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Moriarty’s Movie Marathon Begins! I’VE! SEEN! BEEOOOWULLLF!

Hey, everyone. “Moriarty” here. Deadlines? You wanna talk deadlines? I just stared down a paralyzing deadline and laughed in its face, and it was such a liberating experience that it’s inspired me to clean house a bit here at AICN as well. I am behind on my reviews. Just a li’l bit. It’s a shame, too, because there are some great movies out there right now, worth having a conversation about, and I’m sitting it out so I can meet those deadlines. Or rather, I was sitting it out. Like pretty much everyone I know, I had to hit an Oct. 31st deadline for things. And we did. Scott and I turned everything in well before noon on the 31st. What a relief to be able to spend the holiday hanging with Toshi (he dressed as a ninja, and it was mighty cute) and Mommy instead of doing last-minute pages I might not be happy with. With that pressure off of me, I can turn my full attention to the things I see piled up here on my desktop. I’ve got a number of things ready to publish, and I’m just going to start firing them off. First up, though, I spent tonight at the Universal Citywalk, where Paramount held the junket screenings for BEOWULF in IMAX 3D. Holy shit. Seriously. Holy shit. Like... I can’t believe the experience holy shit. As a film, I’ll get into specifics about what I do and what I don’t like as we get further into the review, but the first and most important thing I want to convey is that if you have the opportunity to see this IMAX 3D, that’s the way you absolutely have to see it. Any film fan owes it to themselves to see exactly what this was designed to be. Like all of you, I’ve been hearing the rumblings for a little while that 3D and IMAX are the future of theatrical exhibition. And up until now, I’ve thought that most of that was hype. I saw an amazing demo of the 3D process at the Lighstorm offices in Santa Monica, the same one they used to wow the exhibitors at ShoWest a few years ago, and I certainly think it’s an impressive process. But I didn’t really think anyone was going to be able to make a real mainstream blockbuster movie for the process, and I certainly didn’t think that exhibition would be up to the challenge any time soon. So I listened every time someone would talk about 3D and how it was going to be huge, and I’d go see things like THE ANT BULLY or CHICKEN LITTLE because that’s what was screening in IMAX 3D or RealD, and part of me suspected that it would always be used for very broad family fare exclusively. Well, consider me a convert. Bring on TINTIN. Bring on AVATAR. Bring on anything that any serious filmmaker wants to make in this process. And in return, I dare you... I dare all of you getting ready to work in 3D to pick up this gauntlet that Zemeckis has thrown down, and I want you guys to one-up each other, just like you used to. I remember a time when it seemed like the game was seeing who could push the envelope the furthest, who could have the most fun with the toys... when it seemed like you were all engaged, doing it because something burned in you. I haven’t seen that sort of passion from Robert Zemeckis in the entire time I’ve been at AICN. Ten years now, I’ve been disappointed by his output, and as a result, I’ve got this reputation as someone who dislikes him as a filmmaker. That’s crazy, though. When I moved to LA, I used to refer to him as Bob “God” Zemeckis. I was so impressed by him that when I met him by coincidence at a movie theater right after moving to LA, I temporarily lost the ability to speak English, to the degree that he actually told me to “relax and breathe.” I still think BACK TO THE FUTURE is the single best commercial screenplay ever written. So I haven’t enjoyed being a curmudgeon regarding the output of Robert Zemeckis. I wrote a CONTACT review right before I started work at AICN, and that was the last film of his that I really liked. In fact, I think geeking out with Harry about that movie was one of the first dialogues I had with him. Since then, WHAT LIES BENEATH, CAST AWAY, and THE POLAR EXPRESS have all made me absolutely mental for different reasons, and I published an infamous FORREST GUMP review that I still stand behind. So walking into the film tonight, I was looking at it basically as a chance to check out the state of the art, and I expected nothing from the film. Yes, I know that Neil Gaiman and Roger Avary wrote it, and they both sound very happy with the end result. But I still refused to get excited. And, yeah, Zemeckis pretty much knocked that chip off my shoulder about ten minutes in. It’s a great movie, hugely entertaining and exciting and surprisingly adult. There’s some crazy violence, subtle moments with the actors that almost made me forget they were animated, and at least two great action sequences that deliver on the promise of this new technology to such an inarguable degree that I would imagine filmmakers the world over immediately starting to make plans for their own film to follow in Zemeckis’s ground-breaking footsteps. It took the right movie to make me believe that this sort of mo-cap world might actually work for a drama or for anything human. I’m sure some people will want to nitpick this moment or that shot, but on the whole, Sony Pictures Imageworks has created a living breathing world that drew me in and made me believe. The 3D is never used for cheap effect, but is instead like opening a window in a world of depth. You feel like you could reach into the movie, and the immersive experience drew me in emotionally as well as viscerally. Yes, the action is amazing, but what really sold it for me was the quiet stuff. The performance work. Because that’s really the question, isn’t it? When you’re pushing mo-cap and trying for something like photorealism, the real question at this point is whether or not you believe the people you’re watching. And for the most part, the answer is yes. Brendan Gleeson probably connects the most, in my opinion, as Wiglaf, Beowulf’s steadfast second-in-command. He does so much subtle work with his face and his eyes that I really believed I was looking at a person. And even though the design for Grendel is completely outrageous, Crispin Glover’s performance comes through loud and clear. It’s animalistic work, crazy work, and it’s everything I would have hoped from a reunion between Glover and Zemeckis. Anthony Hopkins seems to have great fun as King Hrothgar, waddling around with his fat soft baby body, playing his entire first scene practically naked. And every now and then, he’d do something so natural and real that I’d forget it wasn’t really him. I think both Robin Wright Penn and Alison Lohman’s characters have problems with expressiveness. The designs are okay, but perhaps too simplified, too clean. Something about them always seems a little stiff, and it’s a shame. Angelina Jolie’s evil demon creature witch beast character, known only as Grendel’s Mother, is a lot of fun to watch, but you’ve seen most of her role already. She’s not in a lot of the film. In fact, one of the things that I’m realizing as I think back is that the entire movie feels like it’s about 20 minutes long. The pace is relentless, and it seems like it’s over as soon as it gets revved up. I talked with someone tonight who actually griped about a lull in the middle of the film, but it’s basically just a moment where Zemeckis catches his breath. The first half is so fast, so packed with incident and forward motion, that when it ends, you need that moment to sort of recover. And the brief moment just sets up the stakes for what’s coming next, and then the last third of the film delivers on those promises. Ray Winstone’s Beowulf is a powerful interpretation, and the sense of regret that he inherits from Hopkins is well-played. I love that he’s a braggart and a boaster, and that his own men seem to tolerate him at the beginning, but when faced with madness, he knows how to get his hands around it and fight. He’s one of the great fantasy heroes not only because his story has lasted longer than almost any other written hero’s tale, but also because of how greatly imagined he is. Beowulf is the source for oh so many other heroes who have followed in fantasy, the inspiration for an entire type. Monster-killer, flesh-ripper, terror and slasher, the teeth in the darkness. Strength, lust and power. Winstone plays it right. He knows how to kick it into this intense hero mode, and he knows how to show the human behind the heroic legend. It’s a rich portrayal, and in a live-action film, finding the right combination of brawn and soul might have been a daunting trick. Here, Winstone’s able to slip into this brawler’s body and provide all the soul the role requires. Zemeckis is clearly re-learning his vocabulary as a visual artist with each of the movies he makes in this style, and he’s certainly refined it since THE POLAR EXPRESS. I have a feeling we’re never going to see him make a traditional live-action film again. I think he’s just found something that makes him feel free as an artist again. The film’s biggest asset is the script by Gaiman and Avary, two very smart guys who seem to have dug into this with wit and verve. I like the conversations about “this new Roman god, Christ Jesus,” and I like the first encounter between John Malkovich as Unferth and Winstone. I think Unferth is supposed to be the big bad guy of the piece, but they didn’t quite nail it in terms of how he’s written in the second half of the film, so it’s one of the film’s few major missteps. Even so, it doesn’t ruin the film so much as leave it not quite complete. I wish more had been done with Unferth, and that they’d written the character as strong all the way through as they do at the start, but it’s a minor thing. Overall, I think the script is smart and literate, and even though it has a wealth of huge set-pieces, it’s more concerned with the devils inside of the characters than the monsters without, which is exactly as it should be. I like Gaiman and Avary as a team, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what they’ll do with BLACK HOLE next. I’m not sure I’d call BEOWULF one of the deepest films of the year, and I’m not even sure I’d call it one of the best, but it’s a singular experience, something you absolutely have to witness for yourself in the theater, and it lingers in all the right ways. I feel like I saw the future in that theater tonight... at least one of the paths the industry will follow... and I find myself still reeling from it a bit even now, four hours later. This is the best Zemeckis film in well over a decade, and a rousing adventure that I suspect will win over even the most jaded of viewers. I’m proof enough of that. Back with more reviews all weekend long.

