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NARNIA tested last night and we got some reviews!!!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with the first batch of reviews from the test screening of THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE. Right now we have two, one from a Lewis fan that loved it to death and one from a non-fan that thought it was filled with a lot of missed opportunities, though still enjoyed the movie. Keep in mind that this is an early, early screening and the temp music hated by both reviewers is surely going to be removed from the final film... surely no Bjork, right? Anyway, enjoy the first word on the film!

Harry,

My wife and I were just getting back from attending North by Northwest in Bakersfield, when we heard about a "test screening of an upcoming Disney holiday film." Hedging our bets that it wasn't Casanova or Chicken Little, we grabbed passes and showed up several hours early to the Edwards theatre in La Verne, California. Our guess was correct, and we were part of the first audience in the world to see "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe."

As big C.S. Lewis fans, we were amazed and completely thrilled by the movie. I'll avoid plot spoilers for those few who haven't read the books, but suffice it to say, the movie kept quite close to the plot of the book. There were a few places where the story was streamlined to make it more amenable to the format, but overall there was little that I missed!

Setting:

The movie opens in 40s London during the Blitz--the introduction beautifully illustrates the terrible atmosphere of the time. The CG here was fantastic--I was on the edge of my seat from the first minute of the movie. The detailing of the opening setting, from the wartime posters to the period costuming was wonderful. It really seemed like we were looking in a window to the 1940s.

Acting:

There were two real standout performances--Tilda Swinton as Jadis, and Georgie Henley as Lucy. Tilda brought immense talent and presence to her role. In comparision, Aslan (Liam Neeson) seemed unfortunately tame. Jadis was powerful and scary when she needed to be, and always commanded the screen when she was present.

Lucy was wonderfully portrayed by Georgie Henley who conveyed the sense of wonder and magic that Narnia was all about. In her eyes, I saw myself reading the books for the first time and dreaming of a land of fauns and centaurs, and ancient magic.

The other children were capably portrayed--I was bit disappointed with Susan, who was a bit whinier than I would have expected.

Special Effects:

The special effects were very raw and incomplete--many scenes involved actors wearing green pants where SFX would be later added, or backdrops that were incomplete or non-existent. That said, the SFX that were complete were wonderful. The fantastic characters of Lewis' world were very capably brought to life--my favorite has to be the faun's legs, and the distinct goat-like walk.

Music:

Only thirty minutes of the film had been scored. The classical score that we heard was quite good. The soundtrack however, was bizarre. Electronica pieces filled in several major scenes, and it seemed out of place and wrong. As my wife said, "Bjork does not belong in Narnia." If these pieces are not temporary, I fear that CoN:tLtWatW (whew!) may be prematurely dated (anyone watched Ladyhawk recently?)

Results of the Test panel:

My wife and I and a friend were picked to take part in the panel after the film. The major feedback from the panel was that the film was excellent (21/26 rated Excellent, 4 rated Very Good, 1 Good rating). Everyone felt that the movie captured the spirit of the book. Some of the panel were more than a little harsh of Disney's past efforts--which was amusing to me, given that the rows behind us were filled with film studio people who did not look particularly pleased with these comments.

Overall:

This movie more than captures the magic of Lewis' Narnia, and is destined to be a classic film. I will be first in line to see it again when it opens, and it will be a permanent addition to my movie collection. That said, I urge you all to see it on the big screen. Anything less will not do justice to the epic scale of the film. It is certainly one large wardrobe.

If you can use this, call me Bellwether.

While that's the more positive of the two we have so far, that bit about Liam Neeson voicing Aslan coming off as a little "tame" has me worried a bit. If they get Aslan wrong I will not like this film. However, I can definitely see Neeson playing up the wisdom and the kindness of Aslan, which is a good thing for me. Swinton knocking it out the park is good news, too. Here's the second, more critical review!

Harry,

Last night I attended a test market screening of The Chronicles of Narnia in Southern California. The film was in rough form, with many of the effects still in pre-visualization form and a partial score in place.

In the interest of full disclosure, I'll state that I have only a passing familiarity with the books by C S Lewis. I went with my girlfriend who had read them as a child, and was truly excited about seeing it brought to life (she was especially hoping for the inclusion of Turkish Delight), as were many others in the audience that we were seated with. It almost seemed like a disproportionate amount, I thought. This was a blind screening, yet every one of us in line figured out what movie we would be seeing. My girlfriend and I were surrounded by whole families that had extensive knowledge and interest in the source material. It may seem like I'm getting side-tracked, but it is at the heart of my criticism of the film: I had no outside knowledge of the story, and I viewed the film as it stood on its own merits.

The movie was good, but not great. I know it's a children's story, but as an adult, I saw a lot of missed opportunity. I saw a lot of overlooked themes and subtext, a lot of relevance to modern events ignored and a heavy reliance on the viewer to bring his or her love for the characters and story to bear. The movie does its job in bring the story to the screen, but for me, it did not come to life. Rationally, I can understand how Edmund comes to initially trust the Witch when she offers him sweet treats, because I know that he's coming from a time of war and rationing, and such a thing would be rare - but that's me, an older guy with a decent appreciation for history reading that context into the situation. Not that I'm advocating a spoonfed approach, but it would have been nice for the filmmaker to acknowledge that nuance, especially if they're aiming at children who regard WW II as ancient history.

The movie opens with the German air blitz on London, and we are introduced to the characters as they seek shelter. I found this opening odd in that it certainly places the story in a time and place, yet makes no further connection to it later. It's such a strong cultural reference, yet remains unused. I imagined themes of loyalty, sacrifice and courage in the face of overwhelming danger to follow. Sadly, they did not. It comes off more as pure escape into fantasy afterward. I chalk it up to Disney's aversion to anything remotely like pathos. We really don't see the darkness that the story springs from, which renders the fantasy as just an exercise in effects. For me, the story as told, lacked any resonance. Others in the audience who had experience with the material were far more forgiving.

