Sunday, December 11, 2005

Chronicles of Narnia

Another movie review, hopefuly a bit shorter

Chronicles of Narnia

I have to admit I don’t think I read this book until I heard the movie was coming out. I grabbed a copy, read it in the bookstore and enjoyed it a lot.

It was hard for me to watch the movie without looking for the heavily mailed fist of the Christian Right dangling over the heads of the audience (hmm, that should be a dangling sword, shouldn’t it?). From all I’ve heard, this movie is an insidious tool that evil fundamentalists are going to use to get kids hooked and lead them into the temptation of banning science and them blasted free-thinkin’ liberals. I should be an anthropologist for a moment and explain that I’m a moralizing atheist, but, having grown up in the deep pit of a nasty form of oppressive religion, I have a knee-jerk reaction against blatant religiosity.

Well, I was going to post something facetious, like how I found all these connections (Remember in the bible, when after the resurrection, Mary Magdalene and Jesus’ mom went out the battlefield and Mary shot a bow and arrow and killed that ogre? That was cool, right?), but frankly, I don’t think it’s needed.

I don’t think it’s warranted because I didn’t think the movie was particularly biblical at all, really. I mean, sure the Lion is a pretty blatant Christ-figure, but for crying out loud, if we’re going to see an underhanded attempt at brainwashing in every Christ-figure in film and literature, we’re going to have to condemn most of the western canon. Or maybe Joyce was proselytizing Greek Polytheism.

In any case, while I worry a little bit about the marketing in the fundamentalist churches, I can’t blame the marketers for trying to game an excellent market. They’d be fools not to use Lewis’ ideology to turn a couple of box-office tricks. It’s a bit seedy, but that’s marketing.

I honestly hope, damned heathen that I am, that if kids get a little mixed up by what they’re hearing about all this, that maybe they actually pick up the bible and try to dig through it, or at least the fun parts. It’s a good book, even if I don’t think it’s The Good Book.

See, I told you the review would be short. The ranting was a bit long, but if you look back there, there’s almost no review at all. :)

Well, ok. CG was passable. Acting seemed alright – I especially liked Lucy and Susan. Writing was decent. It helps a lot when you’re making a movie from a book that’s not Potter-length, ain’t it? It’s a pretty entertaining flick, really. The downsides are in pacing and some huh? issues. (the vast land covered there and back in the space of a couple minutes. If he can really run that fast, let us see that speed, otherwise it just looks like the timing of the entire climax is shot.) I didn’t like the voice of Liam Neeson for Alsan, although I have to admit, I thought it was Sean Connery at first. Despite my confusion, he’s just too recognizable right now, and it was distracting.

One final note - I think the blooding scene is just awful. Alsan making Peter kill the wolf (hehe that's funnier than I thought it would be) before he can be knighted borders on the cruel. It smells of gangland morality to me. I know that's how it was written, and it's a true reflection of the way testoterone sometimes works, but I don't think that needed to be in this film.

All in all thoguh, a pretty good movie, I thought.

Chronicles of Narnia 7/10

1 comment:

New Kid on the Hallway said...

I so totally agree about Liam Neeson. All I could think of was him in Batman Returns, and Kingdom of Heaven, and Star Wars...