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Discuss this week's Joe Loves Crappy Movies here!

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Love crappy movies but are too ashamed to admit it? Are you a big Rob Schneider fan but you're tired of being burned? Not sure if you want to waste your money on the same old movie? That's why you have Joe.

Joe Loves Crappy Movies is by Joseph Dunn. Joe willingly goes to see the very worst that Hollywood has to offer. Whenever a crappy movie comes out Joe will be there to see it, make fun of it, and actually review it. Nothing is safe, and nothing is sacred. From the big budget action disasters to the low brow fart based comedies, to anything starring Martin Lawrence? Joe will tear it apart.

With each entry you'll get not only a comic poking fun at the movie, but also a detailed review. Joe's not educated in film or cinematography or acting, he's just a guy that draws comics and likes movies. So if you're looking for the everyman perspective and a little joke in comic form... you're in the right place.

Beowulf

Starring: Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins, John Malkovich, Brendan Gleeson, Crispin Glover, Alison Lohman, Angelina Jolie

Directed by: Robert Zemeckis

Paramount Pictures

The Official Site of Beowulf

Discuss Beowulf on the boards!

Ever since 300 digitally slashed its way into our hearts last spring, moviegoers have been craving that very bloody, violent, stylized, homoerotic, why-is-he-screaming, underdog kind of movie. Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump, Castaway) has answered that call and thrust technology on us at the same time with his latest film, a fully animated interpretation of the classic tale of Beowulf. With a dream list of actors on board the film promises to deliver on the epic tale with powerful performances and believable characters, but will the experimental motion-capture technique hit or miss with audiences?

Set your mind at ease. Beowulf elevates far beyond our preconceived notions of what a cartoon should be both in style and tone. Pixar may have made rats adorable, but I’d like to see them make Ray Winstone skinny.

The digital feast opens on a party where a small mountaintop village celebrates the completion of a town hall with many drinks to inspire their signing. Unbeknownst to them in the marshes to the north, a daemon child writhes in pain at the echoing of their horrible tune. In the scene that follows, even as the monster Grendel rips through these townsfolk in his child-like temper tantrum, I couldn’t help but think, “This guy’s not so bad. At least he got them to stop signing that awful song.”

Regardless, this town needs a hero, and with the introduction of Beowulf, the film takes on an old Hollywood “hero picture” quality reminiscent of Ben-Hur and Spartacus. Beowulf appears to be the perfect champion to save this village from their constant threat. But there’s more to our leading man than that. Beowulf is the new dog on the block and it’s quickly implied that he may be all bark. Perfect casting of Ray Winstone whose graveled growl makes you believe the larger-than-life stories of this "could be" hero. When it comes time for him to prove himself, we're treated to the first of two incredible action sequences that verify the cocky warrior has the steel, strength and balls to put on a show.

In fact he literally has the balls. Zemeckis treats us to the second naked fight scene of the season. (Beowulf heroically strips off his armor to level the playing field) The first, Eastern Promises had nothing to hide. Viggo Mortensen’s Russian mob man bore all in a brutal steam room show down. Zemeckis goes the Austin Powers route hiding Beowulf’s business behind stray elbows, puffs of steam and a variety of phallic images that will get mixed reactions form the crowd.

I didn’t want to see digital wang tonight, and I’m glad I didn’t, but I wish they weren’t so obvious about covering it up.

With the old Hollywood charm comes old Hollywood dialogue. Probably conversation appropriate to Demark in the time period, but too hard to ignore for the young audience this movie targets. No crowd is going to let the "I've come to taste your mead." line go without a snicker. But somehow I can't help but think my grandfather would have sat through it without giving it a second thought. We live in a different time.

The animation is smooth, clean and vibrant. I was skeptical going in, but this is truly like nothing you've ever seen before and surprisingly easy to adapt to. I found myself forgetting it was a cartoon completely. Then the camera would follow a path that no man ever could, and I'd realize how impressive the film really was. Just as impressive is the detail put into capturing not only the motion of the body, but also every intricate surface of the face. The mask of censors paid off as each character carries the likeness and personality of the actors that play them. Like any form of animation there are true successes and absolute failures, but overall I was quite impressed with Beowulf’s visuals.

