ANIMATION; 1hr 55min
VOICES BY: Ray Winstone, Angelina Jolie, Anthony Hopkins
He’s a legend: Beowulf
With a three-pronged release (35mm, Digital 3-D, Imax 3-D), a starry voice cast (John Malkovich, Robin Wright Penn, Brendan Gleeson, Crispin Glover, Alison Lohman) and technology out to Here, Beowulf is one big, sensation-packed deal. Working with the performance-capture format he instigated with The Polar Express (in which actors are overlaid with a Teflon-style CGI coating), director Robert Zemeckis gives the ancient, epic poem on which the film is based the five-star Hollywood treatment.
The showy tale of a Viking beefcake (Winstone, as you’ve never seen him), who in 507 AD Denmark defeats the monstrous Grendel (Glover), then falls sexual prey to the creature’s poisonously vampish mother (Jolie — who else?), is as easy to digest as a creamy bowl of mac and cheese, especially when viewed in the luscious depth of 3-D. I had a ball with the carnage and sin — the monster as embodiment of man’s depravity and Beowulf’s tormented, redemptive final quest included. Yes, it’s a cornball bonanza, but there’s no denying its wow power.