Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Peverett Phile Extra: Narnia Business

Welcome to another Phile Extra for May Movie Month. This week we focus on The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspain. So, let's get down to business.


Well, that was quick. The dust had barely settled on Disney's decision (announced at New York ComicCon) to possibly end the Narnia franchise after three films, but then they decided no, not really. They take their cues from Aslan. MTV Movie News cornered producer Mark Johnson, who revealed he has a list of directors for The Silver Chair, and is closely eying several names on it. (I appreciate that MTV was as shocked as everyone else by this.) Johnson went on to say that he envisions Narnia along Harry Potter lines, with a new director coming on for each installment. "I think [the director of Silver Chair] will be somebody new entirely," John said. "I would like to get somebody totally unexpected." So, never say never. If they truly go in this direction, I would applaud them, as I think it could add some spice to a film series that hasn't really distinguished itself from Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings -- and should have, because the books are pretty fabulous. Johnson admits, however, that future books are going to be increasingly difficult to adapt. "I'd be lying if I didn't say a couple of them I don't know how to film," Johnson confessed, adding a wry smile. "It would be a good problem to have."


The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
Starring: William Moseley, Anna Popplewell, Skandar Keynes, Georgie Henley, Ben Barnes, and Peter Dinklage. The kids go back to Narnia (one year later, but 1,300 years later in Narnia time) to help Prince Caspian defeat the evil Telmarines and make the place safe for all Narnians again. But where's Jesus-Lion Aslan to help them? Nowhere to be found, unless you're youngest and most faith-possessing Lucy and you can see him when no one else can. So, that sense of magical otherness that greets you on your first visit to an enchanted land of icy witches and all-seeing animal pals is pretty much impossible to recapture on your second pass through. So it's smart of the movie to dig deeper into the heroic action stuff. And if you don't know to look for them, then you'll take this double-edged fable that's full of biblical references at face value and just enjoy all the epic battling. Whether it's good or bad to be ignorant of the Bible isn't really for me to say. Barnes as Prince Caspian is kind of an empty shell and spends the whole film with a wooden expression of grim determination on his face. It's really the continuation of the Pevensie kids' story anyway. You're on Caspian's side, of course, but if he didn't have four protectors backing him up, you might not care as much. The best character was Eddie Izzard, who voices a highly confident mouse warrior. I have no idea if this is in the original book. I'm going to guess not. But still, he's really funny. For those of you lulled into a false sense of security with the PG rating, you should know that people get killed left and right in this thing, and it's full of war violence. It's just the kind of war where people die without much bloodshed. From one to ten, I give it a ten. And Logan's favorite parts were the battle scenes, oh, and Lucy.

There, phans, a quick entry of the Phile, all about Narnia. The Phile will be back next Thursday and again on Saturday with a Peverett Phile Extra on the new Indiana Jones movie. Until then, spread the word, not the turd, and one more thing... Did you stand by me, No, not at all, Did you stand by me, No way...

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