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 did? When was this...?
Unless you live overseas, it released nationwide on December 9. You had a CHANCE...that doesn't mean you went. :-)
No, I didn't have a CHANCE because I've been WORKING. :P
I saw it yesterday. The battle scenes are intense for very young children, although there were lots of those in the theater. 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. What especially spoke to me in this rendition was the frenzy of the White Witch's minions as they humiliated Aslan and prepared to fulfill the deep magic.
I love it that Lewis does not glorify or put the "deep magic" as something to seek or aspire to have, but as something to be overcome and destroyed.
The casting was perfect. The special effects were much better than I expected; the scenery was ... glorious. The sound track -- I *gotta have it.*
And when Aslan stands on that rock and roars -- wow. I especially enjoyed him chomping into the White Witch. Just deserts to the max.
A friend and I are planning to take my eight-year-old neighbor girl either Tuesday or Thursday of next week, and really look forward to that.
Buying our tickets, some people drove up to the curb and shouted to us to tell us what time harry potter played. I said I didn't want to talk about harry potter and urged them to see "Narnia" instead. The *lady* yelled back that she was going to see harry potter and I thought to myself, Then get out of your car and stop yelling at the patrons. lol
I thought that TLTWaTW is much more child-oriented than LotR.
I hope you like it. I was sorta interested in seeing it, but not anymore. I will see King Kong, because I like spectacular flicks, but have had it with kid flicks. I was never a part of this trend of adults seeing kid movies willingly, but that's just me. I'm having a tough time thinking of upcoming movies I'm interested in seeing, and I'm a big movie fan.
I thought the special effects were terrific. I was a bit surprised at how intense it is, especially the battle scenes, but I don't think gratuitous. The most graphic images are left to imagination, such as when Aslan is standing over the Witch on the ground, lets out a furious growl and lunges at her head with his mouth open. You don't actually see what happens, but you get the idea. When the armies gathered for battle I thought "are they really going to show some realistic fighting?" And when it broke out, I thought "Wow. Braveheart for kids!" While there's a lot of fighting and warriors being felled, you don't see much blood.
It was a long movie, but there was a lot to tell, so I didn't have a problem with the length. We don't have any youngters in the house, so we don't usually go to kids movies. I commented to my wife before we left "well, I hope there's kids there being exposed to this good vs. evil movie, since it IS a kids' movie, but I hope they are behaved". 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.
he ate her?
He jumps on her face. ROAR!
Lucy & Tumnus were my favorite characters. Peter was next. I didn't think the battle scenes were too intense. Maybe for me when I was a kid, but not for todays world wise kids.
Overall, I would give it an 8.5- 9.0
Adamson is a GREAT director. I think he could be the next Lucas....
Really good movie. A lot more humble than LOTR but still very good.
WOnderful CG graphics. Cool Maughrim and Minotaur leader of the Queen's army. THE Queen was really good. Her death though was not too impressive. I'd say that Edmund was portrayed in too well of a sense at first. I actually felt sorry for him. He was supposed to originally be a little g*t.
It doesn't compare with LOTR (but of course VERY little does) but also it had a much humbler book source. But it does seem much more real. Don't know why but it seems very realistic.
The camera pulled back but that's what it looked like to me.
remember in evaluating Aslan's size in this initial movie that throughout the seven volumes HE steadily increases in physical size
Lucy was adorable, and the beavers were hilarious.
I want some of that Turkis Delight Edmund was munching on!
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!
It was an absolute visual treat. In many ways I liked it more than LOTR.
the people in the theater seemed entranced, and applause was the response at the end.
yes, there are things to nitpick, as we have done on other threads, but, in all, it is well worth seeing SEVERAL times...i believe the film will stand on its own, apart from the book. of course, reading is always richer than seeing, because the mind will create landscapes more extraordinary than the eye will.
but i was satisfied and inspired.
it was also funny!
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.
to be honest, however, i do not really see this as a children's film, just as lewis said of the books. the child will see it as such, and the adult will see it as so much more.
i absolutely love film and find that moving images can be nearly as emotional an experience as listening to music (not quite, but almost...).
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.
The effects were incredible and The Queen was perfect. Wow! What a show. I'll go see it again.
