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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Toronto Film Festival Star
I saw this film at the Toronto Film Festival 2005. For a movie that realied completely on nature and make-up, it is amazingly scenic. No weird CGI creatures or backdrops, it's all real. The script is quite funny and the storyline and interpretation is very well thought out. This is the best Beowulf interpretation I've yet encountered. And the DVD promises to be PACKED...
Published on June 4 2006 by Allison

versus
7 of 35 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars stinky
This movie makes me embaressed to be both a Canadian and a fan of the fantasy genre. I can only assume that the author of the previous review was involved in the making of the film, due to the fact that I have never seen such over the top praise of such an amateurish, unfunny, boring, uninspired and ultimately uninteresting production. Yes the scenery is pretty, but...
Published on June 2 2006 by J. Fernando


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5.0 out of 5 stars Even seen numerous times, you still see things you missed before., July 30 2006
By 
Susan A. Lambert "constant learner" (Huson, Montana USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Beowulf and Grendel (Widescreen) (DVD)
I did not expect a lot from this movie, however the tidbits and previews I saw on television, seemed to say otherwise. I purchased it from Amazon.Ca, because the States did not have it available until September.

Knowing that the breathtaking scenery I was seeing, was real and not CGI'd, almost gave me goose bumps, it was so unbelievably beautiful ! You could imagine a real communion of the soul and a very near presence of God. The clouds, fog, horizontal rain, snow crusted elevations, unrelenting wind, and 45 foot waves crashing onto the rocky shore, all became characters in this awe inspiring epic tale.

STURLA GUNNARSSON not only did a masterful job of directing, but it was as if he had a computer give him the perfect actor for each role! Or maybe it WAS just his innate talent and vision for knowing exactly how it should all come together.

INGVAR SIGURDSSON gave Grendel emotion, conscience, and humor that was so unexpected, but perfectly played out. I am not ashamed to admit he made me cry when Grendel discovered his cave vandalized, and his father's remains destroyed. It was the most gut wrenching, mournful cry that came out of him. It made you relive the moment, when you first knew one of your parents were lost to you forever.

Beowulf was portrayed by GERRY BUTLER, with such intelligence and sensitivity, ..but with an innocence you would not expect. You could see Beowulf starting out with confidence, leading his men on a mission to help King Hrothgar get rid of a menacing, evil troll. Beowulf found that his need to seek the truth, and do the right thing, was not always as easy as he first thought, and it came with a price. It took a personal toll on him, but you could see him grow from it. BUTLER gave a real depth of character and humor to this unknown person of so long ago. He has a real charisma, and such an unassuming ...sexiness, it made me want to boot Selma out on her little Dane butt, and treat Beowulf the way he should have been treated !

SARAH POLLEY was also very good. Her accent did not meld with the others, but you saw her toughness as a woman alone, under those circumstances. She had her choices to make also, but I feel she came to trust Beowulf, but still used him for her own purposes. And maybe he was starting to have serious feelings for her....until the last sentence she said to him. SEQUEL ! SEQUEL, SEQUEL !!!

I am suprised that "the powers that be" did not see the merit of bringing this movie to the big screen in America, like the Canadians did in Canada . From what I have read, Mr Gunnarsson was thwarted in his efforts to do that very thing, because of an earlier animated version of this same theme? Get real...a cartoon against a beautifully made epic movie.....as soon as it became available in Canada on DVD, it hit the #1 top seller, and is still there. The movie was shown on a limited schedule in America, due entirely to the efforts of individuals, and the showings were sold out, with extra showings having to be arranged to accomodate the crowds wanting to see it. Americans were driving to Canada in unreal numbers in order to see this movie on the big screen. What is wrong with this picture?

The cast and crew filmed this movie under unbelievably harsh conditions. Can you imagine what caliber of movie Mr GUNNARSSON could make, given the finances, conditions, and opportunity to do so. I am already buying my ticket for that one.

S Lambert
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4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty darn good, could have been better, July 25 2006
By 
This review is from: Beowulf and Grendel (Widescreen) (DVD)
WARNING: POSSIBLE SPOILERS MAY FOLLOW

Ok, I got my DVD yesterday, and watched it last night. When I opened the package, the case had been crushed. :( Thankfully the DVD was not marred.

