intelectualy this film wouldn't challenge a skittle, but its very entertaining with good action and great performances by chris lambert and rhona mitra(not that any of the others are any good). its basically a sci-fi based retelling of the poem so purists should stay away but for those of us who don't care really its a good chance you'll like it.
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Piece of PM Sword and Sworcery...,
This review is from: Beowulf (VHS Tape)Christopher Lambert's Beowulf brings enough heroic "gravitas"--in what easily could've played as HIGHLANDER prequel--to make this PM Sword and Sworcery smorgasbord enjoyable. Forget about allegiance to the classic Dark Ages quest. Director Graham has broad sword stiched and blood-n-gore glued 90 minutes of well-choreographed combat and mayhem. He delivers the goods with a ferocious incarnation of GRENDEL as virtual "Monster from the Id." Nightly, the Beast raids Hrothgar's Mead Hall/Castle to slaughter hapless warriors. The inner ambience of this abattoir (which looks like a goofy concatenation of stove pipes and trash cans outside), is genuinely menacing recalling Michael Mann's haunted KEEP. Layla Roberts essays Lilith role of Grendal's Mother. She plays archetypal She-Demon, a succubus, whose purpose is to breed and nurture Evil. However, this movie has few mythological or Jungian pretensions (I hope). Here BEOWULF is a Good, Bad and extremely Ugly "boat-parade" of Monster-osity with original "THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE" hero to save the day(you have to survive NIGHT by yourself)...
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