Friday, May 16, 2008

Prince Caspian Disappointed.

We watched the movie this morning. It failed in many ways, including its execution of story, characters, reworked plot, and the meaning of things.

I've got a rough draft of a review. In the meanwhile, read Jonalyn's well-written blog entry on our thoughts of the movie.... also, I'm encouraged that Christianity Today also found the movie wanting. Finally, the evangelical media outlets are making noise. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was bad. Prince Caspian is worse.

How about we get the word out to not pay to watch this movie so they stop deconstructing Narnia for us! Evangelicals decry postmodernism but we pay for it to be done to our best stories. Brilliant!

10 comments:

Amy said...

I don't expect movies to be anything like the books anymore. Like Harry Potter leaves so much out...why even bother to compare the two?

I enjoyed the first Narnia movie--perhaps because I think that James McAvoy is pretty cool. But I'm not a diehard Narnia girl. I read the books when I was a kid, and that's about it.

I expect the books to be better, and just go from there. Plus, I don't think Hollywood will pick up on the Christian themes in the books. They're gonna put in what they think will make money and that's about it.

Dale Fincher said...

Amy, you are right that most movies don't live up to the book. But being a diehard Narnia guy, I can definitely speak into the comparison on this one. I think the Narnia films gets Aslan wrong enough and the worldview of Narnia wrong enough, it would be like making the Bourne trilogy with Bourne's girlfriend as the hero. It would be beyond 'book vs. film' comparisons and be more like 'what's wrong with the producers?' and 'why should we pay for this?' talk.

And for all that, I think what gets me most is the same thing that gets me about evangelical culture in general. We celebrate and throw money at things we think we know but do not know.

As an apologist I dislike how evangelicals sob about how our children don't go to church after they grow up or they don't believe in truth, etc., and then we buy into things like Narnia films that subtly but directly edits out the very faith many of us found desirable by reading those books to begin with. And that faith is gone... then again, the Christian imagination in the evangelical church has been gone a long time....

Thanks for posting up, Amy! I hadn't seen you in a while and good to see you!

Jeremy Killian said...

My biggest problem with the current incarnation of the Narnia films is that they've sucked the fun right out of the stories. I have been so disappointed because Narnia just isn't all that wonderful in the films. It is supposed to be a child's fantasy land, replete with hope and surprise. Instead, it is a pseudo-Middle Earth, where everyone speaks in urgent, serious tones about the fate of the world.

You're right about the faith being absent from the films, but on a pure entertainment level, these films haven't been all that fun, and that's why I just can't find them compelling. Based upon the current incarnation, who would want to visit Narnia, or meet Aslan? Not me.

Dale Fincher said...

Jeremy, love your comment. I cannot agree with you more. You've aptly described the real Narnia... we would all want to go there. And there's no need to go around asking people of they've been to Narnia. You'll know it in their looks.

In Lewis' version those looks are ones of joy. In Adamson's version it isn't.

And why are the children crying for Aslan? Because they will miss him? They hardly know him! And he's weak anyway.

The end of Dawn Treader always makes me weep because Lucy is distraught, not because she's just been told she'll never see narnia, but because she'll never see Aslan. At the pace of the current movies, there's no reason for that to be a problem for Lucy. And it takes the first two books to really give Aslan significance for our world at the end of the third book...

Thanks for weighing in, Jeremy!!

FBCVH: Pastor Rob Casey said...

Dale,

(hello tom sawyer, huck here)

I agree with your synopsis of the film. First and foremost, Aslan always appeared in my mind's eye as much larger....but I love it when He roars in both movies....good stuff.
I can't believe...no...I can believe it, but I'm so disappointed in the leaving out of "in your world, I have another name"....
I guess it's time for us believers to stop expecting the world to be "paid light producers" on our behalf so we can remain dimly lit and cozy.
Keep in touch...I look forward to some more talks with you.

He's coming quickly...
Rob Casey

Dale Fincher said...

Hey Huck Finn! Good to hear from you!

I may have been unclear the line "in your world I have another name" is from Voyage of the Dawn Treader. That's going to be the next movie made. And it will be very interesting to see how they play it. I expect, "In your world there is the same energy and we are all one with it, merging our worlds together..." or some such gobblygook.

"Dimly lit and cozy," yep, that's us... consumers like the rest of the world who happy to pray to Jesus. /removing tongue from cheek/

FBCVH: Pastor Rob Casey said...

I've been the pastor of our little church out here in West Texas for what will be three years in September. I've been seeking the Lord for a Great Awakening here in Van Horn, not only revival.

Life in the desert is both beautiful (in it's own way) and can be quite hard at the same time. The people here can be very rough because they've lived a rough life of a lot of very hard work in order to make a living. God is the one you want on your side and don't want to cross (no pun intended) but you can get all you need of him on horseback and in the mountains. You don't need church in order to be right with Jesus. While there is some truth in these statements, the lack of fellowship and involvement in the local church can be discouraging at times. They want me there for sickness, marriages, burials and Sunday morning sermons but they don't want to reach people for Christ~that's my job apparently....

God has given us a love for these folks, and has taught us some incredible lessons in ministry by being here. My correlation to the movie with all this?
I suppose it struck me that more people in the movie were glad to be IN Narnia rather than to be IN Aslan's service. More seemed to be glad about getting to be king or queen than they did carrying out the true sense of the position they were called to. I kept seeing correlations to the "modern church christian" in especially Peter...

Your thoughts?

Alex Chediak said...

Dale,

I'm with you. The movie was quite disappointing. The romance between Susan and Caspian was ridiculous -- and totally out of character for the Susan that C.S. Lewis envisioned.

Thanks for your blog,
Alex Chediak
www.alexchediak.com/blog

Dale Fincher said...

Alex, thanks for the comment. I just checked out your blog and discovered you haven't yet read the book. Well, stop blogging this instant and go read it! :)

My opinion is that PC is the weakest of all the Narnia books. However, Dawn Treader (the next book Disney is about the slaughter) is my favorite of the series which I performed for my undergraduate thesis in acting sereral years ago. Such a goodie full of nuggets.

So pick up Dawn Treader as soon as you're done with PC.

~dale

Dale Fincher said...

Rob,

Going through my emails, I realized I didn't comment on your comment. You've made a good analogy and I wonder if we can have the best of both words, being in Narnia and being in Aslan's service. For to truly be IN Narnia, in the true sense is to be in HIS service.

Many have blurry views what it means to be in God's service. Cultural blindness is almost as hard to break through as physical blindness. People see things a certain way, box in their categories, and apply concrete to make sure it doesn't move.

The only think I know to do is to help people re-think Jesus and re-formulate what it means to follow him. And I'm sure you're doing that already as much as you can.

We are prophets in the wilderness. Speaking out, wondering if anyone understands the voice of the LORD, and staying faithful. I don't know, at the end of the day, how the human heart is changed. God works, but the human must cooperate. And what's my part? To throw seeds. And leave the condition of the soil up to those who will hear....

I like a good ride into the hills. :)