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Eerie
2008-06-14, 12:52 PM
Just saw the movie recently. I found it quite good, on the level of the first Narnia movie (which I liked). The only decline comparing to the first movie is that the final battle wasn`t nearly intense enough. (The final fight scene from the first movie is in my pantheon alongside with the mecha battle from "Matrix: Revolutions".)

The best part, obviously, as in the first movie, was Angel Gabriel Tilda Swinton Her Imperial Majesty Jadis. So nice to see her alive incorporeal and well. All right, I understand the writers couldn`t let them actually summon her (damn, that would have been too awesome for this world), but if they won`t make her the Lady of the Green Kirtle from The Silver Chair, I`ll summon Cthulhu on their asses.

The worst part, obviously, as in the first movie, was Lord God Almighty Big Freaking Lion Aslan. Seriously, if I wanted Jesus I`d read Bible or some theological book.

Lucy once again failed to use her supernatural dagger-throwing ability. Come on, girl, cut some throat! You can do it.

Susan-kissing-Caspian part made me go totally WTF. Why is it even there? It`s not like they are going to ever meet again, not even after the freaking Rapture.

Music was utterly fantastic.

All in all, it is a good movie made from quite awful book. Nevertheless, with me on average those movies rank a bit higher than LotR (decent movie from a great book) and vastly higher than Harry Potter (abhorrent movies from a great books).

Discussion is welcome.

hamishspence
2008-06-14, 03:13 PM
while the Rapture in The Last Battle and exclusion of Susan was one of the more irritating elements of the series, it should be remembered that while the others, and the parents, had died simultaneously, Susan was still alive. Would you expect their afterlife to be delayed? There was an essay somewhere suggesting Susan might meet them again, at the end of her life, which might be quite a lot later. Not sure what Lewis had to say on the subject.

sikyon
2008-06-14, 03:21 PM
Just saw the movie recently. I found it quite good, on the level of the first Narnia movie (which I liked). The only decline comparing to the first movie is that the final battle wasn`t nearly intense enough. (The final fight scene from the first movie is in my pantheon alongside with the mecha battle from "Matrix: Revolutions".)

That was terrible tactics from the spaniards. Who uses calvarly to make an unsupported charge?!?!



The worst part, obviously, as in the first movie, was Lord God Almighty Big Freaking Lion Aslan. Seriously, if I wanted Jesus I`d read Bible or some theological book.


Seriously, if you wanted non-Jesus Aslan then you should have read the book or something.



Susan-kissing-Caspian part made me go totally WTF. Why is it even there? It`s not like they are going to ever meet again, not even after the freaking Rapture.


Teenagers.



The biggest problem I had with the movie was the end. So lets see: They crush the invading army and kill them all. Then, they return to the city where the spanish are from and they get a ticker tape parade?!?! From the people who's fathers/sons/brothers/husbands are now dead? Christ, that's rediculous. "Oh well they killed my 2 sons and my husband, these abbhorant freaks of nature. Hmmm... well, we're fresh out of maltov cocktails so we better throw them a ticker-tape parade! They'll never get the glitter out! MUAHAHAHA"

Eerie
2008-06-14, 03:28 PM
while the Rapture in The Last Battle and exclusion of Susan was one of the more irritating elements of the series, it should be remembered that while the others, and the parents, had died simultaneously, Susan was still alive. Would you expect their afterlife to be delayed? There was an essay somewhere suggesting Susan might meet them again, at the end of her life, which might be quite a lot later. Not sure what Lewis had to say on the subject.

I know what Lewis said about it later and don`t care. Important is what he wrote in the books. And the way Lewis disposes of Susan and makes the characters dispose of her is disgusting. Also, the ending of The Last Battle leaves an impression that the Rapture happened in all worlds, not just Narnia.

Anyway, christianity irritates me. :smallannoyed:

Innis Cabal
2008-06-14, 03:38 PM
I know what Lewis said about it later and don`t care. Important is what he wrote in the books. And the way Lewis disposes of Susan and makes the characters dispose of her is disgusting. Also, the ending of The Last Battle leaves an impression that the Rapture happened in all worlds, not just Narnia.

Anyway, christianity irritates me. :smallannoyed:

Then Narnia isnt really for you...is it?

Lewis was a very spiritual man, and it leaked into his works. The movie(i felt) was an awful piece of garbage and i only saw it because Ironman was already wel into an hour of it, and Death note was right after it at that particular theatre. Even my girlfriend who found such films as Doogle and Hoodwinked to be amazing was disgusted by the amature acting talents, needles walking down mountain path montages and several not in the book moments.

Eerie
2008-06-14, 03:39 PM
That was terrible tactics from the spaniards. Who uses calvarly to make an unsupported charge?!?!

Indeed, really stupid.


Seriously, if you wanted non-Jesus Aslan then you should have read the book or something.

Look, I know about Aslan. I just wish he wasn`t there. Takes all tension away from the plot. How can you possibly lose with the God on your side?


The biggest problem I had with the movie was the end. So lets see: They crush the invading army and kill them all. Then, they return to the city where the spanish are from and they get a ticker tape parade?!?! From the people who's fathers/sons/brothers/husbands are now dead? Christ, that's rediculous. "Oh well they killed my 2 sons and my husband, these abbhorant freaks of nature. Hmmm... well, we're fresh out of maltov cocktails so we better throw them a ticker-tape parade! They'll never get the glitter out! MUAHAHAHA"

Yes, forgot that one. My explanation is that they were welcoming Caspian, who was Telmarian and probably was considered by the populace to be the real king. And since the rebels in fact didn`t "killed them all", but behaved very gallantly to the soldiers, I quess Telmarians had no problems to accept them and blamed the deaths on Miraz, who was the one who started the war.

