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Re: [mythsoc] Prince Caspian Movie

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  • Carl F. Hostetter
    Here s are a couple of reviews by Steven Greydanus with an eye on mythopoeic aspects:
    Message 1 of 15 , May 18, 2008
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      Here's are a couple of reviews by Steven Greydanus with an eye on
      mythopoeic aspects:

      <http://jimmyakin.typepad.com/defensor_fidei/2008/05/turkish-delight.html
      >
      <http://decentfilms.com/sections/articles/narnia2_art.html>

      Note that this latter includes an interview on the film with Douglas
      Gresham.

      Carl
    • Dean Rowley
      Ms. Dean:   I just saw it today and I have not read this book. I will leave some space before I say anything else so as to hide spoilers.   S P O I L E R S P
      Message 2 of 15 , May 18, 2008
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        Ms. Dean:
         
        I just saw it today and I have not read this book. I will leave some space before I say anything else so as to hide spoilers.
         
        S
        P
        O
        I
        L
        E
        R

        S
        P
        A
        C
        E






        This movie stresses the continuing interest the children have in Narnia. They are brought back to help end a new tyranny but almost fail because they do not look to Ashlan for help until they almost destroy the freedom fighter's army. I case I am repeating what people who have read the book know, it was necessary to be sure that this much of the plot is given so that the criticism will make sense.
         
        While I think Lewis' Christian allegory is somewhat heavy-handed in the Narnia books, it is necessary to the story he is telling. There is no Christian allegory here. This is a standard sword-and-sorcery adventure with a trite moral because it is not anchored in any larger system. By this I mean the Lord of the Rings movies may not be what everybody wants but their was always the feeling that the fight on Middle-earth was a part of a grand war between good and evil. That feeling is missing here.
         
        That said: go see this movie. Whatever else, it did one thing movies like this ought to do, it made me want to read the book. And Peter's duel is truly heroic.
         
        Dean
         
         
         
        ----- Original Message ----
        From: Margaret Dean <margdean@...>
        To: "mythsoc@yahoogroups.com" <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Sunday, May 18, 2008 4:06:32 PM
        Subject: [mythsoc] Prince Caspian Movie


        Has anyone seen this yet?

        If so, what were your impressions?

        It snuck up on me, since I'd had very little news of it in the
        interim between the first movie and now.

        --Margaret Dean
        <margdean@erols. com>





        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • John D Rateliff
        I have not seen it, but I did see the tableful of film tie-in books. There was quite a raft of them: the OFFICIAL MOVIE COMPANION, THE CRAFTING OF NARNIA (by
        Message 3 of 15 , May 19, 2008
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          I have not seen it, but I did see the tableful of film tie-in books.
          There was quite a raft of them: the OFFICIAL MOVIE COMPANION, THE
          CRAFTING OF NARNIA (by Weta Workshop), two 'I Can Read' books
          (LUCY'S JOURNEY and THIS IS NARNIA), two little picture books rather
          like the Little Golden Books of days gone by (THE TAIL OF REEPICHEEP
          and CASPIAN'S ARMY), a Reusable Sticker Book, a Coloring & Activity
          Book (with three HarperCollins double crayons provided!). And in
          addition they had the dvd of the old BBC PRINCE CASPIAN film, as well
          as a Puzzle Book and, strangest of all, the 'NARNIA MONOPOLY'
          boardgame. Something for everybody, I suppose.
          --JDR




          On May 18, 2008, at 1:06 PM, Margaret Dean wrote:
          > Has anyone seen this yet?
          >
          > If so, what were your impressions?
          >
          > It snuck up on me, since I'd had very little news of it in the
          > interim between the first movie and now.
          >
          > --Margaret Dean
        • Lynn Maudlin
          I went to see it Friday w/my son, daughter-in-law & two grandkids (!!) - drove up to Lancaster (so we met sort of half-way in the middle) and then up to their
          Message 4 of 15 , May 19, 2008
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            I went to see it Friday w/my son, daughter-in-law & two grandkids (!!)
            - drove up to Lancaster (so we met sort of half-way in the middle) and
            then up to their home for the weekend; I had to immediately pull out
            the nice Folio Society edition of Narnia that I bought Shannon years
            back and start reading out loud because I didn't want my grandkids (8
            & 6) to think THAT was Peter.

