anyway, we had been intending to catch up with everyone after they had eaten but in time to see the film, but when I got home from work Aggie was not feeling up to going out and offered to babysit the whole evening, so I got to join the gang for pizza first too, which was nice. The poor waitress must have been terribly disappointed though. She would have been rubbing her hands at the thought of a birthday group to serve. then when she took the first drinks order, it must have occured to her that we are, perhaos, the most boring birthday party in the world. "diet coke for me, I'm driving" I said, "and me", "me too" "same here" "same for me" then, just to be exotic, there was one "coffe please". We`all had a little pizza and a garlic bread, then all had exactly the same dessert too:-) Oh well, I expect there were more flamboyant people in later:-)
Then the film. I was pretty worried about it tbh. All i had heard`about it was that it was animated, and mostly advertised by pictures of Angelina Jolie in the nude! (That sentance should get me some hits:-)!) I'm not a great Beowulf fanatic. I have read it, many years ago, in a fairly poor translation (My linguistic skills do not stretch to anglo-saxon unfortunately), but I can't claim any great affinity for it. But all the same, it is the oldest written epic in English history. It deserves some respect, and Hollywood is not known for it's ability to respect original works!
But actually i was pleasantly surprised. The animation was fantastic. Each time I see a new animated film I am amazed at how much better it is. This was close to film quality. except the horse. They couldn't do that very well for some reason - the dog was brilliant, and the other animals good, but not the horse. Or the mail which didn't move right. But I think that was because they were copying the crappy knitted mail Hollywood is so keen on using for it's actors, rather than the riveted metal rings that weigh 4-6 stone that real soldiers wore.
***************SPOILER ALERT***************SPOILER ALERT***********************
There were some bits I didn't like. I was not at all keen on zombie Grendel. In the poem he is quite decidely a man, if a "monster" of a man, and outcast from the village he terrorises and descended from Cain, and I thought the zombie look rather detracted form the "monstrous man" image. I wasn't overly keen on the whole undermining of the hero thing really. It's all very well adding in fantasy so you can have Angelina Jolie in the buff, but for the hero of a heroic epic to be unheroic in both battle and morality is a bit off imho.
but then again there were some bits I loved. It was beautifully and skillfully shot (if that can be said about an animated film). It was set in the right place at the right time, with a good attempt at giving a flavour of the people then rather having modern people living then. I liked the old English Grendel and his mother spoke, and loved the reading of the "original" Beowulf in the background during the feast scene. The fight with the dragon was fantastic. Shame it was the only proper fight!
Over all, I give it four stars, which is pretty good for me:-)