03/28/2008 02:45 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Beowulf In A Fight With Itself

It's as close as moviegoers will ever get to being Brad Pitt: the chance to hang out with Angelina Jolie (or a digitally manipulated version of the actress, at least) completely naked. But is that enough to help turn "Beowulf" into a hit?

The computer-animated adaptation of the epic poem many of us read in its CliffsNotes iteration arrives in theaters this weekend, and while the fantasy film faces little new opposition at the multiplex, it is essentially competing against itself.

Neither live-action "300" spectacle nor family-friendly "Polar Express" animation, "Beowulf" carries both a steep price tag -- more than $150 million -- and an untested concept. With a PG-13 rating for violence and sexuality, "Beowulf" is essentially an adult-oriented cartoon. And Paramount Pictures and financier Steve Bing need it to do a whole lot better than "Fritz the Cat."

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