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The Voyage of the Dawn Treader: A Review

This is the third and currently final film being madeĀ  in this series (even though there are seven books).

This time only Lucy and Edmund go to Narnia (along with cousin Eustace) and the elder Pevensie children are in the US with mum and dad, doing something important.

This is also the first time we see that time in Narnia doesn’t correlate at all with time in the real world. Last time a whole year had passed between visits and thousands of years had passed in Narnia. This time it gives an indication that at least six months has passed in the real world (quite possibly more) and only a few years has gone by in Narnia. As a resuly Prince Caspian is back and they’re there to help him on his quest.

As with all the previous films this is another good vs evil story. The bad ‘guy’ is the evil growing way over east beyond all chartered land.

Just like in the previous two, Aslan features less and less, expecting the children to rely on what they’ve learnt before and the tests of their beliefs are for the most part more subtle. At least until right at the end, where the white witch makes, yet another appearance.

Part way through making this film it was sold from one studio to another (something about the cost of all the cg water) and unfortunately it shows. There just isn’t quite the same epic feel to this one, despite the massive quest they’ve gone on and it does seem to be a little ‘lost’ in terms of what they were trying to say with it. I can only assume they are trying to show the white witch fighting against Aslan again but the lack of Aslan doesn’t make as much sense (he only shows up to Lucy once in her dream and right at the end to send everyone home) and the increased amount of time the white witch is there doesn’t make much sense.

I guess it’s a shame because it’s still a wonderful world and Ben is even better as Caspian this time around. He’s less whinny and way more like a Narnian King. I also thought Lucy and Eustace were fantastic but Edmund, the white witch and the general feeling of rushing from one plot point to another in hopes to get it over and done with as quickly as possible let this film down a little. Definitely the weakest of the three so far but still reasonably enjoyable. Unfortunately it probably means they won’t bother with any more of them.

Prince Caspian: A Review

This is the second film they made in the Narnia series and features the actor who made his first major film debut in Stardust a few years before.

I loved the start of this film, back in the real world and the London Underground system. Susan has started taking an interest in boys, although only a little and a boy has taken an interest in her. It never gets any further than that, however, before she’s sucked along with her brothers and sister into Narnia again.

In Narnia many hundreds, even thousands of years later they pop up in their own castle, only now it’s ruins on an island.

Shortly after they meet Peter Dinklage in his role as a dward, otherwise known as DLF, if you’ve read the books.

The acting by our already adored family of siblings has improved another step, although they were pretty good before, now they are even better, age lending them some more skills.

Prince Caspian, played by Ben Barnes does a reasonable job in this role. He’s a little samey in comparison to earlier roles but it does step somewhat from his very understated way of acting. He’s relaxed and not overbearing and this, at least, makes him seem natural in whatever role he plays.

The storyline is made nicely epic in the film, matching the style of the first well. They make a good pair. There’s also plenty more Aslan wisdom and he helps out at the end, although not as much as he does in the first film. They have a few trust issues, but they get there in the end.

This one is also a little darker and feels like evil gets the upper hand more, despite the white witch being banished but good still triumphs as it should in a good vs evil movie. At the very end we get back into the real world and unlike the first we get to see some more of what’s happening there and it resolves very well, if I do say so myself!

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe: A Review

I’ve recently aquired the third film in this set so I thought I’d run through all of them so far over the next few weeks (new releases at cinema may be interspersed, depending on how many I get to go see).

This is the first film Hollywood made of the seven book series and the most iconic. It’s the one most people love and remember from the old tv series.

Yes, this is technically a Christian film but it’s also a good story. Every kid wants to suddenly become the hero in a great adventure, but this goes one step better than that. This has a whole set of siblings become heroes and even kings and queens together. As a kid it’s pure magic.

On top of that there’s some great messages. Often what appears amazing (the White Queen’s offer) isn’t really and sometimes we have to be brave, even when we don’t want to be.

I also really loved the bit where Susan and Lucy walk with Aslan, when he’s on the way to see the White Queen. There’s something very humble and sweet about Aslan wanting the company then. It’s a beautiful moment in the film. As is the bit where the Professor tells Susan and Peter off for not believing Lucy about Narnia existing.

I really feel the makers did a really good job of capturing all the little details in the books too. The varied creatures were amazing and the beavers were adorable. All those little things help to bring a film alive and they really did with this one.

This is one of those films that is great to re-watch as well. I think I may even do a marathon of all three that have been made so far.