Drew McWeeny, Los Angeles

Readers Talkback
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  • Nov. 3, 2007, 3:31 a.m. CST


    by second cousin of phartegod

    I will take "70's rock" for 200 Alex. "He went Over the Hills and Far Away as the lead singer for Led Zepplin throughout the 70s" who is Robert PLANT?

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 3:33 a.m. CST

    by hyeguy

    I can't wait for this. Knowing what he's done in the past I've been disappointed with Zemeckis's output as of late. On another note: I don't think i've seen mention of it on the site but what are your thought on the strike. as a somewhat successful writer I think I know already where you stand on the issue.

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 3:33 a.m. CST


    by jackson healy

    Any chance Gaiman and Avery can get this one back on track?

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 3:33 a.m. CST

    How was the music, Mori?

    by Musicballs

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 3:34 a.m. CST

    Awesome, but should I see it in IMAX 3D or RealD?

    by Rindain

    Can't wait, but I'm curious which format is superior.

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 3:34 a.m. CST


    by second cousin of phartegod

    good review moriarity, the lack of "LOL"or overall plantyness made it all the more worthwhile I give it an A+ and I really can't wait for this to come out, seeing that Zemeckis is quite possibly my fav director/screenwriter of all time, LOL- "really gushing right now"

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 3:36 a.m. CST

    i hope you're wrong

    by cerebulon

    bwah ha ha ha

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 3:39 a.m. CST

    Moriarty you rule

    by F-1000

    I may just go see this movie after all.

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 3:41 a.m. CST

    Hey Moriarty,

    by Giant Fish

    Where can I find your infamous Forrest Gump review?

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 3:42 a.m. CST

    Thank god you released this btw.

    by F-1000

    I'm glad we got another professional, balanced, concise and pointed review from you. It was more than necessary to bust this out to temper the lulz worthy pathetic attempt at a plant Harry unleashed onto the site. Thanks for busting it out, and congrats on meeting your deadline. I know exactly how you feel, the high from that definitely tends to fuel some of one's best writing.

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 3:45 a.m. CST


    by second cousin of phartegod

    if you have used your ever so keen sense of observation, you would have noticed that I had included question marks after the FIRST, implying that I was not confident in the proclamation that I was indeed FIRST, so in lamens terms my shortwitted companion, I never surely claimed myself as FIRST, I just on a whim, unsuringly proclaimed the title FIRST knowing though that there was only a slight chance of myself being FIRST, good day.

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 3:54 a.m. CST

    You had me until the last paragraph Mori

    by IndustryKiller!

    And yes, I know you didn't at all mean it this way, but it sort of came off as a little disclaimer. Because up until that moment you were talking as if it was one of the best movies of the year. At the end I ended up feeling like you were promoting the possibilities the technology holds rather than the film itself, impressed with how far they had come as opposed to the actual product they delivered. It's really irrelevant if that is hte future, it doesn't really give the technology any merit. Yeah they can make big films, but it's unimpressive to me to have people in a studio, animated over to look like people. I would really just prefer real people. And really that is what is impressive about the best action and fantasy films. Would anyone have loved Lord of the Rings as much if it was mo-capped? Even if everything was identical it would have been a neat trick by Peter Jackson but ultimately hollow. You want to see real people in impossible situations. That is where the sense of awe comes from. I think using a totally non-stylised animation process is a bit of a cheat and nothing I've seen on the film thus far has really impressed me as far as the look goes. But I gotta admit right up until the end you almost had me.

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 3:54 a.m. CST

    Bring on the IMAX 3D theaters!

    by SpencerTrilby

    cuz I wanna see this sooo baaad... but unless you live in a major US city it seems that it's third world territory when it comes to 3D showings. Shame.

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 4:27 a.m. CST

    I have seen the trailer...

    by theonecalledshoe

    too much CGI. I understand Mrs. Pitt could use some work but the background to this says go to SciFi channel and watch theirs. Better version overall.

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 4:28 a.m. CST

    XiMan is LOLing with actual laughter LOL

    by second cousin of phartegod

    He still reeks of green though, BTW I liked Spider-Man 3

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 4:46 a.m. CST

    Maybe that plant wasn't really a plant...

    by Crimson King

    I don't know though, guess I'll just have to see for myself. I will say this, though, I saw Order of the Phoenix on IMAX with the 3D, and I thought it was fucking awesome. I can only imagine that something specifically designed for that experience has got to be pretty badass. I am looking forward to seeing what they do with the 3D technology. If used properly and in the right hands, I'm sure it can be a truly immersive experience.

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 4:47 a.m. CST


    by second cousin of phartegod

    sarcasm? What is sarcasm?

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 4:53 a.m. CST

    PS: I kinda agree with Industry...

    by Crimson King

    The whole photorealistic mo-cap is kinda what makes me skeptical about all this. I mean, I understand using it the way Peter Jackson did in LOTR because it was done for a specific reason and as a tool to further story. It just makes not much sense to me to have the actors in-studio only to present us with digital versions of themselves. I get roto-scoping, 'cause that creates a certain kind of feel to what you're seeing. Photorealistic motion capture seems rather redundant. I mean, they could've done what Rodriguez did in Sin City and place the actors themselves in the digital world. Then again, I do have to admit, I haven't seen either Final Fantasy or Polar Express (or Beowulf, obviously), so for all I know it actually works really well...

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 4:54 a.m. CST

    I've just realized...

    by second cousin of phartegod

    that the notion of being FIRST is finite, the high of such feeling is only very short-lived, yet the level of satisfaction is fairly grand. While, seeming like a bag full of douche by destroying that very short-lived high from being FIRST is infinite. It is infinite because, as long as there are people destined to destroy the joy and happiness of others, there will be those who will seek out and step on the very fabric of satisfaction just for their own satisfaction. Then that makes the whole idea of satisfaction infinite as well because every human being, douche or not, will need a catalyst to bring about their own peception of what satisfaction is.

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 4:56 a.m. CST


    by second cousin of phartegod

    I want to impregnate CGI Angelina Jolie

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 5:17 a.m. CST

    one last thing...

    by second cousin of phartegod

    we should never be afraid of the new, every day the world turns, and things that were yesterday, change today. Methods and memories are cherished, yet replacable. There is always something looming on the horizon, something that may bewilder or even frustrate the masses because of how unorthodox it is. But in good time, it will settle into the collective minds of our culture, and the recent memories of yore will be eventually forgotten by the generations of future times. We shouldn't be afraid, for the future always holds infinite promise. But I suggest, we all too should cherish now the ways of old while we still can. It is always hard to let go of what is close and familiar to us, but in time all good things must come to an end, but while the old is here, we should appreciate and enjoy its lively yet deteriorating aura. Art, even film, even 3D motion capture media, is an endless wave of dichotomy. They are all consisted of opposite forces that tend to seperate the masses and challenges to question the forces that surround it, but yet it also attracts many things into it. It attracts and collects, and from that a group is formed. That group, eventually then, evolves into a commununity. A community, then evolves into a society. And this therefore proves that ANY form of art, is infinite on all accounts. good night.

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 5:26 a.m. CST

    Holy Crap!

    by drew mcweeny

    I think second cousin of phartegod read my first draft of this review!

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 6:22 a.m. CST


    by semisaj

    Good balanced review. I was reading the talkbacks earlier and started feeling sorry for Ximan even though I thought he was a plant i wasn't a hundred percent sure...he got bullied buy some fucking twats

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 6:27 a.m. CST


    by semisaj

    I hope those inbreeds now say sorry for giving out some crap to that guy...especially the effing idiot who posted about him wanking in his face! Anyway this sounds good we have the Wii and now realistic 3D cinema....for us 30 somethings we are now seeing things we only dreamed about when we where at School...we are in the future!!

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 6:38 a.m. CST

    Juno-who needs cgi etc etc

    by semisaj

    Juno saw it last week at The Times BFI in Liecester Square of the best films I have watched in the last 20 years..brilliant script, acting amazing, painfully funny, well directed and to add to that a soundtrack that includes the moldy it when it comes out you will love it!