That, or they were afraid the narnians will massacre them if they show discontent. :smallamused:

Eerie
2008-06-14, 03:43 PM
Then Narnia isnt really for you...is it?

But I enjoyed the movie. :smallwink:

hamishspence
2008-06-14, 03:43 PM
it was time, not location, I was thinking of. the parents are present, later, because they died at the same time.

Lewis's Christianing had its odd points, Emeth is apparently a follower of Tash, but because what he does matters more than who he's doing it for, he gets in. Or, to paraphrase "an honest, unselfish, kind satanist is serving god, even if he thinks he's serving the Other Guy"

Eerie
2008-06-14, 04:02 PM
it was time, not location, I was thinking of. the parents are present, later, because they died at the same time.

Yes, but just moments earlier the whole Narnia died. And then the heaven versions of both world are shown. So I always assumed that both worlds died.


Lewis's Christianing had its odd points, Emeth is apparently a follower of Tash, but because what he does matters more than who he's doing it for, he gets in. Or, to paraphrase "an honest, unselfish, kind satanist is serving god, even if he thinks he's serving the Other Guy"

Yes, he`s not being very orthodox here, because basically he is saying that you don`t need to believe in Jesus to go to Heaven. I can totally see some people screaming anathema as they read it.

But he is still annoyingly didactic.

JadedDM
2008-06-14, 07:07 PM
Susan was meant to be symbolic of atheism, wasn't she? She stopped believing, so wasn't welcome in the afterlife--but one day she may 'return to the path' and be allowed to join the others. That's how I saw it, anyway.

Tirian
2008-06-14, 07:12 PM
I know what Lewis said about it later and don`t care. Important is what he wrote in the books. And the way Lewis disposes of Susan and makes the characters dispose of her is disgusting. Also, the ending of The Last Battle leaves an impression that the Rapture happened in all worlds, not just Narnia.

I don't think either the train accident in England or getting tossed into the shed is very much Rapturous, much less that all worlds are experiencing the Apocalypse at the same time. I think they make it as clear as they can that the nine of them (including the Pevinse parents) were actually killed in the crash instead of vanishing into thin air as the Rapture prophesies. In Narnia, they didn't vanish either and about half of the people who went through the door weren't saved at all.

As far as "The Problem of Susan"*, ehhhh. Yeah, I get why people are enraged about it, but ehhhh. I think that Lewis wanted to illustrate that there are people in the world who have undeniable spiritual experiences and then deny them, and I can't really blame him for taking the step of having one of the kids estrange themselves from Narnia. Once you make that decision, Susan is the only viable candidate; Eustace and Jill are in the mission, Peter is the High King, Diggory and Lucy are Lewis and his goddaughter, Edmond has already betrayed Narnia, and no one would care if Polly were missing.

Frankly, I don't think the story would have been better if Susan had been there. She hardly got any lines in the books she was in, because Lewis really didn't need her and it's true that he didn't think much of women anyway. On the other hand, it isn't really out of her character that she wasn't into Narnia the way everyone else was and was becoming socially networked back at the beginning of Dawn Treader. It's almost a good mark that we're still talking about it fifty years later; it's not like anyone ever complains about how the Wizard in the Oz books starts off the series as a humbug, is recast as a sinister usurper in the second book, and is later retconned back into a noble person who becomes an actual magician.

* refers to fanfic written by a young Neil Gaiman on the subject of whether a middle-aged Susan would return to Narnia. I warn you, if you ever read it you will never ever be able to unread it.

DraPrime
2008-06-14, 08:48 PM
Anyway, christianity irritates me. :smallannoyed:

How religiously tolerant of you....

Innis Cabal
2008-06-14, 08:55 PM
How religiously tolerant of you....

And how tolerante you are of general disdain of religion. Lewis was also rather disdainful of the whole affair before he set out to disprove the existance of god, and we see exactly where he ended up. So long as the guy isnt burning down churchs i think anyone's entitled to their own opinion without others judging them snidely

Finn Solomon
2008-06-14, 09:36 PM
Screw the religious debate. Anna Popplewell is cute.

DementedFellow
2008-06-14, 11:00 PM
it was time, not location, I was thinking of. the parents are present, later, because they died at the same time.

Lewis's Christianing had its odd points, Emeth is apparently a follower of Tash, but because what he does matters more than who he's doing it for, he gets in. Or, to paraphrase "an honest, unselfish, kind satanist is serving god, even if he thinks he's serving the Other Guy"

The followers of Tash in the books were clearly Muslim though, not Satanists. I never really saw a parallel with Satanism in the books. Even Jadis, who was around when Aslan breathed life into Narnia was only slightly maligned to Lucifer, but only from the standpoint that they both were there at the beginning, not that Jadis and Aslan had a similar relationship like in the Christian Creation story.

EDIT:
Aslan later reveals that he is Tash or rather, Tash is a mask of him. Implying that it really doesn't matter who you believe in, so long as you are a good guy

At least that is what I remember from the last book. It's been about 7 years since I read it, though.

Closet_Skeleton
2008-06-15, 03:53 AM
Yes, he`s not being very orthodox here, because basically he is saying that you don`t need to believe in Jesus to go to Heaven. I can totally see some people screaming anathema as they read it.