On an unrelated note, the score was half finished and there was some temp elements in there. I don't know if they intend to do so, but there were some contemporary songs placed in certain places which I thought was inappropriate. I can understand a Bjork or Bjork-soundalike song while we are immersed in the fantasy world of Narnia, but to have a contemporary pop song interlude while still bound in the 1940's seemed a little jarring, and actually took me out of the movie.

It wasn't all bad, though. The effects that were finished looked fantastic (instances with Aslan were mostly finished, as were the introductory scenes with Mr. Beaver and Tumnus) and the scope of the climactic battle looks impressive enough to warrant actually paying to go back and see the finished version on the big screen.

The name actors certainly bring a lot to the parts they fill, notably Swinton and Broadbent. Swinton exudes an alien coldness appropriate to the role, something she's good at, while Broadbent provides a countering (yet underused) quirky paternal benevolence.

Overall, my opinion can be written off by fans of the book, and I understand that. There were certainly a lot of people gushing about how "Disney didn't screw it up" this time, but they had a personal relationship with the material that I didn't. Children will probably love it, but if they intend to make sequels, I think they'll quickly outgrow it.

If you can use this, call me Jane Doe.



Readers Talkback
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  • Sept. 1, 2005, 4:21 p.m. CST

    CGI London blitz

    by kwerky

    Sounds cool!!

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 4:23 p.m. CST

    Early test screenings are a bad sign

    by Dannychico

    They don't have faith in the material.

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 4:26 p.m. CST

    If test screenings can help do away with that electronic score

    by jimmy_009

    then I welcome it.

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 4:26 p.m. CST

    Or are they?

    by woxel1

    Disney can potentially test screen anything. It doesn't mean that the movie has major problems. It could mean that the executives have major problems with it, but eh, what do they know?

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 4:32 p.m. CST

    Bjork's going to be the least of your worries

    by Vegas

    The lead single from the soundtrack is contemporary fundamentalist pap artist (that last word I use extremely loosely) Stephen Curtis Chapman. Which is quite possibly the lamest thing I've heard about this series yet. Throw a little Army of Me on next to some christian pop and Bjork's gonna come off like John Williams with John Bonham on the percussion.

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 4:34 p.m. CST

    Oh please God no Bjork

    by 007-11

    That damn Icelandic warbler ruins everything. Tilda Swinton is becoming a female Johnny Depp.

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 4:35 p.m. CST

    As a kid, a superfan, as an adult...

    by zekmoe

    well, I recently reread the entire 7 books and compared to what is being passed off as kids books today(Harry Potter in particular) these don't hold up well. They start abruptly, end even more so, and have little or no character development. All is supposition and spoon fed concepts. Little suspense and everything wraps up too nicely with little believeabilty (yes, I know like the other fantasy, the Bible). But I hope the extend the ideas, the visuals and the characters a little in the movies. I mean these are like 100 page short stories, not complete epics, even though when I was 10 and first read them, I though they were. But if I was 10 today, and had read H.P. and then these, I'd bed I'd think they were thin and silly and hardly worth the effort.

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 4:36 p.m. CST

    Everything worth watching has been test screened

    by PullMyFinger

    Every studio tests every major movie.

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 4:37 p.m. CST

    FX work

    by Shaner Jedi

    Rhythm+Hues,Sony, and ILM have all been working to get this film finished. ILM came on late to help R+H with its sequences when the shot count grew. Basically, the first half of the film is Sony with the second being R+H and ILM.

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 4:40 p.m. CST

    aye yi yi christian pop on the soundtrack?

    by mrgreentheplant

    i hope this movie doesnt suffer from matrix revolutions effect in that the religious themes are totally ruined because they are so explicitly stated. i agree that these books, if read today with no biases (ie childhood nostalgia), pale in comparison to harry potter, but i'm looking forward to some WAR.

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 4:41 p.m. CST

    Wow, 10 posts and nobody called 'Plant'?

    by DerLanghaarige

    Whatever, I still don't have much faith in this film. Maybe it's better than I expected (It should be, cause I expect nothing), but I still wonder if the Disney guys told WETA to make everything look like LOTR or if WETA are hacks, who can't create anything new (I hope not).

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 4:52 p.m. CST

    Wait a minute

    by Lando Griffin

    This whole time with all the "my girlfriend" references by the second reviewer I'm thinking this dude is a dude but at the end of the review come to find out Jane Doe is not a dude. Thats hot.

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 5:01 p.m. CST

    Remember The Black Cauldron?

    by Elkatak

    I never read the Narnia books. If the film is cool, I certainly will. When I was a child I liked the Chronicles of Prydain books from L. Alexander. The Film Disney made from the material took all the action from like four books, put it into a 75 minutes movie which didn

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 5:03 p.m. CST

    DerLanghaarige is a plant!!

    by Tal111

    they're everywhere....EVERYWHERE!!!!

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 5:03 p.m. CST

    I understand temp scores

    by Gheorghe Zamfir

    But usually that just means plugging in the orchestral works from other movies, I wonder why they would use a temp score like the one described in these reviews? Seems an odd choice, makes me wonder if the actual movie's music will in any way mirror the choices used in the temp score.

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 5:24 p.m. CST

    Two well written reviews.

    by jollysleeve

    I'm looking forward to this movie. That second guy brought up some good points without sounding too much like a heavy. Good job.

