Author Topic: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe  (Read 14087 times)

Skar

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Re: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
« Reply #30 on: December 12, 2005, 05:10:48 PM »
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Feel free to stop using rhetoric at your own discretion. It doesn't help your arguements.


What rhetoric are you referring to?  You didn't quote any.  

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In the book Aslan says 'there was a deeper earlier magic she did not know about'. In the movie he says something like 'she did not understand the deep magic correctly'. The basics stay the same: her understanding was imperfect. Dialogue was changed like this throughout, tinkering it to make it sound more modern, less gee-whiz.


Nope.  Aslan definitely said she didn't interpret it the same as he did.  He made no mention of a correct way.  And right there they've changed it from a universal truth Aslan understood and she didn't to something that depends on how you interpret it.  Not what Lewis was talking about and a rather fundamental change to the story.

Edit: Sorry about three posts in a row.  There are rather alot of people disagreeing with me and I feel constrained to respond to them all.

For now anyway.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2005, 05:19:23 PM by Skar »
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Peter Ahlstrom

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Re: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
« Reply #31 on: December 12, 2005, 06:15:49 PM »
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I value certain things in a film: coherent plotting, believable characters and motivation, good dialogue, a smooth flow of ideas...to name a few.  If you liked this film you obviously value other things. Where's the problem?

Nominated for most insulting thing said on this board this month.
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Re: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
« Reply #32 on: December 12, 2005, 06:23:28 PM »
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I value certain things in a film: coherent plotting, believable characters and motivation, good dialogue, a smooth flow of ideas...to name a few.  If you liked this film you obviously value other things. Where's the problem?


I think it's funny that that line comes only a few sentences after:  
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Parker

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Re: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
« Reply #33 on: December 12, 2005, 07:06:34 PM »
One of my main thoughts was to question why it is that there are people with Skar's opinion--namely that everything in the film was crap--while there are others who think it was all a masterpiece.  And I'm not talking about yokels thinking it was good--I'm talking about well-known, well respected critics here.  I find it very interesting that there are people saying "The acting is awful" or "the film is way too heavy handed" at the same time others are saying the acting is great and the film has just the right touch.  One reason for this might be because the book is so well loved.  And so if it comes across as having captured the "spirit" of what a reviewer liked, then they think it was a masterpiece.  If it doesn't, then said reviewer finds fault with the film in their hurry to defend their own personal interpretation of the novel.

Skar

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Re: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
« Reply #34 on: December 12, 2005, 07:06:55 PM »
Well, I'm glad that SOMEBODY thought it was funny.
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Re: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
« Reply #35 on: December 12, 2005, 07:07:16 PM »
If you're ever in an argument and Entropy winds up looking staid and temperate in comparison, it might be time to cut your losses and start a new thread about something else :)

Fellfrosch

Skar

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Re: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
« Reply #36 on: December 12, 2005, 07:28:32 PM »
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One reason for this might be because the book is so well loved.  And so if it comes across as having captured the "spirit" of what a reviewer liked, then they think it was a masterpiece.  If it doesn't, then said reviewer finds fault with the film in their hurry to defend their own personal interpretation of the novel.


An interesting idea with merit.  I have no doubt that the story/book being well-loved  was a reason for the polarization you're talking about.  Quite possible.

For my part my main objection to the film was not the treatment of the themes or spirit of the book.  I don't think they did a very good job capturing what you so rightly point out are my very personal feelings/thoughts about the underlying MEANING of the book.  That's a very minor part of my objections though.

My main objections were the dismal timing, unbelievable motivations, and the hash they made of the tacked on "internal conflict" they tried to give the children.  As well as the wooden dialogue and unearned "special moments" they kept inserting and the shoddy directing.

For example, when the children are being chased by "the sleigh" the film cuts to a closeup shot of bright white reindeer running.  Then we're supposed to believe it when "the sleigh" turns out to be Santa, with dark brown reindeer.

Or how about when the children come to the river and the beaver, who probably weighs a tenth as much as Peter, goes out to "test the ice" and then the wolves, who were behind the children, are suddenly racing across atop the waterfall (how did they get up there and why didn't the children take that way instead of the bottom of the falls? No one knows).

