Monday, January 02, 2006

I Love Beavers

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe

Directed by: Andrew Adamson (Shrek)
Based on the book by: C.S. Lewis
Starring: A bunch of British people and Liam Neeson's voice.

Beavers are soft. Beavers are cuddly. Beavers are wet. Beavers are hairy. Beavers are a little smelly. And yes, some Beavers talk, as is the case in “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe” (phew!).

There are many talking animals in “The Chronicles of Narnia” and they’ve all got something important to say, mostly about the four British brats that stumble into their magical land of Narnia and are prophesized to save it.

We meet these little “Britbrats” as they flee their native England in order to escape Nazi bombings and to remain safe in the countryside. There are four kids, two boys, two girls, all within the age range of 8-15 and all with British twang.

A game of hide-and-seek reveals the wardrobe where the youngest girl Lucy hides and crosses over into the world of Narnia. She meets a goat/man named Tumus (or some shit like that) and they have tea and watch the fire and…

…Right. Boring. All right. So, the little brat goes back and tells her brothers and sisters and they don’t believe her but find their way into the wardrobe anyways and end up all going to Narnia. Of course the youngest boy, Edmond, follows the white queen for some Turkish delight (I’m not fucking with you).

The other three set off to find their brother, led by the aforementioned Beavers, who take the Britbrats to Aslan’s Camp. Aslan is this big fucking Lion that talks like Liam Neeson and growls so loud that little kids in the theater started crying. Pussies.

Anyways, on the way to see Aslan, the Britbrats run into Santa Claus and-

-What? You don’t believe me? Dude…

…So they run into Santa (a.k.a. Father Christmas) who gives them a bunch of weaponry which none of them know how to use, but hey, it’s Christmas and I’m sure that even Ralphie learned how to shoot that fucking Red Rider BB gun like the chicken hawk he aspired to be.

I don’t know what the fuck a chicken hawk is, but whatever.

So, the white queen, played by Tilda Swinton, who is probably best recognized as the crazy bitch that fucked Leo DiCaprio in “The Beach,” is pretty evil, but we don’t know why. In fact, we learn nothing about her, except that the bitch likes ice a lot and somehow has powers to turn creatures into frozen statues.

For some reason, this chick has frozen all of Narnia for more than one hundred years and it’s been winter ever since. Supposedly this has stopped Christmas from coming, but I don’t get that, because, shit, who doesn’t want a white Christmas? No excuse. Maybe the white queen blocks trade routes and taxes the hell out of elves and, oh hell, who cares, it’s a fantasy movie right?


Okay, so, the Britbrats are hunted by this pack of wolves commanded by the white queen (or is it Ice Queen, fuck, I can’t remember). The lead wolf sounds like Michael Madsen, y’know Mr. Blonde from “Reservoir Dogs,” but I read in the credits it was some other dude. Whatever.

All right, so the oldest boy kills that motherfucker and they knight him for it. Too bad he doesn’t live in Alaska and shoot rifles from airplanes. (*This joke meant for Alaskans only*)

So, Liam “Aslan the Lion” Neeson heads out to be sacrificed in place of young Edmond who was rescued from the clutches of the White Queen (fuck it. That’s what I’m callin’ her). This is some freakin’ Narnia tradition. It’s rather illogical but that’s the way it was.

So, Aslan is sacrificed on “the stone table” and dies. The two girl Britbrats watch and then go to the dead lion. They send a message back to Aslan’s camp through the trees (…nevermind) and the two male Britbrats form up their Army of Rhino’s, goatmen, eagles, beavers, cheetahs, and Zuckerman’s famous pig and get ready for battle.

Meanwhile, the two female Britbrats…sleep. Yeah, they take a little nap on the dead lion. The youngest chick has a bottle of magic stuff that can heal any wound and she’s about to pour it on the Lion to bring him back, but the other bitch stops her. Now…why?

I mean, why not give it a shot anyway? I would. Doesn’t that seem like something that a logical person would do?