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 5:26 p.m. CST

    It took a looong time for this movie to get made,

    by Doom II

    sure hope it lives up to the "legend" of the book series. I grew up on the 70's version of this story. The animated one. Never saw the BBC version. Just watched "Return To Oz" last night and was amazed at how cool it was. And Tim Burton/Henry Selick seemed to like it also as they stole the Pumpkin Jack character directly from it. In fact, Jack Pumpkinhead even LOOKS like Jack Skellington. Big head, round eyes, wide mouth, rail thin. My 3 1/2 year old boy was confused as he is a HUGE Nightmare fan and saw Jack Pumpkinhead and thought it was Jack (from Nightmare)at first.

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 5:29 p.m. CST

    "Here, have some Turkish Delight...urgh..who's farted?"

    by Charlie & Tex

    As classic as the books are, that piece from The Young Ones has always stayed with us. David Rappaport as Shirley the dwarf might be the missing element that stopped TLTWATW from scoring full marks on the test.

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 5:34 p.m. CST

    Just FORGET the Disney connection for a moment

    by performingmonkey

    This is directed by the guy who did Shrek and Shrek 2 and this is his movie more than it's Disney's. Disney couldn't give a FUCK about anything apart from money so it's best if they only deal with that part of things and leave the actual movie to the filmmakers. Anyway, the first review basically is a plant and the second is just full of shitty complaints like the movie not making a connection with contemporary issues (what do they want? allusions to terrorism?) and the bullshit about wanting it to connect and have a payoff with WW2, courage in the face of adversity. SHUT-THE-FUCK-UP. This is a kids movie based on a light-weight book that mentions the war on like one page. The war is just the setting and the reason for the kids being evacuated from London to the mansion. The scene of the blitz at the beginning isn't even in the book. WW2 is pretty irrelevant to the Narnia series. I hope that it's true about the positive comments from people because at least Adamson has made a decent movie. I wonder if the sequel is already greenlit. They better get on making it or else the kids will be too old.

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 5:37 p.m. CST

    Re: The Black Cauldren

    by jollysleeve

    I hear ya, Elka. I love(d) the Prydain Chronicles books. The worst part was what Disney did with Eilonwy (or however it's spelled). They took what was originally a very entertaining "plucky" character and reduced her to a vapid mannequin. What's especially vexing about such a downgrade is that a staple of Disney films throughout their entire animated history has always been the "plucky" female character. Now, here they are, presented with a super-plucky gal already there in the source material--it's like half their work was already done for them. But then then they turn around and lobotomize her. Baffling.

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 5:37 p.m. CST

    Re: Vegas

    by Mafu

    You wrote, "The lead single from the soundtrack is contemporary fundamentalist pap artist (that last word I use extremely loosely) Stephen Curtis Chapman." Vegas, are you serious? They're going to use a single from that cheese-ass, bible-thumping Backstreet Boy wannabe? That fucking sucks if it's true. Literally, I won't go see this film if Chapman is part of the soundtrack. Other than that, the film sounds mediocre.

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 5:48 p.m. CST

    house of the dead was test screened

    by 81666

    was that worth watching??

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 5:58 p.m. CST

    Ladyhawke was dated when it was released in 85!

    by Batutta

    Awful, abysmal score. Ruined what could have been a minor classic. Alan fucking Parsons.

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 6:21 p.m. CST

    The books were boring and unless this is rated R, there is now w

    by Bob of the Shire

    I have a severe dislike of the source material. C.S. Lewis did far better work with the Screwtape Letters and Mere Christianity. His fantasy yarns put me to sleep.

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 6:25 p.m. CST

    The Passion of the Beavers

    by geekzapoppin

    Disney is going with a two-pronged approach to marketing this film. First as an epic fantasy to normal folks and secondly as heavy religious allegory to the fundamentalists. They already had a big Contemporary Christian concert at Disneyland a little bit ago that was a thinly-veiled plug for the soundtrack featuring Stephen Curtis Chapman and other bland Jesus-Pop acts. As for whether or not the songs will actually be in the film or just on a cd, I don't know but I'd guess at least one of them will be in the closing credits. That seems to be Disney's modus operandi when it comes to this sort of thing. Hopefully they won't sell souveniers as tacky as the Jesus Nail earrings that Mel Gibson hawked for THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST.

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 6:35 p.m. CST

    Hey Bob of the Shire:

    by coen_fan

    It might be a very entertaining post to read if you would go into the details of what an R-rated Narnia movie would entail. I will say this though: I think they could get away with a PG-13 if they have the balls for it. Of course it's been years since I read the books, so I can't remember much besides the kids, Tumnus, (and that's only because of Family Guy) and Turkish Delight.

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 6:37 p.m. CST

    This Movie Will Suck

    by Itchy

    A children's epic fantasy brought to life ... without Emma Watson for a bunch of fat middle aged perverts to cream over ? It will never work.

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 6:43 p.m. CST

    "This Movie Will Suck" No, you suck.

    by performingmonkey

    Emma Watson isn't needed for this. She is getting more hot, but I'm not sure fat middle aged perverts (are you one) are needed for a movie to be a success.

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 6:56 p.m. CST

    Let Me Get This Straight...

    by ZombieSolutions

    so the lion is, like, an allegory for Jeebus? like, wow.

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 6:56 p.m. CST

    Something that bothers me about Neeson

    by Doc_Strange

    The fact that he wan't recorded for his bit part in Revenge of the Sith. They did a throw away line instead. What they should have done was get the guy who played Qui-Gon in that small part in Clone Wars where he tells Anakin to enter the cave. The guy doing the voice work sounded just like Neeson.

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 7:08 p.m. CST

    BJork

    by cyberskunk

    Would you believe I wouldn't recognize BJork if I heard her voice? But lac5, whoa! Assuming just for the sake of discussion that every non-BJork female singer falls under one of the descriptive terms you listed, they are not worth listening to? A female singer might fall under a descriptive term other than being talentless, but would still not be worth listening to?