Then how about the moment when Peter turns to the lead centaur and asks him "Are you with me?"  It's kind of late and therefore deeply insulting for him to be asking things like that. But the director played it like a "special moment"

Or how about when the mice are eating Aslan's bonds and lucy and susan are shooing them away but you don't see their hands doing anything, just mice placidly nibbling.

Or perhaps the tunnel from the beaver's house to the badger's that's ten times as big as he needs.  "Well, the badger must be much bigger" I said to myself but nope, when we see the stone badger he's barely bigger than the beaver.  So why the human-can-walk-upright sized tunnel one asks?  No one knows.

My objections are rooted in something other than the fact that the film didn't match what I see in my head when I read the book.  I've reviewed films that totally changed what I'll see in my head forever and been glad of it.  I'm capable of judging a film on its own merits and I did so in this case.
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Peter Ahlstrom

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Re: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
« Reply #37 on: December 12, 2005, 08:19:32 PM »
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Well, I'm glad that SOMEBODY thought it was funny.

So...it was meant as a joke? Clearly no one reasonable would say that seriously, but there was no hint in your post that it was a joke.

You've definitely noticed more problems than I did while I was watching it. What I did notice: I thought the tunnels were rather large--was this explained in the book, or completely added for the movie? I thought the exact same thing as you when those wolves ran across the waterfall. Those things I did notice didn't ruin the movie for me. I did not notice the color-changing reindeer--that definitely sounds a goof worthy of being listed on the goofs page on the imdb. (Though perhaps the reindeer actually changed color; some animals have summer and winter coats, after all!!!) Mistake, but didn't ruin the movie for me. I didn't notice what they were or were not doing with their hands when they were trying to shoo the mice away, but these ARE pre-1950s girls who might not want to be touching mice. They (or at least Susan; I don't really remember) shouted at them a lot...

I have no plans to see the movie again anytime soon, but I thought Aslan's words were more as Entropy said them than the exact semantics of the way you're reporting them. I also thought that Beaver mentioning (well, this objection was from the Snider review, so perhaps you do not share it) the stone table was before they noticed Edmund was gone, so he could have overheard it. Anyway, some of this just comes down to remembering parts of the movie differently, and it would take viewing it again to check on what exactly happened and was said.

I thought the motivations were fine, and was not bothered by the internal conflict. Karen said she was glad they gave the beginning context of them being sent away from their mother in the war, etc., and that it made their state of mind more believeable. She also said that Peter in the New Testament has internal conflict, so it only made sense for Peter in the movie to have some. Would it have been better/more believeable for there to be no internal conflict?

I did not think the movie was a masterpiece. But I enjoyed it quite a bit, and got a good impression from it.
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Skar

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Re: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
« Reply #38 on: December 12, 2005, 11:20:42 PM »
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So...it was meant as a joke? Clearly no one reasonable would say that seriously, but there was no hint in your post that it was a joke.


Yes, I was poking fun at my arrogance in insisting on disagreeing with absolutely everybody over such fundamental points.  That sentence was originally at the end of my post, which I think would have made it more clear that I was being facetious, but then I went back and edited and added some stuff so it looked like it was buried off-hand in the middle of a post.  My fault.

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You've definitely noticed more problems than I did while I was watching it...


And that was the short list.  To my mind it was chock full of them and I was so totally out of the world because of them by the time Santa appeared that they just kept getting more and more obvious.  That doesn't usually happen to me, especially if I have high hopes for the movie.  Usually I can overlook lots of things if the rest of the movie is good.  This one never pulled me back in despite my wanting to be pulled in so desperately.

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Anyway, some of this just comes down to remembering parts of the movie differently, and it would take viewing it again to check on what exactly happened and was said.


Righto.  I honestly hope I am remembering wrongly.  I'll definitely be seeing the movie again if for no other reason than that my sons will murder me in my sleep if I don't take them.  I'm going to hold out for the dollar theater though.

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Would it have been better/more believeable for there to be no internal conflict?


I think so, yes, because the story only really stands up in an allegorical way.  If the children (Susan) were going to be realistically practical about things they would never have ended up at Mr. Tumnus's house to find it ransacked in the first place.  So the writers/directors ended up having to make them realistic and practical only when it moved their version of the plot along and never otherwise.  It didn't ring true to me.

