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!!!

Bad Company

MPAA Rated – PG-13
It’s 1:51 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Bad Company
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Chris Rock
MPAA Rated: PG-13
Released By: Touchstone Pictures
Kiddie Movie: Not really.
Date Movie: Sure, bring her along.
Gratuitous Sex: Wishful but no.
Gratuitous Violence: People getting shot.
Action: People getting chased.
Laughs: Chris Rock style humor.
Memorable Scene: I have just two words to say: Air Supply
Memorable Quote: Jake Hayes’ mother: “Hand me that umbrella so I can hit you again.”
Directed By: Joel Schumacher

Are you looking for just a fun movie, with a few laughs and some action, that probably could have done better by pushing the edge into the R rating, and will do well for a weekend matinee or waiting for it at the couple-of-dollar cinema, then “Bad Company” is for you. Are you looking for a fantastic spy thriller dominated by fantastic acting and a terrifying plot? Stay home.

Let’s go…

So by now you have seen from the trailers that the CIA needs Jake Hayes, the twin brother of Kevin Pope (both played by Chris Rock), to help save the world. Oakes (Anthony Hopkins) is the man who must make this happen, and he doesn’t think this plan will work, but the powers that be say bring him in. So Oakes recruits Hayes, a man who could really use $50,000 so that the love of his life doesn’t move to Seattle. The problem is that Oakes and the rest of the CIA people don’t really tell Hayes what is going on, up until the bad dudes almost kill him.

To keep things simple, Kevin Pope set up a deal with a Russian to buy a suitcase sized nuclear bomb. If the CIA doesn’t get it, the really bad dudes will and set it off in the USA. Well, Pope gets killed, Hayes gets recruited, and yes, he saves the day (please, like you couldn’t figure that out?). And really, that’s all you need to know about the plot.

There’s nothing special about this movie. Chris Rock does what Chris Rock does – play things a little over the top, and for me he just isn’t as funny when it comes off like he is doing shtick. The better times for Chris Rock are when he is the straight CIA man. Please get him out of the roles as the over-the-top black man beaten down by the white man and give this guy a villain role. Hopkins is in a role that he plays well, but when doesn’t he? He’s the CIA guy who has no belief that the plan to recruit Hayes will work, but his hands are tied so he does what he can to get Hayes to realize the potential inside of him.

Don’t expect too much and you’ll like this movie. Expect a lot and you’ll be disappointed. I give it 3 stars out of 5. Catch the matinee, the cheaper show, or wait for a rental.

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!!!