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 7:09 p.m. CST

    "You're the first audience to see this!" Riiiiiight.

    by FrankDrebin

    Wow: 2,170 posts to the "Aquaf@g" talkback?! I'd check it out, but I'd need a broadband connection.

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 7:09 p.m. CST

    "...a lot of relevance to modern events ignored..."

    by odysseus

    Good! That's one of the (many) things that made Revenge of the Sith so annoying, with Lucas straining to draw parallels between Palpatine and George W. (I'm a moderate democrat, for the record). We live through modern events; let's let movies provide a bit of escapism.

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 7:17 p.m. CST

    Soundtracks

    by obidawsn

    There will be 3 soundtracks available for 'The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.' The first one, released in September, will have Christian artists (at least, half of which are really good if you give them a chance...not necessarily counting Steven Curtis Chapman). The second soundtrack, released in October, will have mainstream pop/rock artists. Then there will be a third one with the actual score. The first two are "inspired by" soundtracks not "music from." So, don't worry about them being in the movie. They are just albums made to market the movie to different people (and, of course, to make a few extra bucks).

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 7:32 p.m. CST

    Turkish Delight? Bring it on!!!!!

    by Nate Champion

    Yeah, that's a great kids movie... I'd hope to see Rutger Hauer banging some babes in this movie fo sho!!!!!!!!!

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 7:40 p.m. CST

    Shrug...not big on the books

    by the_pissboy1

    Don't even remember the books. I read them like 20 years ago. Looks like another massive splooge on thr screen where only people who love the source material will connect to it (much like LOTR and Passion of the Christ).

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 8:01 p.m. CST

    Unrealistic Expectations.

    by RedFive

    Ive been a fan of the book since I was in 4th grade.I read the book,saw the cartoon and 4th grade was the best I ever had in school.Being a 30 year old now all im gonna care about is if they stick to the story and be true to the book.People's expectations {especialy adults}for this {and just movies in general} are borderline impossible.No matter how good the movie is adults are never satisfied because the movie doesnt make them feel like a kid again.Well you know what,FUCK YOU,YOUR NOT A KID ANYMORE AND GOING TO SEE A KIDS MOVIE WONT MAKE YOU FEEL THAT WAY EITHER.I cant wait to see this movie,im sure its gonna be fun,and thats all that should matter.

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 8:29 p.m. CST

    R-rated

    by Bob of the Shire

    I'm thinking some giant beaver on english school girl action. Maybe a couple bloody disembowelments, and I want to see Aslan have a big DBZ-like charge up attack that demolishes the opposing army, followed by him proclaiming "Suck that, bitches." Jesus indeed!

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 8:57 p.m. CST

    If nothing else...

    by Flummage

    .. I preffer the colour pallete for this. Some of the moments in the trailer worked really well, others didn't. But it has a crisp bright, vivid feel to the images, as apposed to LOTR's more grimey lived in look. Also, I agree with Harry on Aslan. If they dont absoloutely sell Aslan to me, then what is the point in the movie at all?? I really kinda liked that moment in the trailer, when he mounts the cliff face and bellows as the camera pulls out, but it wasn't fantastic. They have a character - if your not helplessly cynical - that could really blow away the audiences, for our sake I hope they nail it...

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 10:01 p.m. CST

    Some things are lost

    by GREATGAT74

    In every translation somethings are lost. Things like intent,meaning,world views,ect,ect The fact is ,all is a translation of something that has come before. Whedon,Kulbrick,Spielberg,Lucas,Carpenter,King,Kirby,Lee,Tarantino,Jesus,Descartes,Koontz,Clavell,Rice,Harris,Lovecraft,Asimov,Heinlen,crap it does not matter it is all fictional.I find it sad that we care more about a fictionalized personage,of what could be,should be or would be.Where you find yourselves in a fictional reality.Where your lives are playing out before you. Who cares what movie did this or that,does it in anyway make you better.Instead of bitching about someone elses vision of whatever said property,if you had the love for the story you may have found your way to put your own touch and vision on it,of course Hollywood is full of morons,but at least they deserve to be there.I find it hard to believe that they sat around in a talk back, whining about who is attached to direct or produce,and somehow someone is going to give you a couple of thousand dollars to get your vision off the ground.I think I see alot of people here who are lost,and their only way to happiness is about bringing others down.If you don't like it, don't like it,don't watch it anymore,and if for some reason a show is cancelled move on with your lives,or put up and shut up, and get involved in the system,find your way,to bring your vision,otherwise keep bitching,because as far as I see that is the only thing you are good at.Is that any kind of legacy.I did bitch about how that movie or show came out,I left my mark,hahahahaha you armchair QB,make me sick.Yes I did find some time to bitch at you,and perhaps you need to hear it.I live in no fantasy world, I live in the real.I work for a living as all those directors, and producers,and gaffers,and writers,to serve up a creation you may love and others you hate.Who really has a life Huh? Those that serve it up or those that line up for it. Que up, Que up

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 10:19 p.m. CST

    but LOTR had a Bj

    by half vader

    As long as we're on the Enya/Clannad Annie Lennox thing... Gollum's song was close as dammit to Bj

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 10:20 p.m. CST

    Hey, are you Jane Doe from alt.bitterness?

    by where_are_quints_hobbit_set_reports

    'Cause if so, I met you in Austin a loooong time ago. On the subject of the movie, Tilda alone will make this worth seeing. She's awesome.

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 10:21 p.m. CST

    So they padded the screening with Narnia schills...

    by Smurfette

    ... And they liked it. How surprising!

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 10:30 p.m. CST

    P.S.

    by half vader

    I meant to add - and nobody complained about that!

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 11:08 p.m. CST

    GREATGAT74

    by The Llama

    Put a space in your comma-list next time so you don't fuck up the talkback.