I leaned over to my wife and told her they were beginning the film perfectly when they showed the air raids.  Like I said in my review, the first quarter of the film was great. It was only after that things started getting stupid.
"Skar is the kind of bird who, when you try to kill him with a stone, uses it, and the other bird, to take vengeance on you in a swirling melee of death."

-Fellfrosch

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Re: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
« Reply #39 on: December 13, 2005, 04:08:18 AM »
Well I saw the film...and I shall trepidly comment.

I liked the movie, but I don't think it was great. I think it is a little too faithful to the book. There are too many scenes where I felt like I was having to watch this scene simply because it was in the book. I agree with Skar that the pacing is a bit off. It's not that bad, but it create short little lulls in the film. Though I liked the opening scene in London a lot (I'm fairly sure that wasn't in the book).

I don't think the acting is bad, it's just not that great. The actors give merely passable performances in general. Even the voice-acting is rather subdued. Some, like Jim Broadbent, do better than others, like Tilda Swinton.

I think the cinematography could use some refinement. Generally, it is rather bright and cheery, which is not appropriate for all parts of the movie. Particularly during the ending battle sequences, I was craving a few more shadows and fewer garish colors.

The animals and cgi effects are spectacular. They are good enough that when I got home I almost expected my ferret to start talking.

And there a number of mistakes in the film. I wasn't too disrtacted by them. The movie could use some refinement and little focus.

So, IMHO, take your kids to go see. Maybe buy it when it comes out on DVD if you like childrens' stories and fantasy. It just isn't an epic masterpiece by a long shot.

Also, what did people think about the music? The scoring seemed okay, but I'm not too keen on the gospel-pop-rock at the end. Seemed too commercial.
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Parker

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Re: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
« Reply #40 on: December 21, 2005, 04:01:53 PM »
I know this thread has cooled off recently, but I finally got the chance to see the film yesterday, and I wanted to throw in my two cents in case there's anyone still debating seeing it or not.

I loved it.  I went in quite apprehensive, honestly.  As I said before, I heard both good and bad about the film, and I really wanted to love it.  I personally was blown away.  It wasn't the same sort of jaw dropping awe I felt in LOTR, but it's a different movie.  This is a children's movie in the same way that the book is a children's book.  I don't know how much I want to get into it here on the boards, and by all means, if anyone has any questions for me, I'm happy to answer them.

I thought the acting, pacing, scoring, directing, writing--you name it--was spot on.  I loved how they fleshed out the story, I found it completely believeable, and I intend to buy this one as soon as it comes out on DVD.  I have to wonder if one reason that reviewers aren't liking it is that the film depends so much on a willing suspension of disbelief, more so than other films.  If you're  the type to roll your eyes when Santa appears in the film--or Father Christmas, rather--then this might not be the flick for you.  Whether people like that scene or not, there's no getting around the fact that it was in the book.    Yes.  In CS Lewis's text, Santa does give the children weapons.  Merry Christmas.  If Snider wants to sputter about this, he should go to the source.  As to the gripe about Aslan saying the Witch interpreted the deep magic incorrectly, I really think this is splitting hairs.  Yes, the exact text was altered, and yes, it now says that the Witch interpreted the deeper magic incorrectly.  As I recall, Aslan did say that there was a true interpreation, but I have to point out that doesn't matter.  If he said it or not, we are shown that there was a true interpretation.  The Table broke, Aslan was resurrected, end of story.  If they had explained Aslan's reappearance by saying he was "only faking it," I could see cause to complain.  But not for this.

Other defenses of the film:

In the chase scene with Santa's reindeer, they are only show in extreme close ups.  I was paying close attention to this "mistake."  The reindeer are covered in snow--that's why they're white.  You can see the brown fur underneath if you look carefully.  The snow melts because the power of the WW is lessening.

Lucy and Susan do shoo away the mice with their hands.  You can see their hands flicker at the edges of the screen.

The tunnel from Beaver's to Badger's is tall for the animals, but it's also hardly spacious for the children.  Adults would have a real hard time in it.  From what I had read, I pictured it as being easy to run walking upright, but the children are hunching and struggling to move quickly.  Didn't seem that bad to me.

