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Reviews and Discussion of Prince Caspian

Posted on 06/19/2008 9:05:22 PM PDT by DaveLoneRanger

This is the "official" thread for discussing Disney/Walden's second installment in the Chronicles of Narnia series. This thread is primarily intended for people who have already seen the movie, as the following review contains some mild spoilers.

Here is the review I wrote after seeing the film.


The long-awaited Narnia sequel is here, and as promised, delivers a far more “savage” journey into C.S. Lewis’s Narnia. The two-and-a-half hour film doesn’t stop for long, featuring two heavy battle sequences and one intense duel. (As opposed to the one battle for The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.)

And as you might expect for someone who, like many, has lived with part of his heart in Narnia since childhood, there are things to cheer for and things to wince at as Shrek director Andrew Adamson once again seeks to bring his vision of the story – not the story itself – to the screen. There are times where changes add immeasurably to the story, and others where one wonders what Adamson and the writers were thinking (smoking?) anyway. It seems producers enjoyed breaking parts of the story just to hear the snapping sounds. And just as when you break a mirror, the picture becomes fragmented. Though showing you a different side of what you were looking at, you still have a broken mirror. The first fault line was the large section of the film devoted to Peter’s attempts and failures to prove himself TO himself, reaping costly benefits in the process. His faith in Aslan has all but extinguished, and he resolves to lead Narnia on his own. His weaknesses and doubts about how Aslan could have allowed the devastation and sack of Narnia may strike a more poignant chord with modern day thinkers, but at cost to the actual character.

The film doesn’t really get off-kilter from the book until Lucy wakes up to find that meeting Aslan (as she was scheduled to in the book) was a dream. After this appearance, which DOESN’T count, it takes another hour before the stately sovereign arrives in earnest – reducing the central character of all seven Narnia books to a bit part towards the end. The completely new castle raid is another invention of Peter’s pride, but the tearful impact it has on audience members (plus the cool action sequences) is worth it.

Winners:

Edmund – For being a steadfast hero in the fight. The character grew along with the actor, and now both create a winning return. One looks to his more prominent role in Voyage of the Dawn Treader; he’s earned it.

Trumpkin – For being a “brick” with a dry sense of humor and bleak outlook on life, but a heart of pure gold.

Asterius – The secret of the aged minotaur’s noble sacrifice was public long before the film was, but there’s something about such honorable selfless surrender coupled with vicious determination that brings a lump to my throat. (So also for other movies, such as Boromir’s end in Lord of the Rings, or Doc Ock’s in Spider-Man II.)

Glenstorm – That gi-normous sword and stature coupled with imposing presence transform this character – a supporting role at best – to a highlight of the film, reminding us once again why we love these high and noble centaurs so well.

Editing – As a movie, the film flows much better cinematically. In particular, the beginning kicks off properly shrouded in mystery, and we find ourselves catapulted back into Narnia with nostalgia, intrigue and style.

Aslan’s roar and physical size – Too small in the first film, the stature of our favorite messianic lion more befits the highest of all kings in this second installment – as do his roars, few though they be.

Losers:

Peter’s stubbornness and pride – Reflective of some realism (would these four children really be satisfied with returning to the life of 1940’s English school children after being kings and queens of Narnia?) but still painful to watch, and a dramatic departure from the character. Does this reflect the learning and personal growth Aslan brought the Pevensies to Narnia for? And as failures mount, how can Aslan pronounce their learning from Narnia to be finished, even successful?

Prince Caspian’s accent – It takes more than watching clips of Inigo Montoya to perfect a Spaniard’s accent (no joking, folks), and alas, Barnes’ on-again-off-again rendition doesn’t pass muster.

Caspian/Peter rivalry – Directly conflicting with the book ( “I haven't come to take your place, you know,” Peter tells Caspian “but to put you into it.”) this lame attempt to manufacture interpersonal conflict between the junior monarchs stands out like a sore cliché. Again, like the broken mirror, it provides an interesting *alternative* perspective, but at cost of unifying the story.

Susan/Caspian romance – Designed mostly to stir up controversy, the looked-for “chemistry” fails utterly, and the unwarranted addition made even the actors uncomfortable .

Harry Gregson-Williams – For recycling music from the first film, whether or not it fit the sequence being scored. Gregon-Williams failed to give Aslan a fitting theme in the first film (particularly letting us down when Aslan resurrect) and makes no restitution in the second film. Ironically, he gets a second chance to introduce the lion in proper fashion, and blows it.

Aslan’s utterly diminished role and glory – To me, this is the central and defining failure of the film. As already mentioned, the defining character Lewis created, the only One to appear in all seven books, is not only limited to the latter twenty minutes or so of the film, but his sovereignty is also significantly and confusingly reduced. The best example is changing Aslan’s “no one is ever told what would have happened” to “we can never know what would have happened.”

