Beowulf: Shieldlands Trailer

I only became aware of this British TV show a few weeks ago because it was growing in popularity in the USA.

As a fan of Vikings (History Channel) which is freaking awesome, and other Norse epics about Siegfried/Sigmund/Sigurd, Thor, Beowulf and others I have to say that any time one of these shows comes out my biggest fear is that it will be bad.

Nope. Not this time.

Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands is basically like a cross between Vikings and Game of Thrones, which makes me a very happy TV watcher. It is both awesome action and good fantasy drama. Note I said "fantasy". This version of Beowulf is not based on the myth. It isn't even set in "Earth" per se, but rather an alternate Earth where magic and "mudborn" monsters exist. Maybe even dragons and other beasties. So far we have also seen "sandworms" which will make any Tremors fan happy.

But there are some hits and misses out there with respect to other Norse movies / TV shows.

Take for example the horribly titled "Dark Kingdom: The Dragon King" which should have just been titled "Siegfried" or "The Legend of Siegfried". Either would have been good titles. Even "Siegfried and the Curse of the Nibelungs" would have been a better title, albeit a long title.

The start of that movie is good, but the end is horrible. It is a tragedy after all.

The 2007 film "Beowulf" also has its problems. The stylized graphics look horrible. As in Harry Potter on a broom in HP1 horrible. The plot is okay, but overall the graphics cause disbelief and ends up ruining the film. Shrek and 300 has infinitely better graphics. The graphics for the whole film are horrible. Not one part is actually "good".

Basically the only reason to watch 2007 film is to briefly see a horribly digitized Angelina Jolie wearing liquid gold. And you can do that right here and save yourself the trouble.

And then there is "Beowulf Vs Grendel" (2005) which was actually quite good, but largely ignored because of its smaller budget. Oh and it has Sarah Polley in it, looking like a younger Uma Thurman. Truly a rarity.

Honestly, given the choices the 2005 film is way better and has the better actress in a lead role. Angelina Jolie's face in Beowulf makes it look like they digitized everything she did and there are basically no facial expressions that look real.

A newer TV show in this same genre is "The Last Kingdom" (2015, Netflix)... which is fantastically good without being a fantasy. It focuses on an orphaned Saxon raised by Danish vikings, who then returns to England to try and reclaim his father's land from the Anglo-Saxons who rule England.

Whatever. It is amazingly good. Even Rotten Tomatoes gave it 92% on the Tomatometer.

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