Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Divine Comedies

Now that my semester is over I'm watching a lot of the movies I didn't get a chance to see last year. I recently watched two that were particularly hilarious (though they weren't supposed to be). The first was Beowulf and the second was I Am Legend.

In the world of Beowulf, men think with their "you-know-what" rather than their brains and it gets them and the people around them into a lot of trouble. If you don't know the story here's a quick synopsis. Men sing and party hard upsetting a guy named Grendel who has really bad hygiene and an even worse temper. Grendel crashes the party and tears people limb from limb (literally). This makes everyone pretty depressed and the king decides the answer is to send for a hired gun (or sword I guess) to wack Grendel so the party can continue. Beowulf and his crew arrive from across the sea to get the job done (kind of like the 'A' team). Lots of really bad dialog ensues making me laugh and laugh. For reasons I've yet to discern Beowulf (who likes to tell people his name A LOT, kind of like James Bond) decides to fight in the buff although everyone else in his crew keeps his clothes on. They sing some bad songs which would make me want to tear them apart myself and of course Grendel arrives with his street fighter moves and starts to get medieval on Beowulf's boys. Beowulf fights Grendel bare handed (bare everything actually) and pulls his arm off. But wait, there's more. It turns out that Grendel has a mom who is even more ferocious than he is so Beowulf goes looking for her. This is when the most hilarious part happens. The mom (a demon they keep saying) is the spitting image of Angelina Jolie with that same funny accent she used in another hilarious movie "Alexander". She gives Beowulf an offer he can't refuse, mate with me (even though I'm a monster) and I'll make you a king with lots of bling. Beowulf is totally down with this idea. He ends up king, complete with the former king's queen who had been making goo-goo eyes at him since he arrived. Fast forward. Beowulf is getting old but still lucky with the ladies. A funky looking horn shows up from earlier in the movie and things go south for the old man when the "son" born from his monster-mashing with Grendel's mom shows up in the form of a dragon and starts burning down the kingdom. Beowulf goes in for one last battle and fights the dragon for a pretty long time and finally kills it but ends up dying himself. He bequeaths his kingdom to a faithful friend (there's always a faithful friend in these movies) and dies. Then the Angelina Jolie-monster shows up again (I was about to lose it at this point) and the new king gets a look at her and heads over for a little monster mashing of his own. The end.

I Am Legend (a goofy title if there ever was one) was even funnier than "Beowulf". Apparently some smarty pants doctor finds a cure for cancer which seems to involve killing off every human being on earth with a virus. For reasons that are never explained, a military doctor survives and is hanging out in New York hunting deer in his sports car and talking to a dog while trying to find a cure for this virus. I know the whole thing with his dog was supposed to be profound or something but it just made me laugh and laugh. It was so silly. Maybe I'm just not a dog person, but the volleyball in Cast Away had more personality than this dog. Oh, and there are a bunch of poorly animated monster people running around who don't like sunlight and are really boring to talk to because all they say is "aaaaaaaarrrrrrr" all the time. A woman and a boy (essentially a human prop because he doesn't say a single line) show up out of nowhere talking about joining other survivors in Vermont. Unlike most movies where this would have been an excuse for a hook-up session, the woman and the scientist don't even go there. The freaky people who say "aaaaaarrrr" show up for a final climactic smack down just as the doctor finds the cure for the virus (excellent timing). Like Beowulf, he nobly sacrifices himself for the benefit of others and goes down in a literal blaze of glory (courtesy of a grenade he just happened to have on him). The woman and the boy who doesn't speak arrive in Vermont in time for the beautiful fall foliage. The end.

I know that I'm supposed to make some kind of connection between these films and Baha'i thought, but I'm laughing too hard to pull it off. So what do you readers think? See any connections?


  1. Never saw Beowulf but read a good "rewrite" called Grendel by John Gardner.

    I Am Legend?

    Think it's one of those--love or hate; like or laugh; esteem or retch...

    I thought the dog was the best actor in the flick.

    As far as lessons and morals?

    If your a very smart virologist and it just might be the end of the world, do Not send your wife and daughter away !

    ~ Alex

  2. hehehehehee your reviews made me laugh almost as much as the actual movies did... although I must say I didn't get as far as the dragon bit in Beowulf, so that was interesting to hear about!! The only connection I see is that both movies wasted my time... although laughter is supposed to be good for you!!!

  3. cyrus afnan4:02 PM

    I thought as a decent Baha'i chap, would be a bit out of touch to watch such nonsense pieces of holywood.

    This saying has come down
    to inspire you to serve -
    that God may take the hands
    of those who have lost hope’

    May your troubles be less,
    may your blessings be more,
    and may nothing but happiness
    come through your door!

  4. Alex, I still think that volleyball gets the prize, not the Lassie wanna-be in I Am Legend

    Monday's Child, I'm still laughing about these movies even 24 hours later

    Cyrus, I wish I could say that I was really cultured or spiritual, but you can see that when it comes to movies, I'm definitely not.

  5. Anonymous12:37 PM

    Cellular mediated immunity.

    Found in .5 percent of the population on the planet.

    Explained clearly near the end during a discourse between the visiting female charecter who "heard from God" and the good doctor when she was trying to convince him of the existence of a colony of folks in Vermont.


    Could've done without the albino night stalkers, but otherwise a good movie and got me to thinking how much "art imitates life" especially in light of the continued AIDS epidemic in Africa.

  6. Anonymous3:40 PM

    Just be thankful you didn't see the iron man : )

    Thanks for the entertainment, I'm reassured to know I'm not alone in finding the latest blockbusters well...bizzare... Though the upside is you can entertain yourself for hours afterwards making fun of them whilst wondering if there was a profound message in it all which totally passed you by.

  7. I have lost track of how many Beowulf commercial imitations I've done for my husband -- I never saw it because it just looked like it kicked rocks. But, my husband rented I Am Legend two weeks ago and I'm with you, it was pretty ridiculous. Even though I didn't see the original of it and knew nothing of the story, it was utterly predictable. Poorly written and even though I know I should be grateful for this fact, I was actually irritated that there was no sex between Will Smith and homegirl. What, because he's black and she wasn't?

    Anyway, I continue to make fun of the film. My latest is that I pretended to talk to mannequins at JC Penney last weekend. :0

  8. Anonymous and Anonymous, I think I fast forwarded through that explanation of the "virus" so thanks for letting me know, I did see "Iron Man" and it was equally ludicrous but more entertaining.

    Los Angelista, ah you're making me laugh again which is good for my soul.