Yesterday I had the pleasure of getting Beowulf on it’s first day out in HD-DVD. This is a story taken from an Old English poem of the same name. It’s the story of Scandinavian hero Beowulf (Ray Winstone) who is called to help the Danes, by they’re king (Anthony Hopkins) to fight the beast Grendel (Crispin Glover) who has been attacking them on a constant basis. Once Beowulf shows up with his troops, and his long time battle companion (Brendan Gleeson). They start to tell the stories of Beowulf’s other accomplishments, which sound like tall tales to the king’s second in command (John Malkovich). Well Beowulf shows his skills as a fighter as he easily defeats the beast. This killing of the beast, does not stand well with the beast’s mother (Angelina Jolie), who comes out of her lair to strike revenge against Beowulf’s men. Then the real battle starts as Beowulf must face the wrath of the mother of the beast, who has her own intentions on whats she’s gonna do to him. The movie also stars Robin Wright Penn as the King’s wife, and Alison Lohman as Beowulf’s young maiden lover. The movie was directed by Robert Zemeckis who does a fantastic job of bringing this poem to life. It was all filmed in HD quality animation, with all the actors adding they’re voices to the characters. The film quality is amazing for an animated picture, and the action scenes are breathtaking. The film is rated NR for graphic violence, sexual situations, and nudity. It’s not a kids cartoon.
Also on the DVD’s special features are picture in picture behind the scenes information, web enabled features, deleted scenes, A Hero’s Journey: The making of Beowulf HD, Beast of Burden: designing the creatures of Beowulf, and The Art of Beowulf: A conversation with Robert Zemeckis. The movie runs 114 mins and was put out by Paramount Pictures.