Back from Narnia
Last night I went to see the Chronicles of Narnia and I must say that it met my expectations superbly. It has been ages since I read the books, but I have fond memories of them transporting me to a magical world filled with talking beasts and fanciful creatures. The movie recreated the world of Narnia in tremendous fashion and I was blow away by the special effects that rendered realistic creatures and talking animals. The casting was superbly done with the Pevensie children as well as Tilda Swinton as the White Witch (even though I didn't like her costumes).
There were a number of things that I didn't like about the way they changed the story from the book, and most of them had to do with watering-down the Christian message. For example, the movie brought the character of Aslan down to more of a human level than he is portrayed in the book. The movie also makes Edmund out to be more of a victim than simply a mean little child. Both of these have the effect of cheapening the sacrifice that Aslan makes.
Overall, I was very pleased. The Christian themes are still quite strong if one understands them. Unfortuntely, that doesn't seem to be the case for many of the members of the media who reviewed the film, such as the Washington Post's Stephen Hunter, who views the film as a justification of British colonialism. This kind of obliviousness remains the reason that Hollywood types fail to understand how to market to Christians, though they'll happily take our money when they do so by accident.