Monday, November 26, 2007

My Beowulf review

My review of the Beowulf movie isn't going to be very long. It wasn't quite as bad as I thought it would be in the first five minutes or so. The initial emphasis on special effects ("Lookit what I can do, mom!") I found really tiresome (I liked the battle with the dragon later, fantastic as it was) and I wasn't very keen on the drunken Hrothgar. However, I did not want to leave the theater at any point after that. Not too bad for a Hollywood movie; but despite its pretensions (Neil Gaiman! Neil Gaiman!) it was a pretty much a Hollywood movie.

Rather than say more, I'll refer you to the three best reviews (best in the sense of being the most thoughtful and in-depth), at least two of them by Anglo-Saxonists (one's pseudonymous). These are not humorless, uptight specialists. One was delighted to say, for instance,

Angelina Jolie is doing philology!!! Angelina Jolie is doing philology naked!!!

(Does it get any better than that?)
but all three share the conviction that movie scriptwriters seldom have the subtlety of the medieval sources they sometimes plunder. Hardly news, that.

Here are the three reviews:

Michael Drout at Wormtalk and Slugspeak
Richard Scott Nokes at Unlocked Wordhoard
Dr. Virago at Quod She

And if you want more, see an earlier comment on this blog.

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Blogger Dr. Virago said...

Aw shucks, thanks Steve! And in case readers want to know, I'm a late medievalist if you go by my research, but I'm the only medievalist in my department, so I teach OE literature and language, too.

9:59 AM  

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