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Prince Caspian 2008 review... of sorts - moonspinner
moonspinner
moonspinner
Prince Caspian 2008 review... of sorts
I had a bad feeling when Caspian blew the horn at first sight of the Old Narnians (actually, I had a bad feeling the first time I found out that young King Caspian was a twenty-odd-year old man but I digress) and it only got worse. It was as if Walden Media and Disney sat down together and said, "how can we make a movie that is the complete opposite of everything that was in this overly-religious source material?" Because boy, did they succeed in doing that!

Where to begin...?

King Peter the Magnificent Ass
Queen Susan the Gentle Beard Love Interest
King Edmund the Wise Gary Stu

Lucy is about the only character they didn't mess up but I daresay it wasn't for lack of trying. Then forget the characters, there were things in the plot that didn't even make sense: Miraz as Lord Protector; the asinine raid on the Castle; Aslan's entire lack of significance... ad nauseum.

Boy, I'm so unimpressed I can't even write a proper rant. :o :O

Summary: Disney, please can I have two and a half hours of my life back?

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Current Mood: hungry hungry

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Comments
fialleril From: fialleril Date: July 17th, 2009 03:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
Replying mostly to use this icon, which was engendered by this movie. ;)

I didn't get too worked up about this movie, actually, mostly because I knew it was going to suck as a film adaptation of Narnia, so I just watched it for the lulz, and enjoyed the fact that Edmund and Reepicheep were ninjas.

Yes, shallow, I know, but I find enjoyment where I can in such things. ;)
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: July 17th, 2009 04:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Heh heh. I need to get that one.

I knew it was going to suck. I just didn't know how much! ::dizzy:: Maybe it'll be better on the re-watch but I'm not sure if I can risk giving up another 2 and 1/2 (where did they find all that padding anyway?) hours of my life. :p
animus_wyrmis From: animus_wyrmis Date: July 17th, 2009 06:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think they only didn't mess Lucy's character up because they cut her out so much. I was so disappointed by this movie, aaargh.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: July 18th, 2009 07:29 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, that was for the best, wasn't it? The less they had to play with her, the less they messed her up. You have no idea how relieved I was when I heard Disney had pulled out of the franchise. I really hoped we'd never have any more of these silly movies. /sighs
animus_wyrmis From: animus_wyrmis Date: July 22nd, 2009 12:22 am (UTC) (Link)
I know! And I know I'll see Dawn Treader because it's my favorite book and I won't be able to stay away, but if it's as bad I'm going to be horrified.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: July 23rd, 2009 08:09 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm really worried about the last scene in the Dawn Treader, the moment when Lucy and Edmund meet the Lamb and it's finally confirmed, what we (as readers) have long suspected Who Aslan is. Walden Media haven't out and out denied the Christian influences in Narnia, but they've done their best to keep them ambiguous. In this case, there's very little room for maneuvering and a big part of me thinks they'll just cut out that scene.
animus_wyrmis From: animus_wyrmis Date: July 23rd, 2009 02:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't know--when I first read it (at age seven), I was convinced it was another magical world copout. You know how in a lot of kids' books the wizard (or whoever) will say something like "But I'll always be with you" and they realize later he means he'll always be in their memories/hearts? I was convinced Lewis was going for one of those and I almost didn't pick up Silver Chair. [I don't know if I was just too dense to see any of if, or if the line only makes sense if you already realize who Aslan is.] It seems to me like they could keep it in and still have, I don't know, plausible deniability? But they did change the "no one is told what would have happened line" too, so maybe you're right and they'll change it. But it seems like such a big thing to cut!
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: July 23rd, 2009 02:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
I read the Narnia books in the "chronological" order (and LWW last) and the Aslan-is-God concept comes out pretty strong in MN and HHB so when I eventually got round to DT, it wasn't so much a shock but a pleasant surprise that yes, it was actually confirmed? So I don't know whether it has anything to do with being perceptive, just previous exposure?

And certainly, if Walden Media can be convinced of plausible deniability, then I'm all for it!


But it seems like such a big thing to cut!

LOL! Did you watch Prince Caspian?
animus_wyrmis From: animus_wyrmis Date: July 23rd, 2009 10:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
I figured it out when I was about nine, on a reread. I was reading them with a friend--an Episcopalian priest's son, actually--and we were like "Woah, Jesus dies on a cross and Aslan dies on a table. And they both come back! I wonder if Lewis *meant* to do that?" So it took a while--but order might have had something to do with it. I was also pretty literal as a child.