I could go on, but I won't.  Some things about this film are supposed to look goofy--in my opinion.  Peter and Edmund in war, for one thing.  They ought to look out of place.  How could they look any differently?  They're children.

Anyway.  Enough.  If you let yourself be swept away by this film, it will.  Up till now, the best adaptation I had seen was that dopey cartoon, and of course this blows that out of the water.  I hope this earns a bundle of moola, and they make all seven.  If they're all as good as this one, I'll be jumping for joy.

But then again, I value certain things in a film: coherent plotting, believable characters and motivation, good dialogue, a smooth flow of ideas...to name a few.  If you didn't like this film you obviously value other things. Where's the problem?

(wink wink)

Skar

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Re: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
« Reply #41 on: December 21, 2005, 04:23:38 PM »
I just want everyone to know that I accept your thanks for lowering your expectations for this film so that you could enjoy it and not be disappointed.

;)
« Last Edit: December 21, 2005, 04:23:55 PM by Skar »
"Skar is the kind of bird who, when you try to kill him with a stone, uses it, and the other bird, to take vengeance on you in a swirling melee of death."

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Parker

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Re: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
« Reply #42 on: December 21, 2005, 04:29:40 PM »
Well, I didn't TOTALLY enjoy it.  There were these two Mongolian guys who sat behind us, and one of them was a compulsive noise maker.  It was like he was making kissy noises every three seconds.  I gave him the half turn, then the full turn with the eye-roll, but he didn't shut up until my wife threatened him.  That's what wives are for.  So I guess there's a chance that I was too annoyed at him to notice that the film was actually as bad as Skar said it was.


But I doubt it.  And yes, Skar--you probably did help me be more blown away than I otherwise would have been.  But not by much.  Now I just need to go see Kong.

Baba_Yaga

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Re: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
« Reply #43 on: December 27, 2005, 01:24:44 AM »
Between computer problems and being buried at work, I am just now getting to the film and your opinions of it.  It is fun reading such hearty debate about it.  

Overall, I thought the film was wonderful.  I was anxious to see it and see how they would make a children's novel into a feature film I could enjoy without slaughtering the story or hollywoodizing everything.  I was so much happier with this one than with other versions I have seen.  Kudos to the comment on expecting your ferret to talk when you came home!  I was most anxious about this element.  Most attempts at making the animals lifelike looked so cheesy to me.  I was so happy to see that I was not at all distracted by the CGI in LWW.  They really did an impressive job.

While I disagree with Skar on the level of his dislike of the movie, I must admit that I also noticed a few of the points he makes.  For instance, I was surprised at Susan's ongoing protests.  I feel they missed some of her character.  I was also bothered by the wolves climbing across the waterfall.  If they can do it, why can't the children?

A couple of other minor irritations--I also had noisy people around me.  So no, I wouldn't recommend taking your three year-old as someone asked.  I was surprised at how many other three year-olds sitting around me were taken out just a little too late. :)  I also didn't think Lucy was the greatest crier--but do you really expect oscar award tears from a child her age.  I still thought she was charming.

Really though, these minor details weren't what made the movie.  I still found myself caught up in the story, even though I already knew it.  I'm thoroughly glad I saw it, and I will add it to my DVD collection.

By the way, did anyone else notice that Douglas Gresham, the stepson that CS Lewis adopted, was one of the co-producers of the film?  I found this interesting.  I'm sure most people wouldn't notice that, but I about jumped out of my seat when his name came on screen.  I thought that made for an interesting touch.

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Re: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
« Reply #44 on: December 27, 2005, 09:24:56 AM »
I was genuinely moved by this movie. I felt it was brilliant. I will go see it again if given the chance.

I disagree with skar on almost every essential point. However, the wolves across the river... I'm still trying to figure out how they could have made that scene work. I'd probably rescript it from the start.

I thought Susan was done very well. It made me think of her eventual fate as revealed in The Last Battle.

That Lucy kid was amazing. She could have done tears better, but everything else she acted was dead on. I think she's one of the most expressive child actors I've ever seen.




And because I can't resist: the Lucy entering Narnia for the first time lasts 30 seconds from the time she first sees tree branches to the time she reaches the lamp post.