Conclusion:
I saw the film once on opening day, and the thrill and experience of it all brushed aside my concerns about alterations. Post-viewing ruminations left me more and more dissatisfied. A second viewing reconciled the two sides, leaving me irritated with some of the changes, but an overall positive vibe about the film – and eagerly anticipating Michael Apted’s vision for the third film.


TOPICS: TV/Movies
KEYWORDS: aslan; caspian; moviereview; narnia; princecaspian
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1 posted on 06/19/2008 9:05:22 PM PDT by DaveLoneRanger
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To: Joe 6-pack; k2blader; Richard Kimball; nicmarlo; Uncle Vlad; tbird5; Borges; ConservativeDude; ...
(((CHRONICLES OF NARNIA PING)))



You are being pinged because of your interest in Walden Media’s
“The Chronicles of Narnia.”
Freep-mail if you want on/off this list: Add me! / Remove me

Make sure to visit NarniaWeb.com for all the latest news, rumors and information!


Folks, it is my bittersweet duty to inform you that I am no longer able to serve you with this ping list, because of growing responsibilities elsewhere. You can already see that I haven't been posting many items of news or discussion about the films, and if you asked to join a list, that's not fair to keep the list dormant.

BlackVeil has volunteered to take over the duties of this list, so unless there be objections, this will likely be the last thread I ping. I'm not going anywhere, though, and I hope to join in future discussions. I still get behind-the-scenes tidbits from time to time, and who knows if maybe I'll be able to pass one or two of them along to you all.
2 posted on 06/19/2008 9:13:20 PM PDT by DaveLoneRanger (Gun-free zones aren't. Visit ConcealedCampus.com for more)
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To: DaveLoneRanger

First film was better but that seems to always be the case. But our family still looks forward to book three.


3 posted on 06/19/2008 9:25:51 PM PDT by Patrick1
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To: Patrick1

I didn’t quite think so, actually. The effects were not exceedingly polished, the script writing needed work and the soundtrack was equal to the Prince Caspian soundtrack. I actually took music and spliced it with a scene from the first movie to show what we could have gotten, and several people agreed it could have been better. Someone also posted a comparison of the LWW score and Gregson-Williams’ score for Kingdom of Heaven. Eerily similar.


4 posted on 06/19/2008 9:32:36 PM PDT by DaveLoneRanger (Gun-free zones aren't. Visit ConcealedCampus.com for more)
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To: DaveLoneRanger

Loved both movies..

Saw Prince Caspian opening weekend..

Was not disappointed..

yes Aslan could have been in more scenes,,

But at least He was there and a very real presense..


5 posted on 06/19/2008 9:45:31 PM PDT by Tennessee Nana
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To: DaveLoneRanger
The film doesn’t really get off-kilter from the book until Lucy wakes up to find that meeting Aslan (as she was scheduled to in the book) was a dream. After this appearance, which DOESN’T count, it takes another hour before the stately sovereign arrives in earnest – reducing the central character of all seven Narnia books to a bit part towards the end.

This happened as described in the book. Learn from what Aslan himself said, nothing happens the same way twice, not even one of the Chronicles of Narnia. Aslan is the most important character of these books, but he's not the central or main character in terms of the action. Look at The Silver Chair or The Magician's Nephew or The Last Battle. Aslan is scarcely in any of them except at certain critical junctures.
6 posted on 06/19/2008 9:48:18 PM PDT by aruanan
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To: DaveLoneRanger

Thanks very much for this insightful review, and I am in agreement with all the main points.

The scene I liked best in the movie was the evocation of the White Witch - very scary, and reasonably faithful to the novel - and also the arrival at Cair Paravel - such beautiful scenery.

Like you, I thought the illtempered and immature behaviour by Peter was entirely out of character.

I am looking forward to the “Voyage” film, and I hope they don’t change a word of that story - it is a great one.


7 posted on 06/19/2008 10:04:54 PM PDT by BlackVeil
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To: DaveLoneRanger

I am sure we would all like to thank DaveLoneRanger for his work on the Narnia pings, which have been so much appreciated. We all hope to see more posts in the future.


8 posted on 06/19/2008 10:06:40 PM PDT by BlackVeil
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To: DaveLoneRanger

I object! The Telmarines are clearly modeled after Black Legend Spanish conquistadors.


9 posted on 06/19/2008 10:34:54 PM PDT by sinanju
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To: sinanju

Yes? Nothing in my review contradicts this...


