Love crappy movies but are too ashamed to admit it? Are you a big Rob Schneider fan but you're tired of being burned? Not sure if you want to waste your money on the same old movie? That's why you have Joe.
Joe Loves Crappy Movies is by Joseph Dunn. Joe willingly goes to see the very worst that Hollywood has to offer. Whenever a crappy movie comes out Joe will be there to see it, make fun of it, and actually review it. Nothing is safe, and nothing is sacred. From the big budget action disasters to the low brow fart based comedies, to anything starring Martin Lawrence? Joe will tear it apart.
With each entry you'll get not only a comic poking fun at the movie, but also a detailed review. Joe's not educated in film or cinematography or acting, he's just a guy that draws comics and likes movies. So if you're looking for the everyman perspective and a little joke in comic form... you're in the right place.
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Viewed: 7:10pm 12/9/05
Starring: Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes, William Moseley, Anna Popplewell, Tilda Swinton, Liam Neesson
Directed by: Andrew Adamson
Why are you going to see Narnia? Is it the book you loved as a child that finally has come to the big screen? Is it you desperately trying to fill a void left by Lord of the Rings? Or do you love Jesus?
Ok ok ok? Jesus is a lion. Get over it. Seriously, people are freaking out about the obvious connections Narnia has with Christianity but there's no reason to.
I'll be brief. It's there, and it's hard to miss but if you're not thinking about it, and if you're not looking for it, it won't effect your enjoyment of the story.
For the record the movie does not force any sort of belief system on its viewers, it simply uses the idea of sacrifice and resurrection at the core of its story. And the last time I checked that was still a pretty good plot element.
Christianity as an organized religion has embraced the story as an allegory of Christ, and they have become one of the larger target audiences of the movie, but from the mouth of author C.S. Lewis and director Andrew Adamson: This is not a movie about Christ or Christianity. The influences are there, but if you're getting hung up on it (positively or negatively) it's you doing the hanging, not the storytellers.
Besides, why get so wrapped up in Christianity when there are plenty of other problems that are more than worthy of your complaints? Flat acting, some questionable green screen work, a child size rating, and a plot that unravels before your eyes, add up to make for an extremely frustrating conclusion. I don't care at this point how difficult it is to find Narnia, because the more time you spend there the less enchanted you are.
Narnia is most notably missing a cast to carry it. It's sad when the most believable character is a CGI beaver. The movie rest squarely on the shoulders of the children as 90% of the other major roles rely on that CGI or puppetry. Each kids has there moments but overall it's part of the movies demise.
I enjoyed the acting from the youngest of the group, Georgie Henley, when she first enters Narnia. The director said he kept her blind folded on set so that her first reactions would be as natural as possible. It worked because as she comes into Narnia she's so natural and so beaming with innocents and youth that I couldn't help but smile. Also her scenes with Mr. Tumnas were really effective. I was really impressed with how she handled herself in the first third of the film. Impressed to the point where I wished she was a boy so she could be cast as Ender and we could get that damn movie of the ground. (Nerd reference. Did you get it?)
To support the kids we have a bunch of fictional and real creatures that, for the most part look pretty good. The effects on Aslan the lion are OUT OF CONTROLE good. That's real hair. I don't know how they did it, I don't want to know, but if they ever make a movie about me I want to be a lion and I want these guys doing my hair.
Still even brilliant voice acting by Liam Neesson as Aslan, as well as Ray Winstone and Dawn French as the Beavers, can only bring these characters to life so much. Certainly not to the point where they can carry the movie. I mean, this isn't Shrek for Christ's sake. Although Adamson got this gig after directing only the two Shrek films. Actually that explains a lot. And ? crap his "visual effects" resume includes two Batman films. The Schumacher ones. Yikes.
Even if the CGI characters were completely unconvincing, even if all the other kids sucked, there's one role that needed to be spot on. We had to believe that the oldest son Peter ( William Moseley) changes from boy to man. The type of man that can lead an army into victory against all odds. NO. WAY.
