I was horribly unimpressed. There were definitely things I liked about it, but overall I was horribly disappointed. They tried to do too much. Disney should have either made it a children's movie, or a more adult film (a la LOTR). Too much in-between made me feel like I watched a two-hour long WB11 scifi/fant thing. It hurts. Aside from the professor, and the visuals of the ice queen, nothing remarkable, aside from yet another battle scene. After the ride of the Rohirrim though, really, who can do something like that better? Once again, I am haunted by the spirit of the stories, as opposed to what was created in their image. Lewis never wanted any film representations of his work to be anything but animated. Many of the people I have read defending Disney in their decision to countermand the author's own preferences have said something along these lines: "Aslan was cgi, everything is O.K., no animal buggery or mockery". I couldn't disagree more. Like with the redux of Star Wars, the CGI adds an element of realism unattainable via any other medium, but, when mixed with traditional hollywood costuming, you end up with a mess. Many of the costumes for the Narnians were beautiful in their own right, but when you put a quasi-anamatronic minotaur in the same context as a mostly CGI centaur (or some unbelievably well rendered griffins), it creates a conflict. How can one move so fluidly, with the physics of its form matching so well with it's enviornment, and the other bounce and jostle, with completely unrealistic physics. This becomes even more confounding when you mix scenes that have a CGI rendered version of the creature that also has a costume. Why does it look like something Henson studios put out 20 years ago in one scene, and something that Lucasarts did this year in another? This was particularly evident in the scene at the broken table at Aslan's sacrifice.
Frustrating. The byproduct of having a love of the literature, and too-high expectations when it comes to putting them to film. Such is life, I guess. They did manage to not mangle too much of the storyline. The professor, as I said, was exemplary, though I was disappointed that you had to wait until credits to get the spoiler he reveals to Lucy in the end. All I can hope is that the kids who are getting this eye candy and the stupid happy meal toys that go along with it will actually sit and read the book.
I fucking doubt it, but I can hope.
Cows, Pigs, Wars, and Witches : The Riddles of Culture
When researching anthropological discourse on The Witches Hammer, I came across Harris, and an excerpt from CPWW. L.'s dad picked it up for me for xmas, and I devoured it all last week (when i was not sick). What I got was a light scholarly read with an entirely enjoyable pace, and a rather unique storytelling path. Harris builds section by section to support the theories he espouses on the varied subjects he has chosen to discuss. The only anticlimactic aspect of this, for me, was the closing chapter on "counter culture", which seemed to be the reason he spent all the time supporting all these lines of reason? The book is definitely a class guide, much as I have heard. Cannibals and Kings is. Aside from a bit about phantom cargo cult history, and a VERY well summarized two chapters on the Messianic image, and how Jesus the image fits into all of it, I didn't learn a whole lot new. I did, however, find some interesting meat for a short story I may work on, if I can ever bring myself to work on it.
I am hoping C&K may be more poignant, since I would not be reading it more than twenty years after its publication.
Overall, as I said, impressive vision, unfortunate denoumont.
This week, I have some frantic financial issues to shoot down, then I am off to Washington (the state, not the city) for a long-weekend. I don't know what my accessibility to the itnerwebs (phone or otherwise) will be whilst I am out there. I REALLY want to buy a camera before now and then, but I am just so fucking torn on the expense. Damn my frugal genes.
I plan on reading A Different Universe: Reinventing Physics from the Bottom Down as well as Knife of Dreams by the end of next week.