Beowulf from John Howe

This latest just in from fantasy artist John Howe (of Tolkien films fame):-

BEOWULF AND THE DRAGON

Beowulf by artist John Howe

This illustration was done primarily for the FANTASY ART WORKSHOP,
though as usual with me, the circumstances leading up to it are a
little more involved. The original idea emerged for the Beowulf
Boardgame, but there was no room on the board for a full-size
illustration, so it changed and became a small vignette. After, with
the deadline running out for the Beowulf book, I decided to do it
anyway and include it in the Workshop book. (As it turns out, by a
miracle of deadline-bending, it also made it into Beowulf.)

Start the tour here

“I’m Beowulf, I’ll kill yor monsta! …”

“… and then I’ll shag its muvva … maybe I’ll go dahn the pub forra laager .. or get in a pizza!” For those who believed Beowulf was Scandinavian it can now be revealed that he is a cheeky cockney (Ray Winstone). But that’s not the real issue with this film. How many people don’t realise they are actually going to see a computer game rather than a film? Several near us didn’t, judging by the comments. I’m sure there is a film review of Beowulf 2007 out there saying how awesome and wicked this Beowulf film is. Either they are between the ages of 12 and 14 or they have never seen Anthony Hopkins act because even with it being his voice this totally computer generated film cannot produce his acting ability. Very well done but the characters are flat and lifeless compared to real actors. Lusty young men hoping to see Angelina Jolie naked are treated to an animation nude straight out of Manga instead. So; why is it not the actors themselves in this film? Apart from Ms Jolie being understandably reluctant, it’s all about money as usual. Much cheaper to make an animated film than use real people (we all remember the terrible dodgy original Lord of the Rings film before Peter Jackson did it properly). As a big fan of Neil Gaiman’s work I’m really sorry he was involved in this Beowulf con trick … because that is surely what it is .. all the hype and big names to get people, who never otherwise would, to sit in front of a computer game masquerading as a film for two hours. Neil Gaiman can be forgiven as his passionate interest in old legends must have made the offer irresistible. So let’s blame Robert Zemeckis for this con trick. Do yourself a favour if you haven’t seen this Beowulf film and don’t. Animation is fine in its place but trying to take the place of real acting is pathetic. Anthony Hopkins is a brilliant actor, his animated double in this film is nothing like brilliant. A cardboard cut-out. A positive note though, the dragon is excellent! But then, it should be as that is where animation works – creating the imaginative images that do not exist in real life. If a trend set by this Beowulf film was to continue do we end up with a race of people who think real life is as flat and lifeless as these characters? Does the whole world turn into one great computer game? Should cinemas be allowed to show this film without a declaration that the whole film is CGI with no live actors? What do you think?

The next film version of Beowulf is going to be an ecological one apparently … “I’m Bio Wolf, I’ll save yor planet!”