[Movie Review] The Chronicles of Narnia, the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Discussion in 'Entertainment & Sports' started by Sazar, Dec 11, 2005.

  1. Sazar

    Sazar F@H - Is it in you? Staff Member Political User Folding Team

    Between Austin and Tampa
    I remember when I was 10, I was introduced to a boxed collection on the shelf of my friends dad, then a broadcaster for FEBA, called the Chronicles of Narnia.

    This was before I knew what star wars was (grew up on islands remember lol), before I had heard of the wonders of Tolkien's world, before I knew what turkish delight was and before I had really been introduced to the world of epics.

    I was an avid reader back then and had just been introduced to the world of greek mythology but the collection that was Narnia really introduced me to something completely different.

    And so begins my mini-review.


    I actually watched the movie last night. To start of with, the movie stays surprisingly true to the book in many ways for the duration. This is both a good thing and, in a few instances, a drag. It is a VERY hard job to literally commute a book into a movie without stilting it somewhat. This is precisely why I loved the LOTR movies even though they took massive liberties with the source material.

    Narnia fortunately does not fall into the trap of doing too much (a la the disappointing SW-ep. III). Instead Adamson has coaxed above average performances from the 4 children who play the key characters, especially the role of Lucy, the youngest of the kids.

    There are also some fabulous "performances" by the cgi characters who actually LOOK realistic. This really helps when we are introduced to Aslan, the Lion in the story. There are some cheapish cgi effects which do not detract from the experience, but the way characters like Aslan are rendered makes up for any shortcomings in other areas.

    The voice-acting is also very good. Well above average and Neeson does a great job with Aslan. To portray someone strong, powerful, proud AND nurturing/innocent at the same time is not an easy job when you are working with real people. He managed to do that with just his voice and a cgi character.

    The movie has some disjointed bits in the middle but the acting and the characters and the vista's the character find themselves in are very entertaining. There was an overabundance of the character Ginarrbrik, which I completely fail to understand. Sure he was interesting in the first instance when introduced on screen but for crying out loud, no more jar-jar like characters please.

    The score is perhaps the only part of the movie that is not majestic enough.

    It is varied, it is engrossing, it is entertaining but it is not a majestic score like that of LOTR or Harry Potter. Still it is good enough to keep this movie going.

    I don't want to ruin the movie for those who are not initiated into the world of C.S. Lewis so I am not going to go into specifics for characters or storyline but I will end by saying this is a very good movie and something that is recommended for the holidays.

    I give the movie 4/5 OSNN stars. Very entertaining.
  2. Son Goku

    Son Goku No lover of dogma

    OK, I saw this movie on Friday night; but before I continue, is there some reason a movie review is in the green room? ;)

    Anyhow, and on to the movie I had gone to see this opening night. One thing that did take me back a bit, was that I wasn't expecting the first Narnia movie to begin where it had. Now what I'm about to mention isn't in the movie itself, and is but a hint to the actual Narnia story line, so I don't think spoiler tags are needed. If some feel different, then feal free to speak up :D

    When the movie began I kept expecting them to find their way to the forest which contained the many pools (actually worlds) and to fall into the pool that was in fact the main villan's (in this movie) own home world. (I think that was vague enough to avoid giving anything away in this movie...) No red sky, and no banquet table (those who remember the series will probably know what I'm referring too), and no creation of Narnia.

    For those who have read the books before, the movie actually begins with the second book, not the first in the series... Don't be surprised if you're left waiting for some begging scenes. To those who haven't read it, there are some details which won't at first be explained, but which in fact do fall in a book prior to the one turned into a movie here. If you're left with some unanswered questions (not sure if someone would be, as I had read it in the past), then you might want to get a copy of the box set and begin reading "The Magician's Nephew" (just checked). That sets the stage for this movie.

    And yes, the movie was fairly faithful to the book, as I remembered. Hadn't read them in several years however, which is how I confused some of the events for the first book in the series with this movie when I first started watching it...
  3. joyojoy

    joyojoy Not all there...

    Sacramento Area
    I saw the movie last night and thought it was excellent. It was, indeed, very true to the book, and I loved the animation of all of the "critters". I think they also did a terrific job of casting the characters. The children were very believable, and the guy who did Tumnus was so natural (well, as natural as one can be playing a person who's half goat).

    My biggest gripe was that I had to see it in a theater. It really toasts my ta-ta's that they make a big deal about telling people to turn off their cell phones, and then you have to struggle to hear the movie over a bunch of babies and toddlers whailing and chattering. At least you can turn off a cell phone. Maybe in addition to "Please turn off your cell phones" they should post a message that says "Please sedate your infant." It's no wonder more and more people are buying large-screen TVs and waiting for the DVD release (like me!).
  4. Son Goku

    Son Goku No lover of dogma

    :)When I saw it in the theater, the person who was sitting in front of me didn't even bother to turn his cell phone off. It must have rung like 4 times in the movie, and in all he musta gabbed on the thing for like 40 minutes outa the movie without taking the calls outside or anything. Between his illuminated display (rather bright for a dark room) and his loud talking on the thing; let along about 5 other groups of people who had motor mouths... Yes, some people don't know when to zip it, or at least keep it to a whisper.
  5. fitz

    fitz Just Floating Along Staff Member Political User Folding Team

    well, that's why the movie was subtitled, "The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe" and not "The Magician's Nephew" :) An astute reader of "Jacks" Narnia series would have realized that. :) :laugh: :)

    For a small hint, if you read the Magician's Nephew, it explains why the wardrobe is special..