            Appalling adaptation. Let's invent non-existent battles so we can show
            the devastation of war, losing Narnians because of stupidity and
            in-fighting SIMULTANEOUSLY let us NOT show a hero killing someone in a
            "fight to the death" combat challenge.

            I rant more at my blog:
            <www.lynnmaudlin.com/wordpress>

            -- Lynn --


            --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, Margaret Dean <margdean@...> wrote:
            >
            > Has anyone seen this yet?
            >
            > If so, what were your impressions?
            >
            > It snuck up on me, since I'd had very little news of it in the
            > interim between the first movie and now.
            >
            >
            > --Margaret Dean
            > <margdean@...>
            >
          • Elizabeth Hardy
            I took my seven-year-old son to the film (matinee; there were only two other folks there, so we could whoop and cry all we wanted). I have major plot concerns,
            Message 5 of 15 , May 30, 2008
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              I took my seven-year-old son to the film (matinee; there were only two other folks there, so we could whoop and cry all we wanted). I have major plot concerns, like nearly everyone else, but I did like many aspects of the film, particularly making the Telemarines Conquistadors--excellent touch leading to fabulous production design. ( I was not as thrilled with Prince Caspian as 23-year-old hottie, but I guess he won't have to grow up as much for VDT). Also, Caspian as a book is structually problematic for film makers, so some big changes were inevitable, and I wasn't terribly broken up over the removal of Bacchus, since all that business probably would not translate well either. I really have liked seeing train scenes added to both films (which were implied but not explicit in the books)--a wonderful foreshadowing of The Last Battle's eucastrophe! I also really liked the calling of the White Witch business in Aslan's How, and the young man who plays Edmund in these films
              is a gem. Regardless of how much I might carp about changes ( but I try to restrain myself;I don't want to be a whiny purist that no one wants to accompany to the movies!), my son and I had a wonderful time together. He sat on my lap most of the time, jumping and cheering and laughing at all the right places, and we had a wonderful talk on the way home, so for me, it's a hit. Also, I hope it makes boatloads of money so we get Dawn Treader, probably a given with all its CGI possibilities--dragons and sea serpents and dark islands-oh my! The last bit of that book is one of the most wonderful segments in all literature!
              Elizabeth




              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Lynn Maudlin
              I m ambivalent; on one hand, it was a neat visual sequence and effective; on the other hand it was egregious in misrepresenting the character (nature) of both
              Message 6 of 15 , May 30, 2008
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                I'm ambivalent; on one hand, it was a neat visual sequence and
                effective; on the other hand it was egregious in misrepresenting the
                character (nature) of both Caspian and Peter, showing both of them
                tempted to call the White Witch back.

                This is a place where I think something closer to the book could have
                been sooo effective. In the book Peter and Edmund stand outside the
                door, listening to the temptation, hear Caspian reject the unholy
                help, and come in to help in the battle. Film can improve that by
                cutting from ASLAN directing Peter and Edmund to go "deal with what
                (they) find" at Aslan's How to the events as they start to unfold,
                back to Peter & Edmund traveling as quickly as they can, etc. (can
                have several back & forth cuts to build tension) and they burst in and
                have to immediately assess the danger (Tilda Swinton looming large can
                still work) and act quickly.

                But I'm bothered by the idea that Caspian and Peter are actually
                portrayed as TEMPTED to bring back the White Witch! No no no no no no!

                *sigh*

                I do, however, know just what you mean about being a purist and a pain!

                -- Lynn --

                --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, Elizabeth Hardy <britomart3@...> wrote:
                >
                > I also really liked the calling of the White Witch business in
                Aslan's How, and the young man who plays Edmund in these films is a
                gem. Regardless of how much I might carp about changes ( but I try to
                restrain myself;I don't want to be a whiny purist that no one wants to
                accompany to the movies!), my son and I had a wonderful time together.
                He sat on my lap most of the time, jumping and cheering and laughing
                at all the right places, and we had a wonderful talk on the way home,
                so for me, it's a hit. Also, I hope it makes boatloads of money so we
                get Dawn Treader, probably a given with all its CGI
                possibilities--dragons and sea serpents and dark islands-oh my! The
                last bit of that book is one of the most wonderful segments in all
                literature!
                > Elizabeth
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >
              • Grace Monk
                I, on the other hand, do not mind being a TOTAL pain of a purist that no one wants to go to movies with. I don t mind staying home by myself with my books.
                Message 7 of 15 , May 30, 2008
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                  I, on the other hand, do not mind being a TOTAL pain of a purist that
                  no one wants to go to movies with. I don't mind staying home by myself
                  with my books. <<evil grin>>