Oh, Prince Caspian! I got about twenty minutes in before I started whimpering, and I don't actually remember what happened in the end with Lucy and Aslan because I was too busy trying to figure out how they were going to fit the Romp into the little time they had left. Silly me, right?
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: July 24th, 2009 07:28 am (UTC) (Link)
So it took a while--but order might have had something to do with it. I was also pretty literal as a child.

And I wasn't exactly a child when I read Narnia. I was all of twelve (and in the middle of writing my national exams but that's another story :p) so that could also have something to do with it. Maybe if I was much younger, I'd not have easily spotted the parallels.

Oh, Prince Caspian! I got about twenty minutes in before I started whimpering

LOL! You lasted longer than I did. :P
animus_wyrmis From: animus_wyrmis Date: July 26th, 2009 03:45 am (UTC) (Link)
I think age has a lot to do with it. People criticize Lewis for being so obvious with the Jesus=Aslan thing, but I think it's also worth remembering that readers under ten don't even see it most of the time, you know?
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: July 26th, 2009 04:34 am (UTC) (Link)

I wish I had a _rolls eyes_ icon.

Considering how unsubtle other writers are about preaching their secular beliefs in their stories - right now, I'm remembering Hermione carefully telling Harry that she has no idea what Christmas is about; or the hero in Cassandra Clare's stories saying that even though his people believe they are ascended from Angels, they don't believe in God; or Graceling, a story I just completed where the heroine took pains to explain to us that she couldn't get married but would happily have monkey sex with her true love...

The sheer hypocrisy that it's only Christian beliefs that are condemned from entering a story - a story written by a man that never hid the fact that he was an apologetic - really bowls one over.

Edited at 2009-07-26 04:39 am (UTC)
animus_wyrmis From: animus_wyrmis Date: July 26th, 2009 10:22 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: I wish I had a _rolls eyes_ icon.

I'm remembering Hermione carefully telling Harry that she has no idea what Christmas is about
Oh, where was that? It's been a while since I went through the books.

I've heard a lot of people go after Pullman, but I think a lot of it is that secular values get past peopled--no one really cares if a kid hears about Being A Good Person without religion entering into it, you know? (As opposed to Being A Good Person Without Religion, which tends to get talked about.) But I think that religious values bother people who aren't religious ("How dare you teach my child about this stuff!") and people who are ("That is not your place!"), so I don't know.

Lewis also blindsided a lot of kids--I know a ton of people who got angry when they realized they'd been reading about religion the whole time ("I thought it was a fun story, but I was really in CHURCH?!" was how my friend put it).
animus_wyrmis From: animus_wyrmis Date: July 26th, 2009 10:24 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: I wish I had a _rolls eyes_ icon.

PS: Also, are you in fandom at all?
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: July 27th, 2009 06:35 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: I wish I had a _rolls eyes_ icon.

It's around the time they go to Godric's Hollow, before meeting Snake-woman and post-Ron abandonment.

I've never read Pullman's stories. But you're right that secularism is taken as the default while anything else needs to be Stated Upfront. I remember a friend of mine telling me she felt the Narnia books weren't written for her (after being told that Lewis had written a Christian non-allegory) and I told her that I know that half of popular entertainment isn't written for me! That sort of put things in perspective.

No, I'm not in Narnia fandom. Can you blame me? Most of fandom thinks the PC movie was the bees' knees.
animus_wyrmis From: animus_wyrmis Date: July 30th, 2009 03:14 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: I wish I had a _rolls eyes_ icon.

I'm going to have to look that up. It's...really embarrassing actually, how little I remember from the last book.

I wonder...I've been thinking about this. And I think what I mostly read as a kid was characters with sort of low-intensity Christianity--you know, where they go to church (sometimes only if their parents make them) and Sunday School and celebrate Christmas, but don't really talk about it much. I occasionally read about Jewish protagonists, although 99% of the time that was historical fiction. I think there was one series about Wiccan protagonists and a couple about other religions or openly atheist protagonists (who were ex-Christians). I guess to some extent maybe that's the way to get the most readers, because so many US kids are low-intensity Christianity, but it seems like it leaves a bunch of people out in the cold and then you get a lot of readers thinking "Where are the people with my beliefs?"

Oh, don't remind me. But if you joined the fandom, and then other people joined the fandom, then maybe there would be a larger percentage of bookverse people! And then we would have less of this angry Peter stuff.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: October 30th, 2009 07:48 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: I wish I had a _rolls eyes_ icon.

Hi hon! I'm back! Sorry for the long lapse between replies. It wasn't intentional! I was on hiatus for some personal reasons.

