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Old 12-12-2005, 02:58 PM   #1
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Narnia: Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe

Thoughts, anyone?
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Old 12-12-2005, 03:03 PM   #2
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Narnia made 67 million domestic, 109 million worldwide over the weekend. Second largest December opening ever. Return of the King is number one.

Definitely not as spectacular as Lord of the Rings but then the two series don't really compare. Lord of the Rings is a completely unique mythology, epic in scope, and written for a more mature/literate audience. Lewis borrows heavily from already established principles of Christianity and Medieval/Renaissance literature. His series is written specifically for children and therefore the writing and scope of the stories are more personal and less complicated thematically. Tolkien detested allegory. Lewis obviously embraces it.


The Good:

1. Lucy- excellent, excellent casting. She's absolutely perfect in the role. She exudes a sense of wonder and childlike awe whenever she's on screen. It's her first cinematic performance and she nails it. Lucy steals the whole movie.


2. Christian principles- The allegory is there. It's done well and never comes off heavy handed or weak for that matter.


3. Creature effects- top notch. Mr. and Mrs. Beaver and Aslan all look like real animals.


4. The end battle- Great effects work.


5. The bombing of London and train station scenes- touching, emotianal, good directing

The Not So Good:

1. Film length- it's too short. It's my biggest gripe with the movie.
Although clocking in at 2 hours and 15 mins, the film seems rushed and could have used an extra 30 minutes to flesh out certain characters and linger on specific scenes (ex- Father Christmas, dinner at the Beaver Damn, Professor's mansion, Aslan assembling an army after his resurrection, etc.)


2. The Witch- too one dimensional. Not very menacing or scary. She looks wonderful but she incorporates a lot of lame "bad-guy" clichés. Her motivation for keeping Narnia in a state of perpetual winter is never really explained.


3. Edmund's turn to the dark side- Not really explained thoroughly. In the book, Edmund becomes enchanted by the Turkish Delight the witch gives him and therefore will do anything to get more. The witch also appeals to his pride and convinces Edmund of his superiority compared to his siblings (especially Peter). In the movie the witch just sort of says, "bring me your brother and sisters" and Edmund obliges for no real apparent reason.


4. The thawing of Narnia- too quick. In the book this is a more gradual process. The Narnians celebrate each new indication of spring while the witch becomes more and more enraged by the lessening of her power. The movie skip over this. Winter turns to spring too matter of factly.


5. The Professor- two of my favorite parts of the book are two conversations Peter and Susan have with the professor at the beginning and end of the book. Although seeming to know nothing about Narnia, the professor makes a logical argument for its existence based on what Peter and Susan tell him. Although these conversations are alluded too in the film, they aren't done nearly as well as in the book. Also, in the movie, the professor comes off as a wizened goofball whereas in the book he's portrayed as calculating, grandfatherly, and approachable.


B+ overall.
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Old 12-12-2005, 05:11 PM   #3
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I liked it, though I have never read the books .
Lucy was great, and I liked the beavers, perhaps I should read the books now!
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Old 12-13-2005, 05:58 PM   #4
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I read the book and I thought the film really did justice to the book.
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Old 12-13-2005, 06:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by MaxFisher
Narnia made 67 million domestic, 109 million worldwide over the weekend. Second largest December opening ever. Return of the King is number one.

Definitely not as spectacular as Lord of the Rings but then the two series don't really compare. Lord of the Rings is a completely unique mythology, epic in scope, and written for a more mature/literate audience. Lewis borrows heavily from already established principles of Christianity and Medieval/Renaissance literature. His series is written specifically for children and therefore the writing and scope of the stories are more personal and less complicated thematically. Tolkien detested allegory. Lewis obviously embraces it.


The Good:

1. Lucy- excellent, excellent casting. She's absolutely perfect in the role. She exudes a sense of wonder and childlike awe whenever she's on screen. It's her first cinematic performance and she nails it. Lucy steals the whole movie.


2. Christian principles- The allegory is there. It's done well and never comes off heavy handed or weak for that matter.


3. Creature effects- top notch. Mr. and Mrs. Beaver and Aslan all look like real animals.


4. The end battle- Great effects work.


5. The bombing of London and train station scenes- touching, emotianal, good directing

The Not So Good:

1. Film length- it's too short. It's my biggest gripe with the movie.
Although clocking in at 2 hours and 15 mins, the film seems rushed and could have used an extra 30 minutes to flesh out certain characters and linger on specific scenes (ex- Father Christmas, dinner at the Beaver Damn, Professor's mansion, Aslan assembling an army after his resurrection, etc.)


2. The Witch- too one dimensional. Not very menacing or scary. She looks wonderful but she incorporates a lot of lame "bad-guy" clichés. Her motivation for keeping Narnia in a state of perpetual winter is never really explained.


3. Edmund's turn to the dark side- Not really explained thoroughly. In the book, Edmund becomes enchanted by the Turkish Delight the witch gives him and therefore will do anything to get more. The witch also appeals to his pride and convinces Edmund of his superiority compared to his siblings (especially Peter). In the movie the witch just sort of says, "bring me your brother and sisters" and Edmund obliges for no real apparent reason.


4. The thawing of Narnia- too quick. In the book this is a more gradual process. The Narnians celebrate each new indication of spring while the witch becomes more and more enraged by the lessening of her power. The movie skip over this. Winter turns to spring too matter of factly.


