MPAA Rated – PG-13
It’s 1:53 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins, John Malkovich, Rogin Wright Penn, Angelina Jolie
MPAA Rated: PG-13
Released By: Paramount Pictures
Kiddie Movie: It should really be rated R.
Date Movie: Only if she likes video games.
Gratuitous Sex: Would have been better in real life.
Gratuitous Violence: Even though video-game-ish, there was a ton of it.
Action: The dragon scene at the end.
Laughs: A chuckle here and there.
Memorable Scene: Hrothgar’s final questioning of Beowulf about how Beowulf got away from Grendel’s mom.
Memorable Quote: None.
Directed By: Robert Zemeckis

I love technology, and I love CGI for the most part, but so far, between “The Polar Express” and now “Beowulf,” I still can’t stand performance capture movies. I guess I’ll get more into that later, let’s first get to the story of “Beowulf.”

If I ever had to read “Beowulf” I must have really hated it because I have absolutely no recollection of the story. Pretty much, though, the movie gives us Hrothgar (Anthony Hopkins) as King of some land up in Viking land. He’s an old dude, but has a younger wife, Wealthow (Robin Wright Penn). Even though Hrothgar brags about his killing a dragon, there’s this strange creature, Grendel (Cripsin Glover), who really doesn’t like the singing going on in town so he attacks it a lot. The King is finally fed up and says that the town will no longer have any fun, so as not to have Grendel come back, and that they need a hero to kill the beast.

Enter Beowulf (Ray Winstone).

Beowulf’s some kind of badass who has heard that the land has a creature to slay, and he and his men are just the people to slay it. Of course knowing that those who have tried to kill Grendel have used various weapons to no avail, Beowulf figures it’s best to fight the beast in his birthday suit, with his willy hidden by various objects, reminiscent of “Austin Powers.” And so Beowulf kills Grendel and now Grendel’s Mother (Angelina Jolie) is both pissed but also looking for some lovin’ and a new son. Beowulf, in the meantime, is looking to stop the violence, and maybe a kingdom wouldn’t hurt, so hey, he takes one for the team.

Beowulf eventually becomes King, replacing Hrothgar, and his reign is pretty benign, with his folks pretty much running roughshod over neighboring regions, but then some things change, Grendel’s Mother is pissed again, and now a dragon threatens to destroy Beowulf’s kingdom, or at least kill his Queen Wealthow (she became his when Hrothgar died), and his young hottie to sleep with girl, I believe she was Ursula (Alison Lohman). So it’s up to Beowulf to save the day, and hopefully, once and for all, remove the curse from the land.

In its premise “Beowulf” had so much potential to captivate me the same way I loved “300,” but damn, I just can’t get over the performance capture look that just gives the film cartoonish feel, like I’m watching a video game. For me I would have liked to see Robin Wright Penn in real life as the Queen, maybe Ray Winstone wouldn’t be buff enough but I think he’d still be good in real life as Beowulf, and the animation work they did for Angelina Jolie, well, they might as well just had her there in real life, and I think Unferth’s character (he was in line to be King until Beowulf came along) would have been better played by a real John Malkovich. Hell, it even would have been better seeing Anthony Hopkins old-man butt when his toga-thing almost falls off rather than the cartoon version.

The only thing I guess “Beowulf” being “animated” helped was the fact that the MPAA, in its still bizarre wisdom, let a movie that had tons of violence, lots of people getting pulled apart, lots of talk about sex (although no one dropped the F-bomb), general debauchery, and Angelina Jolie might at well have been naked for real because the only thing missing from her character when it came out of the water were some nipples and a landing strip, be rated PG-13. I guess even when the line between real and cartoon becomes as close as “Beowolf” put it, being a cartoon lets you get away with a lot more.

As much as the look of the movie bugged me and really disconnected me from the story, I went to see this version of “Beowulf” in 3-D, and I will give props to 3-D technology because it has become incredible, but so far it’s been limited to cartoon movies, of which “Beowulf” technically is (though there was a preview for “Journey to the Center of the Earth” next year, with real people, that looks very cool). If you do see this movie do yourself a favor and spend the extra two bucks (which I don’t really understand because I didn’t get to keep the glasses) to at least be a little dazzled.