I felt the movie, overall, was kind of weak - especially the direction. Moments of on-screen brilliance surrounded by mediocrity. There were times when this movie really shined and the magic was there. But most of the film was little better than something that would have been made for TV.
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.
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.
As child actors go, the 4 children playing the main characters Lucy, Susan, Edmund, and Peter were better than most. The actress portraying Lucy positively shined onscreen, outshining all the others.
The CGI effects of the animals was nearly seemless. Their voices, however, sometimes did not fit their appearance and motions.
The costuming was pretty bad. The score was too.
I'm not panning the film. I loved it. I'm just pointing out that it was not all it could have been.
Also, unlike other films, there was no mad rush for tickets or long lines at the theater where I attended. While the Harry Potter and the Lord of the Rings films packed them in and had lines of fans camping in line from early morning, there was no waiting for the first showing of Narnia and the theater was only 4/5ths full. I give the movie weak B but I do recommend it.
ditto--- when did I have a chance? I have had a booked up schedule for the entire last two weeks (see http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1532248/posts).
Trust me, if I had 3 hours of "free time", I would have been there. I WILL go see it the FIRST CHANCE I get.
Amazing how opinions can vary so much - in the same thread, there are acclaims about the directing, and panning of the directing. I will reserve judgement myself for when I can go see the movie - but it's just amazing how opninions can vary.
Here is my take:
1. MacReady was cast well, as was the Professor's House.
2. 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!"
3. All of the children were very well cast. Edmund looked like a young Garrison Keillor.
4. Tumnus was not at all like I pictured him; I figured they were going for an "everyman" (everyfaun?) look, which they did an EXCELLENT job of.
5. Jadis was definitely miscast, and didn't FEEL evil. If they wanted the alluring witch, they should've picked Nicole Kidman. She has the eyes for it since her divorce :-(
6. Aslan was great, but his roars were spoiled for me by The Lion King. He had the right air of authority.
7. The Beavers looked too much like something out of a commercial.
8. I still think Maugrim should've been called Fenris...I know about the two versions, though.
9. Father Christmas stunk up his role--looked too much like Theoden from LOTR. And where were the gifts for the Beavers?
Remainder. Is a spoiler alert, see below.
10. Told you it was a spoiler. BEAVERS IN CHAIN MAIL ROCK!!
11. They did a very poor job on "The Passion of the Aslan" and should have focused more on what the rabble did to him.
12. During Aslan's death, I was quite surprised they didn't repeat the White Witch's final speech from the book--which was quite powerful--word for word.
13. They only hinted at the White Witch's turning the Christmas party into stone--I had been looking forward to that scene.
The cinematography was excellent. The faithfulness to the plot, excellent (like LOTR, they took some liberties, but I think they were necessary to translate print onto the screen). And Tumnus looked straight, not gay. I was afraid I'd have to send Reepicheep up to Disney's board room to show them what a REAL mouse was :-)
The costuming, sets, special effects, music--all top-notch. Nothing cheesy, and some of the supporting characters -- the Centaur, the Fox--were "off-scale".
Overall score: A- to A, depending on my mood.
Please re-read the book version of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe and also The Magician's Nephew.
The Deep Magic was put into Narnia from its beginning, of which the White Witch (Jadis) was a witness. Aslan was resurrected due to a Deeper Magic from Before the Dawn of Time, of which Jadis had no knowledge, but Aslan did :-)
you are absolutely right about lucy. she is a fabulous little actress. it SLAYS me that some of the meanest reviews have been crapping that the kids were the best thing about the film, as if nothing else redeems it.
it IS a film about kids, after all! some of the criticism has been ludicrous. they never really do get it, do they?
My point is taken in apposition to the harry potter type garbage that is drawing youths into real magic (seeking after demonic powers for one's own supposed gain). Lewis approached it differently than the occult stuff dousing our children.
I loved the beavers too.
Lucy was a perfect choice.
The CG people did a fantastic job on Aslan.
And you had to love Aslan's quote after he killed the White Witch:
"It is finished".
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 hope that they add these in to the DVD when it comes out (assuming they did these scenes in the first place.) Otherwise, I'm very happy with the film.
