Friday, December 09, 2005

Can you say "Awesome Sauce"!

Wow! The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe was so good. I was amazed at how accurate it was. The director stayed very close to the book. Maybe one or two scenes that i didn't happen. Which was ok, they fit into the story, they were just sort of fill ins for the parts during the journey. But wasn't it great. My goodness. The director might have tried to ignore the religious part of it, but the story was not changed and the religion was there wether they liked it or not. Go see this movie, I loved it and I think it's worth it. I was so excited through the whole thing. I knew what was going to happen but it was still intense. I loved it! Man what a good movie. I was expecting lots and I received what I was hoping for. Yay! If you do go see it or have already (wasn't it awesome) tell me about it. This movie was the awesome sauce.

God Bless!
Later days.

15 comments:

churchmouse said...

thanks for the review, Gabe,
I'll definitely be seeing it

Matthew Francis said...

We're hoping to catch a matinee. I love matinees.

Simply Victoria said...

cool! oh i'm so relieved. after hearing the comment the director made:
"When asked how he dealt with the Christian content, he chuckled and said 'I ignored it'"
*gasp!*
But I still could not imagine how that's even possible without changing the story entirely. Lewis's theology was so enmeshed in each character and scene.

We're going to the matinee on sunday. Now I'm really excited!

Peter T Chattaway said...

Can I be the wet blanket? :)

If, by "story", we mean "plot outline" (including the death and resurrection of Aslan), then yes, the film keeps the story more or less intact.

But the dialogue surrounding this plot outline is substantially changed, and theologically, this film is more problematic: it presents a diminished Aslan and an emboldened Witch, very much at odds with what Lewis describes in his book. There is no reference to the Emperor Beyond the Sea, there is no reference to the Deeper Magic that goes back to before the dawn of time, and when Aslan and the Witch first meet, it is he, not she, who loses her temper this time.

I could say more, but that'll do for starters.

Mira-cle said...

Interestingly, Fr John tells me that in CS Lewis' own letters, he explicitly says that the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe was not intended to be a Christian allegory. How does that work!?! but that's what the author himself said.

I saw the movie last night, and although it was very well done, especially Lucy's part, they definately didn't play up Aslan the way they should have...there should have been a lot more emotion surrounding his death and ressurection but it wasn't geared to do that. I feel I can barely even remember Aslan's role. The things that stuck out the most to me were the beginning scene where they have to leave their mom behind (I cried!) and the main battle scene.

I wonder what the intent of this book was, if not to be a Christian allegory?? how weird.

Gabe said...

Maybe he doesn't mention the deeper magic, I thought he did but I'm not positive, but he does at least say something about understanding the magic better. And he does say he was there when the magic was written (and the witch was not). And I'm sure there was at least implications of the Emperor over the Sea (maybe because I knew about Him). As for the resurrection, I believed it to be emotional. Also when we first say Him I was very excited (although I was excited through the whole movie).

Please say more Peter, I love to argue about movies ;) and it's a way to get to know you better.
Did you like the movie at least? As you can tell I loved it, so I will fight to the death to save its honour! (I admit things are different but it's a movie, thats what they do. I felt they were pretty close compared to some other movies. Don't get me started on Harry Potter).

Peter T Chattaway said...

I wonder what the intent of this book was, if not to be a Christian allegory?? how weird.

Strictly speaking, in an "allegory", you can say that certain characters or objects are stand-ins for other characters or objects. But in LWW, there are few, if any, easy one-to-one correspondences. For example, Edmund has an aspect of Judas, inasmuch as he is a traitor, but he is also different from Judas in notable ways (among other things, Edmund is redeemed in the end, whereas Judas was not).

Lewis said that his books were not "allegories" but "supposals", in which he "supposed" what might happen if Christ appeared in a place like Narnia and assumed a Narnian form (i.e. as a talking animal), just as Christ assumed a human form when he came to live in our world. It was kind of like writing a work of fiction that takes place during the life of Christ, e.g. Ben-Hur, except in this case it takes place in another world. So Aslan is not a metaphor for Christ; rather, he is Christ, but in a fictitious setting.

But even here, either as "allegory" or as "supposal", the parallels are hardly exact, for there is no indication anywhere that Aslan was born into Narnia and fully incarnated there, the way that Christ was born and fully incarnated in our world.

Maybe he doesn't mention the deeper magic . . . but he does at least say something about understanding the magic better.

Yeah, and that was a lame revision of the dialogue. He makes it sound like the Witch could have come out ahead in the end, if only she had done a better job of calculating how the Deep Magic works. There is no reference to the Deeper Magic that transcends the Deep Magic.

And he does say he was there when the magic was written (and the witch was not).

That is an interesting line, though he never says that the Witch was not there. Indeed, the Witch would have had to have been there, if the Deep Magic gave her special rights, right?

And I'm sure there was at least implications of the Emperor over the Sea (maybe because I knew about Him).

Methinks you are projecting your knowledge of the books onto the film, then!

Please say more Peter, I love to argue about movies ;) and it's a way to get to know you better.

Oh, I don't know if you want to do that! ;)

Did you like the movie at least?

