Skip to comments.Reviews and feedback for The Chronicles of Narnia film
Posted on 12/10/2005 7:47:30 PM PST by DaveLoneRanger
Okay, everyone, you've had a chance to see the film! Currently, it is at the top of the box office, per Drudge.
Some reviews and discussion have entered the board, but I thought I'd create an "official" thread for feedback, and ping the Narnia list so we can all discuss our thoughts, excitement, enjoyment, etc. about the film.
I have to warn you! THERE WILL BE SPOILERS. This is for folks who have ALREADY SEEN THE FILM. If you haven't, and don't want spoilers....hit the little X on the top-right of this window.
I have written two reviews, one for NarniaWeb.com, and one for Amazon.com. But those have word limits, and there are other things I wish to discuss, the little elements I have time to pick on.
You can read my NarniaWeb review here: http://www.narniaweb.com/reviewShow.asp?id=68
And the Amazon.com review here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/customer-reviews/B00005JO1V/ref=cm_rev_next/002-4272324-0450453?%5Fencoding=UTF8&customer-reviews.sort%5Fby=-SubmissionDate&n=562436&s=theatrical&customer-reviews.start=31
So tell me what YOU thought? Was it too long? Too short? Were the roles well-cast? Did you agree with me that Aslan just seemed too small? More of the tame side? How about the music? Battle action? Witch? Scenery? Special effects? I think Patrick Kake (General Orieus) got way too little screen time.
"I saw it yesterday. The battle scenes are intense for very young children"
IMO, Only if they are under the age of 8 years old.
But even then, I doubt it considering parents nowadays buy and allow their small kids to play with violent home video games.
There is zero graphic blood letting visible in Narnia. Zero foul language, thank you! This movie spared us all across the age spectrum the usual graphic carnage laced with four letter curse words and objectification of females generally associated with silly bang up flicks in todays market.
Me: "The battle scenes are intense for very young children"
You: IMO, Only if they are under the age of 8 years old.
Me: When I saw it, the theater was full of the crib set as well as young children.
I took my eight-year-old neighbor, and there were two scenes that had a visibly frightening effect on her so that she ducked or covered her face. One was the stone table breaking apart. The other was when Aslan was struck in the face.
"One was the stone table breaking apart"
Spoiler scene ahead
That's odd considering that scene, where the table breaks apart isn't even visible to the audience. Only through the sound and the two girl characters eyes shocked look, is only visible leaving the rest to the audiences imagination. Oh well, I think it's even stranger that Spencers Gift stores located in most large family orientated malls display and sell numerous adult sex toys and graphically explicit SEXUAL ADULT(porn) RATED gag gifts and graphics stickers, etc., in full view where underage kids are permitted and do browse through the isles giggling and snickering not understanding exactly why they're laughing nervously. Where's the concern, outrage and parental/adult guidance there?!! Because it's located in a mall and not the stereotypical seedy corner street porn store, it's deemed okay? I've noticed this particular Spencers Gift store in my local family orientated mall sexually explicit adult product line keeps getting more extensive and vulgar each passing year. I hadn't been in it for years. Boy have things changed for the worse. I use to like going in there for the light to fair yuk yuk gag gifts and unique light fixtures. It's as if this stores owner realizes no one is watching OR concerned so they've obviously are pushing the adult content product line envelope. I was amazed at how many under aged kids were filtering in and out of this store during the day, not requiring to enter with any i.d. yet grocery stores make them show i.d. for cigarette purchases. I'm not trying to get off topic but Americas priorities are really jacked up. And yes, I plan on notifying the proper authorities and city officials about this store. Something is terribly wrong here. Underaged kids shouldn't be able to go into a store and purchase sexaully explicit adult paraphenalia let alone view and touch it. Thanks for allowing my rant regarding glaringly societal hypocrycies(sp?) in America.
She asked me to escort her to the rest room and just as we were retaking our seats and not yet looking at the screen, which meant she had no idea what might be coming down the track at her, the table broke apart with a very loud crack. We BOTH ducked LOL, and I had seen it before. She said a fifth grade boy at school told her that scene scared him, too.