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 11:20 p.m. CST

    Challenge

    by zacdilone

    I challenge Christians out there to review this flick without drooling all over its theological undertones, and I challenge all non-Christians to review it without spouting all your atheistic superiorist claptrap.

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 11:30 p.m. CST

    re: challenge

    by cyberskunk

    What about non-Christians who aren't athiests?

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 11:37 p.m. CST

    cyberskunk

    by zacdilone

    Haven't seen many of those around here. Seem to get either Bible-believing folks or Bible-hating folks. But to answer your question, maybe that group will give us the best batch of reviews.

  • Sept. 1, 2005, 11:42 p.m. CST

    Anybody wanna guess on the running time?

    by AlwaysThere

    It must be 2:30 atleast right?

  • Sept. 2, 2005, midnight CST

    Aha...

    by Meremoth

    I'm not going to drool over this movie unless Mel Gibson makes a scene in which Asalan is shown explicity beaten to a pulp by more stereotypical non-white Lions and then handed over to some snow (read white) Tigers who take pity on him but still beat the crap out of him b/c if they don't those non-white Lions will rebel against the Kingdom. Then I want replicas of the artifacts they used to beat Asalan with made into jewlrey so that I can wear it around and vote Republican the only political party on Earth that Aslan himself would endorse.

  • Sept. 2, 2005, 12:05 a.m. CST

    Meremoth

    by zacdilone

    Actually, most of the people I know who wear crosses vote Democrat. It's those damn fish on the cars that signals a right-winger. :)

  • Why are so many people complaining about this--why is it that this story riles so many people up. First of all, None of the Chronicles of Narnia are Allegory--not at all. So it is completely pointless to think of it that way. They are 'supposal' as CS Lewis called it. And why are so many people intent that the reviewer is a plant? A little too much conspiracy for me, and whether he was or not, his points are valid on both ends, and he even gives a new detail at Narniaweb about the coronation scene. And why do you compare narnia and Harry Potter, they are totally different types of books. If any of you actually looked up information about Lewis and Narnia, you would know that he modeled the books after fairy tales--that is why they are so simple and non-descriptive and short. He loved that kind of writing. And if you can't find that Narnia is just as good as any other kids book, or adult fantasy too, well, get over it. I don't see why so many people are so defensive against the movie and books. Don't be so threatened, or just cry about it, but please keep it to yourself. ~Peace

  • Sept. 2, 2005, 1:53 a.m. CST

    THIS IS NOT A DISNEY FILM

    by Quin the Eskimo

    they are just distrubiting it. Its a Walden Media film. The Dudes who made Holes.

  • Sept. 2, 2005, 1:58 a.m. CST

    Steven Curtis Chapman

    by Quin the Eskimo

    a wannabe Backstreet Boy Puh-leeze. He's been around scince the eightys. When the Backstreet boys were like 2.

  • Sept. 2, 2005, 2:09 a.m. CST

    Steven Curtis a wannabe Backstreet Boy?

    by zacdilone

    The Backstreet Boys should be so lucky. Five grammy awards, two platinum albums, six gold albums, forty-two #1 hits...wannabe Backstreet Boy my ass.

  • Sept. 2, 2005, 3:23 a.m. CST

    The problem with this film being distributed by Disney is

    by Doc_Strange

    The problem is the fact that Disney is synonmous with mediocrity, especially lately. They have become nothing more than a money machine with none of the grandeur and bar-raising that Walt himself established. Remember Alice in Wonderland? That film had a shitload of drug use references, but it is the fact that Walt got away with it, especially at the time it was made. I think the company has forgotten its roots and thus has earned a bad reputation along with a knack for making utter garbage with sing-alongs, slutty indian women, Cinderella 2: Electric Boogaloo, etc. Bad move by Walden Media for going with them. If they had gone with Dreamworks or even Warner Bros., their wouldn't be so much hating. I know it's almost 30 years later, but the same could have been true for Tron.

  • Sept. 2, 2005, 5:34 a.m. CST

    Bjork song from British film starring Keitel

    by DannyOcean01

    Anyone know what song was used in that? It was quite an operatic, punchy number. I can imagine hearing that one, but yes, it would eventually date the film. It'd be cool though in a bizarre way.

  • Sept. 2, 2005, 6:23 a.m. CST

    DannyOcean

    by Gheorghe Zamfir

    It sounds like you're talking about The Young Americans, in which case the song you're talking about would be "Play Dead."

  • Sept. 2, 2005, 6:31 a.m. CST

    Bjork Song

    by El Aurence

    ... used in that movie was "Play Dead". It's om the later edition of "Debut"

  • Sept. 2, 2005, 6:36 a.m. CST

    FX Work - Shaner Jedi

    by mmm_free_wig

    Aren't Weta doing some of the effects on this? Can you show us where you're getting your information from?

  • Sept. 2, 2005, 7:23 a.m. CST

    WETA isn't doing any of the digital effects

    by Gheorghe Zamfir

    Their work was basically in character and costume design, post sfx have gone to other effect houses.

  • Sept. 2, 2005, 7:56 a.m. CST

    fucking harry potter

    by ScaryJim

    read the narnia books when i was 9 and because i was 9 i didn't really read any Christian message into it despite the fact I was in a cathedral choir and hence subjected to biblical readings everyday . I indeed enjoyed the books at the age of 9 which is probably the sort of age of the audience for this . Adults reading Harry potter or Narnia - I just don't understand, read a fucking book that makes you think and stop reading more into kiddies books than actually is there /stop whinging about them when they don't meet your adult expectations .

  • Sept. 2, 2005, 8:51 a.m. CST

    GREATGAT74

    by VK Fail

    That has to be one of the most garbled, incoherent maulings of grammar, punctuation and the english language i have read in a long time. Sounds a lot like someone who has no idea what they're talking about, trying to sound half-way intelligent.

