Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Prince Caspian DVD review

Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian is the second in the series, and since Disney just passed on Voyage of the Dawn Treader, I'm guessing it'll be the last one for a while. I liked The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardobe and was impressed by the young actors that carried the movie. Actually, the special effects carries the first movie, and luckily they used fewer special effects and a little more story instead. The movie picks up with Lucy, Edmund, Susan and Peter a year after they've returned from saving Narnia from the White Queen. They're not happy being students again after ruling Narnia as kings and queens. However, a thousand years have passed in the Narnia universe and another human kingdom has risen up with its own problems - Prince Caspian has been ousted by his evil uncle and fled into the forest. Just before he leaves he's given Susan's horn. When he's attacked by Narnians, whom he thought were extinct, he blows the horn, which recalls our kids from England. The story continues really creatively (following the book if memory serves) with our kids trying to figure out why things are so different and what's changed. They meet up with Trumpkin, a Narnian being killed by humans in a brilliant performance by an unrecognizable Peter Dinklage, who takes them through Narnia to find Prince Caspian. They join forces and try to defeat Caspian's uncle and his armies. The movie is long (145 minutes), but if you fast forward all the battle scenes it's only about 110 minutes, which is just right. It's easy to tell which scenes you need to see, there's fewer than 10 people in them. Like all of C.S. Lewis' books, there is lots of very clear Christ imagery, with the people doubting the return of Aslan failing to conquer, but the believers triumph. There's a moment of trying to make a deal with the devil (The White Queen in great special effects), and then God images appearing to smite the evil ones. It's not overwhelming, but clearly present. The acting is pretty good, the story fantastic, and the special effects don't get in the way. The fight scenes are too long, but with a remote in hand, it can be taken care of, no sweat. Good kids entertainment. 3.5 Lambs/Stars

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