I often wonder how much children *seem* to be absorbing, without effect, through the media, when they really are getting overloaded.
The battle scenes are intense for very young children, although there were lots of those in the theater.Perhaps Ive been desensitized to battle action with films like Lord of the Rings (although I havent gone any further on the gore scale) but I thought that perhaps too much emphasis was put on no violence. I didnt want to see the knife plunging in, but perhaps a little more battle action. Some of you might be able to tell by now, Im a battle-oriented kind of guy. Were told in the book that Edmund fought his way through several ogres to get at the White Witch; that would have been a thrill, and more redeeming for Edmund.
The scenes of Aslan at the stone -- leading up to and following what happens there -- are the best representation I have seen of Christ's death and resurrection. I know some like to say there is no Christ in it, but being His beloved child, I don't know how a believer can read the books or see this movie and say that.Dont discount The Passion of the Christ. I would maintain that it is the best cinema representation of Christs death. (Although, of course, the resurrection was given about ten seconds at the end of the film, which was disappointing)
The substance of faith is huge in Narnia, where LOTR is more an entertainment piece.Hey, dont knock Lord of the Rings, man. I must say that, put side-by-side, I still get more out of LotR than Narnia. It depends on what you put in, perhaps. But I dont see LotR as just an entertainment piece. Frankly, it goes so much deeper that I get more out of it. Aragorns death plunge (For Frodo), followed by the two hobbits, and then Gandalf and the rest of the free warriors of Middle-Earth, into the ranks of Mordor orcs, still rivals and, dare I say, surpasses Peters charge. Although Orieuss suicidal plunge (with cool double-blades-of-death action into General Otmin, a deadly draw of that enormous sword, and the muscles bulging) was incredible. Every time he double-blades Otmin, I whisper yeeess to myself.
The White Witch and her minions are exactly like liberal democrats in San Francisco. The seen where Aslan is on the stone table resembles a liberal bath house with Hillary Clinton or Pelosi standing in the middle. It really is great and I expect liberals to scream about this movie.Um ..yeah .like I say, you get out of it what you put in. *Puzzled expression*
I thought that TLTWaTW is much more child-oriented than LotR.Agreed. And that can be either good or bad. Our children could use the inspiration of LotR without all the gore.
It was a long movie, but there was a lot to tell, so I didn't have a problem with the length.Would you believe .I would have stood for it to be longer?
We've had problems with unruly or bored kids before who are more interested in throwing popcorn at each other than watching the movie. After we got our seats the entire row in front of us filled up with mostly young children. I thought "great, here we go". I swear, once the movie started I didn't notice anyone but my wife. The movie engrossed us all, kids and adults.I was surprised myself when there were several of your more punkish-behaving kids in the theater at least, they were at that punkish age, and their actions before the film begun soon gave me to thoughts that I would have to get up (in costume, mind you) and go ask them to hush. But youre exactly right; the movie has the capacity to hold the attention of everyone. I didnt even notice a peep from any of them.
As far as the criticism of Narnia being too religious, I think few people will see any religion at all unless it is pointed out first.People said Passion of the Christ was anti-Semitic. I wrote for my Amazon.com review that if you went into the film looking for it, then you would be able to find it. You could find it in the stone-faced Jewish counsel members condemning Christ like cold and calculating politicians. But if you werent looking, then it wasnt there. In other words .to reiterate, you get out of it what you put in.
I left the theatre without any kind of feeling one way or the other. Very odd. When my husband asked me what I thought, (he didn't see it) he was surprised at my reaction to it of just oh, it was good. . . I might see it again when my son is here for Christmas. But, I will definitely buy the DVD.I know what you mean. For some more used to emotional ups and downs of films that nearly break your heart by playing your emotions, the movie may come up a little dry. I have a few thoughts about what could have done better, but Ill put them at the end of this.
A lot more humble than LOTR but still very good.Good way of putting it, Onja.
remember in evaluating Aslan's size in this initial movie that throughout the seven volumes HE steadily increases in physical sizeAgreed, and someone has pointed out to me that maybe Walden Media doesnt want to use up all their tricks the first time out. But Aslan took up one-quarter of the Stone Table when he was laying upon it. He should have taken up the entire table. I think Liam Neesons voice was a good choice for Aslan, but .it wasnt perfect. Hes not a tame lion, but like I said in one of the reviews, you wouldnt know that by watching this film.
