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Author Topic: Narnia = very cool!  (Read 1898 times)
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« on: December 10, 2005, 02:44:11 AM »

We just got back from seeing The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe tonight and it was excellent!  I'd definitely recommend it to just about anyone but especially to parents with kids.  It's all my boys have been talking about since the credits rolled.

I loved the books when I was a kid and I've enjoyed re-reading them to my boys as well.  The film stays very close to the book with some predictable and understandable Hollywoodization.  The acting is very good and the effects are also very good.  There are a couple of CGI moments that seemed a little obvious but for the most part it was a sight to see.

Keep in mind that this was very much a children's book and the film follows suit.  There will be inevitable (and unfortunate) comparisons to Lord of the Rings but whereas the LotR books were not really for children, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is definitely geared toward children.

What I liked:
"My name is Phillip!" (best line in the movie)
Tilda Swinton as the Witch was superb!  She was about the only thing I liked in Constantine but she (pun intended) rules in this movie.
Dual wielding!  OMG!  Proves once and for all that dual wielding > sword and shield!
Aslan's first and second roars made the hair on the back of my neck stand up.
The Professor was perfectly cast
The child actors generally did a great job
The story was true to the book and wasn't over-Christianized (I was worried it would be "Aslan is Jesus!  Really!  Truly!  Here let me beat you over the head!"  It wasn't.)
The big battle scene was well-done and not too intense for my 6 year-old.

Niggling complaints:
Aslan really needed a different voice actor.  All the time he spoke I thought he should be voiced by James Earl Jones (aka Mufasa) or at least someone with a deeper voice.
A couple rough CGI moments (usually backgrounds)

All in all I'd definitely recommend it and Rotten Tomatoes generally seems to agree with an overall rating of 76% and a Cream of the Crop rating of 82%.
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dbt1949
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« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2005, 03:50:01 AM »

I'm not sure but I think it's against my religion to see this movie. :?
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« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2005, 04:04:53 AM »

I really don't think you'd find anything in this movie that would bother you dbt.  It's just a fantasy story and really has no more overt Christian messages than Lord of the Rings.  There are no scenes of Aslan holding a Bible and inviting people to accept Jesus.  Really!   biggrin
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« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2005, 07:41:48 AM »

Sorry,I was being facetious,with the irony of me being a pagan. :wink:
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« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2005, 07:44:16 AM »

It is rather noticably on the religous side fi you pay attention... which gets so much more noticable if you make the huge trek through all the books.
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« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2005, 08:14:53 AM »

Saw it too - I'd give it a thumbs up.  I didn't feel any uncomfortable religious overtone here.
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« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2005, 08:36:50 AM »

I thought Tilda Swinton was awesome as the Ice Queen.  Her costumes were awesome too...





She was one of the coolest things about Constantine:

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« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2005, 07:27:21 PM »

Agreed, she was great as Gabriel.  

I'm not a fan of allegories, but I can easily watch movies just for the entertainment value, regardless of any subtle or overt messages.  I'm looking forward to seeing it tonight.

Edited: Just came back from seeing it with my wife.  Excellent movie.  And Tilda Swinton steals the show, I mean wow, she was perfect as the Ice Witch.  Her costumes were amazing, especially her battle costume (and that's coming from a guy who could care less about freaking movie costumes).  The make-up they did for her was incredible too.  And I completely concur, dual wielding rules.  Again, Tilda Swinton steals the show during the battle scenes too, as her elegance in combat was very well captured and choreographed.  The allegory references were somewhat subtle, or not even noticeable to people not prepared to look for them (like my wife).  There were a few hokey CG effects, but for the most part they were very well done.

Oh, and centaur rule!  Especially centaur that dual wield.
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« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2005, 05:02:43 PM »

Saw it with family this weekend.  My five year old loved it.  I had just read the book to him, so he kept telling me during the movie what was coming next, and questioned the different parts.  I had to say 'please whisper' many, many times.

In general, I thought the movie was fun, though the special effects could have been better in general.  The battle scene was decent to, but Return of the King has really set the standards high, and this couldn't get close.

Good movie, but if I wasn't excited to take my son, this could easily have been a rental for me down the road.
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« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2005, 06:10:04 PM »

I saw this over the weekend and absolutely loved it (I read the books first when I was perhaps seven and reread them probably ten times since then).  My fiancee commented that she looked over a few times and I looked like a little kid just loving the movie.