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 6:51 a.m. CST


    by dancetothebeatofthelivingdead

    You credit Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins, and especially brendan Gleeson with amazing performances, citing the smallest twitches on Gleeson's face as evidence. Then you go on to say that Lohman and Wright-Penn are stiff and expressiveless and blame that on the technology, well which is it? I'm going to see the movie and i hate to nitpick, but to see someone credited for a great job when the technology is blamed for someone else's poor job or vice versa is confusing

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 6:53 a.m. CST

    So, you didn't like Forrest Gump, but you liked Contact?

    by Lashlarue

    Uhh...I think the geek part of your brain must've overwhelmed the logical part on that one, Drew.

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 6:57 a.m. CST


    by Osmosis Jones

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 7:14 a.m. CST


    by Pound Sand

    I know that Zemekis (sp) pumped a lot of investor dollars and hard work into making mo cap a theatre level technique. However, I saw Polar Express, and the whole thing is just creepy, weird and bad. There's no point to it in most cases, especially when you have legit actors around. Maybe the technololgy matures, I dunno. But the whole thing just strikes me as a step above a vanity project.

  • Like I said yesterday. Jolie naked has sold me on this.

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 7:36 a.m. CST


    by Pipple

    Finished my title.

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 7:41 a.m. CST

    Unferth is a weak character in the movie

    by Captain Dees

    because he's a weak character in the book, if I'm remembering the right character. He's basically just one of Hrothgar's local ex-heroes who Beowulf punks out early in the first act and is never heard from again.

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 8:08 a.m. CST

    phartegod = don murphy

    by ironic_name

    just a reminder.

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 8:15 a.m. CST

    Agreed, Contact was Zemeckis's last great film.

    by rbatty024

    The problem with both What Lies Beneath and Cast Away is that they gave away the ending of both movies in the previews. Maybe they're great films (although I doubt it), but I cannot be objective because I was bored to tears watching them because I knew what was going to happen.

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 8:37 a.m. CST

    Back to the Future was Zemeckis's last great film

    by kwisatzhaderach

    Beowulf sounds like everything I hate about the state of Hollywood today.

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 8:56 a.m. CST

    I'll see this

    by JackBauer24

    But only because my Film Studies dissertation is on the future of cinema and IMAX 3D plays a huge part in that. Avatar, on the other hand... hell I'm tempted to do a Cartman and freeze myself until May 2009. I won't though. But only because I'd miss The Dark Knight.

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 9:08 a.m. CST

    Loved Ray Winstone in Sexy Beast. Kingsley got

    by CreasyBear

    all the rave reviews, but Winstone's work was really amazing.

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 9:24 a.m. CST

    How much is he paying you?

    by kafka07

    Did Zemeckis promise you a lapdance if you showered praise on this film?

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 9:57 a.m. CST

    Contact is wonderful

    by The Chosen

    Marvelous story, marvelous film. Hated Polar Express, but the technick must work someday, eh?

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 9:59 a.m. CST

    that WAS cool news. Most geek-worthy in awhile.

    by future help


  • Nov. 3, 2007, 10:13 a.m. CST

    Still unsure about this...

    by Lyrael

    I've read two rave reviews now but I still can't help but feel skeptical towards this film. Is it really THAT good!? I wasn't planning on seeing this initially but the 3D experience does sound tempting. Maybe I should give it a try...I guess...

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 10:42 a.m. CST

    wait, Gaiman and Avary are making a Black Hole film?

    by waggy

    is that the Charles Burns series that was released in hardcover last year? holy shit, that was one of my favorite comics i've read this decade! please tell me we're talking about the same thing.

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 11:23 a.m. CST

    second coming of Phartegod...

    by Darwyn

    Are you by chance into cybernetics, or the work of Howard Bloom? You described a whole evolutionary philosophy there... Guess I don't have a point, I just thought it was eerie. I've been arguing for these cutting edge fields for a while now, and it's not often someone writes in such a way to validate them effortlessly.

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 11:27 a.m. CST

    Uh, yes folks...Forest Gump DID suck

    by DoctorWho?

    ...or was at least MASSIVELY overated due to the novelty of CGI input of Hanks into those historical film reels. Cliche 60'-70's playlist too. Contact on the other hand was incredible.

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 11:29 a.m. CST

    I love the Seamus Heany translation of the poem...

    by rbatty024

    but it doesn't really lend itself to a film adaptation. It looks like they added a lot of extra stuff, I just hope it's not one of those situations where my love of the original makes me hate the film.

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 11:36 a.m. CST

    Better than Cast Away?

    by Robo-Steckler

    Yeah, right.

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 12:13 p.m. CST

    black hole

    by ironic_name

    was cool, I hope they make it ala renaissance<P>that way it look more burns-ey!.

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 12:14 p.m. CST

    Contact was cool until the stupid ending

    by kwisatzhaderach

    where she talked to her alien dad on the beach - like a Californian interpretation of the end of 2001.

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 12:16 p.m. CST


    by ironic_name

    not it

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 12:26 p.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    The trailer did nothing for me - I just hate them, they give away too much (except the one for The Kite Runner, that's a tear-jerker every time). But you sold me.

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 12:54 p.m. CST

    Forrest Gump was embarrassing.

    by Bronx Cheer

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 1:17 p.m. CST

    There will be blood new trailer!!!!!!!!!!!!

    by Gluecifer Looks fuckin' awesome!

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 1:33 p.m. CST

    the MoCap > Live Action trend

    by That 70s Venom

    Why are all these studios and film directors taking the CGI MoCap route these days? They did it with TMNT and now with BeoWulf. Just watch, the next Super Man is going to be all MoCap and Bryan Singer will get death threats I bet.

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 1:34 p.m. CST

    This flick looks like video game cut scene

    by fiester

    Seriously. It does.

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 1:52 p.m. CST

    charles burns...

    by bernard a badass. i picked up several issues of black hole, but never finished it. the issues i have read are some of the most bizarre and beautiful comics i have ever seen. i also love his work on el least the stuff i've had a chance to read. <p> i do wonder though...why is burns not writing the screenplay himself, or at least working with gaiman and avery? or is he? <p> anyways, for what it's worth, beowulf looks like complete shit to me. live action or 2-d would have been cool, but that polar express final fantasy soulless photo-wannabe look makes me want to puke.

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 1:53 p.m. CST

    Contact vs. Forrest Gump

    by Lashlarue

    As much as I was into Contact, the ending was so dissappointing. Oh, and it has Matthew Mcconaughey who annoys me with every breath he takes. "Jesus is real. You want me to take my shirt off?" Forrest Gump is just a cookie cutter movie that anyone can enjoy.

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 2:07 p.m. CST


    by DocPazuzu

    What, exactly, is it about Mori's review that makes you think XiMan should be apologized to?

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 2:11 p.m. CST


    by drew mcweeny

    ... Monday morning, 12:01 AM, just like everyone else in the Guild. Means I'm making last minute revisions all weekend, too.

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 2:29 p.m. CST


    by expert_40

    ... come on, man. You have a child now, so I presume there is a heart within your sell-out body. How the hell could you not like "Cast Away" and how the hell could you like a by the numbers piece of crap like "Contact?"<br><br>Look, I get the Forrest Gump thing. Some people just don't get that movie, and McWeeny, if you don't get it, I won't act all superior over you in your ignorance. But "Cast Away" was a great film with a beating heart that dared to aim higher than most all of the cookie-cutter Hollywood movies of the last two decades. Did it reach the vaunted level that it aimed to reach? Probably not. But it is still a solid 3 to 3 1/2 star movie on a 4 star scale.<br><br>More than I can say for that steaming turd known as "Contact."<br><br>Of all the guys on this site, I tend to trust you most, Drew, but I may have to rethink that stance and possibly join Massa's crazy cripples.<br><br>"Contact" over "Cast Away?" Nigg@ please!

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 2:32 p.m. CST

    Moriarty!! Fix the TTITTTLLLEEEEE!!

    by TallBoy66

    Seriously that "BEEEOOOWWWOLLLFFFF!!" is really boning up the format of the frontpage. Ouch.