Lucy was adorable, and the beavers were hilarious. I want some of that Turkis Delight Edmund was munching on!Lucy was perfectly-cast. I like the beaver banter. But Turkish Delight isnt very tasty. My sister (a good cook!) made some, and it kind of tastes like either giant blocks of gummy worm, or flavored rubber gloves. We know, because of the way it looked in the film that it was the same (or very similar).
I kept urging (quietly) Peter to use the advantage of the high ground before the attack. Let them come to you, and then when they are worn out from the trek, attack them at full strength!Except that the White Witch was looming over Edmund and Peter was infuriated over his brothers injury at the hands of the Witch. Recall once again the death-charges of Helms Deep and the Black Gate.
i know lots of folks, including some of the stars, seem unaware of the religious symbolism, but i believe the movie is faithful to lewis's visionOne article referred to Anna Popplewell as a Christian, and William Mosely did seem to recognize the strong themes of good vs. evil in one interview. So Id like to think that perhaps, even if some are not yet believers, this will plant a seed. We know Liam Neeson isnt (because of his role in Kinsey) and we know Tilda Swinton isnt (because of her roles in Tecknolust and Female Perversions, etc. she actually explained to Skander Keynes, actor who played Edmund, that he was not able to see any of her films. He explained that he caught Vanilla Sky on TV once, and she nearly scolded him and told him he was too young) but who knows about others.
that's a shame because (imho) some of the best films are children's films. i am not sure why this is, except perhaps the skill of storytelling has to be honed to keep a child's interest. it is truly appalling how thin plot, characterization and resolution are in so many of today's films. yet we have at our disposal the ability to create in ways never before possible.Lots of kid movies are good. For some of the younger members in my house, the things in Spy Kids (like walking skeletons and weird creatures) are not allowed, but I caught some of Spy Kids 2 on TV, and thought it was hilarious. Shrek I and II were kid movies but they functioned on different levels. The Toy Story movies were kid movies need I go on?
I thought that this movie was better than the current Harry Potter. The actress for Lucy should get nominated for an acadamy award. It was heartbreking when Mr. Tumnus confessed to her the bad thing he had done (trying to kidnap her). You see Lucy lose the smile on her face and say in a little voice. "I thought you were my friend?". She expressed such innocense that it actually put a lump in my throat.Georgie Henley was one of the best parts of the film, at least as far as acting goes. And her tender moments, where Tumnus breaks down again by the Lamppost, and she quietly consoles hey .hey . And did you heard how she rebuked the actor who played Tumnus when he used a very nasty word in frustration?
I think it needed another hour to develop the story more... :-) Also - Aslan was SO much larger (in every way) in the book. The movie toned him down alot....Agreed about the length and Aslans size.
The comparisons between this film and The Lord of the Rings trilogy are inescapable. The novels upon which the films were based were written during the same time period by authors who were contemporaries. But while the Lord of the Rings films had a brilliant director and all three of the films are consistantly stunning scene by scene, the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe does not come close to measuring up.Im close to agreeing with you, but we have to let the film stand on its own. Surely the creators and staff of the film knew that they had Lord of the Rings to live up to, in some sense. But the story is so much smaller than Lord of the Rings. Just the book size, Fellowship of the Ring is probably longer than six of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
The weakest part of the film is how it handled the White Witch. Everything from her acting, her costuming, the scenery surrounding her, her character realization onscreen, were disappointing. And if you can't make a great villain, you can't make the audience care as much who wins or loses the climactic battle. The scenes of her riding her chariot in that final battle and the way she fought were clumsy and campy.Im not quite sure I agree with you there. I think her on-screen presence was well-done. The way she can be as tender and sweet as an angel to Edmund, then turn around and be a rat, was good.
The CGI effects of the animals was nearly seemless. Their voices, however, sometimes did not fit their appearance and motions.Which voices? The primary animal voices were Ray Winstone (Mr. Beaver), Dawn French (Mrs. Beaver) and Rupert Everett (the Fox, whom you also know as Prince Charming from Shrek II). Unless were talking about Maugrim and Orieus.