Somewhere, St. Augustine of Hippo is turning in his grave.

But he'd probably do that anyway so whatever.

I always thought that Susan couldn't go back to Narnia because she'd grown up and only children could go to Narnia.

Eerie
2008-06-15, 07:35 AM
How religiously tolerant of you....

Never, never ask my opinion about Islam. :smallamused:

Eerie
2008-06-15, 07:39 AM
The followers of Tash in the books were clearly Muslim though, not Satanists. I never really saw a parallel with Satanism in the books. Even Jadis, who was around when Aslan breathed life into Narnia was only slightly maligned to Lucifer, but only from the standpoint that they both were there at the beginning, not that Jadis and Aslan had a similar relationship like in the Christian Creation story.

EDIT:
Aslan later reveals that he is Tash or rather, Tash is a mask of him. Implying that it really doesn't matter who you believe in, so long as you are a good guy

At least that is what I remember from the last book. It's been about 7 years since I read it, though.

You need to reread it, then, because Tash is Satan. Yep, Lewis wan`t very kind to Muslims there. :smallamused:

Eerie
2008-06-15, 07:41 AM
I always thought that Susan couldn't go back to Narnia because she'd grown up and only children could go to Narnia.

As opposing to Polly and Diggory. :smallsigh:

DementedFellow
2008-06-15, 07:48 AM
You need to reread it, then, because Tash is Satan. Yep, Lewis wan`t very kind to Muslims there. :smallamused:

Really? I seem to recall those of Tash having a crescent moon as a holy symbol. Just like Islam.

Eerie
2008-06-15, 07:49 AM
I don't think either the train accident in England or getting tossed into the shed is very much Rapturous, much less that all worlds are experiencing the Apocalypse at the same time. I think they make it as clear as they can that the nine of them (including the Pevinse parents) were actually killed in the crash instead of vanishing into thin air as the Rapture prophesies. In Narnia, they didn't vanish either and about half of the people who went through the door weren't saved at all.

In Narnia, all creatures went to the door and about half didn`t get through because they went to hell instead.



As far as "The Problem of Susan"*, ehhhh. Yeah, I get why people are enraged about it, but ehhhh. I think that Lewis wanted to illustrate that there are people in the world who have undeniable spiritual experiences and then deny them, and I can't really blame him for taking the step of having one of the kids estrange themselves from Narnia.

Well, I can blame him all right. He screwed the book. For a start, there was no tendency in Susan to do it. If you going are to kill off a character, at least justify it somehow...


On the other hand, it isn't really out of her character that she wasn't into Narnia the way everyone else

Erm, she, you know, lived there for several years, along with the others.


it's not like anyone ever complains about how the Wizard in the Oz books starts off the series as a humbug, is recast as a sinister usurper in the second book, and is later retconned back into a noble person who becomes an actual magician.

I`m sure many people do complain. Internet. :smallsmile:

kamikasei
2008-06-15, 07:56 AM
As far as "The Problem of Susan"*
...
* refers to fanfic written by a young Neil Gaiman

As far as I can see, it was written in 2004, or at least was written for an anthology published then.


How religiously tolerant of you....

You don't generally describe someone as tolerant of things they like. Tolerance is what one exercises towards things that irritate you.

hamishspence
2008-06-15, 08:50 AM
A chronology of Narnia (not sure how official it is) states that the Calormenes are descended from Archenland bandits who fled south. So, descended originally, from the founding King and Queen of Narnia. they were not muslims who got transported into Narnia.

The Dwarfs in Last Battle were a better portrayal of Lewis's view of atheism: they get in, but they do not see it, and believe it to be a murky hole. Also, it is believed that the Lady of the Green Kirtle is a thinly veiled portrayal of one of his atheist colleagues: at least, that is the prevailing assumption.

DementedFellow
2008-06-15, 08:53 AM
A chronology of Narnia (not sure how official it is) states that the Calormenes are descended from Archenland bandits who fled south. So, descended originally, from the founding King and Queen of Narnia. they were not muslims who got transported into Narnia.

The Dwarfs in Last Battle were a better portrayal of Lewis's view of atheism: they get in, but they do not see it, and believe it to be a murky hole. Also, it is believed that the Lady of the Green Kirtle is a thinly veiled portrayal of one of his atheist colleagues: at least, that is the prevailing assumption.

No, it's not that they are Muslims, but rather they are allegorical to Muslims. What with the crescent moon and the red skin.

pendell
2008-06-15, 09:36 AM
Indeed, really stupid.


To be fair, unsupported cavalry charges were not unknown in European warfare IRL. Not everyone who has ever commanded a military unit has actually been good at it. The book, incidentally, sniffs at Miraz as 'no great captain'.

Also, there seems to be a certain amount of arrogance as well -- a cavalry charge that would be a total disaster against trained troops would make untrained peasants break and run for the hills. Miraz seems to have believed the Narnians were of the second type. It's a common mistake, and was made in the Battle of Bunker Hill (1775) when the UK Royal army charged militia entrenchments *three times* head on because they expected the militia to break and run. The catastrophic casualty rate meant they didn't try it again.

Miraz seems to have, because of arrogance, underestimated the morale and skill level of the Narnian troops. Which is actually fairly plausible.




Look, I know about Aslan. I just wish he wasn`t there. Takes all tension away from the plot. How can you possibly lose with the God on your side?