In the end “Beowulf” just didn’t wrap me in to a movie that done in real life, and just going balls out for the R rating like “300” did, well, it probably could have been fantastic for me. As such I’ve got to only give the movie 2 stars out of 5. The only reason I can tell you to see this movie is for the 3-D version because it will give you a glimpse of the future of movies.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

The Bone Collector

MPAA Rated – R
It’s 1:58 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

The Bone Collector
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Denzel Washington, Angelina Jolie, Ed O’Neil
MPAA Rated: R
Released By: Universal Pictures
Release Date: 1999
Kiddie Movie: I think not, although some dad did bring his 10 year old daughter.
Date Movie: She might get scared and snuggle.
Gratuitous Sex: Nothing gratuitous.
Gratuitous Violence: Some gross out scenes.
Action: Some suspense.
Laughs: A line here and there.
Memorable Scene: One of the victims is tied up and the rats start heading towards him.
Memorable Quote: None come to mind.
Directed By: Phillip Noyce

I still can’t quite decide if I liked “The Bone Collector” or not. Sure it had some interesting ways to kill someone. Sure it had some suspense. Sure I jumped a little when the SWAT team’s door flung open. Sure it had one of my newest, favoritist actresses in the likes of Angelina Jolie. But I just didn’t come away with the “Damn that was a good movie” attitude.

Here’s the story. Denzel Washington plays Lincoln Rhyme. He’s stuck in a bed due to a freak accident while investigating a crime scene. He used to be one of the best crime scene detectives out there, but now he just wants to die. Low and behold Angelina as Amelia Donaghy stumbles across a crime scene, uses her wits to preserve the scene before the rain, and gets yelled at for stopping a train. So, the great Ed O’Neil (I miss Married With Children) as Detective Paulie takes the evidence to Lincoln for some insight into the killer, and Lincoln sees a bright spot in Amelia as capable to be a good crime scene investigator. She doesn’t want to, but Lincoln and Paulie pressure her enough so she’s now on her way to a new career.

It turns out the killer is leaving clues for the cops to catch him, or for the cops to blame themselves for not figuring out the clue quick enough, and Lincoln and Amelia are the ones to try to figure out the clues. “Hey, how can Lincoln help if he’s stuck in bed?” Well, Lincoln basically walks Amelia through a crime scene using radio headsets and she brings the clues back to him. But the asshole lead cop, Captain Howard (Michael Rooker), doesn’t like this arrangement and kicks the two off the case. Hey, want some more movie cliches? Well, guess what, the asshole cop turns out to be wrong and Amelia and Lincoln keep investigating even though they are off the case, Amelia and Lincoln have some romantic sparks, and the list goes on.

Alright, the movie had just about every cop/suspense/killer movie cliche there is out there, but it wasn’t too bad except I didn’t buy the sexual tension between Angelina and Denzel at all. The story line wasn’t bad and it led to the obvious conclusion, but I’m thinking you might feel better about seeing “The Bone Collector” if you catch the matinee or wait for video. I will give the movie credit for having some pretty interesting ways for kill people, especially the movie maneuver of knowing exactly how the person was going to be killed yet you’re sitting in your seat going, squirming, because you know exactly what is going to happen.

So, enough rambling. It’s 2 ½ stars out of 5 for “The Bone Collector.” Denzel did a good acting job considering he didn’t have to move much and Angelina did fine as the “not wanting to really do this job” cop, all except the love angle versus the friend angle. Oh well.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!


MPAA Rated – R
It’s 2:55 Long
A Preview by:
The Dude on the Right

Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Colin Farrell, Angelina Jolie, Val Kilmer, Anthony Hopkins, Jared Leto, Rosario Dawson
MPAA Rated: R
Released By: Warner Bros.
Release Date: 11/24/2004
Directed By: Oliver Stone
Produced By: Moritz Borman, Jon Kilik, Thomas Schühly, Iain Smith, Oliver Stone

Quite honestly I’ve forgotten about the story of Alexander. I mean, that was back in high school, so many moons ago, and really, do I care? Should I care? I guess there’s always that theory of we need to study history so we don’t repeat it, but should that take place on the big screen. I guess, sure, why not, but as great as a filmmaker Oliver Stone is, can we always believe his historical accounts? Who cares, this movie’s got Angelina Jolie, who hopefully will wear some revealing outfits, so I suppose I’m there.

Alrighty, so Alexander, played by Colin Farrell, is a great warrior and conqueror in a time when one really could be a great warrior and conqueror. He’s got his problems with his parents, always trying to please them, and why would a great warrior get married to anyone when he can get anyone when he’s out conquering the world, but I guess he could do worse than Roxanne (Rosario Dawson). Things aren’t always easy for a world conqueror, and the movie will most likely show this, but you can expect grand sets, giant battles, and another epic film which will probably go down as “is it better than ‘Troy?’”

Oliver Stone can probably make an epic movie as good as anyone, so this should be a winner, just probably don’t take the story as totally true.

That’s it for this preview! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!