The entire plot of Battlefield Earth was infinitely more believable then Moseley sitting on top of that horse in his big boy armor with his warriors stretched out behind him. At this point he needs to command respect, and be this awe-inspiring figure. Look, I'm not blaming the acting. Yes, it's part of it, but there was absolutely no set up to establish him as that type of figure. The only thing we had to go on is that this event was foretold. That works technically to get the characters in the movie to follow him and believe in him, because they're "supposed to". But what did they do to get the movie going audience on their side?
There are parts of the plot that work very well. The first third is a stroke of genius. I consciously remember thinking that I felt like I was reading a book. For a movie to capture that feeling of intimacy is incredible. I credit it to the time line.
We follow the kids every step of the way for this first portion. We see everything that happens to them, and as a result the danger and excitement are real. It comes to a screeching halt almost as soon as we're introduced to Aslan. Perhaps it's because this represents the first true moment of safety. They've reached a place where danger can't touch the. Also time starts to pass a lot more quickly. It makes sense in the grand scheme of things but it totally took the air out of the tires.
From here the focus shifts from good story to good visuals as the former takes a BIG hit. Wolves and beavers are replaced by Minotaur and Centaurs. (Holy god, the best Centaurs I've ever seen. Up close his face looked like puddy, but the transition from man to horse was flawless!) And it's all preparation for the great battle.
Visually it was a great battle but you were always looking for "it". By "it" I mean anything. You're looking for somebody dieing or getting slashed, or anything. But it's a kid's movie and the rating kills even video game style violence. It's still enjoyable but a lot less tense or nerve wracking. The battles in Lord of the Rings make this look like a picnic at the park.
After a great movie I'm really disappointed in how it concluded. There's no sense of danger or drama whatsoever. It is a happy ending, pretty as a picture children's movie. And it could have been so much more.
7 out of 10 A pretty high score I know, but I'm bumping it up because it was actually fun to watch. I realize now that it was mostly anticipation of what could happen that just gets squashed the second that little girl starts running around with her magic potion and the Lion starts breathing on everyone. See the movie and you'll know what I'm talking about, but suffice it to say the danger level was pretty damn low.
I was disappointed, sure, but I still had a good time. Chances are if you read this you won't so? just rent it I guess. Sorry.
DVD worthy?: Nope. I'd never watch it. Could the lack of suspense the movie already has somehow magically go away after I've already actually seen what's happened? Doubtful. If anything the DVD might be worth a rental to see some of the extras that shed light on the effects, and voice acting involved. Other than that ? no thanks.
If you liked this movie check out: The Wizard of OZ
This movie screams OZ. From the magical land to the wicked witch, I'd be less surprised if you told me Narnia was an allegory of OZ rather than a Christian one. But honestly, how does this measure up to a classic?
I'd bet that the Wicked Witch of the West was pretty damn scary in the 40's, but now a day it just doesn't cut it. Tilda Swinton is a force as the white witch of Narnia. Charming and beautiful even as she stands in a 9 foot blue gown and in the back of your head you're still thinking "That might be a dude." Then when she goes evil she goes in a big way. Evil's not always as one sided as the witch from OZ. There are other levels of evil that can often be more terrifying. That's what I got from the White Witch.
Narnia doesn't have songs so there's an instant plus there, and it's not fair to compare effects in the two films. It was a different era. Although for the period it was made, the folks of Oz did an amazing job.
Where Narnia fails is in performance and presence. Oz had characters you'll remember forever and a classics overall feel that made the movie feel like a "larger than life" experience. I may remember some of the folks from Narnia but it'll most likely be the supporting players. And the vibe coming from the film is more, "longing for a big budget epic" as opposed to the pure "Hollywood magic" that made OZ the classic it is.
Trailer Hitch: The Benchwarmers
Rob Schneider,John Heder, and David Spade are a bunch of losers playing baseball in this movie from the house of Sandler.
Of course it's going to suck! Did you think it was going to be good?
But I don't care. If David Spade puts on a wig, I'm going to be there. Because these movies can be the most fun to watch in the theater. Just check your movie snob at the door, go opening night and laugh your ass off. Go see it, if for no other reason than to see Craig Kilborn in his first real role since his departure from The Late Late Show. I miss ya Craigers. I'll see it twice.
