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Beowulf and Grendel [2005] [DVD]

3.6 out of 5 stars 88 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Beowulf and Grendel [2005] [DVD]
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  • Beowulf - 1 Disc Edition [2007] [DVD]
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  • Grendel - The Legend Of Beowulf [DVD]
Total price: £6.20
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Product details

  • Actors: Stellan Skarsgard, Gerard Butler, Sarah Polley
  • Directors: Sturla Gunnarsson
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Starz
  • DVD Release Date: 24 Dec. 2007
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000VUVG7U
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 36,656 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Historical epic based on one of the oldest poems in the English language. King Hrothgar of Denmark (Stellan Skarsgard) murders a troll that has been terrorising his countryside. However, he decides to spare the life of the troll's strange young son, Grendel (Ingvar Sigurdsson), who later becomes a fearsome warrior determined to avenge his father's death. As Grendel begins to slaughter the king's closest confidants, Hrothgar realises that his life is in danger, and he calls upon Beowulf (Gerard Butler) to track down and kill Grendel. As Beowulf searches for the vicious and elusive Grendel, he crosses paths with Selma (Sarah Polley), a beautiful witch whose alliances are divided between Beowulf and his enemy.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray
Why this movie has been ill criticized by many critics and plain movie goers is a mistery to me. I know that many complaints come from the fact that this is not a faithful adaptation of the epic poem. But first of all, it's been said many times that a movie should be judge by its merits alone (movies have a hard time translating the emotions and content of a book or a story anyway) and I don't see any problem with making a movie just inspired in a legend, if it is well done.

This is the case with B&G. First of all, in spite of not having special effects, or CGI's, or big sets, it never looks cheap. The landscapes of Iceland are its best asset, because of their beauty and their quality and look of a legendary place. The costumes add authenticity too.

The acting is very good, specially Stellan Skarsgard as the tormented King Hrothgar and Sarah Poley (as usual) as Selma the Witch, with Gerald Butler (Leonidas, from "300")providing an acceptable charaterization of the hero (which by the way is far from being a super-hero, and more down to earth).

The movie hasn't forgotten completely that some fantasy, legend or myth must remain in the story, but its approach is that all those legends must have had a human origin, magnificated and made mythical by the passing of time and oral tradition. And for me, this is a plus: it provides a human background to the story, and keeps it human for the most part. That may be a shock for many: if you expect a typical legendary monster movie, you won't find it here. Neither will you find a non-stop action movie "300" style. B&G is more drama than action. It's funny, but that's the reason why this movie is SO different from BEOWULF, the 2007 Hollywood movie; even though they are about the same story, the result is different.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Those who have criticised this film for its storyline have obviously never read the Old English poem on which it is based (no it isn't a saga!). Of all the film versions this is the one the comes closest to creating a coherent film out of something that is virtually unfilmable in its original form. The reviewer who wanted great battle scenes should be aware that there are no battle scenes in the original 'Beowulf'! Instead the makers very sensibly chose to omit the last third of the epic poem and therefore avoided the clunky shift to fifty years on, where an aged Beowulf fights the dragon in his homeland - which has never successfully been done. By focusing on the personal conflict between Beowulf and Grendel this film is more of a coherent unit than any other film version (if you want to see how truly awful things could have got, go find a copy of the Christopher Lambert film which is bad beyond belief).
Instead we have a film that has attempted to bring the central characters to life in the same way that the 'Lord of the Rings' films approached such characters as Aragorn - by making them more not less human. The alternative approach of going the CGI way may make for some interesting visuals, but does nothing for making the characters understandable. Gerard Butler does a great job of bringing out a hero that is approachable to a modern audience and holds the film together. Moreoever, the whole look of the film fits the period that is being recreated.
That said, it does have its flaws - the biggest being the witch Selma, who is a totally new creation. But then translating a 1200 year old poem to the modern screen is bound to need some changes! For the Tolkein fans out there this film at least gives some idea of why the original was such an influence on Tolkein in his own writing. No it isn't 'Lord of the Rings', but of all the film versions this one where at least it is possible to see the connection.
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The legend of Beowulf and Grendel has been explored before in films like "the 13th Warrior". Similar to 13th Warrior, this version tries to keep a certain realism feeling to a folklore legend.

Grendel has a reason to kill in this movie, a story of loss and vengeance. You can almost feel pitty for the monster, quite different from the original tale.

The strong aspect of the movie is the landscape. I was completely amazed by the photography and beauty of the scandinavian lands. They had many troubles shooting during rainy and frozen days, but the end-result is unique.

Grendel is portrayed as a Troll, a half-human, half-monster creature. Grendel himself lacks the presence of the real thing. Although the acting is good, it fails to transmit the horrible creature from the legend. Grendel was huge, not just a strong/tall man.

Also, the costumes used to portray Grendel and his father, have some issues. You can notice arm-cloth wrinkles and that reveals that it's just a costume and not "real skin". Perhaps using a WWW wrestler would be a better idea? (for real-life muscle) Instead they used an actor that lacked the real-life physics to portray the beast (then again, no human could faithfully portray it).

The story lacks rythm. Grendel attacks, Beowulf comes and waits for him in the night, several times. It's a back and forward game before the last encounter and you will notice a slowdown in action towards the middle of the movie, gaining pace again in the end.

Although filmed in scandinavia, the "great hall" of king Hrothgar is a joke. It seems more like a big hut than anything else. Also, where are the other's people houses?
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