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BEOWULF will be big


You know you've been married for a while when you take a moment out from arguing to decide to go to a Maroon 5* concert on Thursday, and then resume arguing again.


Just back from the premiere of the movie BEOWULF (and I still can't believe that I didn't remember that Neil Gaiman had anything to do with the thing until his name popped up in the end credits). The premiere was held in Westwood**, which I liked because it's just a few minutes' drive from my house (as opposed to the premieres held in West Hollywood or Hollywood, which is way the hell out there, especially when you're forced to drive out during the pre-dinner hour), and the street corners flanking the movie theatre were mobbed with photographers and people screaming the names of various actors. While I was a block down the street picking up our tickets at will call (Steve Bing, one of the producers -- who picked up some major notoriety when he became Elizabeth Hurley's babydaddy -- invited us, or rather my husband, although when I said hello and shook his hand sans the husband, who as usual was running late, he clearly had no idea who I was. The one time I met him, I believe he had been drinking a lot of wine, or so I shall continue to tell myself. Plus my hair was different. I shall continue to tell myself that as well. But I digress) every now and then a fresh surge of screaming would ripple through the crowds and you'd see photographs and pens waving in the air as whoever was walking past the other side got blasted with some more adoration. The one name that caught my attention was "Christian! Christian!" Christian Bale? I would make an effort to see Christian Bale in the flesh. I mean I didn't at the time, if that was really him, but I would.

BEOWULF was very good.

BEOWULF will do very well.

It's always fun to go into a movie with no expectations and then realize, as the credits roll and the final moments sink in and the exhilaration of powerful storytelling lights up the crowd -- the applause, the dropped comments and overheard conversation as we work our way up the aisles -- that you were one of the first to experience what will be a major hit, and you came to it fresh, without buzz or hyped-up expectations or knowledge of the story's main revelations, which will soon be impossible for audiences everywhere except for those who might be emerging from under logs and rocks. And that it will be a hit not because it was a manufactured hyped-up corporate Event (and the sequel of a sequel of a sequel), but because it's just good, right down to its well-structured story bones, and people will just like it and tell other people how much they liked it. Like I'm telling you now. How positively quaint and old-fashioned.

I don't know the official release date, but chances are, if your tastes run along the same lines as mine, you're in for a treat. This is what adult 'genre' storytelling should be. Which means, of course, that this movie wasn't financed by any major studio -- I can just imagine some Hollywood exec's reaction to being asked to finance the adaptation of some heroic poem dating from the dark ages -- hear them scoffing, as some of them certainly must have, "Who the hell would want to see that?***" -- but funded instead by brave souls who recognized a script strong enough to attract impressive talent and thrill a mainstream audience****. Good for them.

*I appreciate how Adam Levine did the male equivalent of using Halloween to celebrate your inner slut in a socially legitimized fashion. He was Brad Pitt's character from FIGHT CLUB, which of course enabled him to walk around half-naked.

** Where UCLA campus is. Which makes it a unique mix of extremely expensive homes on extremely desirable westside real estate, and cheap student eateries, salons and stores. Including the Mystery Bookstore, a very good little indie that thankfully hasn't been crushed from existence.

*** Even though BEOWULF is largely regarded as pretty much the first science-fiction/fantasy/horror tale ever written. So who will want to see it? Uh, fans of fantasy and horror. And what have been some of the most successful films of recent years? Be they of the genres fantasy and horror...?

**** Even if one of them didn't remember me. I liked his outfit, though -- jeans and a cool t-shirt, dressed-down in a dressed-up crowd -- so I'll forgive him. Plus, the last name. The kid behind me, who clearly knows him, saw him and yelled to him, "Bing! Bing! Bing!" I, too, hope for the chance to have a reason to yell out "Bing" repeatedly across a crowd at some point in the future. Perhaps there are many Bing relatives, and I might befriend one of them.