The costuming was pretty bad. The score was too.I think the costuming was quite good, actually. The score WAS just a tad weak. I mean, come on, Gregson-Williams had to know that Lord of the Rings was still a shining beacon he had to ascribe to. Most of the tracks were quiet, whether they should have been or not. The most hair-tearing part is Aslans reappearance. Were talking about the resurrection of the great king of Narnia, the glorious return from death against all hope! And there is practically NO MUSIC. There should have been more themes. There were about two themes; the war theme (which was applied in both the very beginning war scenes, and again when the Witch is mustering her forces) and the Narnia theme. There should have been a theme for Lucy, a theme for Narnia, a theme for Aslan, a theme for the White Witch and maybe a few more.
I'm not panning the film. I loved it. I'm just pointing out that it was not all it could have been.Mega-dittos. :-)
I saw Narnia yesterday with two friends of mine. The youngest was 43.HA! :-D
One little boy next to me was enjoying it so much he squealed at times.Oh, Im sorry, that was probably me. ;-)
Professor Kirke looked too much like Count Olaf from Series of Unfortunate Events. We kept on waiting for him to enmesh his fingers and say, "Sorry. I don't speak monkey!"Ha ha. Actually, you might recognize him from Disneys sort-of flop Around the World in 80 Days. He played Lord Kelvin.
Aslan was great, but his roars were spoiled for me by The Lion King. He had the right air of authority.Roars were too short, too quiet, and werent built up enough. The kids jump on his back, and then he says betterputyourfingersinyourearsROAR! Even the roar when he arrives on the battlefield to rescue Peters army, it wasnt long enough, and wed already seen it two dozen times by watching previews and clips and behind-the-scenes featurettes, so it was more like Oh, so thats what thats from.
I still think Maugrim should've been called Fenris...I know about the two versions, though.Definitely going to disagree there. Maugrim brings much more scary elements to a name than Fenris. While Maugrim conjures up similarities with words like maul or grim or even the Elvish derivative of mor which means darkness, Fenris brings to mind Ferris Wheel. :-P Lewis originally had Maugrim, but changed it to Fenris to appeal to an American audience. Why, I have no idea.
Father Christmas stunk up his role--looked too much like Theoden from LOTR. And where were the gifts for the Beavers?I thought FC was well-cast. But, as with almost all elements of the film, there was a nagging feeling that they could have done better.
They did a very poor job on "The Passion of the Aslan" and should have focused more on what the rabble did to him.I would like to see a PG-13 version of the film myself, but I agree with not putting as much of the mistreatment in. Still, it doesnt make sense to do that and then market it as a Passion of the Christ for kids.
The cinematography was excellent.Here Ive been disagreeing with some of your criticism, and now Ill disagree with some of your praise! I think that the film moved a little too quickly, and we never got the chance to take in this world theyve created on screen. About the only time they did that was when the three Pevensies and the beavers stop to look out over the frozen world and barely see the Stone Table in the distance. That was obviously a green screen in the background, and we got barely a few seconds glance at it. We didnt get enough time to sit back and immerse ourselves. And also, could anyone NOT tell that the Witchs castle was a painting? It was obvious! Whereas they grafted paintings (actually, digital paintings) into Lord of the Rings seamlessly.
And you had to love Aslan's quote after he killed the White Witch: "It is finished".Believe it or not, Andrew Adamson insists that he didnt know that line was Biblical. Yeah, I know, I have a hard time believing that too. Maybe somebody suggested it to him or the screen writers, and he didnt know.
It was good. Adaptations to the book were supportive of the overall story. I felt that the story line was rushed in a concern to meet the smaller movie time. If they would have added some key areas (such as Aslan's speech at the WW's castle to those awakened, etc) it would have been enhanced IMHO.I agree.
Edmund was well-cast, but none of us cared for the actor playing the oldest brother.From his very first lines on screen, he didnt make the best of an impression. He was stuttering why-ju-ju-ju .ya coulda godnt us KILLED! Im sure you tend to stutter a bit during an air raid, but still. But otherwise, I think he was a good pick. I liked his sarcastic But were already having SO MUCH FUN.