If that is so, how did the Telmarines enslave Narnia in the first place?

I don't think it's fair to say that Aslan is on the Narnian's "side'. I would say rather he's on his own.



Yes, forgot that one. My explanation is that they were welcoming Caspian, who was Telmarian and probably was considered by the populace to be the real king. And since the rebels in fact didn`t "killed them all", but behaved very gallantly to the soldiers, I quess Telmarians had no problems to accept them and blamed the deaths on Miraz, who was the one who started the war.

That, or they were afraid the narnians will massacre them if they show discontent. :smallamused:

Add to that the fact this was also a Telmarine civil war between Caspian and Miraz, and Miraz was a tyrant. Historical parallel: King Charles had a big army in the English civil war, but there was still a fair amount of rejoicing when he lost.

Maybe they were walking through a pro-Caspian section of town :).

Respectfully,

Brian P.

pendell
2008-06-15, 09:43 AM
Incidentally, can I just remind those of you arguing
Emeth/Calormenes/Muslims/Tash-is-Satan/I-don't-like-Christianity
that all such discussions are verboten on this board? I liked the movie AND the book. I don't want to see this thread get locked.

And I sincerely hope that doesn't constitute 'vigilante modding' on my part. I'm not trying to do people's jobs for them. I just feel like I'm watching people dance on the top of Mount Olympus in a rainstorm wearing copper armor screaming "Zeus is a pansy!" and I'm watching the clouds nervously ...


Respectfully,

Brian P.

hamishspence
2008-06-15, 09:55 AM
Good point. Haven't seen the movie yet: one of the more interesting bits in the book was Bacchus and the Maenads: notable figures from ancient Greek mythology. Did that make it into the movie?

Illiterate Scribe
2008-06-15, 10:42 AM
I really wish that I had a multi-report button.

warty goblin
2008-06-15, 10:45 AM
Movie wise I really didn't like Prince Caspian that much.

1) The entire thing felt completely arbitrary. Minotaurs used to be bad, but now are good? And we are supposed to be on their side against a bunch of humans we have never seen do anything bad, but may have 1,500 years earlier? Um, why?

2) There was enough Mary Suedom dripping from the trees to erode an entire continent. First four kids show up and everything decides that now they can really get this rebellion thing goin', because everybody knows you can't throw a decent armed insurrection without a quartet of pre-adolescents. That however was not enough, and in the best moment of the movie they were still getting their asses kicked, so Mary-Sue in chief Aslan had to show up and bring down some completely arbitrary smack, which kind of makes me wonder why I had to sit through the last 30 minutes of guys getting stabbed by mice in order to get here. I mean really, if Aslan is supposed to be good, and the Narnians are supposed to be good, what the hell was he doing for most of the movie? Getting a manicure? Really quite typical Mary Sue behavior, he shows up several hours too late, wins in a completely random fashion, and everybody goes all worshipful- never mind the fact that if he had bestirred himself a few hours earlier many more of them would be alive.

3) Which brings me to the bit where once again we are supposed to take away the lession that warfare is bad, even though we just saw a whole ton of faceless mooks bit it in supposedly 'cool' ways, and it's all made OK in the end because the feel-good plot device gets busted out and everybody who actually speaks a line survives. Also, in the greatest act of Mary Suedom ever, the rodent gets his tail back, which is supposed to make us view Aslan as benevolent, when in fact it just comes off as creepy, all of the other wounded and dying people around, and he's spending his time restoring the pride of homicidal overgrown vermin?

loopy
2008-06-15, 12:11 PM
A couple of things I remember from watching the movie.

1) Wanting to play a chivalrous mouse in my next D&D campaign.
2) Seeing a werewolf and pretty much going: "Oh, werewolf, awesome. That's the only thing I remembered from the book anyway."
3) Watching the Minotaur hold up the gate in the first big battle and thinking: "Strength check. Strength check. Strength check. Ooh, critical success!"

That's pretty much all I remember.

Eerie
2008-06-15, 12:36 PM
Movie wise I really didn't like Prince Caspian that much.

1) The entire thing felt completely arbitrary. Minotaurs used to be bad, but now are good? And we are supposed to be on their side against a bunch of humans we have never seen do anything bad, but may have 1,500 years earlier? Um, why?

Minotaurs weren`t bad, they just were on the side of Jadis centuries ago. It`s a bit like saying Germans are bad. Lewis also shows two creatures, hag and werewolf, who are still bad, but it makes you wonder if they are inherently bad.

Everything else you wrote is 100% right, but all of it is the books fault. If they tried to get rid of it, they might as well write a completely new script. They still did a good movie from a bad book.

Eerie
2008-06-15, 12:38 PM
Good point. Haven't seen the movie yet: one of the more interesting bits in the book was Bacchus and the Maenads: notable figures from ancient Greek mythology. Did that make it into the movie?

Nope, only the river god made it in.

Eerie
2008-06-15, 12:39 PM
1) Wanting to play a chivalrous mouse in my next D&D campaign.


Oh, right, the mouse was a real BAMF.

loopy
2008-06-15, 12:56 PM
Oh, right, the mouse was a real BAMF.

And inexplicably, I am now left wishing he had been voiced by Samuel Motherf***ing Jackson.

Kidding, kidding.

