A well made film that really attempts to take viewers into this world.
Minimal to no Blu-ray features.Beowulf & Grendel is the classic tale of a good man battling a beast only to realize that nothing is wholly as it seems here. As the troll Grendel attacks a village, Beowulf (Gerard Butler) is called in to stop the bloodshed. However, Grendel isn't your usual mindless monster. Fueled by the need for vengeance it soon becomes apparent that Grendel is fighting for something bigger. It as at this point that Beowulf has to come to terms with both his growing stature as a warrior and his own mortality. When it soon becomes clear that reigning King Hrothgar might have something to do with creating the beastly Grendel, our hero soon finds himself trying to do the right thing in the face of a very confusing battle.
Normally, I never review trailers and there isn't much to review here. Below I talk about the look of this film and that carries over into the trailer. I reviewed this trailer because I am now reviewing Blu-ray discs on a somewhat consistent basis. The trailer was sharp looking, although at times, as you will read below, the sharpness was almost too great and that made the proceedings look a little too videoy.
I had to watch this because the movie was so detailed. My thinking was that if they are putting the sketches on this release then they will certainly be at least as detailed. All in all I was impressed. Things were rich without being too overdone. While I don't think that this segment was in high definition, I didn't notice any difference from it and how the movie and trailer looked.
Widescreen Presentation - 2.35:1. 1080p. This movie looked incredible. Under normal circumstances I probably wouldn't have seen it, however. I just don't go for these sword and horse epics. This movie looked incredible on my TV. I was a little worried that things would be a tad too white and blue but that wasn't the case here. The depth of clarity that director Sturla Gunnarsson and cinematographer Jan Kiesser managed to achieve is astounding. Nothing was ever muddy or pixilated and I think the dirty, sometimes grainy look of the images did a fantastic job of taking us into this world.
Dolby Digital 5.1. PCM 5.1. I don't have a surround sound system on my TV but the speakers of my Samsung set did a fine job bringing out the audio. Since I have very poor hearing in one ear it was hard to really know how I should be hearing things, but I was happy that this movie didn't always beat me over the head with the audio. While things were layered and heavy across all the audio wavelengths, it never reached a point where I the sound were excessive.
Swords, armor, those grey body suits and horses make up this front cover. The back has a three images from this movie, critics quotes, a description, bonus features, a cast list and technical specs. All in all I think this package gets the job done but doesn't make this movie stand out too much.
What made watching Beowulf & Grendel so enjoyable was the fact that it mirrored the events happening in the world today. Beowulf might well be a decorated soldier on the frontlines in Afghanistan or Iraq. He or she might feel that they are engaging in a noble pursuit, and ridding the world of terrorists certainly would be that. At the same time, one person's terrorist is another person's hero and that is where situations such as this get mirky. The fact that the U.S. has created a lot of the monsters that we find ourselves fighting against is greatly represented here by Grendel. What this story manages to do, many, many years after it was written, is allow viewers to see how the fights we waged years ago are still being waged today.
So what is the solution? How do we live in this world without having to relive the kind of story being told here?
There aren't any easy answers but having a Blu-ray player sure makes watching these movies a more intense experience.
Beowulf & Grendel was released September 14, 2005.