I'd highly recommend it to fans of the books.  If you have not read them though, probably a rental is fine.
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« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2005, 06:25:51 PM »

Quote from: "Scott"
The battle scene was decent to, but Return of the King has really set the standards high, and this couldn't get close.


 :? I thought the Return of the King effects were sub-par at best in some parts. Some parts held up nicely. Overall I would rate Narnia better in the effects.
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« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2005, 08:18:16 PM »

Amazing.  Seriously.  Easily one of the best movies I have seen this year.  The passing was very well done at the beginning.  They built the mystery of Narnia very well without rushing into the new world.

Ice Queen, Tilda Swinton, was phenomenol.  Attractive and intimidating, which is important in a villain.

I really think I might actually go see this again.
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« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2005, 09:16:22 PM »

I was looking for a way to get out halfway through the movie. I had old people on either side and didn't want to interupt them. So I sat through it all and just hated it. I took my dad who was visiting out of town to it, I felt like an ass afterwards. Glad you guys liked it, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

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« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2005, 11:05:07 PM »

Quote
I thought the Return of the King effects were sub-par at best in some parts.

Huh.  I thought Narnia's effects were mostly average in general, surprised that you thought differently.  I wouldn't have been surprised if Narnia was a made for TV movie, special effects wise.  It was good, but I noticed so many issues, where things loved very wrong, or weren't very smooth.  The reindeer in particular looked horrible.

In general, I was mostly awed when Return of the King was out.  Maybe another watch will show it wasn't as good as I remember, but then that was two years ago, so Narna should look better.

Quote
The passing was very well done at the beginning. They built the mystery of Narnia very well without rushing into the new world.

Another point I disagree on.  Narnia felt very rushed to me.  The whole chase with the wolves was added to add action to the movie.  This directly took away from the exploration and wonder of the world I thought, that was present in the book.  I just read the book the past couple weeks with my son, and all the action sequences took away from Narnia the movie.

I wanted to see the kids and beavers explore a bit more, and build to Aslan, as opposed to a poorly executed chase.   Mr. Beaver also showed himself far to quickly, and then they were almost magically at his damn.  There wasn't any of the fun in the Beavers house, just a quick filling in of some of Aslan's background.  I don't remember them describing as much of Aslan in the book as in the movie either.  Aslan was more of a mystery till he showed himself.  And the actor that did Aslan, what's his face, isn't really very kingly or impressive for that character.  You have to go with a Earl Jones type voice I think.

Also, why did Edmund go back to see the witch in the movie?  The movie never explored that major plot point.  She used enchanted food to snare him the book, but that was passed over in the movie.  He ate some of her food, but its purpose was never explained, nor really his desire to be a king by himself.  In the book Edmund was dragged behind the sled, as opposed to riding in the movie.

The White Queen's 'assistant' dwarf was used as a weak comic device, another movie invention, that didn't really work, and was not part of the general theme of the original story.

We then lost the sense of Aslan exploring the witche's castle at the end, and the new creatures discovered, and their sense of place in the world, like Mr. Rumblebuffin, the other lion that was present, and some other foes.  I think less grand battle, that wasn't really described in the book, and more of Aslan the girls delight at riding him and him being alive, would have worked better.  We had no idea what was happening to Peter and his army in the book, there was more a sense of dread then in the movie I thought.

It was a decent movie, but I think way to 'Hollywood', which stripped a lot of the magic from the story, the anticipation, and other elements.
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« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2005, 12:17:51 AM »

Quote from: "Scott"
In general, I was mostly awed when Return of the King was out.  Maybe another watch will show it wasn't as good as I remember, but then that was two years ago, so Narna should look better.



Just watch the end of RotK. Look at the crowd. That part should really stand out as "done by the intern".

Quote from: "Scott"
The White Queen's 'assistant' dwarf was used as a weak comic device, another movie invention, that didn't really work, and was not part of the general theme of the original story.


+1
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« Reply #15 on: December 13, 2005, 12:27:19 AM »

Quote
Just watch the end of RotK. Look at the crowd. That part should really stand out as "done by the intern".

Maybe, though the end of the movie wasn't the parts that impressed me.  The rest of the effects were great.  At no point was I taken out of the movie.  Narnia just had to much CGI, to much bad CGI.  The animals didn't move correctly, and some like the Reindeer were horrible.  