                  Grace Walker Monk

                  (My lovely 18-year-old took her 12-year-old brother to see this movie;
                  they have accepted that I, their book-crazed mother, feel no need to
                  torture myself by going to this set of movies that don't live up to
                  dearly loved books.)


                  On Fri, May 30, 2008 at 7:02 PM, Lynn Maudlin <lynnmaudlin@...> wrote:
                  > I'm ambivalent; on one hand, it was a neat visual sequence and
                  > effective; on the other hand it was egregious in misrepresenting the
                  > character (nature) of both Caspian and Peter, showing both of them
                  > tempted to call the White Witch back.
                  >
                  > This is a place where I think something closer to the book could have
                  > been sooo effective. In the book Peter and Edmund stand outside the
                  > door, listening to the temptation, hear Caspian reject the unholy
                  > help, and come in to help in the battle. Film can improve that by
                  > cutting from ASLAN directing Peter and Edmund to go "deal with what
                  > (they) find" at Aslan's How to the events as they start to unfold,
                  > back to Peter & Edmund traveling as quickly as they can, etc. (can
                  > have several back & forth cuts to build tension) and they burst in and
                  > have to immediately assess the danger (Tilda Swinton looming large can
                  > still work) and act quickly.
                  >
                  > But I'm bothered by the idea that Caspian and Peter are actually
                  > portrayed as TEMPTED to bring back the White Witch! No no no no no no!
                  >
                  > *sigh*
                  >
                  > I do, however, know just what you mean about being a purist and a pain!
                  >
                  > -- Lynn --
                  >
                  > --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, Elizabeth Hardy <britomart3@...> wrote:
                  >>
                  >> I also really liked the calling of the White Witch business in
                  > Aslan's How, and the young man who plays Edmund in these films is a
                  > gem. Regardless of how much I might carp about changes ( but I try to
                  > restrain myself;I don't want to be a whiny purist that no one wants to
                  > accompany to the movies!), my son and I had a wonderful time together.
                  > He sat on my lap most of the time, jumping and cheering and laughing
                  > at all the right places, and we had a wonderful talk on the way home,
                  > so for me, it's a hit. Also, I hope it makes boatloads of money so we
                  > get Dawn Treader, probably a given with all its CGI
                  > possibilities--dragons and sea serpents and dark islands-oh my! The
                  > last bit of that book is one of the most wonderful segments in all
                  > literature!
                  >> Elizabeth
                  >>
                  >>
                  >>
                  >>
                  >> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  >>
                  >
                  >
                • Lynn Maudlin
                  It s hard for me, I love films - I love the medium, the possibility of inspired juxtapositions of visuals, costumes, lighting, effective acting, powerful
                  Message 8 of 15 , May 31, 2008
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                    It's hard for me, I love films - I love the medium, the possibility of
                    inspired juxtapositions of visuals, costumes, lighting, effective
                    acting, powerful story, sound effects and music - it *can* be
                    extraordinary and, in the best circumstances, it's awesome and inspiring.

                    The adaptation of beloved books is always problematic. Fr'instance,
                    'The World According to Garp' - I never read the book and the movie
                    worked really well for me, but everyone I know who read and loved the
                    book was disappointed in the movie. I understand that dynamic. But
                    'Prince Caspian,' specifically, had the opportunity of doing a really
                    good faithful adaptation: the books is short, the plot is
                    straightforward. The adapters simply decided they knew better (Boyens,
                    et.al., anyone?) and that the essential lesson (it is your personal
                    responsibility to follow and obey Aslan, whether anybody else sees Him
                    or not) isn't *really* the essential lesson...