TOO MUCH WALKING AROUND. A drinking game will probably develop (on second thought, probably not) around the endless walking around Narnia and/or the house that all the characters do.Yeah, thats what people said about Lord of the Rings too. I dont think I agree with the criticism in either case.
Lots of LOTR moments. It would be fun when watching the DVD to yell out the scene from LOTR that TLTWatW apes. ("The eagles are coming!" "Hide under the road so the Ringwraith wolves don't find you!")Not enough, if you ask me. Nowhere NEAR the emotion of the moment when Pippin cries out in joy the eagles are coming! Dangit, I get chills just remembering the moment from Return of the King.
We all thought the Santa character was poorly done. It made absolutely no sense, especially to those in our group that had never read the book. I never thought that scene worked well in the book, either. Feels tacked on. An easy way to get necessary props to the characters, but not necessarily the best way to do so.Apparently, thats what Professor Tolkien said too. But I dont think so. The line from the book was always winter but never Christmas which Lewis later used to describe a life without Christ. The arrival of Father Christmas was a signal that the Witchs power was breaking.
I thought the special effects were a bit clumsy 2-3 times, which surprised me. But that was the only negative thing I had to ignore, and it was only 2 or 3 times.Yeah, the buzzing fly was transparently CG, and there was also at least one horse that catches my eye in a crowd scene because its obviously CG. Otherwise, they look good.
I've never been much of a movie buff - I probably don't know "good directing" from "bad directing".Since the director is the man with the vision the one responsible for bringing it all together you can generally tell good directing if the movie turns out well. I dont have a lot of movie-savvy myself, but from behind-the-scenes and from the quality of the films, Peter Jackson was obviously passionate about Lord of the Rings, and it showed.
I don't think you can compare to Lord of the Rings at all - the allegory is more clear in the Chronicles to begin with I think. I always appreciated the fact that the Chronicles could be appreciated by children and adults... where LOTR always seemed much more "adult" to me.I agree and disagree. I agree because Narnia should be taken on its own merits. But from a purely business perspective, the Narnia crew should have known that Lord of the Rings was looming far above them, and that they had to outperform it in some ways.
The voices of the wolves weren't menacing at all. They sounded more like a meeting of a company's board of directors than a pack of bloodthirsty wolves.Ha, only in a leftist film portraying businessmen as all bad! I think Maugrim sounded menacing enough. Perhaps they could have used some more vocal tricks then they did, because it only sounded like the voice as a man rasping his voice.
The score was really bad and sounded like it was written for an entirely different movie -- they should have used someone like John Williams. The movie as a whole overcame these flaws thoughI wouldnt go so far as to say it was really bad. John Williams is a wonderful composer, but from Jurassic Park, Superman, Star Wars and Harry Potter (not to mention various other themes and his Olympic compositions), I fear he has been overused just a little. Im sorry, but for me, Howard Shores score is still the supreme movie soundtrack(s). Im so glad the entire score for
Fellowshiphas released on CD.
I was impressed that there was no wishy-washyness of the characters; good was good and evil was evil and no one was portrayed as being gay. The manliness of some of the characters was with dignity; and not pride or butchery. There was not cruelty on the part of the good guys for the sake of cruelty. Very good in the role model dept, IMO.True knight virtues the chivalry that society has lost today. One of the other things I adore in Lord of the Rings. The emotion that comes with Aragorns tearful oath: I do not know what strength is in by blood; but I
swearto you; I will not let the White City fall.
I thought the Father Christmas didn't really detract from the movie. I thought it gave more of a sense of authenticity to the movie although I realize that many people wouldn't recognise him. I think a Santa Claus type rendition would have detracted from the movie. After all, this is Narnia, not Earth.I think it became obvious who he was (if not earlier!) when Lucy said to Susan Told you he was real.
I've never read the book, but I am a devout Christian, and I just saw the movie.You probably have an advantage in that, because the book is better than the film for a true impression of Narnia.
