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Old 12-15-2011, 02:50 AM
Past Tense

This week we get a shiny horn, slay a disagreeable dragon and get seduced by a water witch in "Beowulf"...

The motion picture opened on November 18th, 2007. It was made with a budget of $150,000,000 (estimated) and grossed over $82 million during its U.S. theatrical run. When including foreign receipts, it made over $196 million (it made way more overseas). The film opened number one at the box office, the following week it dropped to number two.

The feature opened against "Saw IV", "American Gangster", "No Country For Old Men" and "Fred Claus".

For the intent of this post, I'm only covering the "Unrated Director's Cut". There was a theatrical edition which came out that same date. The UDC did not come with any inserts.

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The film streeted on home video, February 26th, 2008, there were many exclusives. I bought the DVD twice over, sold the extra copy on Ebay. I think I came close to breaking even.

Circuit City had two internet based videos; featurettes, "Bringing The Dragon To Life" (26.37mb) and "Channeling The Human Sound Machine" (22.67mb), both of them FLVs. Took awhile for me to figure out how to download them (they were not meant for download). *grin* They also had some mobil content; ringtone and wallpaper. This edition sold for $13.99.

The thing is - you had to be careful or you blew your exclusive. The web address for content wasn't written inside the case. Nope. It was on the back of the sticker which was on the plastic wrapping. I almost threw mine way at the time. I wonder how many people did just that.

"Bringing The Dragon To Life" 4:44 - a look at the creating the dragon from concept art to CGI rendering, key frame animated. "Channeling The Human Sound Machine" 4:03 - a look at the people who create the sound effects, from screams, dragon growls to the wind and surf. Real people making the sounds with their mouths.

Holy crap!!!

Circuit City's exclusive site is still alive... click here! It's now a lot easier to download them then it was for me back in '08. Should you want - use NetVideoHunter an extension for FireFox. Very cool, I'm glad it's still alive for all those who missed out at the time.

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FYE/Suncoast had an exclusive steelbook case on that date, $19.99. Image from fellow enthusiast, William Lee. I don't have this. Don't know if I want to pursue it.

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Target offered an exclusive mini, twenty-six page comic book which came inside the case. This set sold for $16.99. It retold the opening, up to second attack at the Mead Hall by Grendel. It was a sampler, part of a bigger official comic book adapation. It was released by IDW Publishing; written by Chris Ryall with art by Gabriel Rodriguez. I have this.

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Wal-Mart also had their own exclusive that day which I did not pick up. A video game sampler, "Beowulf: The Game" (PC DVD-ROM), based on the movie - packed side by side with the UDC. The two disc set sold for $19.96. The exclusive is still available on their website for... the same price, three years later.

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There was a misprint advertised in Best Buy, a two disc set - there never was. They did offer free 3D trading cards; attached to theatrical DVD ($14.99) and HD-DVD ($29.99) versions. I believe the reason I didn't pick this up (trading cards) was because it wasn't a true excluisve. It was a promo set for a larger collection. The same thing happened at Circuit Cityt with one of the seasons of "Heroes", a promo set from Topps. I passed on that too.

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When this release first came out there was no slipcover. On September 15th, the following year, the movie was re-released with a lenticular one. I have that, acquired from Best Buy. It's two 3D images, the second one is from Beowulf's dream, the demonic Wealthow (Robin Wright).

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There is something I found out while researching this post. The body you see on the water witch/succubus isn't Angelina Jolie. Yes, I know it's CGI. What I mean, it's not based on HER body.

Here are two images of her in the motion capture (MoCap) suit. She was three months pregnant when she played her role (two days of filming). It's been noted that everyone's CGI counterpart was altered; Ray Winstone who plays Beowulf was made to look as he was in his early twenties and so on.

There is an uncredited role listed on IMDb. Model Rachel Bernstein was Jolie's body double for nude scenes. Huh? Her whole part was nude, covered with moving strategic golden skin.

Unless I'm mistaken - that means the body you see is actually Bernstein's with Jolie's head and MoCap performance. Interesting. I found it very odd that none of the extras cover Jolie in her MoCap suit, nor any stills. Maybe it was because she was showing and it wasn't very flattering. And because having it known that the body wasn't based on her would break the illusion - the box office draw of seeing a virtual, almost-nude Angelina Jolie.

So who is Ms. Bernstein? She's a model, actress, producer and make-up artist. You've probably seen pictures of her, she appears frequently in lingerie and club wear inside the page of the Flirt! catalog and on their website. She has also done ads for Reebok, Adidas, Paul Mitchell, Ed Hardy, Nike and True Religion Swimwear to name a few. She's very beautiful. Nicely done Zemeckis.

Last edited by JohnIan; 12-28-2011 at 05:21 AM..
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