                    As my daughter-in-law asked (unfamiliar with the books), "at the end
                    when Aslan said Peter and Susan learned what they were meant to learn
                    in Narnia, *what did they learn?*" Good question... uh, don't abandon
                    Aslan in the woods because you'll have to go back and fetch Him
                    later?! I have no idea what the film thought they learned; it
                    certainly wasn't communicated with clarity.

                    On the cheerier side of things, I am in love with 'Across the
                    Universe' - for me, this film is art. At least worth a few bucks to
                    rent it on DVD...

                    -- Lynn --


                    --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Grace Monk" <gmariemonk@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > I, on the other hand, do not mind being a TOTAL pain of a purist that
                    > no one wants to go to movies with. I don't mind staying home by myself
                    > with my books. <<evil grin>>
                    >
                    > Grace Walker Monk
                    >
                    > (My lovely 18-year-old took her 12-year-old brother to see this movie;
                    > they have accepted that I, their book-crazed mother, feel no need to
                    > torture myself by going to this set of movies that don't live up to
                    > dearly loved books.)
                    >
                  • Merlin DeTardo
                    ...
                    Message 9 of 15 , May 31, 2008
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                      --- "Lynn Maudlin" <lynnmaudlin@...> wrote:
                      << But 'Prince Caspian,' specifically, had the opportunity of doing a
                      really good faithful adaptation: the books is short, the plot is
                      straightforward. >>

                      I haven't seen the film yet, but here's a link:

                      http://unlocked-wordhoard.blogspot.com/2008/05/review-of-prince-
                      caspian.html

                      ...to one reviewer who feels the film improves on its source, "by far
                      the weakest of the Narnia series", because the "structure of the book
                      is confused", and that the "film keeps the Christian themes, but has a
                      pacing that children can tolerate".

                      -Merlin DeTardo
                    • David Emerson
                      ... While I agree that PC is the weakest of the books, and that the structural changes were a considerable improvement, and that the pacing may be more
                      Message 10 of 15 , Jun 1, 2008
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                        >... one reviewer who feels the film improves on its source, "by far
                        >the weakest of the Narnia series", because the "structure of the book
                        >is confused", and that the "film keeps the Christian themes, but has a
                        >pacing that children can tolerate".

                        While I agree that PC is the weakest of the books, and that the structural changes were a considerable improvement, and that the pacing may be more child-friendly, I can only partially support the statement that "the film keeps the Christian themes," since large chunks of the most Christian-themed scenes were removed. In fact, the wholly-invented storming-the-castle sequence contains a scene that seems actually antithetical to the mood and morality of Lewis's original.

                        emerdavid

                        ________________________________________
                        PeoplePC Online
                        A better way to Internet
                        http://www.peoplepc.com
                      • Lynn Maudlin
                        I would argue they strip out Lewis Christian theme and insert, in its place, this weird vague we have to wait for Aslan concept without ever following Him
                        Message 11 of 15 , Jun 1, 2008
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                          I would argue they strip out Lewis' Christian theme and insert, in its
                          place, this weird vague "we have to wait for Aslan" concept without
                          ever following Him in the first place and ultimately sending Lucy to
                          'fetch' Him...! *sheesh*

                          I also really object to the idea that children have to have a certain
                          level of adrenaline-inducing pacing - this is ultimately not healthy.

                          And it bodes REALLY BADLY for Voyage of the Dawn Treader-- yikes!

                          -- Lynn --


                          --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, David Emerson <emerdavid@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > >... one reviewer who feels the film improves on its source, "by far
                          > >the weakest of the Narnia series", because the "structure of the book
                          > >is confused", and that the "film keeps the Christian themes, but has a
                          > >pacing that children can tolerate".
                          >
                          > While I agree that PC is the weakest of the books, and that the
                          structural changes were a considerable improvement, and that the
                          pacing may be more child-friendly, I can only partially support the
                          statement that "the film keeps the Christian themes," since large
                          chunks of the most Christian-themed scenes were removed. In fact, the
                          wholly-invented storming-the-castle sequence contains a scene that
                          seems actually antithetical to the mood and morality of Lewis's original.
                          >
                          > emerdavid
                          >
                          > ________________________________________
                          > PeoplePC Online
                          > A better way to Internet
                          > http://www.peoplepc.com
                          >
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