Tirian
2008-06-15, 01:49 PM
As opposing to Polly and Diggory. :smallsigh:

First, Polly and Diggory (along with Peter, Edmond, and Lucy who were also "too old") weren't in Narnia in The Last Battle, they were in True Narnia: the part of Heaven whose shadow is Narnia. Second, as they say in the book, the issue isn't your chronological age but losing your sense of childlike wonder and admitting the possibility of the supernatural.

On Gaiman's "The Problem of Susan":


As far as I can see, it was written in 2004, or at least was written for an anthology published then.

Yes, published in 2004. Written long before (I honestly don't know how long), and it sat in Gaiman's notebook for ages because he didn't think it would survive a legal challenge from Lewis' estate. He talks about it here (http://rollick.livejournal.com/423627.html), and I will meekly agree with his assessment that it is an "intensely problematic" work. It's not quite bad, but as I say there is a scene in there that you won't be able to unread.


I don't think it's fair to say that Aslan is on the Narnian's "side'. I would say rather he's on his own.

To use the words from the books themselves, Aslan is "not a tame lion". He's omnipotent and benevolent, but if he were also vigilant then there wouldn't be plights that required the intervention of plucky British teenagers. :smalltongue:


Well, I can blame him all right. He screwed the book. For a start, there was no tendency in Susan to do it. If you going are to kill off a character, at least justify it somehow...

In Prince Caspian, Susan sees Aslan on their night march through the forest but initially denies it, as I read it because she is irritated that he favors Lucy. And at the beginning of Dawn Treader, she is described as being off in America with her parents climbing the social ladder, which is as much of a spiritual death sentence to Lewis as being a fat kid who watches television in a Roald Dahl book. And remember that Lewis wasn't writing a heptalogy in the way that the Harry Potter books were. There is virtually no intra-book foreshadowing in the first three stories Lewis wrote because he didn't realize that he was going to be writing more. So I was surprised but not shocked; evidently, you feel differently.

It is true that I have my share of friends who think that The Last Battle is the worst book in the series with the half-length adventure and heavy moralizing, and I can accept their viewpoint (although you may guess from my username that I feel differently). But I have a harder time believing that it was the single decision that Aslan simultaneously kill every Son of Adam and Daughter of Eve he ever met except Susan that ruined the book. As I suggest, write her into the story back in the middle of the line and give her the same bland infrequent dialog that Edmond gets. Has that honestly saved the story? I think it's more quite a bit more interesting to debate whether Susan will eventually renounce her apostasy than the standard "everyone lives happily ever after" ending.

Mind you, I'd prefer that he had written that page better. The "lipstick and nylons" line is worthy of the condemnation that it has received. I think that is prime advice for writers: if you are going to write an earth-shattering plot twist that is going to vex half of your audience, be certain that you write an argument that is clear and beautiful enough to stand the test of time, because if you are lucky it will have to.

kamikasei
2008-06-15, 02:37 PM
On Gaiman's "The Problem of Susan":
...
Yes, published in 2004. Written long before (I honestly don't know how long), and it sat in Gaiman's notebook for ages because he didn't think it would survive a legal challenge from Lewis' estate.

Strange; the copy of Fragile Things I have to hand states that it was written for the anthology in which it was published. Apparently it was in limbo for a while. However, I don't think characterizing it as "fanfic by a young Neil Gaiman" is quite fair.

Tirian
2008-06-15, 04:29 PM
Strange; the copy of Fragile Things I have to hand states that it was written for the anthology in which it was published. Apparently it was in limbo for a while. However, I don't think characterizing it as "fanfic by a young Neil Gaiman" is quite fair.

I don't want to call anyone a liar. Maybe he carried around a rough draft forever and was commissioned to clean it up.

And, okay, if you've won three Hugo awards and write a short story based entirely on another author's work, then I'm inclined to call it a "character study" or an "homage", and three-quarters of the story meets that criteria. But when the other quarter is two utterly incompatible characters engaged in graphic bestial sex for no plot-related motivations (so far as I could tell, but I admit that my eyes were bleeding pretty heavily at that point), you get demoted back down to "fanfiction" no matter who you are.

Eerie
2008-06-15, 04:49 PM
To use the words from the books themselves, Aslan is "not a tame lion". He's omnipotent and benevolent, but if he were also vigilant then there wouldn't be plights that required the intervention of plucky British teenagers. :smalltongue:

Blind Messiah? Smith would love it.



In Prince Caspian, Susan sees Aslan on their night march through the forest but initially denies it, as I read it because she is irritated that he favors Lucy.

As opposing to Peter and Edmond who didn`t see him at all, AFAIR.


And at the beginning of Dawn Treader, she is described as being off in America with her parents climbing the social ladder, which is as much of a spiritual death sentence to Lewis as being a fat kid who watches television in a Roald Dahl book.

WTF is "climbing the social ladder" anyway? :smallamused:



I think it's more quite a bit more interesting to debate whether Susan will eventually renounce her apostasy than the standard "everyone lives happily ever after" ending.

I like the grittier version better. IE, you go to hell and you stay there. FOREVER! :smallfurious:

Jamin
2008-06-15, 08:41 PM
As opposing to Peter and Edmond who didn`t see him at all, AFAIR.


Not true. in the book they both see him but later than Lucy.

I loved this movie it is my favorite movie of all times. It has all the things I love a nice message, good action, comedy, some of the best acting I think save Susan who I didn't like. I cried at the part when they get trapped behind the gate.

Eerie
2008-06-19, 05:01 AM
Not true. in the book they both see him but later than Lucy.

They saw him later than Susan.


