Dluxe's World

Thursday, December 15

Into the Wardrobe...

People who know me are well aware that I have an opinion on just about everything... If there's something I don't have an opinion about, just gimme a second to collect my thoughts and I'll pontificate. A friend likened me, potential physical likeness aside, to the John Goodman's character in 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' who possesses the gift of gab.

Though I love to talk, I really am a person who likes to think things through... With that in mind, I'm now two days removed from seeing "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" for the first time... And facing a strong likelihood that I'll be seeing it again tonight. I finally feel like I've processed the movie enough to post something that resembles a fair reaction to it.

I really enjoyed the movie. Initially, I was disappointed by the movie. However, the more I talk about the movie with people (like my awesome wife) and think about it, the less I really feel that way. In fact, on talking about in on the drive home I started to really want to see it again.

I'll start with the things I liked, since they are increasingly trumping the bad in my head... First off, the casting of the children was wonderful. They perfectly fit the molds I had setup in my head for Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy. I think it's safe to say that Lucy's wide-eyed wonder was the absolute best part of the film.

The faithfulness to the book was everything for which a fan could ask. In fact, the places where the movie deviated (setting up Edmund's betrayal, for instance) improved on/augmented the book. Good stuff.

And the emotions were there: You smiled and wondered with Lucy, gritted your teeth at Edmund, and cried for Aslan at the Stone Table. Ok... I cried, anyway.

My gripes, though they have softened some, still hold: For starters, I personally think Liam Neeson was the wrong voice for Aslan. It's hard to think of a voice that would've been perfect, but something sounding more 'expansive' was needed. (And, much like expecting Neo to say 'Dude', I kept expecting to hear Aslan summon the Force.)

Though I thought this was a fantastic augmentation of the book, my other big gripe was that Susan and Peter were a little too mean to Edmund for too long. In the book, Edmund is a punk who Peter/Susan put in his place. In contrast, the treatment of Edmund in the movie made Peter/Susan seem far less noble than they should've been. When Edmund turned, you almost said something like "Well, what do you expect?"...

Lastly, the special FX just seemed a little rough at times... Perhaps the timeline was too ambitious? Just seemed like the last bit of 'tightening' never happened and things seemed a little rough. (Here's a good article on this view)

On the balance, the weight is solidly in favor of the movie. In fact, I'm very excited about the prospect of going to see it again. I can't say that I felt that way after the initial disappointment from any of the Star Wars prequels.

So, there's a $.10 take on a $150m movie. That and an extra dollar will get you two Apple Pies at McDonalds. After all, there's tax here in Vermont.

Oh... One last thing, here's the best article on the web regarding the 'correct ordering' of the Narnia books. For my part, I'm a 'publicationist' at heart.


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