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 2:35 p.m. CST


    by drew mcweeny

    ... I "get" FORREST GUMP just fine. I just think it's a cold, mean-spirited attack that the Boomers embraced because nostalgia makes them so stupid that they thought the soundtrack was nice, and they didn't realize they were being called out as a generation. <P>I don't hate CAST AWAY. I just don't like it much. I think Hanks is good in it, but he's Hanks... of course he's interesting when he's the only one onscreen. I think everything from the moment he leaves the island is superfluous and dull, and as a film, I don't think it really works. It's not awful, though. <P>And CONTACT? By-the-numbers? Can you point out all the other films where faith and science are explored in similar fashion? I think I missed the entire genre of films that made this one by-the-numbers, because what I saw was a fairly good adaptation of Sagan's book that doesn't quite stick the landing. Again... I don't think it's perfect, but I like a lot of what it does, and I think it tackles some big ideas admirably.

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 2:36 p.m. CST

    Now I'm excited

    by Kraken

    You know, I was ho hum about the footage they showed at Comic Con. But after seeing the trailer in HD on HDNET and this review, I'm jazzed. Really jazzed.

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 2:51 p.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    That's an actor's movie. I really appreciate what he gave to that role, it was something akin to DeNiro's Raging Bull - a great character study with an actor going through some pretty hardcore emotional and physical transformations. The ending was satisfying. I don't know how it could have ended in a 'better' way. It was pretty gut-wrenching, because you really put yourself in this guy's shoes, and you're empathetic with him by that time. <p> Contact ... the only thing I like about that movie is the journey, which was awesome for its time. The father bit was such a cop out. I respect the hell out of Carl Sagan though, for the record. <p> Best Zemeckis movies are still Back to the Future 1 and 3. I'm surprised he's not as prolific as Spielberg, he should direct more than he produces.

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 2:55 p.m. CST

    Ripper! Tearer! Slasher!

    by Dreadlock Holmes

    I'm soooo seeing this!

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 2:55 p.m. CST

    Will we ever see the Stoltz footage from "Future"??

    by Mister Man

    As much as I loved Fox's performance, I think Stoltz would be interesting, with a less comical approach. Has anyone seen it? In terms of a trilogy format, that series is indeed in the Top Three. "Contact" is a well-made, well-performed film.

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 3:15 p.m. CST


    by Aquatarkusman

    Holy Christ, that's some revisionism. A leaden, heavy-handed, quasi-mystic piece of crap. The first teleportation device blowing up was the only appreciably interesting thing in the entire shitfest.

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 3:25 p.m. CST

    How was the 3D?


    How does it work? is it stil that red and blue candy wrapper deal or is it those huge Jo 90 specs with the lines like a TV screen or is it new!?

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 3:48 p.m. CST

    Journey 3D..

    by Ronimus Prime

    The Journey 3D trailer before this year's Nightmare Before Xmas 3D showing was fucking incredible. The sold out audience of 500+ screamed their effing heads off and clapped during and after. Brandon whatshisname may have another hit movie on his hands. What's funny is that this trailer and the little spot right before the movie actually hurt TNBC experience given that was a conversion. It was nice and all, but it didn't touch those two pieces of coolness or the new, 3D Disney logo.

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 3:58 p.m. CST


    by expert_40

    ... we shall agree to disagree, and I will overlook the venom you've issued towards "Gump" and remain steadfast in your corner<br><br>I'm guessing you're a Gen Xer, right? Being born in 1980, I'm not sure of my generation, but I have a healthy distrust and appathy towards the Boomers who've pretty much screwed the country up every chance they got (both Clinton and W are proof of this). So I kind of like "Gump" because it does thumb it's nose at the offspring of the Greatest Generation.<br><br>You're right, there aren't many movies which ask tough questions about faith and science, but "Contact" made a mess of it in trying to please everyone. You can please everyone when it comes to science and faith and do it well (see anything Matt and Trey have done in their 11 years on "South Park") by talking out of both sides of your mouth, but "Contact" just took the easy way out, especially with the ending.<br><br>And for me, it's the ending of "Cast Away" that does it for me. It's not satisfying in that way we've been conditioned by Hollywood to yearn for. This is another reason why I love the stomach churning final 10 minutes of "Gone Baby Gone" as well as the movie itself.<br><br>BTW, you realize there was some tongue and cheek going on there, right? Hope you didn't take offense at the sell-out remark, you corporate slime-ball.<br><br>Hah!

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 4:21 p.m. CST

    I cant understand it

    by warm_turtle

    Why do you people hate forest gump. Its a shit hot film. Cast Away, Contact both sucked balls as does back to the future.

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 5 p.m. CST

    Gump sucks dark shrimp veins.

    by Bronx Cheer

    Sounds like the start of a haiku.

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 5:12 p.m. CST

    Gump is not hard to understand.

    by Silv

    Gump is a film about ignorance. While everyone is dealing with the reality and problems of socitey in the 1960's and 70s (counter-culture, Vietnam, Watergate, high crime, etc.), Forrest Gump is either oblivious or impartial to such things. As a result, he manages to coast through life without any worry, but at the cost of not truly experiencing some of the most influential and significant moments in American history. Since it was made in the early 90's, Gump is probably supposed to represent the American public of the time, but i'm not familiar enough with 1990's sensibilities to make that assumption.

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 5:37 p.m. CST

    This is not sparta.

    by Christopher3

    Bet the cast of 300 is pissed that they had to accomplish with gym work what Zemeckis does with Winstone and some CGI.

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 6:05 p.m. CST

    Forrest Gump is...

    by alienindisguise

    the greatest American movie ever made so you can all suck it. Guess if it had robots you woulda dug it. Beowulf..never cared for the story and from the trailers I've seen I can still tell it's cg so mission failed

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 6:09 p.m. CST


    by 5 by 5

    Pretty excited to see this flick now, two great reviews in. The folks who gave the 1st reviewer a hard time need to man up and apologize. I usually agree with Mori on stuff, though I couldn't disagree more with his opinion of Gump vs Contact. Gump was fucking awesome, whilst Contact - except for that one line about love and "proving" it - was pretty hum-ho for me. Well written review Drew.

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 6:30 p.m. CST


    by expert_40

    ... but how do you feel about "Cast Away?"

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 6:31 p.m. CST

    I meant 5 x 5

    by expert_40


  • Nov. 3, 2007, 7:25 p.m. CST

    the forrest gump book is better

    by TheNorthlander

    one of the funniest books ever.

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 7:29 p.m. CST


    by TheNorthlander

    Forrest Gump is not about ignorance.<br> He may have a really low IQ, but on every other level he's really the smartest guy in the story. He makes every right decision when every normal person around him fails.

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 7:30 p.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 7:30 p.m. CST


    by second cousin of phartegod

    Thank you, I do try =D

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 7:31 p.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    Taken it for what it is, it's one of the best films evah. It's touching and heart warming, and who doesn't cheer for Forrest??!?!

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 7:40 p.m. CST

    Forrest Gump was fucking retarded

    by I Dunno

    and I don't mean the character, I mean the film. It's I could write an entire book on why that movie sucked but why bother. It almost could have worked if it had the absurdity of a Terry Gilliam film but then it would have turned off everyone who actually took it seriously.<p>As for Cast Away, I dug what Hanks did with the role and the effort he put in but I just can't forgive the gap between when he's rescued and when he's mostly assimilated back into society. It just reeked of bad story telling.</p>

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 8:34 p.m. CST

    I Dunno

    by TheNorthlander

    you should have a look at the forrest gump book. it's got the absurdity of Douglas Adams, I kid you not.<br> <br> Forrest goes to space with a male orangutang called Sue, then they end up being captured by cannibals.<br> THAT's absurdity. and it's hilarious all the way through.

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 9:48 p.m. CST

    If it's visually so great...

    by pablo2004

    Why do the trailers look like 1993 Sega Genesis graphics?

