Posted on 20. May, 2008 by The Gimcracker in Beratings, Movies
This movie scared me because I thought for a bit that I was not going to like it. Then I found myself trying to make myself like it, which only made me dislike it more. But in the end I was pleasantly surprised as to how well it was able to turn itself around.
So far, the Narnia movies have been a sad reminder that no one will ever make another saga the likes of The Lord of the Rings. However, that’s such a high standard that it doesn’t mean the Narnia movies aren’t good. You just have to remember when you watch them that they were made for kids, and you’ll be fine. I kept finding myself comparing this movie to Shrek and The Princess Bride, but then I remembered those two films were made for adults. Once you let the kid in you come out, you will be able to enjoy this movie much more.
The battle scenes are what made this movie good. As I said, I was afraid I wouldn’t like this movie. That’s because the first 10 minutes were good, but then it plummeted into oblivion for about the next hour. I’ll get to that in the next section. After about an hour or so, the film really started to pick up – starting with the castle invasion at night. The choreography was much better than I expected. I would even wager it was better than a lot of the fight scenes in Lord of the Rings and Gladiator. I get annoyed in large-scale battle scenes when the filmmakers get lazy and give me what I call “the blur”. It’s when they stop focusing on single characters and start bombarding me with flashes of carnage that I can’t understand in order to make me think I’m seeing an awesome battle. Narnia NEVER does that, thank goodness! Every battle scene was surprisingly well thought out and executed, and I truly could not take my eyes off of the screen during the battles.
I also immensely enjoyed the actors that portrayed the Telmarines. They seemed very foreign and ominous, and they felt like a new culture that I’ve never seen in our world. The Telmarines are the only reason this movie won’t get 2 beratings for acting.
And the scene with the White Witch came at the perfect time because I had forgotten all about her. This scene is what reminded me that there is actually a plot buried somewhere underneath the colorful, light surface of this story.
I will not dwell on the bad too much because I don’t feel like I need to convince you of anything. Here’s what is going to happen: you will go see this movie, want to like it, notice the exact same bad things as me, but decide overall that you did end up liking it. Besides the not-so-great acting, the plot was pretty sparse. I really had to struggle to dig a plot out of this film, and even though I loved the scene with the White Witch, that was the only part that held my attention plot-wise. A good movie will do this for at least half an hour, not 5 minutes.
I’ve prepared a visual aid which should help you understand how good this movie was from start to finish. The first 10 minutes were great, then it got really boring, and then it steadily climbed to become a good movie (mainly due to the battle scenes):
Yeah, yeah – I realize that wasn’t really necessary and I could’ve just explained it to you, but my boss walked in so I had to make a chart so it looked like I was working.
One more thing in the bad category. I want to ask Disney, or Walden, or whoever did this movie a question: how can you not create more life-like CGI animals? Come on – it’s 2008. I saw better graphics in Jurassic Park, and that was 15 years ago. The beaver, the mouse, the cheetah, the bear – they were all pretty fake. At least they did well with Aslan.
Acting – 1 berating
While the four children did better overall in this film, it is still not anything to write home about. They’ll get it by the next film I bet.
Plot – 1 berating
My eyes got candy, but my brain went hungry.
no beratings *UPDATE* 2 beratings
Very consistent with itself. It may be consistent with itself, but this movie is part of a greater story of which it is not consistent for many reasons that are better stated elsewhere. Upon further review, this film deserves 2 beratings for these inconsistencies. The ones that stick out to me most are the true characters of King Peter and Prince Caspian. They are not portrayed at all like they should be based on the book.
Unbelievable Events – no beratings
Believable, for the most part. The only unbelievable scene was the evil Telmarine leader lifted high in the air by the huge water creature. He would’ve at least fallen off his horse, if not the bridge itself. Not nearly enough to berate the film though.
Schematics – 1 berating
Good choreography, soundtrack, cinematography, landscape/object CGI, and battle sequences. Bad character CGI (isn’t that the most important thing to get right?)
