“Beowulf” update: Spawn of Angelina


Well, that’s the most tabloid headline
I’ve ever written. But then again, what you’re about to see will
shock, amaze, make you laugh, make you cry, make you glad that CGI creations
don’t have an olfactory presence. (What? It’s Friday; I’m
giddy.) Personally, I’ve been waffling on the Beowulf film.
On one hand, I really hated reading the Cliff Notes to
. On the other hand, there is the promise of
some nifty battle action, and there is also this.

As Dorothy Snarker
and a few of you commented
animated Angelina has a certain artificial allure. Her presence
could even overcome my biggest potential irritation with the film: Bad
adaptations (as this one threatens to be) of classic works (even the
ones I didn’t read) mean me making a nuisance of myself by saying things
like, “No, kids, the REAL The Scarlet Letter does NOT have
a happy ending.” Um. Quick, more pictures!

My other issue with the movie
is the whole CGI phenomenon: I’m not sure that animating real-life actors
like this is ultimately more interesting (even though Jolie with a tail
is sort of neat). Also, the CGI landscape sort of looks like cut
sequences in a good video game.

Except that video game villains
are generally visually striking. This brings us to my point: Jolie’s
animated spawn. Meet Grendel, her monster spawn.

There’s no way to put this delicately.
Somebody dumped a bucket of excrement all over Beaker from the Muppets,
and he is really, really pissed off.

These images are from footage available
in the latest internationally released trailers. That’s trailers
plural, because there are family-friendly cuts as well as a new rated-R version. Here’s one of the newer G-ish rated trailers,
which shows more story and more of Robin Wright Penn‘s somewhat
expressionless CGI self.

I did view the uncensored trailer —
all in the name of research, of course. (You can do your own research here). Gut response: I’ve stumbled
into a medieval Hostel! One scene shows random body parts
dangling in what appears to be a medieval meat locker. Second
thought: Nudity! Except not really, because it’s CGI. Angelina’s
body is all golden and glowing, and while one of my friends argues that
this is her natural state, it’s not exactly anatomically correct.
There are things missing, things added, and things possibly (ahem) enhanced.

Well. All things considered,
I’m leaning toward going. Will you be lining up next month?

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