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Chronicles of Narnia, The: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010)
Friday, December 10, 2010
Some frightening images and sequences of fantasy action.
Ben Barnes, Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes, Will Poulter
Michael Petroni, Richard LaGravanese
In the enchanted land of Narnia, Edmund and Lucy join King Caspian on a sworn mission to find the seven lost Lords of Narnia. So begins a perilous new quest that takes them to the farthest edge of the Eastern world on board the mighty Dawn Treader. Sailing uncharted seas, the old friends must survive a terrible storm, encounters with sea serpents, dragons and invisible enemies to reach lands where magicians weave mysterious spells and nightmares come true. They need every ounce of courage and the help of the great lion Aslan to triumph in their most hazardous adventure of all.
Chronicles of Narnia, The: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010) | Review
Better the Second (and Third) Time
In my "first impressions" review of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, I expressed regret that I knew to much about the film before I saw the pre-screening. These past three weeks have been one of turmoil inside myself as I debated how well I liked the movie. Talking to a couple experts on C S Lewis has helped my thinking. Will Vaus, who wrote The Hidden Story of Narnia, said in my interview with him (a few days before I saw the preview) that he tries "to enjoy each movie for what it is." His thoughts on Douglas Gresham (who he knows personally) and his role as Executive Producer were insightful.
I think a lot of people don't understand the process of movie making, and what it takes to translate a book into a film. Nor can they understand or appreciate what's involved for somebody who is managing a literary estate, and trying to make sure that these movies remain true to the original books. I think Doug Gresham is in a difficult position. I think he has taken a wise position in that he has to sign off on script before they can go ahead, and he's involved in the whole production process by being a co-producer. But there's a lot of give and take in that process. At a certain point he has to decide, "Am I going to say, 'no,' to this?" and thus not have a movie made at all. Or, "do we come up with a compromise and keep moving ahead?" He wants the movies to be true to the books, but he wants to keep moving ahead with these movies.I have come to appreciate Gresham's role, and the positive part he plays in the films, more and more over the past few weeks. (For more on this, see Douglas Gresham on Policing Narnia with the provided links, and Yo Snyder's interview with Gresham: Sailing Through Troubled Waters.)
I also have appreciated the insight of Inside Narnia author Devin Brown. In my interview with him this past week, he commented that "everyone has their favorite part that they wish made it in the movie." For those who are fans of the books, "our first love will always have to be" the books. So it's important to realize that it would be impossible to incorporate everything from the books into the movie. Even the Focus on the Family Radio Theatre version (whose creators were dedicated to making the series "the most faithful rendition" ever) made changes adapting the books.
So, when I went to see the movie again (both in 2-D and 3-D) this weekend, I was determined, as I had told Dr. Brown, to "to sit back and relax and enjoy what's there instead of trying to pick out what's not." What a difference. The second and third looks have me hooked—I am enthralled.
What struck me first about the movie is the attention to detail. Eustace's house was especially well done—from Eustace's room filled with dry, dusty books and jarred or pinned bugs; to Lucy's guest room with the worn-out furniture and the mirror splattered with black dots from age (also a great way to picture Lucy's thoughts about herself). The cinematography is also splendid—from the way shots are set up, to the fabulous use of lighting. And the special effects are even better than in Prince Caspian (although I'm still not crazy about 3-D).
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