I loved this movie it is my favorite movie of all times. It has all the things I love a nice message, good action, comedy, some of the best acting I think save Susan who I didn't like. I cried at the part when they get trapped behind the gate.

The movie is great. Don`t know about the message... what was the message anyway?

pendell
2008-06-19, 07:24 AM
To me, the message is -- suitably de-religionized -- faith in the good. A refusal to give up even when things look darkest.


When the movie starts, tyrants rule the land. The good king is a prisoner
in his own castle, soon to be murdered.

Then the kids arrive .. and they totally screw things up. They lead a raid on the castle which fails utterly, and they lose a lot of good people, shot down like fish in a barrel. That's a very apt analogy for the trap, by the way.

It's at this point ... when things look darkest ... that people are tested in their faith.

Nikabrik fails the test. He decides that the good is a failure, and thus turns to evil. He finds evil creatures, and conspires with them to call up an evil spirit.

In Star Wars Terms, Nikabrik has chosen the 'quick and easy path'. He needs power, and he's found someone willing to give it to him. So he makes a bargain with the devil -- near-literally - in order to gain all the things he wants.

He has no faith that the good will win out despite the odds. He's not willing to be patient. Instead he reaches for the easy answer, the obvious answer.

But it's a rejection that Caspian and the others do not join him in. They reject the witch because Edmund, for one, KNOWS what's really there behind the temptation. And Lucy has faith too ... as she tells Peter, who REALLY defeated the White Witch?



I think the above is also an important point, because there isn't just evil among the Telmarines. There is good and evil on the Narnian side as well. The Telmarines are your basic lawful neutral humans led by a lawful evil king. By contrast, the Narnians are split between some people who are really, really good, and some others who are really, really, REALLY evil.

So I think that's another important point that Lewis, A WWI veteran, made: that the war isn't just about getting liberty from the Telmarines. It's also about what kind of Narnia will exist after the Telmarines are gone. You have two clear images of a new Narnia that will succeed the Telmarine kingdom, and one is immeasurably worse than a thousand years of Telmarine domination.

And that's something I like about this book. This is not a straight good-vs.-evil war where all the evil creatures are on one side and all the good creatures on the other. In the movie and in the book, there are honorable Telmarines who are fighting on the wrong side. And there are Narnians who are almost literally too evil to live. There is a war of good vs. evil, but it doesn't necessarily match up with the physical war being fought with weapons.

Nikabrik's inability to make that distinction is what makes him the Redcloak of this story.

SOD and Caspian spoilers:


Just as Redcloak was willing to bargain with Xykon to get justice for the goblin people, so Nikabrik was willing to bargain with Jadis to get justice for the dwarves. Narnia was fortunate in that he was unsuccessful. But he allowed his means to become confused with his ends, and the result would have been greater evil for everyone if he had succeeded.



So to me the book and the movie convey Nietzhe's warning: Not to become so concerned with fighting monsters that you become a monster yourself. To have faith that the good will win in the end, which means there are certain lines you don't cross when fighting evil. To trust that, even when things look there darkest, that the cavalry


or the trees and a great big talking lion


can come riding over the hill at the last second. The trick is to hold on for that last second through all the hours and days and years before it.

It's a similar message to The Last Battle .. the thing is, where Prince Caspian seems (to me) to teach hope in difficulty, the idea that the good will win in the end, the Last Battle takes the idea to the next level -- y'know, sometimes the good doesn't win, at least not in this world. Some days the bad guys do win a complete, total victory. Some days all the main characters get killed off and the universe gets destroyed. And yet even then there's hope, because even then it isn't necessarily the end of the story. That's literally true in the Last Battle, where the deaths of all the characters and the destruction of the planet mark a halfway point in the story.

So that's the 'message' I took away from Prince Caspian -- invest in the faith, hope, and love business despite the apparent triumph of evil in the near term. A platitude, yes, but a platitude sometimes worth hearing.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

Krrth
2008-06-19, 10:10 AM
I didn't like this movie. To me, it butchered the characters. I mean, when did Peter become such a self absorbed jerk? And Caspian was simply an idiot. It seems like they cut out all the scenes that didn't deal with combat.
I did like a few things about the movie, but all in all, to me shoved the book in a shreader in an attempt to make it more visually appealing.

warty goblin
2008-06-20, 02:27 AM
To me, the message is -- suitably de-religionized -- faith in the good. A refusal to give up even when things look darkest.


When the movie starts, tyrants rule the land. The good king is a prisoner
in his own castle, soon to be murdered.

Then the kids arrive .. and they totally screw things up. They lead a raid on the castle which fails utterly, and they lose a lot of good people, shot down like fish in a barrel. That's a very apt analogy for the trap, by the way.

It's at this point ... when things look darkest ... that people are tested in their faith.

Nikabrik fails the test. He decides that the good is a failure, and thus turns to evil. He finds evil creatures, and conspires with them to call up an evil spirit.

In Star Wars Terms, Nikabrik has chosen the 'quick and easy path'. He needs power, and he's found someone willing to give it to him. So he makes a bargain with the devil -- near-literally - in order to gain all the things he wants.

He has no faith that the good will win out despite the odds. He's not willing to be patient. Instead he reaches for the easy answer, the obvious answer.

But it's a rejection that Caspian and the others do not join him in. They reject the witch because Edmund, for one, KNOWS what's really there behind the temptation. And Lucy has faith too ... as she tells Peter, who REALLY defeated the White Witch?



