Keep the CGI for Shrek and Toy Story
I can’t imagine computer animation ever working for an adult movie, or at least not one that is meant to be serious and pack a metaphorical punch. I’m prepared to be proven wrong, but alas I don’t think Beowulf is the movie to do it. To put it plainly I found this movie boring.
There’s plenty of action, lots of gee whiz effects, violence, lots of nudity, but it was dull. The only reason I can think of is that the characters, albeit played by mostly quite recognizable and extremely A list actors, were just not interesting. A very fine performance just cannot seem to translate to the screen via the graphics program. It just isn’t the same.
The story was not one I was familiar with, despite hearing about it second or third hand for years. I found the first third particularly almost impossible to watch because a) it was brutal and horrifying beyond belief (do not take your children to this movie) and b) because not only was I watching it in 3D but the camera was spinning around so fast you couldn’t focus on anything.
OK – that all sounds pretty bad. I would say that if it had been live action (obviously some of the effects had to be CGI) and the camera had stayed put a bit more it would at least have been watchable. And it did improve. After Beowulf dealt with the deeply disturbing Grendel (some things are just too creepy for movies) the soulless violence and bleakness eased. Also I had begun to sympathise with Beowulf and his queen, but it took three-quarters of the movie to get to that point. The second monster, the dragon, well he was just plain cool. He still ate people, but it was far less disturbing (these things are totally relative).
John asked me if I would like my book "Askar" (http://stores.lulu.com/askar) made into a CGI movie. The answer is no. If you’re making a human drama, it needs to have humans in it.