Monday, December 14, 2009

Because We Won't be discussing Tiger, Top Chef, or Avatar, That's Why

All right, I'm lying, I will be perhaps mentioning Avatar after I see it. It's just the anticipatory lovers/haters debate has exhausted my patience. It feels like the frenzy before The Phantom Menace. Enough.

I watched last night what will likely be a cult movie verrrrry soon. It's called Outlander. A retelling of Beowulf. With Aliens. And Jim Caviezel as a sort of Shane/Maximus/Ellen Ripley space warrior hunting the Grendels after he crash-lands in 6th Century Norway. I know. I was laughing too, my amazement it actually works. And works well, by the end I was charmed and looking for my dog-eared copy of Beowulf.

What was so great about this other than the ensemble which includes John Hurt, and Ron Perlman as two formidable Viking chiefs, was that it did what the best historical fiction does is fit the new events seamlessly into the original story. The Epic Poem never tells the readers-or originally, listeners what Grendel and his Mother were, or why they took such pleasure in killing Humans. Outlander does. And the reason is a twist you don't see coming. In that scene, the Grendels, or the Moorwen, as they are called in the film, transform from being another copy of the Alien from the Alien films to real characters with emotions and motives.