Friday, May 23, 2008

Movie Review: C. of Narnia: Prince Caspian

I have to be quite honest, in that my experience with reading the books so many years ago, Prince Caspian was the weak book dealing with the main characters (I do not count Horse and his Boy or The Magician's Nephew in this... they are mere side stories to the main storyline. They are also books 5 and 6 in the old way of ordering the books. If you go to Borders, and look at my displays for Narnia, I have put the books in the order that I read them. ) So I thoroughly expect the next two movies (Silver Chair and Voyage of the Dawn Treader to be spectacular movies.

So my expectations for this movie were met, in that it wasn't the best book of the series, so it wouldn't have been the best movie (see also the HP series, where HP5 was the weakest book, so it has been, so far, the weakest movie). Overall, I give it a B-, which is in line with most critics. In fact, you can go to Yahoo! Movies and read most any critic's review, and they will, for once, be right.

Two things stuck out, one good, one bad. The bad first. Someone should have told the directors that it is not necessary to do slo-mo battle scenes for minutes on end. It became tedious and irritating. For me, battle scenes = potty breaks. But everyone loves them, so they have to be in each fantasy movie. BORING!!!

The wonderful part of the movie, and the only thing that keeps me from giving this a "Sea" (sorry, had to), was the Christian theme of faith and reliance upon God, instead of trying to do it yourself, which was better displayed in the film than even in the book. In this respect, the movie is better than the book, because the failings of Peter and Susan to not see Aslan, and further, the determination that Peter had to take back Narnia from Miraz (and the subsequent deaths that Peter was responsible for), all because he would not wait for Aslan to solve the problems in his own time. Of course, it was the lessons that Peter and Susan had to learn before going back to the real world. This theme alone makes the film worth seeing. I was very impressed with the ability to put such a worthy lesson in the middle of a contemporary movie.

I think that, in future fantasy films, people will start becoming tired of the endless battle scenes, and will yearn for fantasy without bloodshed. Of course, I'm dead wrong on this. There have been battle scenes in movies from Lawrence of Arabia to Star Wars to the upcoming Mummy movie, which I have no interest in seeing. This is why I have such a love for Anne McCaffrey's Pern books, or with the film The Neverending Story, because they can make wonderful fantasy works without having thousands die in battles (now most of which are CGI created ad nauseum.)

My opinion is, that if you haven't seen it yet, wait for it to come out on DVD and then rent it or whatever, so you can fast forward past the battle scenes, but pay attention to the themes of faith and responsibility, which makes it stand out as a children's movie.

Sunday, May 11, 2008


It's a serious topic, one that I've happened across lately with a friend of mine. I thought about my own life, and about what the causes of hurting one self actually is, what psychological relief it provides, and I realized that a lot of us have the same desires to hurt ourselves the same as people who have the need to cut or injure themselves. But I will admit I know very little about it, and so I did some research on the internet, and found this site, which makes it more clear than anything I could ever do:

Because it's not only physical harm that affects the same psychological release. When I was really depressed, I would go out and buy packs of Magic the Gathering cards at the bookstore in Macon near my class. It iddn't matter what it did to my credit card, or to my financial health. I did it anyway... or eating at Applebee's everyday. It didn't matter what it did to my health. Or even worse, when I got really mad or depressed because of an arguement I would have, I would go to bed without brushing my teeth, just because it would hurt me in the long run, but I didn't care.

And think of the people that gamble when they are broke, or drink, or whatever, even though they know of the harm it does, but do it anyway, out of some pent up anger at themselves or someone else. Or eating...yes we eat high sugar/fat foods when we are depressed, but is it more a issue of eating that way because we know that someday it's going to kill us? It's like former Governor Huckabe wrote in his book, Stop Digging your Grave with a Knife and Fork. It's so true, we know we're dying, and yet we do nothing about it. There must be some pent up anger, some need for validation in our lives to keep us striving to live longer. But without that, we simply give up, and we smoke anyway, or eat to clog our arteries. Course that brings up religious questions about what would be considered suicide, but that's another post.

We make our choices, and pray that they won't be bad, or at least not permanent. I know that the people that I know that would hurt themselves, because of one reason or another, are very dear to me, and they can always depend on me to see them through if they ever need my help. All they have to do is call me. And as for myself...well, I'll do my best, but sometimes, hurting yourself is necessary. In the words of Engiwook's wife, the witch from the Neverending Story, "It has to hurt if it's going to heal." Maybe we do need a little pain in our lives in order to gain the strength to get better again. Maybe we have lived in such a world where pain has been taken away by so many things, drugs, the government, our own sedentry lives, that we have to do things that are drastic just to feel anything anymore. It is a question I will revisit, and see if I can figure it our further. In the meantime, I shall pray for the strength to continue, for me, and for my friends.