    Technically, the Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe was the first book CS Lewis wrote and published in the Narnia series. Magician's Nephew was actually the 6th book as written by CS Lewis (but was indeed a prequil to Lion, Witch, Wardrobe) and it was actually the last book he completed writing - he started and completed 'The Last Battle' before the completed writing 'The Magician's Nephew'.

    For a good timeline on when the books were written, completed, and published, look here.

    edit: It used to be that you could get the box set numbered in the order the books were published (ie: Lion was numbered book 1, Prince Caspian was numbered book 2, etc..) but a little after CS Lewis' death, they renumbered the books according to the Narnian Timeline (Magician's Nephew was book 1, Lion was book 2, etc).

    In a letter that a child wrote to CS Lewis asking him to settle a dispute between the child and his mother (I think it was with his mom), the boy asked CS Lewis which order the books should be read in - and CS Lewis responded that he agreed with the boy that they should be read in the order that events happen (ie: the way they are published now).

    Personally, I like reading the Lion The witch and the Wardrobe first followed by the Magician's Nephew.. then following the rest of the timeline.. so, in today's box set, that would be, Book 2 first, then book 1, then books 3,4,5,6 and 7. There's just something a little more "magical" about starting with "The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe".
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2005
  6. fitz

    fitz Just Floating Along Staff Member Political User Folding Team

    There's a reason I went to the 10:15pm show - not a lot of kids around that late.. and if there are, they usually fall asleep. Personally, I usually leave my kids at home for movies - and if it is a kids movie, I try to go during the matinee shows where there are a lot of other kids and the noise is expected. (note: If you go to a family/kid friendly movie at 2 in the afternoon, expect crying, talking, and general mayhem).
  7. Dublex

    Dublex Quazatron R6 droid

    Hertfordshire, UK
    I liked the film alot, apart from the bit in the middle where they fall into the river and somehow don't suffer from hypothermia (I know its a fantasy film, but doing things that weren't in the book and giving people immunity to cold etc breaks the continuality IMO).

    On the other hand, The White Witch is exactly as I imagined her to be, both intelligent, cruel but also able to appear kind as well. She also didn't pull any punches and was played to avoid the evil genius / badguy trap.

    I also though Alslan was played well, especially with the emotions, and that lucy was the best acted followed by edmond. Susan didn't have much to do (would have been nice to see her do more) and I thought Peter was a bit wooden.

    Overall, a good film and worth seeing, if only for the white witch which who was the best part of the film in my opinion.
  8. Geffy

    Geffy Moderator Folding Team

    United Kingdom
    I saw it earlier this evening. I really quite enjoyed it. I felt the best cast were the White Witch and Tumnus. The rest of the cast performed well, but as Dublex mentioned Peter was a bit wooden, Susan was alright for her part in the film, Edmond I kept thinking would have been happier sat in front of a PlayStation playing Fifa or something. Lucy, well in my opinion I think she got too much screen time. Felt there was little to no acting going on there.

    I read some of the books as child, but dont remember them that vividly, however now I am older it puts a different spin on the storyline when the evil white witch is actually quite hot :p
  9. Son Goku

    Son Goku No lover of dogma

    Yes, I have not been unfamiliar with this but...

    - I didn't want to give away any of the plot for this movie, so no I didn't give mention to the particulars about the wardrobe, anymore then I mentioned that the villan who's planet I was refering to was the White Witch (didn't want to mention character names or other spoilers till others had chance to watch), or that the professor was in fact one of the first who went to Narnia during his own childhood years...

    - My set of books (which were a Christmas present from a friend back in 1996) does indeed put the "Nephew's Uncle" first, which is of course the order I read them in and remember. The actual sub-titles I did not remember after all these many years.

    - The friend who gave me the set had in fact mentioned that his set had the books in a different order; but recalling this required remembering past details; all of which don't seem most important to me from almost a decade past. In the last 10 years, my life, and even me as a person has undergone so many changes; that it's felt almost as if I've lived several different lifetimes all in the course of the last decade alone. People will sorta need to forgive me, if every last detail I've been aware of in years past doesn't instantly spring to mind.

    - My expectations going into the movie were what they were, and my one post represented many different stages in remembering it all. The subtitles I hadn't even remembered, and double checked (as the books are in my livingroom closet) before hitting reply to get the names correct for people.

    - All who have read it recent enough to remember the details might themselves be wondering; because as you mentioned the box sets published today (and mine which has a copyright date of 1994 printed on the box) puts the "Nephew's Uncle" first.

    I meant it more as a heads up to those who would see it in the theaters, as well as mention to where some might find some unanswered questions they might have; then as a critisism of what order the movies were put out in. Sorry if there was any confusion on that point.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2005