  • Sept. 2, 2005, 9:10 a.m. CST

    Actually, most people don't even

    by neovsmatrix

    know where the Matrix trilogy's roots lie: which is in Hinduism. Yes, the Christian elements are prominent in Revolutions, but so are the HINDU elements. the names of Sati, Rama Kandra (the 7th avatar of Vishnu), the Sanskrit chants, the exposition on karma, and Neo froming a lotus at the end of the movie as he's being carried away are just as prominent as the Christian symbols. And the Christianity symbolized in the trilogy is not Catholic, it's Gnostic which is in line with much of Hinduism and Buddhism.

  • Sept. 2, 2005, 9:53 a.m. CST

    Should have picked Morgan Freeman as Aslan

    by kafka07

    Since Disney screwed it up anyway, why not go for the gold of screw-ups and choose another overexposed actor to voice Alsan like Morgan Freeman?

  • Sept. 2, 2005, 11:25 a.m. CST

    I always liked Timothy Dalton

    by Gheorghe Zamfir

    back when he was rumored to be in the running. But oh well, I can live with Liam.

  • Sept. 2, 2005, 12:31 p.m. CST

    Movies Rife With Modern Allegory and Imagery

    by Guy Gaduois

    No thank you. I'd like some escapism from the gritty realism of life. Grandma dying of cancer is plenty real for me. The evening news is quite gritty, thanks. (Oh,look - rape in the Superdome . . . reminds me of that scene in "Sense and Sensibility") Just remember that movies IS about folks dressing up and playing pretend with a higher budget than you had when you were 12. In the words of Hedley Lamarr: "Gentlemen, loosen your sphincters." But not too much, cause I'm wearing beach sandals today, thanks.

  • Sept. 2, 2005, 12:33 p.m. CST

    You people are so fucking stupid

    by GeorgesMelies

    Yes, Steven Curtis Chapman is involved with the movie but he's featured NOT on the soundtrack but on the "Music Inspired By" Contemporary Christian CD. It's just an extra thing. It's not the actual soundtrack so chill the fuck out!!

  • Sept. 2, 2005, 1:38 p.m. CST

    yeah, the second reviewer was really looking for the wrong movie

    by oisin5199

    The books were not a comment on the time - not as much as Tolkien's were (and Tolkien even denied that). The whole point was that they were escapist fantasy. They literally "escape" into Narnia. The (Christian) allegory's there if you want it, but it doesn't have to be. I always thought that Lewis' Narnia in some ways was the opposite of the traditional faerie realm of Celtic myth. In Narnia, time moves faster than the real world, whereas in the fairy realm, time moved slower. You could be there for only a few days and come back an old man (just ask Oisin - oops I gave myself away). My guess is Lewis not only wanted a happy ending, but wanted Narnia to be a metaphor for the imagination that you could return from at any time (I guess not unlike Oz). For some reason those time stories always got to me - like "The Inner Light" on STNG. Sorry, tangent over.

  • Sept. 2, 2005, 3:11 p.m. CST

    LORT:FOTR have a test screening also !!!!

    by nyari

    Thats ridiculous, test screenings doesnt make a movie good or bad. I think is a good thing, they want to make better for us and for their pockets, so what a hell. Im ansious to see this movie, is going to be the best in 2005. LORT, HP, doesnt have anything to do with Narnia, the only similarity between them is that they are Fantasy movies, parallel worlds, mythical beings, and the fact that they take us to a place that is far more human that the one we live in.

  • Sept. 2, 2005, 3:22 p.m. CST

    R-rated Narnia

    by Billy Goat

    Well, Tumnus is naked throughout the whole thing, isn't he? Mark my words, there will be Christians complaining about the pagan imagery in this movie... And how about Geoffrey Holder for Aslan? That would've been the shizzle.

  • Sept. 2, 2005, 3:34 p.m. CST

    Christian Allegory

    by GeorgesMelies

    Billy Goat, First of all, the Chronicles of Narnia have been sold in the Christian Market for decades and are pretty much considered classics in that arena so I wouldn't too much worry about the "pagan imagery stuff. And as far as all of the people here bashing this movie because of the Christian Allegory aspect, I'd like to remind you that C.S. Lewis and Tolkien were best friends and BOTH were Christians as well. LotR has plenty of Christian Allegory in it and has been sold in the Christian Markets for decades also. I honestly don't think this movie will be as critically acclaimed as LotR because I think LotR is more mature in content but being that CoN is geared more for younger audiences I wouldn't be suprised if it faired better at the box office. High quality family entertainment has been known to do that quite often, even if it isn't as critically aclaimed.

  • Sept. 2, 2005, 4:14 p.m. CST

    christian allegory

    by oisin5199

    People may have read Christian allegory into LOTR, but Tolkien certainly never put it in there intentionally (the whole Melchior thing in Silmarillion, of course, was pretty much his version of Paradise Lost, but that's something else entirely). He would have been totally against that interpretation. Just as he was against interpretations of Sauron as Hitler or any of that kind of thing. Even Lewis was against the term "allegory."

  • Sept. 2, 2005, 4:39 p.m. CST

    Two seeds?

    by K-pobuibo

    from the same PLANT? I really felt like the second review came across as a rewrite of the first one, but was a 're-imagining' of the first report.

  • Sept. 2, 2005, 7:27 p.m. CST

    re: Christian Allegory

    by GeorgesMelies

    oisin, you're right. Both Lewis and Tolkien did not appreciate the whole allegory interpretation, but they both admitted that there were parts of their stories that had come from their beliefs. Both men stated that you couldn't have such strong beliefs without them seeping into your work as such. Either way, the stories stand perfectly fine with or without the Christian undertones. To refuse the movie because you're against those beliefs, to me, is idiotic. Especially because I'm seeing a lot of people who loved LotR and won't see CoN because of this.