5. The Professor- two of my favorite parts of the book are two conversations Peter and Susan have with the professor at the beginning and end of the book. Although seeming to know nothing about Narnia, the professor makes a logical argument for its existence based on what Peter and Susan tell him. Although these conversations are alluded too in the film, they aren't done nearly as well as in the book. Also, in the movie, the professor comes off as a wizened goofball whereas in the book he's portrayed as calculating, grandfatherly, and approachable.


B+ overall.

A good review and fair rating Maxfisher

The film did seem rushed and not enough time spent on several
key scenes.

To add to this: I was really expecting a haunting musical score.
Something I would hum on the way home and linger on. The score was below what I was hoping it would be.

I read today that Disney, because the film opened bigger than expected, has given the green light to proceed with the next Chronicle:Prince Caspian

Release date: December 07

All seven books, I think, are wonderful stories.
I hope the producers of the future films hear what
we say.
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Old 12-13-2005, 06:47 PM   #6
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I'd be interested to hear the reaction of a non-believer. A Christian will be able to identify all the allegorical elements (even though it was not designed as an allegorical tale by Lewis) - I wonder what the take-a-way is for someone unfamiliar with Scripture.
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Old 12-13-2005, 08:47 PM   #7
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my girlfriend isn't a christian but has always loved the story. it's just a great story - a mature children's story. The ideas of grace, forgivness, love, family, right and wrong, appeal to all people.
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Old 12-13-2005, 11:08 PM   #8
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Never read the books, but saw the movie Friday evening & enjoyed it. I did come away with the feeling that some things were left unfinished, i.e.: was the professor aware of Narnia or not?, Edmund's relationship/interaction with the Witch, and why, after so many obvious years in Narnia, would they suddenly decide to return home?

I chalked it up to not knowing the background of the screenplay, but from Maxfisher's review, maybe that's not the case.

Entertaining movie, regardless -- glad I saw it.
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Old 12-14-2005, 01:54 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by BluRmGrl
Never read the books, but saw the movie Friday evening & enjoyed it. I did come away with the feeling that some things were left unfinished, i.e.: was the professor aware of Narnia or not?, Edmund's relationship/interaction with the Witch, and why, after so many obvious years in Narnia, would they suddenly decide to return home?

I chalked it up to not knowing the background of the screenplay, but from Maxfisher's review, maybe that's not the case.

Entertaining movie, regardless -- glad I saw it.
It's time for me to reread it, but as I recall, the book ends the same way. It's very vague about the professor, he only says that he believes them and they'll go back someday. (In "The Magician's Nephew" you get his backstory and it's a surprise.) And their return is very odd as well, it's like they forgot about their former lives and accidentally walk back through the wardrobe, just like they walked in.

I'm anxious to see it. I have to wait until my sister's over her bronchitis.
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Old 12-14-2005, 04:25 AM   #10
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It's an interesting story, and I'm as non-Christian as you can get.

I'm like a fundamentalist Agnostic, if such a thing exists. It's almost oxymoronic.

Thing is, I don't see the point in this movie. About 15 years ago there was a decent 6 part TV adaptation of the book, and it was an adequate representation of the original book.

Just seems like another pathetic way of making money to me....

Still no decent original ideas amongst script writers....
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Old 12-14-2005, 11:14 AM   #11
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I loved the movie. I thought it was a bit on the short side too — it felt kind of rushed, but it still was worth every penny.

I highly recommend it.
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Old 12-14-2005, 11:29 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by intedomine
It's an interesting story, and I'm as non-Christian as you can get.

I'm like a fundamentalist Agnostic, if such a thing exists. It's almost oxymoronic.

Thing is, I don't see the point in this movie. About 15 years ago there was a decent 6 part TV adaptation of the book, and it was an adequate representation of the original book.

Just seems like another pathetic way of making money to me....

Still no decent original ideas amongst script writers....
Are you talking about the BBC version? How awful!

The reason you remake these films is because the BBC had neither the budget nor the technology to bring the fantastic elements of the story to the screen.

Now that you have the technology, it makes complete sense to do it.

I agree with you about original script ideas, but I'm glad that we are in an age where whatever a director can imagine, he can show you. It takes storytelling to a new place (if done right)

Edited: Eek I'm in FYM! Runs... This thread should be in the Lemonade Stand or something
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Old 12-14-2005, 11:19 PM   #13
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I'm not christian by any means and i have some lovely memories of reading the book as a child with my mum. And honestly, not until my boyfriend told me about how the books is loosly based on the bible or something, did i even click tot he whole Aslan 'ressurected' thing. To me it was a wonderful magical story, full of surprises and love, scary things and wonderful creatures. To a non religious person who isn't that up to date or knows too much about the whole jesus thing, i dont think they'll see anymore too it, just as people don't see anything more then a good versus evil battle in LOTR.
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Old 12-15-2005, 12:00 AM   #14
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Very good movie I didn't have the change to read the books but I might someday if I have the time. I particulary liked Mr. Tumnus, the faun. Wonderful character, even though we don't see him all movie long.

The only thing that actualy pissed me off while watching that movie was some descisions the kids made, or stupid actions they did. But they are children, ain't they ? Not supposed to be totally bright Susan was also bugging me at some moments lol. But nice story overall
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