Monday, December 19, 2005

The Lion, The Witch, and The White Trash

Wow, that's a wildly inappropriate beginning, but I'll run with it. Friday I took my cousins Ryan and Molly to see the latest in Hollywood's burgeoning stable of intolerably long titled franchises, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. The three of us had the theater to ourselves at first, but after the previews began a large family stumbled in, complete with already howling toddler, restless brother and sister, grandmother and obviously senile great grandmother. I appreciate the impulse for a family outing, of course. I was there with the kids myself. But there are also these concepts commonly known as bad ideas. And we were witnessing one.

The little girl was very clear about not wanting to be there, crying the whole time. Grandma was constantly getting up with her, pacing around the theater, trying to calm her, but not actually leaving for the lobby as would have been polite. To his credit, her brother was totally into what was going on on the big screen. He talked constantly, asking questions, but did so fairly quietly. I appreciate enthusiasm. Meanwhile, great grandma keeps randomly deciding the movie is over, trying to stand up, leave, before someone tells her to sit down, it's not over yet. Little sis is still sobbing.


I thought the movie was pretty generic for the most part, though the kids loved it. It proves the rule that bad guys are almost always way cooler, and in this case, literally. Tilda Swinton as the ice queen was pretty great, as was her ice castle. But the rest was fairly bland. I've never read the books, so I'm not sure how it fares as an adaptation. As for the Christian allegory, it's there but only in the sense that it uses the Jesus-type as a narrative. It'd be easy for the average viewer to miss it. During the movie, it got me to thinking about how much stronger a Jesus-narrative a movie like E.T. is. Which I'd never really thought about before, though I'm sure I'm late to that idea.


Is Christmas really this week? Wow. I did all my shopping last week, thankfully, online.


Rejection from The Canary, a journal I really like. Curses, foiled again.

And must get down to serious thinking about revisions, last ones, for Notes. It can always be improved, made better, sharper, leaner. February isn't far off.


Listening to, right this instant: "Back Up Train" by Al Green. Next: "More Than I Can Stand" by Bobby Womack.


Hannah said...

Did you or did you not think the movie Aslan was pretty lame? I mean...turned the whole "he's not a tame lion" into a bit of a non sequitur...


Paul said...

My reaction to most all of it is blah, Aslan included.

Steven D. Schroeder said...

"I remember another gentle visitor from the heavens. He came in peace and then died, only to come back to life. And his name was . . . ET, the extraterrestrial. I loved that little guy."
-Reverend Lovejoy (The Simpsons)

Paul said...

I should've known the Simpsons would've mined this already.

Josh_Hanson said...


Like you, it took me a long time to recognize the allegory of E.T. It was too close to me. That was probably my first real experience of a movie, you know, in the theater, totally transported, bawling when he died, etc.

Then, I watched it again a couple years ago with my kids and, what the hell, E.T. emerges from the back of the van, draped in a white sheet, arms outstretched, his heart visibly burning through his chest. It just bashes you over the head.

That Speilberg and his Catholocism...