Two animated films led the U.S. Box office this weekend: Beowulf came in first place, and Bee Movie is holding strong in second postition.
I reluctantly concede that Beowulf is to be forever classified as an animated feature. In my book and my online listing I’ve counted prior rotoscoped films like Bakshi’s Lord of the Rings, American Pop and Fire & Ice, or Linklaters’ Waking Life and A Scanner Darkly as the animated films they rightfully are; I even include partials like Who Framed Roger Rabbit and The Adventures Of Rocky & Bullwinkle, so I guess I have to yield a place for Robert Zemeckis’ latest foray into what he calls “performance capture”.
I bit the bullet and paid to see Beowulf (in 3D) over the weekend so I could join the discussion and speak from authority. I won’t formally review the film, but if you haven’t seen it yet, don’t bother. It’s just as ugly as the trailers make it out to be. Mark Mayerson nails all the problems with the movie on his blog. But what disturbs me, even more than Zemeckis’ misguided embrace of the motion capture technology, is the press and Hollywood pundits who are eating up the b.s. publicity surrounding the “performance capture” technique, making this picture out to be the next revolution in movie making.