There's a certain class of blockbuster that depends heavily on its shouting characters, its swooping camera shots, and it's profound sense of pseudo-artistry, to distract the viewer from the fact that it's amazingly absurd. Laugh-out-loud absurd. Movies whose only defense against the audience spontaneously laughing is by shouting at them, or winking and nudging them in the side, or putting on a wizard's beard and proclaiming "GAZE AND WONDER!", over and over for nearly their entire running time.
Beowulf is a particularly bad example of the type. There's a bit where naked Beowulf, who for several full minutes has been beating up misshapen, Popeye-like Grendel, and the shots are constantly arranged to avoid staring at the Mysterious Spot where Wulfie's computer-rendered, polygon-shaded techno-junk would be... and I lost it. I started laughing, regardless of the riffing. This is a profoundly goofy movie, but it takes itself so deadly seriously. It takes itself seriously even though it contains a cyber-midget! It contains sex with a lizardy Angelina Jolie, even though close-up shots make it clear she bears no naughty bits!
The movie so desperately wants to be taken seriously, with its pretentious basis, its revisionism of the epic poem, its Neil Gaiman screenplay, its ambigous morality, and its big-name "actors," but it should never be taken anything close to seriously. It was even in 3D in some venues! In others it was IMAX, a.k.a. 3D 2000! It was even directed by Back To The Future writer Robert Zemeckis!
I submit that no other movie has taken itself so seriously yet sucked so hard. Thoughts on this? (Handing over microphone.)