A lot of the movie was spoiled by having just read the book recently for me, because I saw all the attempts to make the movie grander, which mostly fell flat.  We didn't need the Wolves chewing on the Fox to make them feel scarier, or even the fox to appear in the movie at all, as it wasn't in the book.   We didn't need the river as an artificial device to keep the Queen from getting the children, as opposed to her sleigh not working anymore as she transitioned from her snow to the spring/summer areas.

So much of Narnia the movie stepped on the books, to try and make a good story better, when there was no need.  I probably would have liked it more without reading the books, maybe.  My five year old loved it though, and that was what I wanted.  I'm sooo glad I read the book to him first though.
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« Reply #16 on: December 13, 2005, 05:05:42 PM »

Quote from: "Scott"
Quote

Quote
The passing was very well done at the beginning. They built the mystery of Narnia very well without rushing into the new world.

Another point I disagree on.  Narnia felt very rushed to me.  


I guess to be more specific.  I really enjoyed the first half pacing in particular.  Travelling to the Professors, finding the wardrobe, Lucy entering and then returning, then Edmund going ina nd returning, and then all of them rush into it.  Those scenese really caught the wonder well.  They coul dhave over killed the beaver part... they did have to get through the story and though it is a great piece of the book.  I am glad they moved on to get to the rest of the story.
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« Reply #17 on: December 30, 2005, 09:25:34 AM »

Wow, that felt like a really long movie...like I was in the wardrobe myself, TEEHEEHEEEEEE.  

Okay movie.  Those battle scenes surprised me.  There were some hardcore spear stabbing/finishing moves in that battle scene.  I don't think this movie was PG-13, but between that and the darker Ice Queen parts, dang man, little kids were probably freaked.

And about that Ice Queen.  Sexy.  As.  Wowwowwowwowwowwowowowowo.  I am an official Tilda Swinton fan.  Worth the price of admission alone.  And the embarassment of going to the movie with my Mother.

Shut up.
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« Reply #18 on: December 31, 2005, 01:01:05 AM »

I'll admit to my memory being a bit vague but the only truly violent act I remember was when Jadis stabbed Edmund. Even then I don't recall it being shown. Would rank the violence up there with The Incredibles. If your kids were ok with that then they'll be fine here.

I really hope that this movie has done well enough to warrent more as this is my favorite series of books in front of the Death Gate series and Harry Potter.
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« Reply #19 on: December 31, 2005, 01:12:37 AM »

Quote from: "Andrew Wonser"
I really hope that this movie has done well enough to warrent more as this is my favorite series of books in front of the Death Gate series and Harry Potter.


Is the Death Gate series the one by Weis and Hickman?  I have all of those in a box somewhere.  I wish I could find it because I got the last one just as I was moving.  All in super duper hardcover.  I enjoyed buying them but never read them.  You've given me reason to seek them out!  What exactly are they about?  I remember a dragon on the cover and a PC game tie-in.

Of course that could be an entirely different series you are talking about in which case this will be a very odd reply.
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« Reply #20 on: December 31, 2005, 02:59:29 AM »

I thought the special effects were as bad as the last 3 star wars....the over cgi stunk!
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« Reply #21 on: December 31, 2005, 03:48:34 AM »

The only CGI scene that really stuck out for me was the ice sleigh exiting the castle.  That just looked particularly bad.  Other than that I was cool with it.
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« Reply #22 on: December 31, 2005, 01:42:05 PM »

Quote from: "stiffler"
Is the Death Gate series the one by Weis and Hickman?  I have all of those in a box somewhere.  I wish I could find it because I got the last one just as I was moving.  All in super duper hardcover.  I enjoyed buying them but never read them.  You've given me reason to seek them out!  What exactly are they about?  I remember a dragon on the cover and a PC game tie-in.

Of course that could be an entirely different series you are talking about in which case this will be a very odd reply.


That's the one. I guess a short synopsis would be that there were two elder races that ruled over the lower races (Elves, Humans, etc.). The two fought and one was sent to a living prison. Slowly some managed to escape wanting revenge but found that the other race was no longer there and the lower races now ruled themselves. One set out to find what happened to the other race.
There's more to it but that should hopefully jog your memory.
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« Reply #23 on: January 03, 2006, 12:46:16 AM »

Quote from: "TheMissingLink"
And the embarassment of going to the movie with my Mother.

Shut up.


Snicker
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