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Big Screen Takes Liberties with 'Beowulf'


Since you can't see a Broadway show this weekend, there is always the movie theater. And for fans of computer-animated epics, the film "Beowulf" is calling.

U: Beowulf waes breme - blaed, wide, sprang...

NORRIS: Here's what you're in for this weekend:


NORRIS: (As Beowulf) I'm Beowulf, and I'm here to kill your monster.

: That was the voice of Ray Winstone as the hero. Onscreen, director Robert Zemeckis has portrayed him as a strapping bronzed he-man. In fact, the entire cast has been digitized using sophisticated 3D computer animation.

NORRIS: The film takes some liberties with the storyline as well. Most significantly, it adds romance and sex and the figure of a nearly naked computerized Angelina Jolie.

: Straying from the original story didn't seem to bother the hundreds of people in line at a screening in Washington, D.C. this week. Most of the crowd couldn't recall the plotline anyway.

U: I know absolutely nothing.

U: Angelina Jolie is a co-star.

U: I mean, I don't remember much about the story. I did remember I like it even though it's something that I had to read.

U: Ain't it about some vampires or something, or werewolves or something?

U: I actually don't know about it. But from what I understand it was a story. He is a warrior. He fought the dragons. That's all I remember.

NORRIS: But it seems knowledge of the poem is not a prerequisite for enjoying the film.

U: I loved it.

U: I thought the movie was good. It had a good message - temptation?

U: Oh, I mean, it was really good and like - and it had, like, a very original concept, you know - well, not original...

U: Probably, maybe seven out of 10?

U: Overall, I'd say the movie is okay, definitely more a rental than the theater.

: That was Erin Scormanich(ph), Justin Wilson(ph), Cindy and Patrick Nibbersen(ph), Durvon Kyle(ph), Jessica Hardy(ph) and Norma Mosby(ph) fresh from seeing the Robert Zemeckis computer-enhanced "Beowulf."

NORRIS: You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.