Also, pursuant to my theory, in 'Teen Dreams', that Rob Thomas references most of the classic teen movies and shows, is the moment when Logan confronts the Fed infiltrator and says to him 'Dream on, Jump Street'. I did not pick that up when I was writing the book, because I had not heard of the show...But it does confirm my theory, a bit.
None of this is what you want from me, nor my gloat at having got the discs for the Eccleston Dr Who - minus packaging, but poot!
What you will be wanting to know is my first reactions to The Chronicles of Narnia...
The very best thing in it is Tilda Swinton, who will be giving little kiddies nightmares for the next decade the way the witch in 'Snow White' did those of us who grew up in the 50s. This is not to dis anything else, much of which is more than OK, but she belongs in a masterpiece, which this is not. She makes Jadis an ultimate dominatrix, an evil Boadicea drawn by an unholy alliance of Goya, Erte and William Blake. I was rooting for her the whole film through, even though the Pevensey kids are only moderately annoying and Aslan is both a convincing lion and the Voice of God ( Liam Neeson rather than Morgan Freeman for once, presumably because there are places where a black man as God would be controversial.)
The talking animals were just about OK. Tumnus was camp enough to be irritating and not camp enough to be fun, and he like other fauns and the centaurs had silly ears which did not work for me. Otherwise, the mythological beings worked pretty well, especially the evil ones seen by fire and starlight. The sacrifice scene was genuinely scary and disgusting, though dominated by Swinton who turned 'Despair and Die' into an aria - it lasted as long as it takes to say it, but it had the emotional impact of something far longer.
The down side? Well, I never liked the book nearly as much as almost any of the later ones. 'Caspian' will be a bit more of the same, only with less interesting battles, but after that, perhaps we get 'The Magician's Nephew', which Jim Broadbent as Professor Kirk more or less sets up. Which means more Tilda Swinton as Jadis. And I suppose she could play the witch in 'The Silver Chair' who is somehow part of the same family even though Jadis killed her entire world. After all, though it never says the Green Lady looks like her, Eustace and his companion never met Jadis and would not know anyway.
It is, though, a very entrance level film. More thoughts when I review it properly.
And then paratti and I went to see 'Harry Potter and the Plot Device of Fire' . Newell carries on the process started in the previous film of darkening things up and making it more tragic. It mostly rains in Hogwarts now, and the sky is always moodily cloudy. Grint is not ageing well and making the tedious Ron even more so; Emily Watson is turning into Helena Bonham-Carter as we watch, but in a moderately OK way. Radcliffe is a bit of a stiff and Michael Gambon cannot remember whether to imitate Richard Harris or play Dumbledore.
On the whole though, given that the entire book is a series of set pieces strung on exiguous narrative, the film worked pretty well. After all, that describes most blockbusters these days. Much of it looked fabulous and I never felt insulted in the way I did with the two Chris Columbus films.
Somehow I mistook Frances De La Tour, playing the French giant, for Alison Janney.
Little kids will definitely have nightmares about this one, snakes and evil merthings, but, as paratti said, it's character-building.
Oh, and the trailers for 'King Kong' and 'Pirates 2' were fine, though it worries me about both films that desert island cannibals with painted faces are apparently back in fashion. I don't know what the answer is with the denizens of Skull Island, if you are doing a non-revisionist remake, but they didn't have to go with racist conventions just to put Jack Sparrow in danger. I did like the fact that, in Narnia, many of the centaurs and fauns were non-white, whereas the cyclopsettes and minotaurs were a variety of non-racial shades.
Oddly, perhaps because so clearly iffy, they worry me less than all the broken accents in 'Memoirs of a Geisha'. Hey kids, these people are speaking Japanese perfectly, so why represent this as speaking English badly?