Jul. 27th, 2007

highlyeccentric: Sign on Little Queen St - One Way both directions (up to no good)
thanks to Alex for the starter verse

In honour of Ginny and Neville

highlyeccentric: Sign on Little Queen St - One Way both directions (One Way)
Apparently the Second Commandment of Medieval Blogging is thou shalt not suggest that Neil Gaiman is a mere mortal. A commandment I thouroughly support although I'm unsure why it restricts medieval bloggers specifically.

And let me say it, I don't like Beowulf the poem. So I haven't the great emotional investment in it that, say, Melanie has. Heaven help them if they get someone ugly to pay Wiglaf...

And, like Nokes, I've read Gaiman's complaints about dodgy Beowulf reporting.

Nevertheless, after reading Unlocked Wordhoard and OENYC, i am thinking that perhaps the Commandment is too restrictive. I hold up OENYC's attitude as one worthy of both a medievalist and a Gaiman fan:

I trust Neil Gaiman. Kind of. The way I trust Orson Scott Card, or Disney animators. The man's capable of genius, and hardly every fails.

I just worry more when it's a story I love this much.

Or, as Melanie put it: his business is entertainment, not medieval studies.


And now, some things which concern me about the LA Times article:

Angelina Jolie's lips look even fuller than usual. She's emerging naked from a pool of dank cave water, rivulets of gold streaming gently down her body.

"Giiiif meee sonnnn," she coos, in an Old English accent.

Her flaxen hair is braided down her back in a long tail that slowly undulates and slaps the dark pool around her. She continues to purr enticements about making babies as a virtual camera circles 360 degrees panning around her long limbs and waist. Gold dribbles down her inner thighs past her feet, revealing sharp stilettos merged with bestial hooves.

right. so Angelina Jolie is very sexy. We got that. What's with all the gold? Gold does not belong on monsters. Gold belongs on mead-halls.

In an Old English accent. Really? Which one? Wessex, being the best documented dialect? Something closer to Old Saxon, since Beowulf is supposed to be old?
And whose accent? Oxford? Cambridge? I hear there's a great rift between the two... Does she voice the f in giffff me sonnn?

His knack for a good scrap is on show in one of the film's pivotal fight scenes when Beowulf battles Grendel in the nude, mano a beast-o. ("Bob asked if he had to be nude, but we said, 'It's in the poem,' " Gaiman explained.) So in a crafty bit of staging to allow a PG-13 rating, Beowulf's naughty bits are obfuscated by random objects in the foreground.

Hmmm... I'm not a Beowulf person, but if Nokes says the word "nacod" doesn't appear, then I'm willing to bet it doesn't. But just savour the image of naughty bits obfuscated by random objects in the foreground... I thought this was supposed to be high fantasy? Sounds like Python to me...

To circumvent certain MPAA ratings issues, the producer and director purged the script of foul language, used an array of blood colors ranging from crimson to green and dreamed up gravity-defying nude scenes.

I thought it was "in the poem"?

"Early on we were sitting around, just [fantasy] casting," Gaiman recalled, sitting in the lobby of the Chateau Marmont recently. "Then we got on the subject of Crispin. Bob said he would never work with him again because he never hit his mark and didn't understand how scenes cut together. But as he went on, you could see Bob realizing that was completely irrelevant if Crispin was in a motion-capture suit covered in dots, every move recorded."

So, it doesn't matter how bad your acting is, we can just CGI it? Why bother with actors? Oh, wait, we need Angelina's gold-dripping thighs.

"I just miss all the swearing". Don't we all, don't we all.


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