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 9:56 p.m. CST

    Gump, Contact and Castaway

    by veritasses

    are all good films and there were obviously very skilled people working in front of and behind the camera but strangely they all left me feeling like they didn't meet their full potential. Considering the talent involved and the type of ambitious stories they were trying to tell, I expected to be brimming with emotion after watching them. Instead, all three seemed sort of.... emotionally distant. Gump and Castaway in particular are such strong character driven stories, I think they would've worked better if they connected with the audience more. Basically let the audience associate with the characters and relate with the situations they were facing so it felt like 'we' were Gump or we were on the island and rescued etc. Gump, I think should've been told more like a standard fairy tale (which it starts out being with the floating feather and the light, lyrical music etc) but that aspect was overshadowed by the variety and complexity of the situations the child-like Gump faced. Castaway I think might've worked better with a screenplay that focused more (while on the island) on bringing out key character themes instead of having the sort of loosely strung together mini-vignettes. This would've made the time on the island more gripping and the ending have a greater meaning/impact. It might've also helped to take a different approach in directing and editing to better showcase Hank's various struggles living in years of isolation. Helen Hunt's character, which was critical to the story, was also lacking in many ways. Contact I think suffered most in insufficient, confused and unfocused conflict setup/resolution as well as failing to establish solid character relationships with Foster and the other main characters. So ultimately the cool, grand metaphysical theme wasn't as strong/prominent as it should've been and it didn't seem as though the story and character arcs were... "monumental" and ... "clean" (for lack of a better word)... which is what a story of that sort deserves. Of course this is all just my 30 second, after the fact take on what I think might've worked better and make them more commercial/"Hollywood" and I know there are very valid reasons why things were done the way they were done. And I should reiterate that I think all three, are in there own way, solid films and very difficult stories to tell.

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 10:07 p.m. CST

    Life is like a box of chocolates

    by Pipple

    Ya never know what ya gonna get... Mo, ya gotta like that line.

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 10:30 p.m. CST

    Fuck yes I hope this movie scores big!

    by Johnno

    It'a about time more people wake up to the fact that animation can be made for adults too, and you can do some kick ass stuff with it! I'm pumped to see this in IMAX 3D... sad thing is that getting tickets for it for one of these the first week will be next to impossible, but I refuse to not experience it in 3D the first time!

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 10:32 p.m. CST

    And Forrest Gump was awesome!

    by Johnno

    What's to hate? A very touching film that also serves as delicious irony. And it's funny! Also Contact was pretty good!

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 11:07 p.m. CST

    looks like an 80s video game

    by skiff

    kinda lifeless I'll wait for the vhs

  • Nov. 4, 2007, 12:11 a.m. CST

    CASTAWAY was amazing ass.

    by FlyinHawaiian

    Best Zemekis in a decade my ass.

  • Nov. 4, 2007, 1:03 a.m. CST

    Saw this last night

    by Mattyboy122

    At a free preview screening. It's very good. And in 3-D it's awe-inspiring (the way the images are composed, it won't look nearly as impressive in 2-D). But there are some problems. There are plot holes / unresolved plot points, for one. Also, some shots looks absolutely fantastic and photo-real, but other shots look clearly animated (I sort of wish they could have stuck with one extreme or the other, because the quality change could get distracting). The bit where Beowulf is naked and they have to hide his dong in a myriad of ways does sort of play like an Austin Powers gag. And Beowulf is almost too macho. I mean, the guy looks like he works out all the time, and he yells "I am Beowulf!" a few times, which is kinda weird. I would've preferred if Ray Winstone was used for all of the mo-cap (since he's a big, burly motherfucker, not some male model), but I guess the Beowulf action figure would sell less if he looked more like Winstone. Moriarty is right, though, this film moves at a breakneck pace. It just flies by. The ending is fabulously ambiguous, but overall the film's plot holes keep it from greatness. It also lacks the heart that Polar Express had (screw you, I liked it, despite its flaws). It's a good flick, and don't miss it in 3-D.

  • Nov. 4, 2007, 1:13 a.m. CST

    Gump has a lot of heart

    by Pipple

    I just liked that, didn't see a lot of the political stuff or whatever, just the heart and soul of the film, good music good times. Why is there such venom for it, Ill never understand really.

  • Nov. 4, 2007, 1:48 a.m. CST

    I'm still torn on this one -- If no 3D then "eh"

    by Big Dumb Ape

    I don't know, I'm still sort of torn on this one. Overall, I like Zemeckis, though he's always been hit and miss. Like most people I totally love the BTTF films, but while I loved his comedic touch on USED CARS I didn't like DEATH BECOMES HER at all. And I do like GUMP a lot more than CONTACT just because I think that as a whole it holds together far better emotionally versus the entire ending of CONTACT, which is just one giant finger in the mouth, gag me time at the movies. And while I have no real interest in sitting through WHAT LIES BENEATH again, personally I just find that CASTAWAY has some repeatable aspects to it -- mostly due to Hanks being personable and I think it's hard not to watch the movie and sort of mentally drift off and start pondering what you would do in a similar situation.<p>As for BEOWULF, I have to agree with others. The animation and the whole "dead eyes" thing still just creeps me out. I don't care how spectacular the 3D is, it still looks and feels like a bloated cartoon. Those above who asked would you have loved LOTR if it was done this same way in motion capture are right - part of the heart and charm to Rings IS the spectacle of seeing flesh and blood humans in action, and then enhancing everything around them with SFX.<p>But at least I'm here in Hollywood I'll have access to the 3D version, although ultimately I have to wonder just how much the box office will be hurt in those areas where it's only available in 2D and the average middle class person and movie goer just looks at this and says "Eh, it's a cartoon and it's based on some literature thing I faked reading in college. Sounds a bit boring. What else is playing at the multiplex, honey?"<p>But we'll see. On the other hand I gotta salute Zemeckis for sticking to his guns and his vision over this thing and give credit to Paramount for rolling the dice to see how it does. Assuming the 3D really IS that great then it just seems to me the biggest beneficiary is...Cameron and Fox, as audiences get jazzed up for the next big thing in 3D but WITH real humans (and not animation) at which point I'm willing to be Cameron will be the one to REALLY knock the 3D thing totally into the stratosphere.

  • Nov. 4, 2007, 1:29 a.m. CST

    As for the WGA strike , it will get ugly FAST

    by Big Dumb Ape

    Good luck on your end personally, Mori, supporting yourself and your family during the strike. Overall, I support the writers in what they're trying to hold out for -- namely more respect and a bit more power and certainly a better piece of the royalty pie for emerging technologies (such as Internet film distribution and the like). The WGA has always made it very clear that its felt hosed ever since it settled and accepted the terms they did the last time around on DVD and home video, and as a result they don't want to see that mistake repeated again.<p>On the flip side, this thing could get ugly really, really fast. The key to any strike is obviously Union solidarity, however since I live and work here in LA myself, I know that many people are also NOT backing the writers this time, basically because any type of production shutdown will hurt their wallets as well. In fact, if you check out assorted news message boards you'll see a lot of that. In other words, you'll find a lot of other Hollywood trade people already posting things like, "Fuck you guys for striking like this! I'm a daily hire, so work is hard enough to come by as it is AND I have a family to feed! Who the fuck are you to shut down production and put us ALL out of work?"<p>In addition, I know many Union people here in town have already received letters and emails and faxes from their own Locals and Union officials likewise telling them "Look, our contract provisions with the studio/network over your particular job do NOT allow us to honor the WGA picket line. In fact, if you do, you are subject to termination and there is nothing we can do to argue against it with the company. So you MUST report to work and disregard their strike line."<p>So as I said, this one is going to get ugly and fast. What I have to wonder is, how fast the studios or agencies will find all-new writers willing to jump the line as well, since by pure legal definition any newbies are not part of the WGA membership and thus not beholden to the strike or any existing WGA rules -- heck, that ends up being a wacky by product of the strike itself too; legally speaking once the strike takes effect there are no legal provisions in place preventing new NON-union people from making deals for themselves.<p>As another weird twist, someone told me today that there's a trade union in Arizona (I think that's where it was) that is essentially saying that because they are based out of California that their union contracts and the way it was legally written DOES allow writers to be declared freelances and does allow them to keep working or to continue bargaining on deals independently. According to what I heard, they sent a letter or something to the WGA as well and sort of said the same thing as some of these angry tech workers, saying "Fuck you. Who are you to stop our people from doing work? You're in California but our people here have the right to work and support their families."<p>So like I said, the key to this strike is going to be solidarity, but in an era where Union activism and enrollment is at an all-time historical low -- as is support amongst the general public for unions (most of whom will probably simplify this strike down to "overpaid Hollywood crybabies trying to milk more money out of companies" anyway) -- it will be interesting to see how this all unfolds and who actually blinks first.<p>This WGA strike...if it actually happens come going to be a REAL test for all forthcoming Hollywood union talks here in town. And for those of you who don't work out here, let me tell you -- more than EVER management at all of these production companies are DETERMINED to break as many union contracts or depower the unions as much as they can so this can be far less of a union town -- and where management feels it is now free to hire who they want, when they want, for whatever reasons they want, and then likewise be able to let them go when they want, no questions asked.