I thought it was okay, and bits of it were very nice, but overall it wasn't anything special. It's an unfair comparison, but the easiest way I know how to put it is to say that The Lord of the Rings had me in tears the first time I saw it and it leaves me wanting to be a better person every time I see it -- as brave as Frodo, as loyal as Sam, as wise as Gandalf, as contrite as Boromir, etc. -- whereas The Chronicles of Narnia makes no impression on me whatsoever.

Don't get me started on Harry Potter).

Heh. I think I found Goblet of Fire more entertaining than this movie, too. And I simply adore Prisoner of Azkaban.

MatJenny said...

I think I'm somewhere between Gabe and Peter on this -- it wasn't what it could have been, but it could have been far worse. It was a matter of which scene I was watching -- I would go from being extremely moved in one bit to nearly rolling my eyes in the next. One wearying thing was the constant 'ribbing' of Edmund about 'how he doesn't listen' -- that was simply stupid and missed the point -- as though treachery, selfishness and disobedience were just some cute character flaws of Edmund's. But that was a writing problem -- the actual performances of the children were astounding. I would have liked Lucy's compassionate nature to have come through more; again the screenwriter missing the point a bit.

Over all the biggest difference in quality between this and LOTR is I think the sensitivity of the adaptation. In Narnia it felt like they just didn't /get/ the book on some ways, whereas Jackson and co seemed to really get it (skateboarding elves aside), which makes the awesomeness of Peter all the more amazing -- almost a happy accident. Very happy.

MatJenny said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Gabe said...

Oh Peter. Not the Harry Potter movies. No. No those movies changed characters, had terrible one liners, they took parts of the book shook them up, tossed them in the air and wherever they landed, that's where they put them into the movie. If you did not read the books before watching those movies you wouldn't know what was going on. They jumped around so much. The book 'Prisoner of Azkaban' I really liked. But the main character acting in that movie.......... I just didn't like at all. He had very poor one liners that made me cringe. Parts in that movie where just messed up. From costumes to characters to scenes in the wrong place. These movies were not good. In acting and characterization, LWW excelled. Those movies don't make me happy.

I will say that I am not seeing LWW in the same light as I was before. But I still love it. They didn't exclude characters or mess with the series of events, which was nice, though I admit, characters were not exactly the same as in the books.

I also have to say that screenwriters are becoming less my friend all the time. With the lines they write they change the characters around, don't they.

As for movement of the heart: I believe now, that it was the story itself, not the movie, that moved me in both LOTR and LWW.

"Books are not to be made into movies!"
-my cousin, a reader.

Peter T Chattaway said...

One of my favorite comments on the changes made by the Narnia movie is my friend Jeff Overstreet's observation that Aslan talks about the Deep Magic "governing" his "destiny" as though he were Obi-Wan Kenobi talking about "the Force". In the book, the Deep Magic serves a very specific function -- it gives the White Witch the right to kill traitors -- and it can be overridden by the Deeper Magic; but in the film, there is no Deeper Magic at all, and the Deep Magic has broadened out into some sort of all-permeating notion like, I dunno, Fate.

Oh Peter. Not the Harry Potter movies. . . . If you did not read the books before watching those movies you wouldn't know what was going on.

I admit this is a problem, especially with Prisoner of Azkaban. But I still love that film, for all sorts of reasons.

In acting and characterization, LWW excelled. Those movies don't make me happy.

What can I say, I was laughing throughout Goblet of Fire because I enjoyed spending time with those characters; indeed, with the Harry Potter franchise, I'm finding that the characters matter much more to me than the actual stories in which they find themselves.

But I wasn't all that amused by the characters in the movie version of LWW. The characterization of Peter, Susan, the Professor and above all Aslan were especially bogus. And while I kind of liked the Edmund of the film, he was rewritten in a way that completely undermined the moral sensibility of Lewis's book. So, these are not the characters I knew and loved from the books.

"Books are not to be made into movies!"
-my cousin, a reader.


You mean, a book reader, or a liturgical reader, or...? :)

Gabe said...

"But I still love that film, for all sorts of reasons"

I guess you see the Harry Potter movies the way I see LWW. So to sum up, I think your crazy ;)

Oh, my cousin is a reader of books. He especially loved these chronicles. I don't know if he as even wants to go to the movie.

Fr. Justin (Edward) said...

I saw it... And was happy! There were definitely problems, but they didn't totally mess it up - and even captured enough of the story to move me. Quality-wise, it reminded me of the first Harry Potter movie (i.e., a bit clunky at times), although fidelity-wise, it was more along the lines of The Two Towers (i.e., they took more liberties than I would have liked, but caught enough of the story to make it work).

And I actually rather liked the professor, even if he wasn't as stately and as logical as he should have been!

A big sigh of relief here, from one of the Chronicles' biggest fans!

Fr. Justin (Edward) said...

Update: Just found and read Peter's review and the debate/discussion he immediately got himself embroiled in, and I have to admit that I agree with almost every one of his and his fellow-reviewers' critiques of the film. That being said, I still enjoyed it. Yes, as a film, it probably deserves a B, and as an adaptation, probably a B-, but, hey! A B-movie is still reasonably good, especially when I was fearing it would be closer to F!

And, for all its flaws, the movie was still way better than any of the previous attempts to bring Narnia to the screen! One can only hope that the (hoped-for) sequels will catch the race-cry of the final volume: "Higher up and farther in!"

Peter T Chattaway said...

A B-movie is still reasonably good...

I like a lot of B-movies. ;)