Wednesday, May 21, 2008

"Where's The Beef" In The Caspian Sandwich?

I’m sure you’re all familiar with the expression, “where’s the beef?” It is an expression my Dad says I always liked to repeat when I was young Apparently, I had gotten it off of a commercial and enjoyed saying it over and over again until my parents were thoroughly annoyed! LOL
Well, now, I am hoping to annoy the makers of “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian” as I rightfully ask, “WHERE’S THE BEEF?!!” For MONTHS I anticipated the release of the new movie, and much to my dismay (and several other Narnia/C.S. Lewis fans) they barbarically ripped the guts out of the original brilliant story, which was filled with spiritual wisdom and concepts. They totally changed, rearranged, and re-invented an awe-inspiring masterpiece!! Why? That’s the question that I, other reviewers, and even PluggedIn Online (a ministry of Focus on the Family) are pondering/discussing.

The last movie (The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe) was adequately done. So, what went wrong with this one? Granted, movies are never the same as the books. I fully expected for a few things to be omitted or changed, but not for the jewels and treasures of the story to be so horribly watered down and even disregarded!! It was disappointing to say the least!! What they did was give us a bland sandwich of nutritionally stripped white enriched bread with only a bit of meat the size of a half-dollar inbetween the slices! There was scarcely any substance at all!!

So, what started out as a good company (Walden Media) has obviously been corrupted by partnering with Disney and learning their ways. Over the years, Disney’s quality has declined and become nothing more than peddling sub-standard entertainment full of distasteful bathroom humor and sight gags, violence, innuendos, and godless agendas. So, “you are who you hang out with” and now, Walden Media is now showing the effects of what happens when you shake hands with the now liberal and corrupt Mickey Mouse, so to speak.

This NINO of a movie, (Narnia in name only) is filled with dramatic war sequences more than anything; something of which isn’t heavily concentrated on in the book. Sure, there were a few battles (one of which they did accurately portray) but they also added some of their own. And to think, they could have saved so much money on all the costly effects, extras, and choreography if they just did it the way C.S. Lewis had written it!! But, spend money to make money right? That was clearly their focus. They made it “Hollywood” and cared nothing for the true essence of the story. How can they expect to profit if they dishonor the principles and character on which the stories of Narnia are centered on? Instead of the thought-provoking, wisdom filled moments we read about with Lucy, Aslan, Caspian, and all the others, we are fed countless images of violence and battles.

Should we take what we can get? After all, seeing the movie might very well indeed inspire others to read the originals (as it did with me when I seen the first movie). And, the movie did have SOME original elements to it. And, one particular thing that they added did carry some spiritual weight and that was when they showed the witch being “called up” to come back and take control. While waiting to be freed, she spoke to Peter and tried to lure him by telling him that he knew he couldn’t do it on his own. Well, just like Satan, she was twisting the truth. While of course he couldn’t do things on his own, it wasn’t the aid of the witch that he should have been seeking. It was something he fully realized once Edmund smashed the glass and put an end to that nonsense and Peter once again saw the carving of Aslan on the wall behind the broken glass. Most definitely he couldn’t do things on his own; none of us can. We all need “Aslan” (meaning Jesus - that’s who Aslan represents).

So, if for the sake of these precious few eye-opening moments, I will recommend this movie. However, if you want the real “meat” of the story, read the book!! In fact, read ALL SEVEN of the books in the series!! I guarantee you, it will be a wonderful experience!! It TRULY enriched my life and touched my heart in ways I never dreamed. And, I was pleasantly surprised at how deep things were and that things I learned from the book helped me to understand the mind of Christ better. It’s hard to explain, but I will try to at a later date. It was my intention to read the books all over again, take notes, and then blog about them. I started on it, but never completed it yet. It’s yet another “unfinished blog project” of mine. ;) LOL Though, I do hope to work on that sometime soon (though how “soon” is still to be determined). Until then, read them for yourselves! Not only is it entertaining, but it is thought provoking and beautiful!! The books are short and I read all of them, in order, in less than two weeks!! They are about 200 pages per book. You won’t be able to put them down!!

My greatest hope is that those making these movies (and yes, they are going to make all of the books into movies!) will hear the words of those who appreciate the beauty and integrity of the original stories. I would hope that they will learn from their mistakes and that the next movie will be truer to the essence. Don’t underestimate your audience!! You don’t have to jazz it up and pump it full of glitz and violence, like every other run-of-the-mill movie out there, in order for your movie to sell!! Stick with the story, and you’ll earn enough to keep making more!!

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