  • Nov. 4, 2007, 1:41 a.m. CST


    by jackson healy

    I didn't think it was possible, didn't think it could be done, but Gaiman and Avary have actually improved upon the epic Olde English poem. They add a dimension to the titular character that is only hinted at between the verses; and it plays perfectly into Beowulf's hopes and fears, instantly tranforming him from a standard heroic character to one governed by a tragic flaw. The most brilliant thing about the script is how Gaiman and Avary have ingeniously layered a subtextual theme to the story. Back in Beowulf's time, the only thing more valuable than gold, silver, spices or even one's very life was the stories that were told of you. And that's what the story of Beowulf is all about: your story. Beowulf is willing even to traffic with the underworld to tether himself to the greatest story in the world. Thank the Roman God Christ he's allowed to rewrite his story more fitting to an epic hero than a tragic one by the film's end. Neil, Roger -- this shit is fucking brilliant.

  • Nov. 4, 2007, 2:08 a.m. CST


    by jackson healy

    If you have, then you're reams more connected than I am. Tell me what makes each of these films horrible; explain to me the story and character flaws that doom BEOWULF, GOLDEN COMPASS and I AM LEGEND to sub-standard status. Since you obviously know.

  • Nov. 4, 2007, 3:12 a.m. CST

    So, let me get this straight, Shuttlepod...

    by jackson healy

    You haven't seen any of them, you've only seen the trailers, and you're judging them all based on that? Speak a little louder, I didn't hear you -- have you seen them or not? And are you judging them from the perspective of having seen them, and, with your exceptional understanding of the medium, you're pronouncing them sub-standard films? Or are you just another wannabee who thinks he knows better than the rest of us because your taste and extraordinary talent stand head and shoulders above us all?

  • Nov. 4, 2007, 3:31 a.m. CST

    Big, Dumb Ape: the Writers Guild strike

    by jackson healy

    All the writers I know are in complete solidarity for this seemingly inevitable strike. And nearly all of the actors are throwing their irons in with us. We understand that over the next ten years, internet streaming revenue alone, not to mention new, yet to be unveiled means of delivery, could generate sums well into the TRILLIONS of $$$. Come Monday morning, if a fair play deal hasn't been struck, looks like I'll have to join Mori and the rest of the guild out on those picket lines. However, I'm sensing a willingness among the rest of us schmucks to weather it for as long as it takes, for the sake of those future, considerable revenues.

  • Nice one Mori and good luck in achieving your demands (from the commie bastard writers of the UK). BTW you can still keep writing it just means you don't have to deal with Tinseltown's worst. p.s. Just listening to Neil Young's Chrome Dreams II - marvellous.

  • Nov. 4, 2007, 5:59 a.m. CST


    by workshed

  • Nov. 4, 2007, 9:09 a.m. CST

    Black Hole

    by Silver_Joo

    Gaiman and Avary are on Black Hole? Really? Wow! It actually might not suck...

  • Nov. 4, 2007, 9:36 a.m. CST


    by Magnum Opus

    Seriously, people like that sweaty turd? Really? People who aren't developmentally challenged? Wow. Unbelievable.

  • Nov. 4, 2007, 11:16 a.m. CST

    To all the haters of XIMAN....

    by XiMan

    APOLOGIZE BITCHES! LOL!!! : ) <P> Mori: Couldn't have said it better. And thanks for DEPLANTING me! LOL!

  • Nov. 4, 2007, 11:20 a.m. CST

    should've been rated R

    by sith_rising

    We could get full frontal of Grendel's mom, and lots more gore. Beowulf is not a PG story. Men were not pussies back then.

  • Nov. 4, 2007, 12:55 p.m. CST


    by mrbonefish

    I never doubted you so you won't get any apology from me. Relax...who cares if some dickweed thinks you are fake. This whole site is full of wide uncontrollable dickweeds.

  • Nov. 4, 2007, 1 p.m. CST

    ximan lols at you!

    by ironic_name


  • Nov. 4, 2007, 1:02 p.m. CST

    I refuse to write in aicn talkback

    by ironic_name

    thats right, 'talkback'

  • Nov. 4, 2007, 2:41 p.m. CST

    Damn you Gerard Butler!

    by hellboy1979

    Please do not watch Gerard Butler's Beowulf & Grendel- it sucks so bad! Wasted two hours of my frikkin life watching that pile of horse shit.

  • Nov. 4, 2007, 2:53 p.m. CST

    Damn you Christopher Lambert!

    by fyrie

    Please do not watch Christopher Lambert's Beowulf - it sucks so bad! Wasted two hours of my frikkin life watching that pile of horse shit.

  • Nov. 4, 2007, 3:07 p.m. CST

    3D still has it's problems if you ask me.

    by Lezbo Milk

    I've seen a few movies at my local IMAX (Minnesota), and I've got to say I'm torn on the 3D thing. There are some drop dead cool moments, but for me (and others I've spoke to) there are still some issues with the glasses and with the effects fucking with your eyes. It's just not perfect yet. It can really make you feel crosseyed one minute...and work just fine the's a very mixed bag right now and can be very tiring to watch. The glasses are huge and ill fitting, and don't cover your perifrial vision...I'm not sure what the solution is here except for maybe offering small, med and large sizes and redesigning the glasses so the lenses wrap around a bit more? The problem for me is the intrusion of perfifrial stuff (which is no in 3D obviously) fucking with the 3D image on the screen and it makes your eyes go all fucking whacko. Maybe they should put horse blinders on the things so you just see the screen? Shit I don't know, but until they can make the 3D easier to watch, I'm not going to want to sit through another feature length film.

  • Nov. 4, 2007, 3:15 p.m. CST

    Teamsters support the WGA

    by christian66

    So for all this "gee, too bad writers good luck nobody's on your side" bullshit...well, tell it to the Teamsters. They know this is a nimportant fight to not let the greedy studios become even more monolithic in their power. Beowulf!!!!!

  • Nov. 4, 2007, 4:18 p.m. CST

    So do the the staff of this site.....

    by D o o d

    ever give a constructive review anymore. They're all getting rich off the studio's by providing us with totally biased reviews.

  • Nov. 4, 2007, 5:08 p.m. CST

    D o o d...

    by drew mcweeny

    ... sincerely, go fuck yourself. No one on this site is "getting rich," and we're not paid by the studios. <P>I liked the film. It's that simple. You want a conspiracy, go peddle your bullshit elsewhere. I'm tired of whiny little shits like you who take shots based on nothing more than your own proclivity to sell out. You might whore your ass to studios and sell your opinion, but that doesn't mean everyone else does. Cope with it.

  • Nov. 4, 2007, 6:27 p.m. CST

    Is this movie CG or live action?

    by GibsonUSA

    I cant tell.<BR> Either way, I dont like the videogame intro looking-ness of it all.

  • Nov. 4, 2007, 6:28 p.m. CST

    "Back with more reviews all weekend long."

    by El Scorcho


  • Nov. 4, 2007, 6:28 p.m. CST

    Ah, nevermind.

    by El Scorcho

    My page wasn't refreshing.

  • Nov. 4, 2007, 8:29 p.m. CST


    by TheGhostWhoLurks

    You know it's true.

  • Nov. 4, 2007, 8:48 p.m. CST

    Don't think BEOWULF will set the BO on fire.

    by Orbots Commander

    I noticed the trailer play a number of times during the Sunday football games, including the big Colts and Patriots game (damn you, Tom Brady/Bellichik/Moss), at a popular local sports bar. I didn't notice any positive reaction to the Beowulf trailer playing on the huge projection TV's. Friends with me, between pints of Sam Adams, honestly thought it looked like a commercial for an Xbox 360 game.

  • Nov. 4, 2007, 8:57 p.m. CST

    It doesn't help BEOWULF's marketing that

    by Orbots Commander

    recently, video game companies are using a technique of advertising their games like movie trailers. In particular, right after a Beowulf trailer, there was a film trailer-like commercial for a game about medieval assasins. I think it was for a Playstation 3 game.

  • Nov. 4, 2007, 9:04 p.m. CST

    Damn, D o o d...

    by Holodigm

    You just got owned. And as for the Drew going on strike part, maybe you weren't specific enough for a simpleton like me - does the strike including writing for this site? If so, that'd suck.

