Note: The Beowulf screening that I attended was held at a massively awesome IMAX cinema in London. The film was presented in a frankly stunning 3-D format that I honestly cannot wait to experience again. Having said that, I shall try to review the film in two parts: the presentation and the film itself.
Part I: The Presentation
Holy ****ing moly. I've simply never seen anything like it. IMAX 3-D and a movie that was tailor-made for this kind of presentation. Not a "big-scale" movie that just happened to look good on a giant screen (like, say, Superman Returns), but a film that was actually constructed with the giant 3-D exhibition in mind. And to say it works resoundingly well is an understatement on par with "baby ducks are cute." Having spent the last thirty years scouring through as many movies as humanly possible, I consider myself a passionate-yet-cynical flick-watcher. It takes a lot for me to be "stunned," "dazzled," or "amazed" -- but this screening of Beowulf is something I'll remember for a very long time. Basically, this is the finest "3-D" experience I've ever witnessed, from the "yikes, it's coming right at me!" stuff to the feeling of total "immersion" in the story. On a purely visual scale, Beowulf is one of the most entertaining movies I've ever seen.
Spend the extra gas money if you have to, but find an IMAX theater and see the flick there. You won't be sorry.
Part II: The Movie
My main problem with Robert Zemeckis' most recent animated experiment (The Polar Express) was that it was very lovely to look at, but I found a hollow core at the center. Very little heart, and even less of a narrative, basically: A cinematic novelty item. But when I heard that Zemeckis would be teaming with writers Neil Gaiman and Roger Avary for a relatively faithful adaptation of the legendary Beowulf poem, I was more than a little intrigued. Having recalled enough of Beowulf from high school to know that it was a grim and moody adventure story, I filed this flick into my "wanna see" pile and waited to see how things turned out.