My son, who has been corresponding with Dr. Fleming (who is visiting France), just informed me that Dr. Fleming wrote a review of Beowulf for The New Republic:
Good Grief, Grendel
There are poor adaptations of great works of the past–and then there is the latest film version of ‘Beowulf.’
The film’s signal originality, and the occasion of its most grotesque travesty of a great poem, is its “vision” of what should have been the second and most terrifying monster: Grendel’s mother, who dwells in the depths of a haunted pool. But that’s no monster, that’s Angelina Jolie–and, boy, swiche wenche was never ere now found in mere, tarn, lagoon, or hwaelsweg, let alone in the giant fishbowl dreamed up by our director. In light-hearted mood, medieval scholars debated such questions as this: “If you are to be married to a mermaid, which half do you want to be fish?” Zemeckis appears to have the implied problem all figured out, since Grendel’s Mom has been most fecund in her many matings with, apparently, every king in town. We have always known who Beowulf’s father was. We now learn that actually, like poor old Job, he is a brother to dragons. This is too silly for words, but, alas, not for pictures.
You got to read all of it – he’s at his best!