After confronting the monster the movie jumps far into the future where Beowulf, now ruler of the land, is forced to confront a new threat. It’s here that the theme of the tale truly takes shape. Mankind is flawed. No matter how fanciful a story we tell we will never be the fine warrior, noble king or perfect husband that we strive to be. Even with the best of intentions we are doomed to repeat the same mistakes our father’s made. This is really what Beowulf is about. A classic, universal theme that’s more than just a tale of heroes slaying monsters. This is the reason that Beowulf has stood the test of time and will forevermore torture Sophomore English classes around the world.

Of course none of this would be possible with out the mother of the beast, a daemon so significant to the plot that story requires her to be the most irresistible creature on the face of the earth. Angelina Jolie seems like a nice pick. As a golden goddess with an ever roaming ponytail circling just behind her, Jolie literally glows up there and will mesmerize you with her Danish accent curling in her mouth ever so slowly. I’m sure the facial expressions of her performance were captured as perfectly as the rest of the cast but, if I’m being honest, I couldn’t say so for sure. I couldn’t take my eyes of her digitally pronounced chest. You ladies may have enjoyed the seductive back and forth between two amazing actors, but every guy in the room spent that scene desperately looking for the nipple slip through streams of dripping gold running down her body. If they say differently then they’re lying to you. And they’re already trying to convince you how cool it would be to go as Grendel’s mother for Halloween. And that Halloween is in the first week of December.

This is old news though. People have known about the cartoon boobies for months now, but no one ever bothered to tell us about all the cartoon man ass we’d have to endure before getting there. Anthony Hopkins man ass. You’ve been warned.

But old regal bottoms are probably the most you have to worry about with Beowulf, a complete and exciting adventure that takes full advantage of some of the sharpest technology available to us now. Don’t be afraid of it just because it seems a little different. The adventure is worth the strip. Besides, this is probably the last chance you’ll have at seeing Angelina Jolie’s boobs. Pay up, chumpy.

Rating: 8 out of 10 - This is a strong 8.

Beowulf is violent and angry and because of that it won’t work for everyone, but I’d like to think there’s something here that most people could appreciate. Not everyone goes in for flashy visual effects like the film plays around with, but this is still a classic adventure that will outlive our grandchildren. On the other end I have to believe that there’s a small part of the population that will check out Beowulf just out of curiosity of how it’ll all look put together. The overall look is so unique compared to what everyone else is doing now, and that’s bound to raise a few eyebrows. If any of that sounds interesting, don’t let this one slip by.

I actually caught the movie in 3-D and was pretty pleased with it. They didn’t really use that technology to its fullest capabilities though. Like Harry Potter 5 it seems they just made it 3-D for the sake of it. They got an extra 2 bucks out of me so I’m going to get an extra comic out of it. This weekend expect a follow up strip where I’ll go a little more in depth into the animation and discuss the 3-D aspect of the film.

The two hours flew by on this one, and when I left the theater I was really excited about the possibility of seeing the movie again with some friends over the weekend. That bodes well for its DVD worthiness a few months form now when they start throwing special editions at me. I’d love to see some nice extras on Zemeckis’ process start to finish, but if they’re going to try and charge 25 dollars for some super deluxe edition, I’m content going bare bones. Who watches that stuff more than once anyway?

Thanks so much for reading guys. It’s late and I really want to head to bed but this review isn’t over just yet. Tomorrow I’ll beef up the supplementary section a bit. I like to give you guys plenty of fun stuff to read but the later I stay awake the more likely it is to come out as gibberish. Swing on back at about noon and I should have a nice trailer review for Journey to the Center of the Earth and some other fun news. Again – thanks so much for reading! Oh, and be sure tgo check out the guest comic I did for the very awesome Dueling analogs. More later!