10 posted on 06/19/2008 10:39:55 PM PDT by DaveLoneRanger (Gun-free zones aren't. Visit ConcealedCampus.com for more)
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To: DaveLoneRanger

bookmark


11 posted on 06/19/2008 10:47:55 PM PDT by GOP Poet
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To: DaveLoneRanger

I didn’t like it. Who decided that Telmarine = Spanish? The accents were fake/over the top. And why was Caspian pushing thirty?

Endless battle scenes are not a good idea in a PG movie. Barely a spot of red. Ridiculous.

Edmund and Lucy did a good job. Peter and Susan need protection from termites.


12 posted on 06/19/2008 11:27:23 PM PDT by buck jarret
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To: DaveLoneRanger

“The best example is changing Aslan’s “no one is ever told what would have happened” to “we can never know what would have happened.”

That’s the kind of change that really irritates me.


13 posted on 06/19/2008 11:46:29 PM PDT by I still care ("Remember... for it is the doom of men that they forget" - Merlin, from Excalibur)
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To: BlackVeil; DaveLoneRanger

Yes, thank you - DLR - for hosting these Narnia threads. Lurker here - not even on your ping list.

But appreciate the effort - as I know many others do - those who post and my fellow lurkers.

I saw Prince Caspian the first weekend it opened. Big crowds. Applause at the end of the movie.

Having not seen the Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe movie - but having read the Narnia Chronicles 20 years ago...I had a bit of a different take in that I didn’t have a previous Narnia film to compare Caspian to.

LIke others have said - Aslan did not play a big enough role in Caspian as I believe CS Lewis intended for him to play...that was my biggest disappointment.

The scenery and special effects were excellent to behold.

I had posted a thread before I saw it asking whether or not viewers thought it was appropriate viewing for little ones - such as 4 year old. Some said on that thread - that it was - others did not. After viewing it, I would not let my 4 year old great niece see it .....give her a few more years first. The Ice Witch scene by itself was too scary for the young, IMHO. Of course she would enjoy the talking animals but the wars, etc, ==== too much for the little one.

The “lessons” from Prince Caspian - well some - were easy to “get”....others were more obscure.

Overall - from someone who does not go to movies - I would give it a B+ rating.


14 posted on 06/20/2008 2:18:59 AM PDT by Freedom'sWorthIt (communism killed 100 milion people in 20th century.only cause USA did not give it chance to succeed)
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To: DaveLoneRanger

I liked this movie a lot. I didn’t like the first one at all, because the divergence from the book was so drastic and glaring. In the case of “Prince Caspian,” the book itself was so much weaker that I didn’t mind the substitution of one adventure plot for a different one.

My favorite change was the portrayal of the Telmarine lords as Mafia dons. Had me grinning through the whole film.


15 posted on 06/20/2008 8:44:34 AM PDT by Tax-chick (The dragons aren't as hungry as they were yesterday. Has anyone seen James?)
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To: Freedom'sWorthIt

I agree with you about it’s not being suitable for very young children. I took my 8- and 10-year-old daughters, and the younger one liked it, but held my hand a good part of the time.

My husband may take the teens to see it this weekend; they’ll love the battles and special effects.


16 posted on 06/20/2008 8:46:34 AM PDT by Tax-chick (The dragons aren't as hungry as they were yesterday. Has anyone seen James?)
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To: DaveLoneRanger
Absolutely loved the first one...

..did not love the 2nd.

17 posted on 06/20/2008 8:50:27 AM PDT by Guenevere (If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.)
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To: DaveLoneRanger
I saw the film with my son, and we both enjoyed it. Neither of us had read the book. I've read the first and I plan on reading the rest. He hasn't yet, but if I buy the boxed set and he has to do Reading Log for school . . . .

We'll see.

Thanks for the review.

18 posted on 06/20/2008 10:22:29 AM PDT by Tanniker Smith (Teachers open the door. It's up to you to enter.)
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To: Tax-chick

I bet the younger one held your hand....did you discuss Prince Caspian - themes, meanings, etc - or just enjoy the movie as it was?


19 posted on 06/20/2008 12:41:53 PM PDT by Freedom'sWorthIt (communism killed 100 milion people in 20th century.only cause USA did not give it chance to succeed)
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To: Freedom'sWorthIt

We mainly talked about the standard adventure-movie elements: courage, teamwork, sacrifice, and so on - with emphasis on getting along with your brothers and sisters :-). My husband and three oldest children had been to “Indiana Jones and the Whichever” at the same time, so the little girls and I were outnumbered.

I caught some religious elements, some subtle and some blatant, but I’m not sure the girls did.


20 posted on 06/20/2008 12:48:05 PM PDT by Tax-chick (The dragons aren't as hungry as they were yesterday. Has anyone seen James?)
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