Saturday, 24 November 2007

Film Fest !

I haven't been to the cinema in a while, so yesterday I saw two films... mostly because a friend of mine really wanted to see Beowulf and I wanted to see Ratatouille, and rather than either of us being disappointed we decided to see both!

Of the two, I'd say mine was the better choice. The animation was superb (there was a night-time shot of Paris which made me say "wow" out loud!) and someone had really spent a lot of time watching how rats move. They have a sort of lolloping scuttle which is very different from the way mice move (I've done a lot of rodent-watching in my time!) Remy, the hero, has more human movements, but watching his fellow rodents was a real blast from the past.

Beowulf, on the other hand, was far less impressive, even though there were lots of computer-generated special effects and enhancements. I found myself wondering whether they'd gotten a special price for re-using costumes and props from the filmsets of Lord of the Rings and Troy. I was also rather disturbed at the rating: it's a 12A. However, there was a lot of gratuitous nudity: I saw far more of Anthony Hopkins and Ray Winston than I ever wanted to... Deft catching of a blanket and use of camera angles preserved Hopkins' modesty, while Ray Winston strode around manfully with several strategically-placed props preserving his. Angelina Jolie was completely naked, but this was a digitally-produced version of her, and so was more reminiscent of Lara-Croft-meets-Barbie than a real woman. There were several very buxom wenches in evidence (though not particularly involved in the plot)... but this really was not what I would consider suitable for 12-year-olds.

All in all, I'd say that the film, while enjoyable, demonstrates the danger of trying to turn a short poem into a full-length film epic.

9 comments:

bernadette said...

Thankyou Mac. My 12 yr old ( whom you know) has been badgering me to take him to Beowulf. I had my reservations, now confirmed by your review. We went to see Ratatouille instead. Agreed.. it`s fab isn`t it. That night-time shot of Paris (was it from Mont-martre ?...) - wow. And we`ve been cooking said dish since we came home.... i just can`t get me peppers to pile up as neatly as Pixar did ! God Bless... B. ( we are now looking out for buy one get one free Euro-star rail trips to Paris - he wants to go after seeing the film.. so we might be off there soon. A much better lesson than Beowulf...)

la mamma said...

Thank you for those reviews, Mac. I haven't been to the cinema since I was a mother of (only) two, so it's good to keep in touch! I'm very curious, however, about your past as a rat monitor. Please tell us more!

gemoftheocean said...

la mammam hit that one right. A science experiment gone awry? Do tell. Here is an example of bone idle lazy.

In my experience with gratuitous nudity in film the female audience almost often gets shortchanged. Probably just as well. There are only so many "Davids" you can see without giggling.

Mac McLernon said...

Nothing so dramatic Karen - I was merely a research scientist for many years... I'm an ABD (all-but-dissertation)!

gemoftheocean said...

Was your "U" exceptionally competitive? At University of California some of the pre-meds were known to poison each other's lab rats!

Ah well, best get that dissertation written. You could be cajoling undergrads for more money.

Mac McLernon said...

No, Karen... my supervisors went and formed their own biotech company, working on foetal tissue transplants and stem cell stuff. I'm well out of it. Added to which, it was so long ago (in research terms) that the work is now well past its sell-by date!

I'll stick to cajoling teenagers (it's better paid than research in the UK)

ignorant redneck said...

About Beowulf--

I don't recall anybody having relations, and oedipal kids, by grendels mother in the original poem.

gemoftheocean said...

Well, good for you you didn't join them. BTW, I really appreciated your post the other day re: adult skin cells.

Karen

deb said...

I just bought Ratatouille to watch during our weekly family night. I agree that is was great. Strangely I am finding some of the best movies today are these types of children's animations.

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