As for the movie itself, I really liked it. It was certainly an adaptation of the poem, as there were additional characters not found in the poem, and many variations to the characters actually described in the poem. A few major and several minor differences and variations aside, it was pretty faithful to the epic I love. I actually like the movie over the poem in certain aspects. Since the poem was written after the Christian conversion of Anglo Saxon England, there was a high amount of Christianity found throughout, even though it was set in a time before the spread of Christianity in the region. The movie had a wonderful mix of paganism and Christianity. I enjoyed the interaction between the heathens (many of whom wore Thor's Hammer pendants) and the newly converted Christians. In that way it was probably more faithful to history vesus the poem itself. I also liked the story of Grendels origin, and the way he wasn't made out to be 'just some beast'. In the poem, he is simply demonized. But having read John Gardners "Grendel" and understanding the character of Grendel much more, I really appreciated the way Grendel was portrayed.

The one thing I did not like about the movie was more of a casting issue than anything else. One new character, Salma, played by Sarah Polly, was disappointing. Having a seith-woman (witch) was an interesting addition, but her role was poorly written, in my opinion, and also fairly pointless. Also, the actress herself may not have been the best choice. Every one of the actors had an accent, except her. Her dialogue didn't sound right when she spoke with the other characters. It was distracting. 'A Dane amongst Danes should sound like a Dane' was what I thought. Her character was one of the major alterations from the poem.

Anyone looking forward to the wrestling match between Beowulf and Grendel, and seeing Beowulf rip Grendels arm off will be disappointed. I won't give away exactly what happened, but it was one of the minor alterations from the poem.

The scenery was amazing, the constumes were likewise amazing. It got a bit slow at times, and there could have been more action and violence. I'm glad it wasn't another piece of Hollywood trash filled with explosions and CGI. I'm glad it was more artistic vision than Hollywood exploit.

All changes and whatnot aside, I still highly recommend the movie for anyone who enjoys period films or the epic poem.
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4.0 out of 5 stars history changed, July 25 2006
By 
W. Grass "Savage" (Ca, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Beowulf and Grendel (Widescreen) (DVD)
After watching the Beowulf and Grendel trailer for months and months on my computer, the Canadian amazon finally got me my copy here in the states. Everything about this movie was above avrage. Some of the carecters werent portrayed quite as I had wished they would be. For instance, in the book I was under the impression Beowulf was a cocky savage who could back up everything he had to say; in the movie he is a "caring warrior". There were a lot of chenges to the book, i cant deny that some were for the better, but many just made the book completley hacked up.

Overall it was quite enjoyable, espically if you havent read the book and are not farmiliar with the history of the epic.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Think period piece and not fantasy hack and slash, July 22 2006
This review is from: Beowulf and Grendel (Widescreen) (DVD)
Here'' the deal. I would have personally done a lot of things differently, like making the characters in the film a little more hardy and the action scenes more violent. But that's just personal preference. However, I can't deny that the settings wnd scenery were great. The use of the indigenous horses brought a sense of realism that made me smile every time I saw those short legged beasties trot about. The long house and surrounding areas made sense. The locations were perfect.

Was the film 100% to my liking? Nope. Worth buying? Darnn tootin. The fact that you looked up Beowulf means you should check out this film.

I'm an American and heard about this movie while searching the internet on a whim for a movie about Beowulf. I kept coming up with that skut starring Rutger Hauer. (Don't get me wrong, I like Rutger, Blood of Heroes is a fantastic movie.) Finally I found this and to my luck it was a new adaptation.

The only reason I mention that I'm an American is so that American' who happen on this movie realize that they can order it with confidence that it will arrive. I got the movie today and I've watched it twice.

Although some scenes may have you going...spoiler...., 'hmmmm, interesting choice, I think I would have had the Troll smash more skulls before getting whacked' or hoping for a greater sense of strength from the heroes, I find myself drawn to the execution of the film more than the substance of the film. Not to worry there is more than one troll that gets whacked in this film

It really is a well thought out production...so much so, that I found myself wishing the film was in Danish or Norwegian or some other Viking tongue with subtitles just so I could submerge myself in the film.

As I told my dad, not a great film, but a damn good effort. 4 Stars is an easy give. A little more my style and it would have been a 5 rating for sure.

.........

P.S. Don't mess with Texas. Home of Robert E. Howard.
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7 of 35 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars stinky, June 2 2006
By 
J. Fernando (Toronto) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Beowulf and Grendel (Widescreen) (DVD)
This movie makes me embaressed to be both a Canadian and a fan of the fantasy genre. I can only assume that the author of the previous review was involved in the making of the film, due to the fact that I have never seen such over the top praise of such an amateurish, unfunny, boring, uninspired and ultimately uninteresting production. Yes the scenery is pretty, but believe me, that's all this movie has going for it. I'm done wasting any more effort on reviewing a movie which has already stolen 2 hours of my life. Take heed, you have been warned.
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