Ken Tucker reviews the Director’s Cut DVD of Beowulf in Entertainment Weekly (#980, 2/29/08), and finds himself lecturing a filmmaker:
[Director Robert] Zemeckis says in a making-of that this film has “nothing to do with the Beowulf you were forced to read in junior high it’s all about eating, drinking, killing, and fornicating.” To which I can only respond, Oh, you poor deluded baby boomer: Bob, do you think young people in 2008 have an Old English epic poem on the syllabus? American literacy is lucky if junior high schoolers get a stray Hemingway short story into their diet of crappy young-adult novels.
Zemeckis is fifty-five, which is close to my age. I read Beowulf in eighth grade. To my knowledge, neither of my children have seen it. The poem, I mean.