Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Review: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

"Because there I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name. This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there."

Dawn Treader is flawed from the opening shot. The film skips over what is perhaps the best opening line of any novel. "There was once a boy named Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it." Instead, we are treated with a stunning 3-D shot of a cathedral, then exposition establishing the war, and some clumsy business showing us Edmund's desire for duty and Lucy's for beauty. I suppose that such a commercial movie demands some exposition tying it to the other films for uninitiated audiences, but one of the strengths of the book was that it stood so well on its own. Lewis' humorous description of the Scrubb family opens the book with a healthy dose of satirical social commentary. This turns into the subtle underlying message of the book; that modernism has destroyed our senses of wonder and creativity. This message is still relevant, but is largely abandoned for one of "faith and family". While some Christians may appreciate this, it will leave a sour taste in the mouths of most viewers.

Movie Review: Black Swan

Don't bring this guy, no matter how suave and worldly he may seem.

Black Swan is, without a doubt, the scariest movie I’ve ever seen. Admittedly, I haven’t seen any good horror movies (or any horror movies, for that matter), but even if I had, Black Swan would blow them all away. However, it’s a different kind of scary, one that makes it hard to place genre-wise. “Psychological thriller” is the term being bandied around to describe it, and that’s roughly accurate, but doesn’t quite capture the depth of it. Straight-up warning: Black Swan is definitely not for younger viewers.