5/10 Berating = See it OnDemand
0/10 Stand in line for the very first showing
1/10 See it the first weekend
2/10 See it at full price
3/10 See it at the Five-Buck-Club
4/10 See it at the dollar-fifty
>> 5/10 See it OnDemand
6/10 Rent it from Blockbuster
7/10 Watch it on TV
8/10 Watch it purely for spousal points
9/10 Never watch it
10/10 Buy it and publicly destroy it
This is my blog and I can change whatever I want. I recently changed my Berating of Ironman from 3/10 to 2/10, so there. Thanks for reading!
I’m sorry, Brian. But I’m going to have to somewhat disagree with you here. I was actually quite a bit disappointed with the end of the film. Especially when there was a song at the very end that REALLY didn’t fit the story and made it all overly sentimental (but that’s just me). Why, oh why do movies have to include these songs so much these days? Bleh! Sorry.
I felt like the plot was kind of bland throughout as well. The Telmarines made me think of Spaniards. I *do* agree that the CGInimals were pretty fake looking. *And* I don’t know why they threw in an extra scene with the White Witch that isn’t in the book at all.
Ben Barnes didn’t impress much as Caspian.
Okay, okay, okay. I really just kind of bashed the film. It was alrght overall, but I thought the first movie was muuuuch better. That being said, Caspian is probably my least favorite book in the series.
I am very much looking forward to the next film: Voyage of the Dawn Treader, which (with the exception of The Last Battle) is my favorite book.
I’d give Caspian a 5/10 (not that my opinion matters)
I was going to comment on that last song, which was so cheesy I wanted to dip nachos in it, but I decided not to because the post was already shaping up to be pretty long. I agree that it ruined the end of the movie. In fact, it’s funny you mention it because my first graph of goodness over time had a dip at the end representing how that song ruined the ending.
So, that scene with the White Witch wasn’t in the book? Too bad, because it was an awesome scene. Especially when Edmund shattered the image of the witch to reveal the “icon” of Aslan on the wall.
I can see your 5/10 rating, and your opinion matters just as much as mine. I just felt like it was better than a 5, and that a 7 suited it better. I remember getting chills a few times, and there has never been a movie that has given me chills that has gotten below a 5 rating from me.
I agree the scene with the White Witch was pretty cool. Especially because of that freakish hag-looking old lady beak-nosed rapscallion withered malcontent harpy-like balding gorgon sister….
I haven’t even seen it and I’ve already given it a 5/10, simply because the book is the most boring in the whole series, and I can’t believe they put the White Witch back in it. So of course now that I dislike it before I’ve seen it, when I inevitable do go see it, I might almost like it as much as I liked Baby Momma, which I thought was really entertaining.
I liked it. I hated the last 5 minutes – ruined the end and only proves that Hollywood and many Americans in general have NO class. I think I threw up some popcorn when the song started. Other than the end, and yes Bri-Bri, the CGI, I really liked it. It made me tingle. I cried. I’m still a man. I’m writing my own thoughts in blog form, since so many really didn’t like it. I think it even made it’s way into Fr. Dave’s homily last Sunday. He REALLY didn’t like it. LOL.
Oh – and the White Witch is in the book – briefly, but she is in it. They embellished the scene a little, but I thought it was good.
Good review Gimcracker.
I thought I remembered her being in the book at least a little bit. I’m glad you liked it Luke, as I have heard some bad reviews (although it got a positive score on Rotten Tomatoes).
LOL @ Baby Mamma
Really late on the comment here, but just finished my own review and was curious what all you guys thought.
About the witch scene, I also liked that scene in this movie, but I’m pretty sure it’s not like that in the book. The White Witch is mentioned, but never actually appears. And when Caspian finds out that its a werewolf and a hag, he gets angry and that’s when the fight starts. I didn’t like that in the movie, Caspian AND Peter have a weakness for the witch. That goes against both their characters, which made me not like an otherwise well done scene.
Once again, not knowing the book like I should allowed me to drink in this scene w/o any expectations, so I liked it. But after hearing the inconsistencies in the book, my opinion of the scene as it fits into the movie has changed.
Although as you mentioned in your review if there were no accompanying book, I believe the scene was very powerful.