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May 18, 2008

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Amazingly true

Resounding thumbs down here, too--I could spend the rest of the evening filling up your comment space with my observations. I should have known that the movie would be a disappointment when it opened with that fight scene. I'll admit that I am a purist (should we start a society? the NPs, Narnian Purists? LOL) but I can deal with minor plot changes, omissions, etc., since not every book can translate whole to the big screen, but when those changes involve personality, as with Peter, Caspian, and (in my opinion) even Trumpkin--gah!

I think what made this even more of a disappointment is that we had bought (and thoroughly enjoyed)the Focus on the Family Radio Theatre version of Prince Caspian, in anticipation of the movie release. We should have stuck to that.

I'm sure I'm in the minority here, so forgive my confession: I've never read the series. (Oh No!) I see the movie trailers and I think, "I'd like to know the story - maybe I will watch the movies." Normally I'm not like this, but I just don't have time to read (anything but blogs) right now.

So I'm glad I read this post, spoilers and all, because I'm decided now that I will not watch the movies before reading the books. I may not watch them at all, when all is said and done. We'll have to see on that one.

Whew! That was a close one. :)

I don't think I ever got around to posting it at the time, but when I saw the first movie, I was struck by how Peter was damaged in the same way that Aragorn was: they became standard Hollywood men.

Peter Pevensie, in the books, is a British child at the tail end of empire, at the outset of a draining war that will tax the entire society in which he lives and leave it forever changed. He is not running from adult responsibility -- he is struggling to use it without hurting the people he loves and for whom he has responsibility.

Aragorn in the books is a medieval quest hero -- he doesn't grow into his role, he assumes it, and uses it to meet the challenges posed by this, his great test. He emerges from a period of trials and secrecy to lead his people to and through their fate.

Neither of these people, in the books, displays the remotest similarity to what they become on the movie screen: Tom Cruise in every movie that Tom Cruise made between Risky Business and A Few Good Men. Boys who refuse to Grow Up.

Really: is this the only journey of character that any story-teller can imagine for a boy now? The journey past reluctance into manhood? Feh. And also: yuck.

[I know Susan is a controversial figure, and I'll say at the outset that I loathe "The Last Battle," but I don't think her failure in Book 7 is prefigured by her reluctance to fight in these battles. All we know of her in Book 7 is that she rejects Narnia -- not that she refuses to fight for it. It is intriguing, I confess, to think about what we learn of Susan here in light of what we learn later -- but I also don't think the character earns the fall she gets in Book 7. Then again -- I loathe book 7. Really. I simply do not believe that God works that way (in terms of the fates of the major characters). In fact, the ending of book 7 seems to contradict the messages of the professor in Book 1 (I reject the re-numbering, too!) and the message of Aslan in Book 2.]

The only benefit I'm reaping from the new movie is that Wilder saw the preview before his DVD video of enchantment and wanted to explore the series. We tried last summer to get through Wardrobe but the kids weren't ready.

Hey - that's me you linked!! I'm honored you remember my review. And I stand by it. And I also stand firm that I will NOT go see Caspian. If my husband wants to take my oldest - that's up to them. And I have faith that my oldest will be somewhat appalled - though not as outraged as his mother. (He'll be too busy getting into the battle scenes, I expect)

ugh.

never got the chance to see TLTWATW and will pass on this as well- how unfortunate! the narnia series was/is one of most beloved memories of childhood- and like you, i've read them plenty of times as an adult as well, with such a richer understanding and experience of them as a person of faith (which obviously went way over my head as a kid)- absolutely right on about the how/altar and the following on faith vs. sight, btw. they are treasures for me.

my old dogeared copies are waiting on my bookshelf for my pnut and bean to be old enough for me to read to them chapter by chapter, night by night, as my mom did for me.

p.s.- the order that i read them in is the only way i'll ever read them- re-arranging according to chronological time in the books always seemed to give way too much away too soon, but is it how lewis intended it? hmm...off to google...

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