Thursday, December 29, 2005

Where Am I?

I have been taking advantage of my not needing to be on the Internets everyday, and have been spending this week doing some fun things. Seeing family and friends; taking advantage of post-holiday sales; and theater-hopping!

Yesterday I saw "Rumor Has It" and "The Chronic WHUT? Cles of Narnia." I found "Narnia" the more believable of the two.

In "Rumor" Aniston is engaged to Mark Ruffalo, but is having doubts about their relationship. That anyone would have doubts about marrying Mark Ruffalo is unbelievable enough, but that she would (SPOILER!) then cheat on the guy with Kevin Costner?? I think not. Of course, that's just my own obsession with Mr. Ruffalo clouding my judgment, but even aside from that, the movie was so light it almost floated out of the theater. I also tend to take issue with any romantic comedy that has to use cheating on a significant other as a plot device. Especially when the person being cheated on is perfectly....perfect.

After that I snuck into "Narnia" via a hidden wardrobe the Metroen has in a closet. Unlike "The Lord of the Rings," I actually did read several (though not all) of the "Narnia" books as a child. I remember being so engrossed in one of them that I peed my pants. I didn't want to stop reading, and didn't notice that I had to go to the bathroom, and by the time I did, it was too late. I suppose that's a testament to the books' excellence? Regardless, I made sure to take a bathroom break before the movie started.

I'm not going to get into all that stuff about how "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" is a Christian parable because I think that's kind of pointless. (Resurrection myths existed long before Christ, so why can't Lewis's use of one here be a tribute to longstanding mythic tradition? Why does it always have to be about Jesus? Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!) And while I'm not as a big a fan of the "Rings" movies as some people I know (you know who you are!) I have to say they were definitely better than "Narnia." I'm not sure if it's the talking animals--which, granted, are done amazingly well--especially the talking beavers (dirty!), or the fact that the heroes are all kids, or that the world of Narnia could just be interpreted as their fantasy, but it never reaches a level of "gravitas" that any of the "Rings" films reach. And as a result, it often comes off as...silly. In fact, people in the audience laughed at several moments that weren't supposed to be funny...

I was engrossed, and never bored, but let's just say if I had to go to the bathroom during the movie, my pants would have stayed dry.

Also? I hated the ending.


rachael said...

we saw the chronic-what-cles in wellington [a day prior to seeing king kong in the theater in which it premiered, um, awesome!]. i so adored the narnia books in my youth that i was willing to overlook a LOT [like the disturbing chesthair whirls of the faun], but when they were afrolic in the madrigal village and t whispered 'ren faire' to me, all hope was lost.

Chuck said...

It bugs me how everybody got stuck on the religious angle, even though the movie wasn't at all religious. It was almost like everybody was afraid they were being subjected to non-secular propaganda on the down-low. If I didn't know anything about C.S. Lewis, I would've thought the whole thing was a parable about childhood, not heaven -- that's what I thought when I read the books, anyway.

I wasn't impressed with the movie, because the whole thing just seemed soulless. This was by far my favorite book series when I was growing up, and the movie just didn't capture what made the books so cool. They're not supposed to be "Lord of the Rings," they're supposed to be more like "Peter Pan." But that's not epic enough, I guess, so you have to put all your money into big battle scenes, without taking any time to establish why people should care one way or the other about Aslan.

Rain said...

Well, part of the whole preoccupation with the "Christian" angle of the movie is that Disney is marketing it directly to Christian audiences. Whether the story within the film is actually "Christian" or not almost seems beside the point now.

I agree that the huge battle scene at the end of the movie seemed forced. I don't remember the book spending that much time on it, (but then again I read it when I was 8. I'm sure there's a lot I forgot.) But yeah, I did spend some time thinking to myself, "What the hell makes this lion guy so freakin' great, anyway?"