“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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