Live Journal/Myspace/Rotten Tomatoes/Buzz Comix/Top Web Comics/Comics on the Ipod/The Webcomics List/Online Comics/Wikipedia/Comixpedia/JLCM Map!

Joe – The creator of the strip who has embraced giving crappy movies the chance they deserve. Like the majority of the cast he’s obsessed with boobs.

First Appearance - The Introduction

Yeo – Yeo is Joe’s wife and often the voice of reason in the strip. Having her act rational allows the rest of the cast to embrace being in a comic strip which primarily involves randomly punching people, interacting with fictional characters and talking about boobs. Yeo is smart, beautiful and way too good for Joe. Don’t tip her off.

First Appearance - Fever Pitch

Irv – Joe’s movie-going sidekick who’s always down for watching Jason Statham crescent moon kick some thug through a plate glass window and getting some drinks before after and during a Vin Diesel movie. Like the majority of the cast he’s obsessed with boobs.

First Appearance - Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior

Agent 337 George Jones – A government Agent that took over for Joe after he was bad-mouthing President Bush in the V for Vendetta strip. George ran the show for over a month bring a much needed sense of patriotism and justice to both the strips and reviews. He eventually got too attached to his work, empathizing with Joe’s plight to give crappy movies a fair shake. In a way he came to love crappy movies as well and was pushed out of the position. He spiraled out of control and ended up in prison. His adventures will be told in the limited series JLCM Presents: 337 Locked Up which is set to début Christmas of 09.

First Appearance - V for Vendetta

Other Notable Appearances: Stay Alive, Ice age 2, Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector, Slither, Here Comes Guest week, Let’s Go To Prison

Leonidas – The former king of Sparta who has traveled into the future and is having trouble coping with the modern times. Yelling loudly and kicking people into giant holes doesn’t really work the same way it did in the olden days. As time as gone by he’s adjusted but it’s a safe bet that he’s always one bad message away from throwing a spear through someone.

First Appearance - 300

Other Notable Appearances: Four Brothers, Strip# 300, The Golden Compass, Rambo, Untraceable, The Ladies of Max Paybe

Palpatine – Former Senator, Emperor of the Galactic Empire, Sith Lord... He shows up in the Joe Loves Crappy movies galaxy on occasion to let people know that they’re being stupid. No one’s really sure how he shows up in this universe but chances are it breaks all kinds of copywrite laws.

First Appearance - Episode III: The Dark Side

Other Notable Appearances: Four Brothers, Night Watch, Saw 3, Are We Done Yet

Slow Billy – Billy is a sweet kid but he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed. If you’re watching him for the day be prepared to explain to him the plot of the movie or how popcorn works or, not so much where babies come from, but what babies are. He’s a complete moron.

First Appearance - Four Brothers

Other Notable Appearances: The Chronicles of Narnia, The Da Vinci Code, Vantage Point, Journey to the Center of the Earth

Kyle the Movie Snob – Be careful what fun facts about movies you tell your friends at a friendly gathering or in line for the latest blockbuster, because if you’re even slightly wrong, Kyle will be more than happy to let you know. He usually gets what’s coming to him though. Poor guy has cracked three ribs since joining the JLCM cast.

First Appearance - Ultraviolet

Other Notable Appearances: 16 Blocks, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Transformers, Journey to the Center of the Earth

Jean-Luc Picard – Another lawsuit waiting to happen is Jean Luc Picard who, towards the end of the strip’s first year, became the go-to background character. If there was ever a seat to fill or a random person to place wandering around in the background, nine times out of ten it was Picard. While Picard has crossed paths with Irv he and Joe have never met. Perhaps they will some day but for now just can an eye on the background.

First Appearance - The Producers

Other Notable Appearances: I’m not telling you, that’s no fun. It’ like Where’s Waldo – go find him!

Ice Cream Sandwich – Delicious and… deadly? Usually when you see someone eating an Ice Cream sandwich, someone else is experiencing a substantial amount of pain. Still, how nice is an ice cream sandwich on a hot summer day?

First Appearance - Saw IV

Other Notable Appearances: Bee Movie, Run Fatboy Run, Saw V

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