  • Nov. 4, 2007, 10:27 p.m. CST

    This from Paramount? No hope of seeing this on bluray then...

    by wadi77

  • Nov. 4, 2007, 11:47 p.m. CST

    Damn you, Orbots Commander...

    by Big Dumb Ape

    I had to TIVO the Colts/Patriots game because I was out all day, but luckily I managed to avoid hearing any scores on the day as well. So I literally JUST sat down at my desk and started to let it play and was watching the opening Colts drive out of the corne of my eye as I was also quickly checking my day's email and a few online which point I caught your post cursing Brady and Moss and I said "Oh fuck" and just hit the TIVO button to jump ahead 3 hours to see the end result. After dodging scores all day I can't believe that the one place I thought I'd be safet...a geek movie site...was the one place that revealed the outcome! Well, I guess I can also thank you -- you just saved 3 hours of my life, so I'll just watch something else I needed to clean off the damn TIVO.<p>As for the game itself, look at it this way -- the way both teams are playing they're sure to collide once again in the playoffs. So much like last year, the Colts will only have more emotional motivation going into that game -- not to mention revenge in the playoffs and knocking someone out for good (versus just playing a regular season game) feels all the sweeter...

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 1:12 a.m. CST


    by XiMan


  • Nov. 5, 2007, 3:09 a.m. CST

    Thats why

    by optimus122

    This site needs better talkback software..some of the talkbackers need banning in the worst way..

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 6:04 a.m. CST

    My Apologies Mori.....

    by D o o d

    Didn't mean to piss anyone off and I do agree that saying Plant is very easy and not really very constructive. If I were being totally honest, the anonymity can lead to a person saying things which they normally wouldn't face to face. So I do sincerely apologise. On a serious question about the movie. The one thing that is really bugging me about the trailer is that it does look very CG and the dead eye syndrome seems to be very present. Didn't that bother you at all in the movie..?

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 6:12 a.m. CST

    D o o d...

    by drew mcweeny

    A lot less than it did in POLAR EXPRESS. I think with each character, it succeeds to different degrees. Robin Wright Penn's character is probably the worse in terms of the eyes. And I think Brendan Gleeson's character is probably best.

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 6:18 a.m. CST


    by drew mcweeny

    ... I want to amend part of the review. I nitpick a bit towards the end of the review about the stuff with Unferth, Malkovich's character. Neil Gaiman got in touch to inform me that everything I asked about was written and shot, then cut. So it's just an editorial choice. Not something that Neil and Roger did "wrong" in the script. I stand corrected.

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 6:23 a.m. CST

    Ray Winstone was in Prodigy?

    by Kiera Knightley's Sexy Beanpole

    Doesn't he sound like he's just going to go ahead and say "I'm a firestarta, twisted firestarta" after he does his whole "rippa" and "cutta" thing??? Or is it just me?

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 6:29 a.m. CST

    Damn You David Couiller

    by Kiera Knightley's Sexy Beanpole

    Please do not watch David Couiller's "Beowulf and Bullwinkle"- it sucks so bad! Wasted two hours of my frikkin life watching that pile of horse shit.

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 7:37 a.m. CST

    So is CGI Jolie naked or not?

    by Abominable Snowcone

    Whether I buy a ticket hinges on that issue alone. Everything else about the preview I saw looked like Shrek for teens.

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 8:34 a.m. CST

    oh fuck off, poeticwarriorII

    by I Dunno

    because someone doesn't like something you do, you have to hurl puerile insults at them? Gump was a shitty movie and calling someone retarded for not eating up that contrived drivel is absurd.

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 9:33 a.m. CST

    Winstone was badass...

    by Mosquito March Will Scathlock on the "Robin of Sherwood" TV series.

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 9:52 a.m. CST

    Call me old fashioned ...

    by Henry Jones Sr

    ... but I still like my movies to have actors and sets and photography. I just don't find motion capture animation interesting to look at.

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 11:15 a.m. CST

    My bad, Big Dumb Ape.

    by Orbots Commander

    I didn't expect any other football fans to be posters on aicn either. Apparently one can be a sports fan and a movie geek at the same time. Colts lost and my Jets blew yet another lead to lose to Washington, so my Sunday wasn't that great, sports-wise. (I have Sunday's football highlights and ready to watch them now, ESPN video podcast, during lunch on my Zen Vision M.) Incidentally, the movies that people at the bar were talking about were American Gangster, Gone Baby Gone and Fred Claus (!!!).

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 11:38 a.m. CST

    Saw the clip on Spike a couple weeks ago

    by skimn

    of the battle with the underwater slug thingies. If that clip plays unedited in the film, it will push the bounderies of what PG13 can represent in terms of blood and violence. And from what I saw, following this there will be no need for a "God Of War" movie.

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 12:02 p.m. CST

    Moriarty, you dirty shill!

    by Archive

    Ha! just wanted to grab your attention and say thanks! Like you, I was all about sitting this one out, and I have very little patience for technological gimmicks anymore. I was astonished by James Cameron's conviction in Harry's interviews a while back, but conviction can be so far from wisdom! You're one of the good guys, Drew - and I really appreciate you taking the time to turn me on to stuff like this. I just hope I can get you and Harry this excited some day soon myself! In the meantime, thank you.

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 12:03 p.m. CST

    Orbots, if you think YOUR Sunday wasn't great sports-wise...

    by Big Dumb Ape

    Consider this: I'm actually a lifelong Dolphins fan. So if you wanna talk about having absolutely NO JOY and NO REASON to enjoy your Sundays anymore, I got a sobbing speech for ya'!<p>But again, I'd still say cheer up. I'm still betting on Peyton and the Colts to come back and kick New England's ass in the playoffs in a repeat of last year's post season face off. Then again I'm also still hoping that in their second divisional match up that that's the ONE game the Dolphins win for the year, coming from out of nowhere and against all odds to ruin New England's undefeated run...

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 5:10 p.m. CST

    What's the point of being an adult and having to

    by GQtaste

    watch cartoons? I'm 26 yrs old. I want to see real people playing roles instead of f'ing cartoons.

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 5:16 p.m. CST

    I find myself gasping for breath after Mori's reviews

    by JAGUART

    Good film or bad, I always feel I've gotten the wind knocked out of me when I've finished reading.

  • Nov. 5, 2007, 5:37 p.m. CST

    Loosen your belt then Jag :)

    by metaluna

    Not gonna go see this cartoon. Sick of BS technology reliant films that look like cut scenes from a computer game. If I want that, I'll boot up a game or two. When I go to the movies, I like to watch people unless they are cartoons for cartoons sake a la Toy Story. Zemeckis is a good director. Gump is great. So is Castaway and Contact almost does it apart from that californian ending. This looks like an effects house show reel and please tell me why I need 3D in my life? Just tell better stories, you hacks.

  • Nov. 6, 2007, 3:52 a.m. CST


    by JAGUART

    You're not very poetic for a fag.

  • Most AICN readers would all concur that writers for film and TV have been screwed over for too long and are entitled to much better compensation, so it'd be interesting to hear Mori and Harry's own analysis of the current writers strike in North America.

  • Nov. 6, 2007, 10:55 a.m. CST

    Does it look better on the (really) big screen?

    by Reel American Hero

    Because all the tv spots I've seen so far make the animation look subpar compared to next gen video game graphics. I'm intrigued with the story, been a fan since I had to read it in 11th grade English class, but I'm not going to pay to see a bunch of video game cutscenes edited together to make a story. I'd play Xenosaga if I wanted that.

  • Nov. 6, 2007, 11:23 a.m. CST

    Per Neil Gaiman

    by skimn

    the trailers were produced from scenes that were completed as of three months ago, and those images were still being tweaked up to last Friday morning prior to the press screening. So if correct, the on-screen image should blow away the trailers.

