Two Bit Reviews
First, "Narnia." Good. Not great. A good rental which I'm glad I didn't have to spend more than $3 to see. Effects were uniformly excellent - there is a moment when the faun Tumnus walks into his house and chatters his hooves to knock snow off that is just perfect. Cute kids pretty much. Though I was often put off by the British spade-y toothedness of them. I loved the beaver couple - they were cute and just delightful. Problems abounded though. Aslan, the Christ figure of the show was voiced by Liam Neeson. I have nothing against the rangy Irish thespian but if you're going to image Our Saviour, use a voice talent whose face we don't picture every time we hear the voice, eh? And the grand battle to save Narnia just doesn't come across as grand. "Lord of the Rings" is one of the few movies where the grand battle with evil really felt like the Grand Battle With Evil. Finally, I can't imagine anyone other than Tilda Swinton to be cast as the White Witch, she of the bleached out appearance (see her in "Constantine" for another perverse performance) and seemingly translucent skin. And yet there is something about her that makes me ... I'll use the word "desire" her in lieu of admitting to perverse impulses of my own. I look at the White Witch and want her as I hate myself for wanting her. I don't think that's what C.S. Lewis had in mind!
I also watched Mr Potter's movie with the Giblets of Fire. What can one say? The kids are growing up handsome or pretty so good on them. The effects were less "real" than in the Narnia movie but very effective nonetheless. I liked the lake sequence a lot - fresh water mer-people with salmon or cod-like tails was a very smart touch. But it strikes me that the actual goblet of fire is a pretty small part of the story. Yes, yes, it sets it all in motion but it isn't a big deal in almost all other ways. It does, I suppose fit with the naming convention of the books though. I really liked the blue hats of the French girls - kind of sexy in a haute coture kind of way and distinct from the Gothic style of Hogwarts. Harry really should stop being such a clueless tool though. That's Voldemort Harry! Kick his ASS! Whew. Talk about not getting into the spirit of the series! Good movie. I'm somewhat sorry I didn't see it in the theater.