I have one concern, and perhaps some of you who have read the book can tell me if this is how CS Lewis wrote the book: There is far more attention paid to the Witch than to Aslan. In fact, the children only spend a few moments with Aslan before he sacrafices himself. It seemed odd that the girls developed such an attachment to Aslan after such brief exposure to him, and they never really seemed to make the connection that he sacraficed himself for Edmund. Does the book spend more time with Aslan than the movie does?Thats a good question/observation. I think perhaps more time passes at the camp than we see on screen; notice that Peter has changed into Narnian clothes, as have Susan and Lucy. Theyre practicing their battle skills like Orieus showed us. More time passes. Still, I agree, even if THEY spend time with Aslan and get to know him, it is WE who the moviemakers should be concerned about, and we dont spend enough time with Him. On the other hand, the sacrifice scene, the Witch makes it clear that Aslan has not saved Edmund, which shows us why He was doing what He did. The book does spend more time with Aslan as do all the other six Narnia books. So to learn more of Aslan, definitely read the books.
Um, the Old Testament is not overthrown by the New.Hmm! I missed where this slight debate came up. The Old Testament was not overthrown, yet we are no longer under the Law that we were given in the Old Testament. This is why fools like John Stewart can sneer that the Bible preaches against homosexuality, but also against eating animals with split-hooves or whatever. They dont understand the New Covenant.
How was King Kong?Im HOPING that none of you Narnia fans participated in the unseating of Narnia as the number one film by supporting Kong! Kong still had a weak opening, but it did replace Narnia as number one.
That's odd considering that scene, where the table breaks apart isn't even visible to the audience. Only through the sound and the two girl characters eyes shocked look, is only visible leaving the rest to the audiences imagination.I felt the scene (like many others) could have been done better. All we get is the two ladies stumbling and a brief rumbling. For the significance of the moment, it should have been greater, stronger, better. The emotion of the moment for the girls was a horrible, gasping moment. The music should have conveyed that. Instead, it is relatively silent throughout that scene; even when Aslan arrives!!
I just saw it for the second time and it was as good then as the first. It moves at a very nice pace and is pretty tame compared to LOTR and Star Wars (IMO, although I wouldn't take a CHILD who's not used to those to Narnia). The battle scenes were well done and refreshinly bloodless and goreless. They did a better job with Aslan than I expected. He came across as very dignified and strong. COnsidering what happens to portrayals of Christ in other films, this was a welcome change.
The scenery and sound track were great. I cried both times when the kids got sent away on the train (being a mother) and when Aslan got killed, a moving scene in it's own right.
"Whoa, horsie." "The name's Phillip." cracked me up both times.
I thought it was one of the best book to movie renditions I have seen in a very long time. It was true to the story. This is definately a DVD I will buy.
Appreciate your thoughtful and thorough feedback.
Pls see my post here,
re the effect of the violence on an eight-year-old. Later, she told me that a fifth grade boy at school was frightened by the stone cracking scene.
I made a strong effort to watch the movie with young children in mind, and to balance what I was seeing against what is pushed at our juvenile population via the media.
Re: (me) The scenes of Aslan at the stone -- leading up to and following what happens there -- are the best representation I have seen of Christ's death and resurrection.
(you) Dont discount The Passion of the Christ. I would maintain that it is the best cinema representation of Christs death.
I was including the Passion but thinking in terms of a "representation" -- something standing in the place of rather than depicting the actual event.
I am going to go on record that I did not like Gibson's movie. I know I am among one of seven or maybe eight Christians who would dare to say that. My objections? The Bible tells it like it was and Mel put in things that went beyond Scripture and to me, they detracted from Christ's sacrifice and passion. I'm not referring to the events such as Mary flashing back to her young son stumbling, which, using creative license, gave humanity to our Savior. I'll leave it at that. Don't want to get into a discussion of the "Passion" on the Narnia thread.
This is not a childish movie. It does not portray the children in it in as being sassy, disrespectful, or obnoxious know-it-alls who have a snotty, sarcastic comeback for everything that happens. There are very few movies that I will go to see and even less a second time, but this one was worth it.
The battle scenes weren't violent at all. They were made less graphic for the kids in the audience. I have to agree with you there.
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