This past weekend, Kim and I did our part to contribute to the $65.5M opening of The Chronicles of Narnia. Great, great movie. I must admit, I haven’t read the books (although I just bought the entire collection and I’m partway through the prequel to The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.That being said, you definitely don’t have to read the book to get the movie. For those who have, I understand that they were very true to the original story, written by C.S. Lewis. I’m glad the movie went well, because I’m a big proponent of supporting the good stuff that comes out of Hollywood. There’s a lot of junk on TV and movie screens, but it frustrates me that the same people who protest what’s wrong with the entertainment biz often don’t support the stuff that it does right. While I think Hollywood has its share of ulterior motives, I really think it comes down to the almighty dollar. For better or worse, they make what sells.
Anyway, the story is great, the young actors do a wonderful job, and the special effects are breathtaking. I heard someone mention that C.S. Lewis never wanted his stories made into movies. I can hardly blame him, when you look at the quality of movies in his day. Even George Lucas has expressed that due to technical restraints, it was difficult to fully achieve his vision when he was making the first set of Star Wars movies in the 1970s and 80s. But Peter Jackson, director of The Lord of the Rings and the upcoming King Kong, has stated that we are now in the age of film making in which it is possible to do anything on screen that one’s imagination can conceive.
Good thing for Mr. Lewis, because his imagination was as wild as a four-year-old boy’s. The handling of the lion, Aslan, is spectacular, not to mention the stunning battle sequence featuring a myriad of real and fantastical creatures. The movie offers a positive message, drawing on the timeless theme of good versus evil, but it’s not preachy. It is violent at times, but not really gory at all.
Sometimes movies of this type offer up glamorous special effects as the star, leaving the story to fall flat. I was hoping that wouldn’t happen. Thankfully, Disney DID stick to Lewis’s time-honored story, and the actors did a fine job. I especially liked the performance of Tilda Swinton, who played the White Witch.
I heartily recommend this movie to everyone (except maybe really little kids — it can be a bit scary at times), especially any Adultitis-stricken grown-ups who would like to get swept away in a fantastical, thrilling tale of childlike wonder and imagination.
Long live Aslan!
Glad you liked the film, Jason… I can’t express how excited I was (and am) about it. I truly enjoy the Narnia legacy, and this film was simply icing on the cake.
Ian Tyrrell says
you should really stop reading The Magician’s Nephew right now, and then restart reading it. Aloud. To your wife.
Continue this with the rest of the series.
I did this with my wife and it was a wonderful experience. The books are written in such a way that even reading them feels like you are telling a story. I’m sure Kim will appreciate it, Jen (my wife) did.
Don’t let her read ahead either.
Oh, and most importantly of all: Don’t forget to do the voices!
I saw The Chronicles of Narnia last Friday, and really enjoyed it. It doesn’t feel like yet another book-to-movie adaptation with action sequences set to special effects; it feels like a story is being told on-screen and the special effects are helping to bring the story to life. To put it another way: it feels real, not fake.
The actors all play their parts well without overdoing it. Tilda Swinton plays the White Witch with a very understated sense of evil that you instinctively know is there and that gradually rises and rises. The four kids are also excellent and completely believable.
What I also liked was that the religious undertones that Narnia is supposed to have weren’t “in your face”. Much has been said about the Chronicles being inspired by the New Testament, and as an atheist I thought that might put me off, but the only references in the film that were remotely close to being biblical were the “two sons of Adam and two sons of Eve” theme, and the resurrection. I appreciated that.
Oh, and the final battle scene, while obviously inspired by Lord of the Rings in its visual style, is awesome. :)
Sarah Feagans says
For all those interested… the ACTUAL wardrobe that C.S. Lewis used to play in as a child and inspired his writings is located in a small museum at Wheaton College, Wheaton IL. It is not roped off so you can touch it, open it, possibly even crawl in it if you like. The curator mentioned in a magazine article I read that people come from all over the world to see it and the rest of the collection. Many of them look behind it or touch the inside back panel… apparently hoping to find that hidden world in there somewhere. Might be a nice trip after seeing the movie for those of you who live in that area.
king kong says
I love your blog, this is the secnd time I come here, yhank you for your posts and keep on writing, because you certianly can ;)