  • Sept. 2, 2005, 7:46 p.m. CST

    The Magician's Newphew??

    by izmo

    I read a few of the Narnia books when I was younger, and I saw all of the BBC series... They never made a movie for the first installment of the Narnia series "The Magician's Nephew"... I remember that book beating the hell out of any other of the Narnia stories. WTF, why don't they make it now?

  • Sept. 2, 2005, 7:51 p.m. CST

    re: my topic

    by izmo

    i found out the Magician's Nephew is the first book as in the story is before The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe, but it was published second to last... Now I could see why they wouldn't make this one first.

  • Sept. 2, 2005, 8:01 p.m. CST

    The best voice for Aslan would be Ken Stott...

    by workshed

    ...as his voice demonstrated quite ably in the British TV drama Messiah this week. He has a timbre unlike anyone else and avoids using a cliche like Neeson (as great as he is).

  • Sept. 3, 2005, 3:58 a.m. CST

    Wardrobe was first

    by ROBE

    Wardrobe was the first Narnia book CS Lewis wrote. Nephew was actually the 6th book written even though it is set before LWW. George Lucas was not the first to do prequals. After Lewis died the publishers renumbered the 7 books so they were now in chronological order.

  • Sept. 3, 2005, 4:35 a.m. CST

    21/26 say it was Excellent

    by ROBE

    Results of the Test panel: My wife and I and a friend were picked to take part in the panel after the film. The major feedback from the panel was that the film was excellent (21/26 rated Excellent, 4 rated Very Good, 1 Good rating). Everyone felt that the movie captured the spirit of the book. Some of the panel were more than a little harsh of Disney

  • Sept. 3, 2005, 8:12 a.m. CST

    I find Disney selling this film to christians offensive...

    by The True Priapic

    ...like giving crackers to starving ethiopians.Surely,The Good Lord would think of Aslan as a'false God'.If they're fucking loony religious types who believe in the bible(which amounts to believing Spidey REALLY DOES swing around NY)they should be at home reading the 'true' book instead of wasting their time trying to brainwash their kids with their stupid idealism.Disney is a Bush empire,getting what the want by manipulating the stupid.This film sounds awful.Utterly awful.

  • Sept. 3, 2005, 8:20 a.m. CST

    Notably both reviews...

    by The True Priapic

    ...were from what would be regarded as good citizens,one with a wife,one on a date.God forbid one would be a)black,or b)gay.This is a form of countering the 'plant' idea,give extremely positve reviews(HEY,Everone loved it!)but liberally dash the reviews with criticism.("Ive never read the books...but HEY!...they should do this bit better!")Utterly offensive.You are all being used.You honestly think that a company that is manipulating a religious sect by placing a FUCKING GOD ROCk CD on the market(....jeesus wept)won't try and manipulate review talkbacks.Fools...nice to see the Bush government doing fuck all to help the Black or poor people.Think straight...if that was L.A. and those people were a)white and b)rich there'd be aid all over the place.Utter disgrace.Just remember 'you can contact God through' Bush.Utterly offensive.Fuck this film.For its method of marketing it should be exterminated.

  • Sept. 3, 2005, 10:29 a.m. CST

    TruePriapic....

    by GeorgesMelies

    It's too bad you feel that way because I'm pretty sure that Andrew Adamson has nothing to do with the way the film is marketed and I have a feeling he put a lot into this movie to have it be "exterminated" because Disney has chosen to market towards a Christian (or, to be more accurate, "fundementalist") market. Not only that, but the books themselves are classics and I feel they lend themselves to the big screen very well and seeing as though C.S. Lewis would have had no political ties as well, it's just sad that you feel we should be denied this film because Disney, even though they gave it the decent amount of money it needed to be made, has chosen to market it this particular way. I just wish people would fucking shut up about the Christian/Republican thing. It's driving me nuts. It's not like the movie is going to place subliminal messages about fundementalism and republican agendas throughout it and brainwash everybody. Who disney markets the film towards has no fucking bearing on the actual film itself and whether or not you can see it. That's like saying "Well, that damn Warner Bros. is marketing a lot to fan boys and comic book geeks so that pisses me off, I'm not going to see Batman Begins". Just fucking relax!!!

  • Sept. 3, 2005, 12:22 p.m. CST

    I'm in a foul mood...

    by The True Priapic

    ...and liable to rant but it IS different to sell your film to relgious types than comic nuts.Fundamentally they're extorting peoples faith,literally taking money from them knowing full well they won't complain about anything cinematically wrong because all those 'types' that they're attracting are the ones who have pictures of a white Christ on their wall and think its terrible whats happened in N'awlins but faced with thousands of smelly black people on their door would fucking load their fucking guns.It's dreadful people selling stuff to dreadful people.Frankly....I loath the manner of the marketing in many respects,the virtual copyin g of nearly all the ways LOTR was sold in a dreadful lack of confidence.Oh,and making Mr.Beaver a comedy cockernee.....the wardrobe designed as literally looking 'special'....Liam bloody Neeson...The little girls acting in the trailer looks dreadful,like Adamson is off camera whispering 'open your eyes wider,look in awe,it's incredible what your seeing'.Next to him,people who read the book are thinking 'surely the wardrobe should be nothing special looking.That's why she goes in???That'd be the first fucking place the other kids would look for her.WHERES LUCY????Lets try that magical looking wardrobe with all the etchings about it being a magical doorway on it!!Edmund,what is the professor doing to you???EDMUND TELL HIM TO STOP!!He Shouldn't touch you THERE!!What?It FEELS GOOD?"