In which case you'll REALLY love Magician's Nephew.
Written in 1955 as a prequel to the 1950 fantasy novel THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE, this title is the story of two children in Victorian England who unwittingly take part in the (re)birth of the magical land of Narnia. Kenneth Branagh's precise and enchanting reading takes the listener from the rooftops of London to the fields of Narnia, and then back to London as mad Uncle Andrew ushers an evil sorceress named Jadis to wreak havoc in our world. Lewis's storytelling is magnificent, and Branagh's performance completely and utterly engaging. S.E.S. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award, 2002 Audie Award Finalist © AudioFile 2002, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine--This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.
1) Saw it yesterday. Theater sold out 20 minutes prior to showtime for first showing of the day.
2) Loved Lucy, Mr. Tumnus and especially the White Witch. Edmund was well-cast, but none of us cared for the actor playing the oldest brother.
3) 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.
4) 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!")
5) Only a couple of moments in the script made me flinch at their awkwardness, a pleasant surprise.
6) 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.
7) Overall, I'd grade it a B-. We might not purchase the DVD; the kids didn't seem to love it.
Just got back from the 8PM Sunday show; the earlier showings were sold out but ours was ~2/3 full.
Loved it. CS Lewis was such a gentle writer for kids, and that comes across wonderfully in the movie. It has a real peace about it.
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.
Lucy is an amazing young actress - she had the perfect facial expressions scene after scene. Really delightful.
I wished Aslan had more of an edge to him, in the book they were afraid of him but loved him. The white witch was sufficently evil (for kids).
Overall it gets a solid A in my book. I look forward to the whole series (I hope).
GO SEE IT!!!!!
I thought the movie was good, but I don't think I'd call it great. It was very faithful to the book, and made its primary focus the relationship between the four children. Edmund was a little (only a little, mind you) more sympathetic than in the books based on this focus on the interplay between the siblings.
I'm not so sure about "tacked on" -- it is stressed early on that it's always winter, but never Christmas. The appearance of "Father Christmas" is one of the first signs in the book that the long winter is finally breaking.
I had been doing some reading about character development, casting and wardrobe (no pun) for this film. The movie-makers did not want Father Christmas to be just another shopping mall Santa, andduring their brainstorming sessions, which were long and deliberate, they had settled on trying to create the presence of, "a Norse warrior returning home from a long absence," consistent with the Narnia's long winter without Christmas.
I've never been much of a movie buff - I probably don't know "good directing" from "bad directing". I DO love the Chronicles of Narnia - from the first time I read them (at age 19) I saw the allegory VERY clearly. I was a little nervous how that would come through.
I loved the movie - I thought the scenery was pretty much how I pictured it, with the exception of one or two things. (The lampost was just a little different from how I pictured it... haha).
Alsan's size did not bother me at all - I felt his prescence was strong enough - of course I came into it with the expectation of "who" Aslan is to me.. :)
We went Friday night to the 10:15 showing... there was a line waiting to get into the theater - not as many little kids at that late of a showing. There were 7 of us - My husband and myself - my 21 year old son - and 4 teenage boys - all felt that it was a good movie - two of the boys who hadn't read the book caught the allegory.
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.
We all enjoyed it - I'm going to reread the rest of the books now - there were parts I didn't remember.. laugh. BUT the characters came rushing back... and I felt the same affection for them.. (or revulsion in the case of Jadis)
Oh - I enjoyed the beavers immensely - I thought they captured the spirit and personality of the "average" Christian - and even in the end the "average" Christian was in the Battle..
Yes, I get that. I just don't like it. In a story so full of Christian symbolism, the Santa Claus thing doesn't fit (for me).
I think I would have liked the book better if CS Lewis would have written in a Norse Warrior (who could have been a symbol for John the Baptist) instead of Santa Claus!
The CGI effects of the animals was nearly seemless. Their voices, however, sometimes did not fit their appearance and motions.
The costuming was pretty bad. The score was too.
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. 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 though.
I read an interview of Adamson, and he had no idea where that phrase "It is finished" came from - too funny. But you have to give the guy credit, the movie was pretty darn faithful to the Christian subtext and the book.
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