I think the above is also an important point, because there isn't just evil among the Telmarines. There is good and evil on the Narnian side as well. The Telmarines are your basic lawful neutral humans led by a lawful evil king. By contrast, the Narnians are split between some people who are really, really good, and some others who are really, really, REALLY evil.

So I think that's another important point that Lewis, A WWI veteran, made: that the war isn't just about getting liberty from the Telmarines. It's also about what kind of Narnia will exist after the Telmarines are gone. You have two clear images of a new Narnia that will succeed the Telmarine kingdom, and one is immeasurably worse than a thousand years of Telmarine domination.

And that's something I like about this book. This is not a straight good-vs.-evil war where all the evil creatures are on one side and all the good creatures on the other. In the movie and in the book, there are honorable Telmarines who are fighting on the wrong side. And there are Narnians who are almost literally too evil to live. There is a war of good vs. evil, but it doesn't necessarily match up with the physical war being fought with weapons.

Nikabrik's inability to make that distinction is what makes him the Redcloak of this story

This is actually my fundamental problem with the story- it basically says that actually trying to solve a problem is not only useless but wrong, and the only good solution is to sit around and think happy thoughts until a sufficiently large deus ex machina shows up and fixes everything.
Think about it like this- if your kitchen sink spontainiously explodes off of your wall in a shower of water and fragmented faucets, do you:
A) Fix it yourself, assuming you have the requisite skills.
B) Call the plumber to have him fix it, then go off to work to earn enough money to pay for the repairs.
C) Hope that the plumber shows up randomly of his own accord and fixes it out of the goodness of his heart.

If it's A or B, then pretty soon you've got a functional sink again, but if it's C you will be able to take showers in your kitchen for a long time. C is also pretty clearly the option that we are encouraged to take by the movie- everyone but Lucy is shown to have erred in taking action sans Aslan, and Lucy is congradulated for doing exactly squat until he shows up (except whine about how they need him), and pretty much squat after that as well.

What is particularly galling about all of this is that throughout both of the movies we are given truckloads of evidence suggesting that Aslan really isn't something one should count on anyways. Beginning of the first movie- he's been gone for a hundred years, the people over whom he claims power and lordship (at least to some degree) have been conquered and enslaved by his sworn enemy, and he's off doing...something else. Beginning of second movie- he's been gone for 1,500 years, during which time his people have been nearly annihilated in a genocidal war while Aslan is off doing...something else. So on average he shows up once every 800 years or so, cleans up the mess that has sprung up in his absence and then goes off to the Resort ex Machina to have his nails done and hang around with the other plot devices while the people who count on him get shafted sideways by a lamp-post. And yet we are shown that the only proper response to a serious problem like genocidal war is to sit around and hope like crazy that he's going to show up, despite the undeniable fact that if he'd shown up at the beginning of this little adventure in mass slaughter, the whole problem would never have arisen anyways. Seriously, the Telmarines invaded Narnia 1,500 years previous to Prince Caspian and were generally bringing lots of evil down, but apparently Aslan was getting a facial or something, 'cause he didn't show. But yet taking action at the time of the movie, despite his not having shown so much as a whisker in a milenia and a half, we are told that the only proper course of action is to cross your fingers and hope that the Resort ex Machina runs out of shampoo so Aslan finally gets around to checking his messages. Actually trying to show some initiative and fix things is, of course, right out, although maybe putting beetles in the shampoo is allowed. This strikes me as rather like England fighting WWI by not doing much but really really hoping that the whole "Once and future King" bit in all the King Arthur stories was true.

pendell
2008-06-20, 11:34 AM
the only good solution is to sit around and think happy thoughts until a sufficiently large deus ex machina shows up and fixes everything.


Erm ... not quite.

Notice that Deus Ex Machina didn't show up until Lucy went to find him.

From the perspective Lewis was writing from, the Right Answer to solving the supernatural problem of Good Vs. Evil is to find out what Deus Ex Machina has in mind, then work WITH him to solve the problem.

This middle way is, of course, fraught with two possible errors.

Error 1 is to go out and attempt to do in your own strength and knowledge something that you really need Aslan to help you to do. And make no mistake; the Narnians needed supernatural help. On the natural level the Telmarines had them outclassed dramatically. Peter made this mistake.

Error #2 is to sit on your a** when Aslan wants you to get up and actually DO something. Lucy made this mistake.

And if they BOTH hadn't made those mistakes (see spoiler below), those troops would still be alive.



Both Peter and Lucy, you see, were at fault.

Peter's error was to go charging out and depend on himself. Result: One army half-killed.

But that isn't the only error.

Lucy committed the opposite error -- she knew that what she should have been doing was following Aslan and waking up the trees in the first place, despite the fact that every one else didn't believe her.

Instead, she followed the others and sat at the altar.

What she SHOULD have been doing was going out and bringing the Deus Ex Machina into the fray. And because she didn't , people died.

Aslan alludes to this when Lucy asks that very question -- if she hadn't muffed it, would those people still be alive? -- and Aslan feeds her a comforting line of BS about how 'no one knows for sure' -- but of course that's not really true, is it? The answer is, most likely yes those people WOULD still be alive. Eat it, Lu.

So Peter and Lucy committed (IMO) the two opposite errors. Lucy needed to do something and didn't. She sat and waited for Aslan to do something, when Aslan had already shown her what *she* needed to do in order to bring him in. Peter needed to be doing something , too, but it was something OTHER than what he actually did.

