Stephanie Burgis
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Surprising both of us...Patrick talked me into going to see Beowulf at the movie theater today, I reluctantly agreed (assuming it would really be Not My Kind Of Thing), we went...and I ended up liking it a lot more than he did. It's true, the animation just wasn't very good - the proportions of characters' arms & legs were frequently off-kilter, and the general quality of the images really didn't look much better than in any normal video game, despite all the hype about the movie's motion-capture techniques. Also, just about every character spoke with a different accent, which was jarring and gave the impression (whether fair or not) that the director really didn't care about the acting as much as about the "cool" (but sadly disappointing) special effects. It would have been a much, much better film if it had been shot as a live-action film with good CGI special effects, and if the director had focused on the acting a bit more.

But! But I really liked the story itself. Having read Beowulf a couple of times in different classes, I came in feeling skeptical about the changes I knew Gaiman and Avery had made to the storyline, and so I was really pleasantly surprised by how well it worked, how resonant the theme of the screenplay felt, and how true it all felt to the spirit of the poem. I loved the way the queen was developed into a real character, and the way the role of the women in general was brought out, exposing the nasty side-effects of "heroism". So overall, I enjoyed the movie a lot and was glad we went. But it's only fair to add that I've never cared much about special effects. (I grew up watching Doctor Who in the old days of zip-up costumes - I couldn't let myself care about stuff like that!) If, like Patrick, you do care about them, it's probably not worth watching Beowulf in the movie theater unless you're going to one of those big IMAX 3-D showings, where they might work better. (We thought about it - there's an IMAX theater about 15 minutes from our house - but when we found out that the tickets would cost twice as much as in a normal theater, we decided against it, for better or for worse.)

It's chilly here, and winter is definitely drawing in. But I finished Chapter Seven of Kat by Starlight this morning, Maya got a new toy today, our house is warm and cozy, and we got a grocery delivery of all the ingredients for the low-key Thanksgiving celebration we're planning for tomorrow. (We're not hosting a party this year, but we are cooking a nice meal and rounding it off with apple strudel and sherry. So it will still feel celebratory.)

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