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Thursday, December 15, 2005

Go See the Narnia Movie

I took the family out to dinner and a movie this evening. After a meal of sushi and hot sake, we finally saw The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I loved it and I know you will too. And it gave me the opportunity to talk about the gospel with my 10-year-old son for the twenty minute drive home.

Many have written fuller reviews than I will, but here are a couple of my thoughts.

  • First, I thought the casting was mostly excellent though occasionally mediocre. As many reveiwers have noted, young Georgie Henley was delightful as Lucy. Like Gene Veith, I hope the dear gets nominated for an Oscar. But I'd also give a best supporting actress nod to Tilda Swinton. I thought she was perfect. The book describes the White Witch as simultaneously very beautiful, capable of being charming, and mean as a snake. I thought I wouldn't like Liam Neeson's voice for Aslan, but I did. The other three child actors were only OK, the fellow playing Peter being the most disappointing of all. He didn't quite merit the title of "Peter the Magnificent." The actor who played Mr. Tumnus, the faun, was very good. The scenes with him and Lucy were among the very best.

  • Like all of Lewis's fans, my great concern was that Disney would ruin another classic tale. I can't think of a single fairy tale they've told properly, so I would've expected them to obliterate everything good about this one too. But they did not. The Christian imagery was retained and comes through quite well.

  • The film's Aslan was good - even great - but not perfect. Of course, how could it be? Having read all seven of the Chronicles of Narnia several times (and as a life-long disciple of Jesus Christ), I have a broadly developed, deeply reflected upon, relationship with Aslan. I knew this introduction to a character I already know and love so well would be lacking, and it was. But it does so much well that I still give the movie Aslan a thumbs up.

  • The overall experience of the film, for me was an A-. I liked The Lord of the Rings better, even though the Christian imagery is clearer in Narnia. And that is due, I think, to the superior craftsmanship of Peter Jackson (and cast) to Andrew Adamson. Adamson is previously best known for directing the two Shrek films, the first of which was wonderfully good and the second of which was abyssimally bad.

For further reading and varying points of view, go to:

Film Geeks 2.0

Cyberbrethren

The American Scene

Open Book

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2 comments:

The Cubicle Reverend said...

I am not reading anything about the movies, I'm not reading any reviews, I'm not listening to peoples opinions. I am seeing in tomorrow and then I'll decide what i think of it.

By the way, if it's out in your area check out Christmas In The Clouds, a fun little movie, rated pg, and beautifully made. Plus it was written by someone from NJ.

The Cubicle Reverend said...

I just discovered The Beast's Lair, I didn't know you were a horror movie fan.

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