May 21st, 2006

Chronicles of Narnia & Gattaca

So I recently found some time to watch the movie edition of THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE. I had read the book in anticipation of the movie about a week beforehand, but never found the time to see it one the big screen.

Point for me. I can't say that I cared too much for this Disneyfied version. Granted, they basically stayed true to the story and for that I applaud them. But I never felt "the magic" of Narnia as I watched. Despite all the talking animals and weird sorceries, Narnia felt rather plain to me. As did the acting. Susan was just plain annoying, and while Lucy was cute she wasn't exactly riveting. I was somewhat neutral regarding Peter & the Witch, which isn't exactly an endorsement. Edmund pretty much fit the bill, but most of the major actos in this one left me bored and uninspired. Casting children can be difficult, certainly, but I would have preferred they wait until they found the right people for the parts. Perhaps the movie failed to engross me because I never fell into the book. But to play some devil's advocate, I wasn't crazy about THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING, but I loved the movie. To sum up, alas.

On the bright side, I also recently picked up a DVD of GATTACA, an sf movie I haven't seen in years. I remembered all the major plot points, so there were no surprises for me this time around. But I forgot just how powerful the story and characters as a whole were. Genetic engineering wasn't exactly a new premise when this movie was released, but the storytelling to this movie more than makes up for that. As a result, the sum of the parts is greater than the whole. To anyone that hasn't seen this one, I highly recommend it. It's irrefutable proof that an sf movie can be utterly gripping with a minimum of special effects.