Saturday, December 24, 2005

Two lions, a witch, a wardrobe, a zebra, a giraffe and a hippo. Exotic locales. Penguins too.

Continuing with the movie kick here... be prepared for possible spoilers!!!

We just had to see it for curiosity's sake. I'd seen some reviews where the wonderful visual effects were mentioned, and also people being enchanted by the magic of it, even non-Christians.

Just my meaningless opinions here, but:
Visual spectacle --> OK, but didn't knock my socks off. This is not as visually stunning as The Lord of the Rings. It's just filmed in the same area, but without the magic of PJ.
Battle scenes --> tepid and uninteresting, designed not to offend children... or rather the parents of the children in attendance.
Casting and characters --> Casting was fine, I didn't get into the book much so don't have strong opinions there. The human, part-human and animal characters were very well done. Loved the Beaver couple, and the faun Mr. Tumnus. They actually had personalities. The kids are very cute, of course. The CG villains don't even look like living creatures, and don't get developed as characters. The wolves come the closest. The bad guys didn't scare me.
Plot --> I like the part about the wardrobe leading to another magical world. And to the Christian groups who burn Harry Potter books but support group viewings of this: going through a wardrobe and bursting through a wall to Platform 9-3/4 are radically different... HOW? Anyway, beyond that part, the story that goes on in that magical world is dumb, could have used a lot more subtlety and complexity. It makes me want to yell at the screen, or fling something at it.
Up against the other big fantasy/action movie of the season --> King Kong picks this little film up and smashes it effortlessly as though it were a taxicab. And since both films are going to be compared to the LOTR series, my opinion is that neither of these 2 is in the same league with those.

Today we rented Madagascar, which is a really funny and charming movie, highly recommended here! Great characters, especially those penguins! The lion's name is Alex, so that makes it even better!

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