  • Nov. 6, 2007, 2:33 p.m. CST

    XiMan's not alone in thinking BEST PICTURE

    by XiMan

    This from Boston Herald's Stephen Schaefer: <p> Seeing is believing with Robert Zemeckis’ mighty, monumental “Beowulf,” which opens Nov. 16. This extravagant adaptation of the epic poem about a cursed kingdom invents a 6th century A.D. Denmark that is so richly detailed, romantic and engrossing it’s like seeing the Prince Valiant comic strip brought to blazing, 3-D life, a childhood fantasy realized in such a complete way you’re stupefied with delight. Using the motion capture technique that “Lord of the Flies” managed to create the lisping monster Gollum and that Zemeckis employed on the saccharine “Polar Express,” “Beowulf” is nothing less than an immersion into a world that is somehow familiar – they live in a harsh climate like Boston, they drink mead, get drunk and pass out, they have a wife and a mistress – and totally strange with its demons that morph into flying dragons, sea monsters that can be slain by blond Beowulf, a hero for all times. The fight scenes are startling, not the least because like “Eastern Empires” Beowulf is nude as he takes on Grendel in mano a mano to-the-death combat. The homoeroticism, a friend said, outdoes Gerald Butler’s “300” by “500.” Ray Winstone may look nothing like this sleek god-like warrior but he sounds perfect. The cast includes a brilliantly underplayed aging king by Anthony Hopkins, a Bette Davis-style villain in John Malkovich and Angelina Jolie’s siren, a shape-changing seriously seductive sylph who gets a laugh in her six-inch heels. Big Oscar Question: Is this in the running for Best Picture or Best Animated Feature?

  • Nov. 6, 2007, 4:29 p.m. CST

    Does the strike affect this site as well?

    by ShadowMaker

    Since Moriarty's movie marathon appears to have come to a standstill I was wondering if writing for this site counts as breaking the picket line...

  • Nov. 6, 2007, 4:44 p.m. CST

    hey, poeticwarriorII

    by Zug

    It's spelled "principal," you pathetic imbecile, and for the record, FORREST GUMP sucks, it's one of the most overrated movies ever made, and anyone who praises it automatically puts their intelligence into question. And yes, that means YOU.

  • Nov. 6, 2007, 5:02 p.m. CST

    Favorite Zemeckis

    by Mattyboy122

    I'm surprised nobody has brought up Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Fucking excellent flick. Maybe my favorite Zemeckis flick, though I like a lot of his work (including Death Becomes Her, Forrest Gump, Cast Away, Polar Express (it was good, not great; bite me), and of course Back to the Future is excellent).

  • Nov. 6, 2007, 10:37 p.m. CST

    How can you not like Gump?

    by Rupee88

    Yes it is a bit contrived and manipulative, but masterfully so. I just accept it and enjoy the ride. I thought Gump's speech at his dead wife's grave was maudlin, but besides that the film mostly hit the right notes. And Contact is a great film...ending is not great, but overall it is very well done and engaging. Roger Rabbit was incredible at the time..maybe dated now though. What Lies Beneath is somewhat by the numbers, but done so well that it works too. Zemeckis is certainly a true artist and I will go see Beowulf, mostly for the 3D, but I bet he made a good film too.

  • Nov. 6, 2007, 10:39 p.m. CST

    Winstone in "The Proposition"

    by Rupee88

    That's the film that really turned me on to him...great character actor.

  • Nov. 7, 2007, 9:14 a.m. CST


    by Zug

    Maudlin is the key word. The entire thing is maudlin. And I don't care for movies where the message is that it's good to be stupid. Messages like that get people like Chimpy elected president.

  • Nov. 7, 2007, 10:51 a.m. CST

    I want to like this movie

    by CuervoJones

    But i hate the trailers and clips i´ve seen.

  • Nov. 7, 2007, 11:25 a.m. CST

    Zemeckis love for..

    by skimn

    lets not forget his early non-special effect movies like "Used Cars". C'mon, a raunchy comedy with Kurt Russell at his snake oil charming best and the immortal Jack Warden as the Fuch's's an early '80s comedy highlight.

  • Nov. 7, 2007, 2:48 p.m. CST

    Drew, where is the link to your FORREST GUMP review?

    by TheRealRatigan

    I don't remember it, and for reference on your BEOWULF review, I want to.

  • Nov. 7, 2007, 8:40 p.m. CST

    Zemekis is good, but he's missing critical details

    by Teddy Artery

    Zemeckis has missed obvious problems with the eyelines on his mo-cap 'puppets'. I saw none of this quality control issue with Gollum. I'm afraid he's just not committed to fine-tuning the product to make it more believable, and keep our minds and attention on the story... instead I find myself constantly noticing that the Beowulf has 'dead-eye' syndrome. Shame, that.

  • Nov. 7, 2007, 9:16 p.m. CST

    mocap will never totally work

    by Rupee88

    Right now, it is just a gimmick, and a relatively senseless one at that. 3D however kicks ass and I think that is not gimmicky if used correctly. Of course mocap is good if used correctly too, but a whole film of it is not using it correctly. A whole film in 3D will work the same way a whole film of color instead of B&W works.

  • Nov. 7, 2007, 9:17 p.m. CST


    by Rupee88

    Ok, I can see how you could find all of Forrest Gump maudlin. It just doesn't cross the line for me (except for that one scene), but does get close a few more times, so I can relate to your pov somewhat.

  • Nov. 8, 2007, 7:49 p.m. CST

    Check out Gump Fiction on You Tube

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    from the first episode of the first season of Mad TV. LMFAO

  • Nov. 9, 2007, 10:25 a.m. CST

    Another review

    by longcount

    X-Realms has published a positive review here -

  • Nov. 9, 2007, 11:37 p.m. CST

    OK - if this is crap, and if I'll find it artistically and creat

    by scrumdiddly

    then I'll have encouraged them to make MORE by actually paying to see it. That's why I'm not going to take the risk. It's the principle of the thing.

  • Nov. 9, 2007, 11:37 p.m. CST

    In fact, they should do what Coldplay recently did.

    by scrumdiddly

    Let people see it for free, but encourage them to give a donation on the way out! People are honest enough to pay if they like it, right?

  • Nov. 10, 2007, 7:17 p.m. CST

    BaioWulf: The Trailer

    by cosimoto

    This is pretty damn funny:

  • Nov. 11, 2007, 7:50 a.m. CST

    Glad to hear something positive, but I don't know if I can get p

    by minderbinder

    I'm glad they made an "adult" animated film, but I'm still concerned they wussed out with the PG-13...did they cut stuff or did the MPAA go way easy on them? I wish these reviews would address that, did the stuff in the restricted trailer even all make it into the movie. And I'm still not sold on the zombie looking CGI people. I don't want to see animated characters that are just halfassed imitations of real people. And to be honest , I'm not willing to spend my dollars on films that do that, even if the movie is pretty good, and has great 3D look, I don't want to encourage the whole "fake actor" nonsense. Create original character designs, or just shoot the actors on greenscreen. Using CGI to create scenes of characters who mostly look like actors (but not quite, so it looks fake) standing around talking is like doing My Dinner With Andre with greenscreen and digital sets. There are great advantages to this technology, but zemeckis treats them like a fetish instead of using them to their best advantage.

  • Nov. 11, 2007, 9:51 a.m. CST


    by alcester

    just got the dvd. i liked even better than when i saw it in the theater. a great movie.

  • Nov. 11, 2007, 9:59 a.m. CST

    Beowulf vs Advent Children

    by Reyvn_DarKnight

    Beowulf probably easily beats down FF:AC as far as script is concerned. But my focus of this post is toward the animation. While watching the trailer for Beowulf, I noticed that the animation wasnt nearly as detailed as FF:AC. When FF:AC was released here in the States, I immediately recognized the potential for the artform. It moves a step forward in the creative process that Ralph Bakshi did back in 1978 with Lord of the Rings: a blend of live action with animation overlaid the actors. The animation for Beowulf seems stale compared to the animation in FF: AC. I truely would love to see this style of animation open up as it bring recognizable actors and voice talents to the roles while opening the door to mind blowing set pieces and action pieces.

  • Nov. 13, 2007, 11:51 p.m. CST

    The Original

    by gurgi3

    After seeing the trailer, I have to wonder how many people involved in making this movie ever read Beowulf. Considering the liberties they've taken with the story, especially with Grendel's mother, it's pretty nervy to claim that it is anything more than loosely based on the original poem. I suspect this film will mean trouble for many English-class slackers who will watch it and believe that Grendel's mother is a sexual goddess and Hrothgar a corrupt lecher.

  • Nov. 14, 2007, 5:26 p.m. CST


    by Wyrdy the Gerbil

    Had the same thought myself about the animation,still looking forward to seeing it on thurs though

  • Nov. 15, 2007, 12:33 p.m. CST

    What? It's rated PG-13?!? Not R!!

    by L.H.Puttgrass

    I guess Angie's not naked. Hmmm. Are you really naked if it's CGI? Discuss it amoungst yourselves.

  • Nov. 15, 2007, 6:24 p.m. CST

    Sooo...which format IS best?

    by Lord Elric

    IMAX 3d or Real3d? Enquiring minds would like to know.