If it were not for the supernatural guidance they received -- indicating the correct course -- I would side with Peter. They were certain to lose at Aslan's How. Better to try something that can upset the table than sit and wait for certain defeat.



As towards why Deus Ex Machina brought the kids into the battle when they weren't needed at all ... well, that's a good question. My first thought is that they are , in fact, children. Sometimes parents find it appropriate to let their kids do things parents can do better as a learning experience for the kids.


Of course, having a minotaur get crushed by a gate seems a bit expensive for teaching kids a lesson, but what do I know? Hopefully, the lesson stuck!

The Minotaur certainly did.



Oh yes ... I actually found 'surly Peter' more believable than in the books. I mean, think about it ... the person had grown through adolescence and adulthood, been a king for decades, been the equivalent of a CEO, and suddenly found himself thrust into a preadolescent body and treated like he as a ten-year-old again. Having to go through school AGAIN. *I* would certainly find that hard to take!

Respectfully,

Brian P.

Krrth
2008-06-20, 01:58 PM
Oh yes ... I actually found 'surly Peter' more believable than in the books. I mean, think about it ... the person had grown through adolescence and adulthood, been a king for decades, been the equivalent of a CEO, and suddenly found himself thrust into a preadolescent body and treated like he as a ten-year-old again. Having to go through school AGAIN. *I* would certainly find that hard to take!

Respectfully,

Brian P.
The thing is, as I recall, the children only remembered their time in Narnia as if it had been a dream. They didn't get the old skills and memories back until they had been at Cair Parivail for a few days. The movie (rightly or wrongly)glossed over that. A lot of the scenes felt...rushed. As for Peter....he was 15 at the time of Prince Caspian. Plenty old enough to act like an adult, not like a spoiled little brat whenever he didn't get his own way.

Hawriel
2008-06-21, 11:02 PM
Well Ive known alot of 15 year old spoiled brats in highschool. at times I was one. Then there where the 15 year olds that acted like adults as well as what a 15 year old should act, like a kid who is learning how to be an adult. I just dont see that many now adays there all morons. Or im just a grumby bastard.

Jayabalard
2008-06-27, 03:56 PM
The worst part, obviously, as in the first movie, was Lord God Almighty Big Freaking Lion Aslan. Seriously, if I wanted Jesus I`d read Bible or some theological book.You were watching a movie adaptation of a theological book... a series written to teach children about christian faith... why exactly are you surprised?

Innis Cabal
2008-06-27, 04:15 PM
Because someone, somewhere, will be offended by something, and absolutly be unable to come to terms with it, and will be honor bound to tell anyone that will listen

Eerie
2008-06-28, 07:33 AM
You were watching a movie adaptation of a theological book... a series written to teach children about christian faith... why exactly are you surprised?


Why on green Earth do you think I am surprised?

Eerie
2008-06-28, 07:34 AM
Because someone, somewhere, will be offended by something, and absolutly be unable to come to terms with it, and will be honor bound to tell anyone that will listen


And then Innis Cabal will have the irresistible urge to add a pointless remark.

Arameus
2008-06-28, 09:18 AM
The worst part, obviously, as in the first movie, was Lord God Almighty Big Freaking Lion Aslan. Seriously, if I wanted Jesus I`d read Bible or some theological book.

It's CEE ESS LOOWIS. It IS 'some theological book.' (And Aslan IS Jesus.) All in all, though, I don't really see the big deal about these books or these movies. They're disproportionately well-known among fantasy folks, I guess because, on a certain level, they are good reading, but they are children's books, albeit from a time when children's books didn't brainlessly patronize their audience and expected a bit of intellectual and emotional investment on the part of their young readers.

And, being children's books, they're shallow, predictable, and freight-train subtle when compared to their competition, but still maintain a unique charm that inexplicably gives them a fame grossly undeserved. Think 'punk rock,' but with minotaurs instead of plaid.

The movies are well-adapted, but suffer all the problems of their source material and more. Meaning that they're just not worth watching over, say, anything else.


And how tolerante you are of general disdain of religion. Lewis was also rather disdainful of the whole affair before he set out to disprove the existance of god, and we see exactly where he ended up. So long as the guy isnt burning down churchs i think anyone's entitled to their own opinion without others judging them snidely

Snide disdain receiving snide disdain is quid pro quo, is it not? So, aside from being expressly disallowed, I'd say they're both in their rights.

|||
VVV Oh, of COURSE I didn't realize you were being ironic, I left the brainslug on my head last night and my occipital lobe is just bone-dry at the moment. I was just thinking that if you are inherently at odds with the very underlying nature of a work of literature, it really shouldn't come as too much of a shock when the obtuse, grating allegory rubs you the wrong way. Which really makes me more bewildered than anything that you were able to get any enjoyment of this series at all; I sure didn't, and that's without those issues.

Eerie
2008-06-28, 09:33 AM
It's CEE ESS LOOWIS. It IS 'some theological book.' (And Aslan IS Jesus.)

You know what irony is? :smallsigh:

Roland St. Jude
2008-06-28, 10:36 AM
Sheriff of Moddingham: I'm not even going to bother scrubbing the inappropriate religious comments out of this thread because it's staying locked. Please don't discuss real world religion (or politics) on these boards. Even when they are important (or even necessary) to the gaming or media topic, we don't allow such discussion here. If you didn't realize that please read the Forum Rules, linked for you convenience at the top of every page. If you did realize that and posed anyway, well... :sigh:.