I'm going to have to look that up. It's...really embarrassing actually, how little I remember from the last book.

Unlike Books 1-4, and even Book 5, I've only read Books 6 and 7 of the HP series once. I don't know why, exactly, because at the time, I enjoyed the reading experience. But there are some things that stick.


And I think what I mostly read as a kid was characters with sort of low-intensity Christianity--you know, where they go to church (sometimes only if their parents make them) and Sunday School and celebrate Christmas, but don't really talk about it much.

I'm not sure I can even call Narnia a high-intensity Christian book. Apart from the aspects of it that fundamentalist have always found controversial - mixing in magic and pagan mythology - there's also the fact that none of the characters talk about Jesus at all, mention going to Church or Sunday School. Most of the books I read growing up easily fall into that category. I'm thinking of Enid Blyton's books and the Nancy Drew series in particular. I have no idea if Nancy was a Christian. But there was no beating-it-over-my-head-with-a-stick that Nancy didn't understand what Christmas was about. Which was the point Rowling went out of her way to make with Hermione in Book 7. I found that creepy on so many levels because: a, it was completely unnecessary and added nothing to the plot or the characters; and b, it was completely unrealistic that Hermione Granger, Know-It-All, would have been celebrating Christmas in Hogwarts for the past 6 years (let's assume that her parents were insular atheists who kept all that from her), and had no idea what the festival meant. It was just there so that Rowling could make some sort of political-religious statement to her readers. A statement that, by the way, didn't even make sense!

Oh, don't remind me. But if you joined the fandom, and then other people joined the fandom, then maybe there would be a larger percentage of bookverse people! And then we would have less of this angry Peter stuff.

Ha ha. That's a good point. I dunno. Maybe, I'm just too chicken...
philstar22 From: philstar22 Date: January 24th, 2010 08:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
On the one hand I agree. On the other hand, no one yet has filmed Magicians Nephew, my favorite of the books. I want it to be filmed so bad. Even a version as unfaithful as Caspian would make me a little happy.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: January 24th, 2010 09:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love the Magician's Nephew! And I would love to see Diggory & Polly & Charn and the Forming of Narnia on screen. But I shudder to imagine what they would do with the blatant religious analogies in that book. It would have been impossible for Disney to film and I don't know if Fox can do any better.
sunlit_music From: sunlit_music Date: July 18th, 2009 03:55 am (UTC) (Link)
so I just watched it for the lulz, and enjoyed the fact that Edmund and Reepicheep were ninjas.

Hahaha! Now I *have* to see it, just for the ninja part!

Aslan's entire lack of significance...

Lack of significance? Lack of significance? How can they make such a vital character like Aslan unimportant? Good grief.

Queen Susan the Gentle Beard Love Interest

LOL! What do you mean by 'beard', though?
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: July 18th, 2009 07:37 am (UTC) (Link)
I think I was too irked about Edmund being a total Gary Stu to appreciate the ninja part --- and he is usually my favourite Pevensie so if I think the movie!Edmund was too good to be true...

Aslan is God who is preferably dead, indifferent, or evil in Hollywood so as it was, I'm almost grateful that all they did to him was diminish his significance.

Oh, that's the term used to refer to a homosexual's wife/girlfriend that he uses as a "beard" to hide his true orientation. Since in the movie, Caspian had more chemistry with Peter than with Susan and Susan/Caspian seemed like something that was pasted on to prove Caspian was not gay. Of course, maybe if they had played up Susan's angst as it was in the book... but we all know that manpain is about faith and responsibility while girls only ever angst about boys. /facepalm
laariii From: laariii Date: July 18th, 2009 10:34 am (UTC) (Link)
I haven't read the books, only seen the old TV series when i was a kid.
But what annoys gets me is that Caspian has a French accent but all the other guys are Hispanics.Huh?
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: July 18th, 2009 12:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's because Hispanics are eveeeel. Did you not notice how Caspian was suspiciously lighter skinned than the rest of the Telmarines?

You should read the books. Their a cut above a lot of what passes for literature these days.
cricketgrl From: cricketgrl Date: July 20th, 2009 02:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have to say all that you wrote is true but I've never cared much for these films. I did find Caspian a bit more serious than Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe but still not enough to interest me into the fandom.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: July 20th, 2009 03:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm not sure I'm even in the Narnia fandom, myself! lol! I dipped a toe into it after the first movie because I was hoping there'd be revived interest in the books but all I found were lots of x-rated incest fics and even creepier meta. :o Have you read the books, btw?
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