Just watched this on Pay-Per-View having missed a chance to see in theaters (dithered over whether or not to see it due to wildly mixed reviews). It was visually engaging enough to keep me watching till the end but as the credits began to roll, I found myself feeling dissatisfied.
Some of the scenery and shots featuring animals were really cool, I found myself wishing for more (that is, more time spent on animals...and a closer look at different species as imagined by the creators of this film).
Ray Winstone is a distinguished actor but I found his portrayal at times creepy, at times laughable, overall weak (how much of this was due to direction and/or other factors...not sure, when it comes to this film I didn't get a sense either way). Emma Watson and Jennifer Connelly impressed me, I got a sense of quiet strength from their characters.
Russell Crowe, also one of my favorite actors (I thought his Robin Hood was masterful, a fresh new take), disappointed. Without giving anything away, there were some parts of this film that called for a more dramatic narrative...his timing and (at times) rushed speech took away from the grandeur of what was meant to be an epic film. You find yourself wishing he would deliver certain lines a bit more theatrically, like David Wenham in 300 or one of the greats of classic film (Charlton Heston, perhaps).
I didn't realize when I started watching that Anthony Hopkins was also in the film. When he popped up on screen I laughed and thought: 'Of course...can't make an epic film without Anthony Hopkins!' Probably just me but it seemed a bit tired as far as casting goes.
I might have enjoyed it more on the big screen but don't regret watching at home on my TV. Bottom line, entertaining enough to watch...just a bit of a let-down.
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