By the way, in case any of you regular readers might be wondering, Bing is not the 'Octavius' from an earlier blog entry. (I did run into Octavius and Augusta in the lobby of the theatre and spoke with them briefly; they really liked the film as well.) I don't expect to have much interaction with Mr. Bing in the future, which is why I didn't bother with a pseudonym. Plus I just like to write the name Bing. No doubt he suffers this kind of reaction to his surname all the time, but he seems to wear it well.
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( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 6th, 2007 04:18 pm (UTC)
Hmm, I'm interested to hear that Beowulf made a good movie. I thought it was one of the more boring things they forced us to read in high school and/or college. (But, then, I actually choose to read things like The Kalevala on my own. No accounting for taste when it comes to epic poetry, I suppose. Yay for Scandinavian literature!)

And when I see the trailer and he screams, "I... AM.... BEOWULF!" I can't help but wonder if the same guy who wrote "300" was around, sharing tips on how characters should introduce themselves. ;)

Nov. 6th, 2007 05:01 pm (UTC)
I went out of my way to avoid taking any class that would force me to read Beowolf or Chaucer's Tales when I was an English major at university, although I kind of regret that now, since one thing I ended up truly appreciating about my education was becoming relatively well-read on things I never in a million years would have picked up on my own.

I had some flashes to "SPARTA!!!" myself. This movie is better. Actually it also made me think of TROY -- this movie is better than Troy, although frankly I'd rather see TROY again, if just for the pretty pretty men - because of that whole mostly-male obsession with seeing your name get written down into history, sung about, glory, yadda yadda.

I like your icon. Suits my mood this cloudy morn.
Nov. 6th, 2007 04:48 pm (UTC)
Lawrence Bender
Nov. 6th, 2007 05:07 pm (UTC)
Nov. 7th, 2007 12:21 am (UTC)
You know you've been married for a while when you take a moment out from arguing to decide to go to a Maroon 5* concert on Thursday, and then resume arguing again.
You two sound like my cat! He'll be sprinting somewhere, stops for a few seconds to lick his paw, then sprints off again. You and Mr Justine are... CAT PEOPLE! ;-)

Have a lovely day! :-)
Nov. 7th, 2007 02:03 am (UTC)
I liked Butler's Beowulf but I am interested in seeing the new version.
Nov. 7th, 2007 06:05 pm (UTC)
I knew it!
I had a feeling this would make a great movie and I'm excited to go see it. I loved the story in HS -- John Gardner's "Grendal" is an interesting take on the story as well.

Ciao J!
Nov. 8th, 2007 07:30 am (UTC)
Re: I knew it!
I need to read Gardner's novel. It just feels so wrong that I haven't.
Nov. 7th, 2007 08:34 pm (UTC)
Well, with all this “Bing” talk, I’ve decided Mr. Bing = Chandler Bing from Friends = Matthew Perry is Elizabeth Hurley’s babydaddy. This is how my mind works.
Nov. 8th, 2007 07:41 am (UTC)
And it wasn't even a pseudonym of any kind. I'm impressed.

I saw Matthew Perry once in an underground garage -- I was in my car and we made direct eye contact through the windshield as he walked past and so I had no doubt it was him. He was unexpectedly hot. Lean and fit -- this would have been sometime post-rehab -- in a long dark coat, shadows beneath his eyes, moody and troubled. Like he'd just stepped from a noir film. Heh. Gimme that guy, not the Chandler dude. :)
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

About Me

I'm the author of three published novels: the dark fantasies BLOODANGEL and LORD OF BONES (Roc/Penguin) and the YA supernatural thriller UNINVITED (MTV/Simon&Schuster). I also have stories in the MAMMOTH BOOK OF VAMPIRE ROMANCE 2 and ZOMBIES: ENCOUNTERS WITH THE HUNGRY DEAD. I'm working on a psychological thriller called THE DECADENTS. I am divorced, with sons, and live in Bel Air.

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