  • Sept. 4, 2005, 2:38 a.m. CST

    Priapic

    by cagirl

    "were from what would be regarded as good citizens,one with a wife,one on a date.God forbid one would be a)black..." How do you know they weren't black? Black people or any other "minority" wouldn't be married or on a date? Take your meds babe before they come to get you. I have yet to see any over or under handed selling of this film by Disney as any kind of "Christian film." Being a pagan myself I'm fairly sensative to that kind of in your face marketing and I just haven't seen it. Don't blow an artery out getting worked up over it hon.

  • Sept. 4, 2005, 3:56 a.m. CST

    london blitz sequence prolly best thing about the film

    by Spacesheik

  • Sept. 4, 2005, 6:58 a.m. CST

    Cagirl....

    by The True Priapic

    ..you're cute,I like you.I respect a chick with opinions.I'm all for women's movements.I hate it when they just LIE there.

  • Sept. 4, 2005, 7:48 a.m. CST

    I move plenty

    by cagirl

    No worries there. You're a funny guy. The professor really shouldn't do that stuff to Edmund, I agree.

  • Sept. 4, 2005, 7:59 a.m. CST

    Its like Alfie said...

    by The True Priapic

    ..make a girl laugh and you're half way there.......it just worries me that they keep laughing.And laughing.

  • Sept. 5, 2005, 9:55 p.m. CST

    atheist Narnia fan

    by GypsyTRobot

    When I figured out Aslan was Jesus, I hurled the book across the room. I was a kid. I got mad at the Oz books too since there was no system of currency in Oz, so I thought they were "communist." Anyway I got over the Christian subtext in Narnia books, and read them without any kind of atheistic outrage.

  • Sept. 5, 2005, 10:17 p.m. CST

    second review

    by Illinest

    What writer alive today has the credentials to question C.S. Lewis?!? If this chick knows something that C.S Lewis doesn't know, she probably should be parlaying her advanced intellect into million dollar book contracts. Actually a better question is; "How do you make yourself sound credible in bashing the writing of C.S Lewis if you've never even read the fricking story?!?" This is a good example of a jackass outsmarting herself.

  • Sept. 5, 2005, 10:17 p.m. CST

    Bjork owns your ass

    by Bregalad_

    She is the Ultimate Goddess, and such perfection cannot be wholly grasped by mere mortals such as you. However, I will agree that her music does not really fit within The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. We shall see......

  • Sept. 5, 2005, 10:17 p.m. CST

    second review

    by Illinest

    What writer alive today has the credentials to question C.S. Lewis?!? If this chick knows something that C.S Lewis doesn't know, she probably should be parlaying her advanced intellect into million dollar book contracts. Actually a better question is; "How do you make yourself sound credible in bashing the writing of C.S Lewis if you've never even read the fricking story?!?" This is a good example of a jackass outsmarting herself.

  • Sept. 5, 2005, 10:18 p.m. CST

    Bjork owns your ass

    by Bregalad_

    She is the Ultimate Goddess, and such perfection cannot be wholly grasped by mere mortals such as you. However, I will agree that her music does not really fit within The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. We shall see......

  • Sept. 5, 2005, 10:19 p.m. CST

    BJORK OWNS YOUR ASS

    by Bregalad_

    She is the Ultimate Goddess, and such perfection cannot be wholly grasped by mere mortals such as you. However, I will agree that her music does not really fit within The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. We shall see......

  • Sept. 5, 2005, 10:19 p.m. CST

    second review

    by Illinest

    What writer alive today has the credentials to question C.S. Lewis?!? If this chick knows something that C.S Lewis doesn't know, she probably should be parlaying her advanced intellect into million dollar book contracts. Actually a better question is; "How do you make yourself sound credible in bashing the writing of C.S Lewis if you've never even read the fricking story?!?" This is a good example of a jackass outsmarting herself.

  • Sept. 5, 2005, 10:29 p.m. CST

    second review

    by Illinest

    What writer alive today has the credentials to question C.S. Lewis?!? If this chick knows something that C.S Lewis doesn't know, she probably should be parlaying her advanced intellect into million dollar book contracts. Actually a better question is; "How do you make yourself sound credible in bashing the writing of C.S Lewis if you've never even read the fricking story?!?" This is a good example of a jackass outsmarting herself.

  • Sept. 5, 2005, 10:32 p.m. CST

    and talkback outsmarted me

    by Illinest

    first time poster folks!

  • Sept. 7, 2005, 3:05 p.m. CST

    Holy Crap

    by Halloween68

    I hope Disney doesn't listen to that second reviewer. I don't want my Narnia to be relevant to any modern issues. That's the whole point of fantasy, you silly sod, ESCAPISM! Stick with the books, Disney! This is one of the rare instances I'm pulling for you. And for the reviewers info, there are 6 sequels to WARDROBE. Four of them are filmable and I expect the production team to take advantage of each and every one of them. Ditto on the Bjerk crap also. Cue the classical music and get rid of the pop.

  • Nov. 24, 2005, 9:55 p.m. CST

    Well said Illinest...and the story and lessons of Narnia are ext

    by AntoniusBloc

    The lessons of Chronicles of Narnia couldn't be more relevant to 'modern issues' because it teaches objective MORALITY. Not ethics, not subjective or cultural 'values' but morality. Just turn on the news and one will see how badly our 'modern' society needs these lessons. Supposedly, our society has somehow 'evolved' yet morally we are regressing, the 20th century being the most violent in the history of mankind, combining for more violent deaths than all other previous centuries combined. When I was a kid, I don't remember having to worry about sexual predators when going trick or treating on Halloween, or about being shot by my fellow students in school. Narnia is directed toward children, but its lessons and themes are relevant to both children and adults in our 'modern' society.