Newest ‘Narnia’ movie loses audience
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
New In Theaters:
“The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian”
Three out of four suns
This is the second of seven stories based on C.S. Lewis’ series about four siblings venturing to a Middle-earth-like world, where they face their fates.
Director/writer Andrew Adamson’s second attempt is proof that he has learned something. It is less stiff and more fluid than the first but still exudes the essence of a rookie’s work.
In this film, a year has passed since the four Pevensie siblings ” Peter, Edmund, Lucy and Susan ” were whisked back to the fantastical Narnia. Here, 1,300 years have passed and Narnia is now in turmoil until the siblings can help restore Prince Caspian to the throne that his sinister Uncle so wrongly usurped from him.
The problem with making a kiddie-friendly “Lord of the Rings” is just that ” it is ridiculously tame. The battles have no blood, and the evil characters are less threatening then ever. While the film had a strict PG rating to attest to and a Disney reputation to protect, somewhere in the mix, the movie loses its audience.
Plus, there is the extremely forward Bible agenda to confront. Even though the lion Aslan (voiced by the ever-hypnotizing Liam Neeson) is less of a Jesus figure than in the first film, it is still ever apparent what Disney and Walden Media had in mind.
New on DVD
“National Treasure: Book of Secrets”
Two out of four suns
Forgive me for the two sequels in one week, but there is a remarkable amount of them out there right now. “Book” is another good family film, free of any real violence or sex, or any of the other reasons we watch movies.
The great thing about this film is the all-star cast. It keeps Nicolas Cage, John Voight, Diane Kruger and Riley Poole (as the only side-kick who is actually more attractive than the main character), and then introduces Helen Mirren and Ed Harris, just because it can.
While the film has remarkable one-liners and actual humor to talk about, the problem was the lack of action and the length. “Book” could easily have been about 30 minutes shorter without anyone missing it. No offense to director Jon Turteltaub, but this movie contained the saddest attempt at a car chase ever witnessed. If he needs suggestions, see “Mr. and Mrs. Smith,” or in his case, even a few notes from “Driving Miss Daisy” would have helped.
Everyone likes a good history lesson, but let us just hope that no one from the Taliban was watching this movie and figured out how easy it is to kidnap the president.
Classic DVD to Rent
“Bad Boys” (1995)
One of Michael Bay’s first as a director, he revolutionized the camera angle swing-shot. While watching this, look for the first time the lens circles Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. It is film history.
Also, here is what real action looks like. The car chase scenes are flawless and the violence is real. The tension between the actors sets up for some real comic relief as well.
Tea Leoni does great as a sympathetic hooker, and look for Joe Pantoliano as the boys’ over-stressed captain. This is a great date movie.
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