“It’s too late. Your magic shit won’t work.”
“How the fuck do you know?”
“I just know.”
“Have you ever used this stuff before?”
“Well, no. But he’s dead. It’s too late.”
“Well, it won’t hurt to try at least. Who knows what could happen?”
“Honey, that will lead people out of the magical world.”
“What magical world?”
“We’re in Narnia. It’s a fantasy movie. We just follow the script.”
“Oh. Oh, right. Yeah. Fuck it, yeah, this shit totally won’t work. I’ll just put it away and we can get back to nappin’ on this dead lion’s corpse.”
“That’s a good sis.”

Okay, you got the point. And I’m totally nit picking, but that’s how I roll. So, the big battle comes and it’s pretty cool, but a little too PG. I realize it’s a kid’s movie and based on a kids book. I don’t care. It was as if a zoo was split in half and one side pitted against the other and they all met on a field and charged right into each other. Now, that would be a cool fucking movie!
So, there’s lots of slashing, hitting, crunching, and swordplay to make the little kids go wee wee in their diapers and the adults to nod in admiration. The White Queen gets out of her polar bear led chariot and fights the oldest male Britbrat. The fight would have been cooler if the kid was a little more versed in his choreography. The White Queen fought like Yen Woo Ping choreographed her, but this kid fought like he was swinging a baseball bat.

Yeah, yeah, fuck off, I realize he just got the sword from Santa, but I’m already suspending disbelief enough that I could surely stretch it further to believe that this kid could swing a sword better than a Granny with a cane fighting off a mugger.

So, they save the day and Narnia has sunshine again and they all become kings and queens of Narnia and we’ve all had a nice little time.

Now, I’m being totally cynical here and that’s just for fun. Narnia is a pretty good flick and I do nitpick, but hey, that’s my job. I never read any of the books by C.S. Lewis and do respect him as a writer. However, I do think a little more development was needed as far as history, motive, and origin to many of the characters.

This is like Low Fat Lord of the Rings. Similar taste, but something is definitely missing. I thought the animatronics and especially the make-up was awesome and wish to God that Hollywood would employ more of this than CGI. It truly makes a world of difference.

Anyways, a fun movie, enjoyable and easy, you won’t have to hurt your brain or google anything when you get home. You’re safe. Also, kudos to Harry Gregson-Williams who is fast becoming my favorite composer (all non-movie geeks may skip this part) Gregson-Williams continues to impress with every new score he does and with his triple play of “Kingdom of Heaven,” “Domino,” and “Narnia” he has done exceptionally well.

So, if you’re in the mood for wet, hairy, smelly Beaver and a sense of adventure and Lord of the Rings Light, then this movie is for you. It’s a good time.

Movie Grade: B+


Mr. Boy said...

Believe it or not...'bout 90% of all the effects were in fact CG...or so they say.

I read some article in Animation Magazine about how they used three FX studios and about five thousand computers to put it all together.

I haven't seen the movie yet, but that's the only positive aspect that people seem to agree on.

I agree the HGW score is solid. My only worry is that his work outshines the movie.

Plus, still not having seen Munich, Syriana, Kingdom of Heaven, Harry Potter 4, and Good Night & Good Luck...Narnia keeps getting bumped toward the bottom of my 'must-see' barrel.

Ol' Mr. Boy might wait for DVD.

Anonymous said...

Cherie says.....
Sean, you should see this. You kinda remind me of Mr. Thomnas (he's the goat boy in the movie). Now I mean this with as much love as possible....but I couldn't help but notice the striking similarities (well, not that you have hooves or anything).
Plus, Topher Grace wasn't in this movie so this guy is next on the looks-like-Sean list.

mr pibb+redvine = crazy delicious said...

The title of this blog was way too misleading. The content wasn't at all what I thought it would be.

agent Y said...

She said you look like Mr Tumnus...HA, maybe you can do the b-movie sequel. Or his stunt double. The white witch could turn YOU to stone! Kidding. I dont know you personally mr. boy, but I feel as though we are family. And I mean that in the most non-stalker-weirdo kind of way possible.

I didnt really read this one, like I dont some of the other movie crtiques, becuase I havent seen it yet. And i dont want to spoil it. But wait...havent I read the book...hmm.

I'd like a round of epiphany, please!