Thanks for reading playas. Today's incentive will test you on your nerdiness . If you're a geek/nerd/dork, go take the challenge. If you're none of those, please cast your vote anyway. Because if you do I will love you forever. Unless you kick me. Then it's SO on.
In upcoming news, I decided to pass on the Kong midnight screening tonight because Yeo really wants to see it, and I'm inclined to wait a day for her. Also it's 3 hours long and the idea of finishing the review up at 6 and then getting up for work at 7:30 just doesn't add up. It'll be a better time with Yeo tomorrow, and the review will be up Wednesday before midnight so it's no big loss.
Still I do recommend the midnight screenings. For the most part you'll get the crowds of people that are really excited to see the film. Excited to the point where they put themselves at personal risk to be there. Generally a crowd that enthusiastic about the film will make the over all experience better. If only sleep didn't get in the way.
Lastly, the Golden Globe nominations came in. Interesting. I'll post some more thoughts in my Live Journal later this week. Not a bad list though. A few good surprises.
Joe – The creator of the strip who has embraced giving crappy movies the chance they deserve. Like the majority of the cast he’s obsessed with boobs.
First Appearance - The Introduction
Yeo – Yeo is Joe’s wife and often the voice of reason in the strip. Having her act rational allows the rest of the cast to embrace being in a comic strip which primarily involves randomly punching people, interacting with fictional characters and talking about boobs. Yeo is smart, beautiful and way too good for Joe. Don’t tip her off.
First Appearance - Fever Pitch
Irv – Joe’s movie-going sidekick who’s always down for watching Jason Statham crescent moon kick some thug through a plate glass window and getting some drinks before after and during a Vin Diesel movie. Like the majority of the cast he’s obsessed with boobs.
First Appearance - Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior
Agent 337 George Jones – A government Agent that took over for Joe after he was bad-mouthing President Bush in the V for Vendetta strip. George ran the show for over a month bring a much needed sense of patriotism and justice to both the strips and reviews. He eventually got too attached to his work, empathizing with Joe’s plight to give crappy movies a fair shake. In a way he came to love crappy movies as well and was pushed out of the position. He spiraled out of control and ended up in prison. His adventures will be told in the limited series JLCM Presents: 337 Locked Up which is set to début Christmas of 09.
First Appearance - V for Vendetta
Other Notable Appearances: Stay Alive, Ice age 2, Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector, Slither, Here Comes Guest week, Let’s Go To Prison
Leonidas – The former king of Sparta who has traveled into the future and is having trouble coping with the modern times. Yelling loudly and kicking people into giant holes doesn’t really work the same way it did in the olden days. As time as gone by he’s adjusted but it’s a safe bet that he’s always one bad message away from throwing a spear through someone.
First Appearance - 300
Other Notable Appearances: Four Brothers, Strip# 300, The Golden Compass, Rambo, Untraceable, The Ladies of Max Paybe
Palpatine – Former Senator, Emperor of the Galactic Empire, Sith Lord... He shows up in the Joe Loves Crappy movies galaxy on occasion to let people know that they’re being stupid. No one’s really sure how he shows up in this universe but chances are it breaks all kinds of copywrite laws.
First Appearance - Episode III: The Dark Side
Other Notable Appearances: Four Brothers, Night Watch, Saw 3, Are We Done Yet
Slow Billy – Billy is a sweet kid but he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed. If you’re watching him for the day be prepared to explain to him the plot of the movie or how popcorn works or, not so much where babies come from, but what babies are. He’s a complete moron.
First Appearance - Four Brothers
Other Notable Appearances: The Chronicles of Narnia, The Da Vinci Code, Vantage Point, Journey to the Center of the Earth
Kyle the Movie Snob – Be careful what fun facts about movies you tell your friends at a friendly gathering or in line for the latest blockbuster, because if you’re even slightly wrong, Kyle will be more than happy to let you know. He usually gets what’s coming to him though. Poor guy has cracked three ribs since joining the JLCM cast.
First Appearance - Ultraviolet
Other Notable Appearances: 16 Blocks, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Transformers, Journey to the Center of the Earth
Jean-Luc Picard – Another lawsuit waiting to happen is Jean Luc Picard who, towards the end of the strip’s first year, became the go-to background character. If there was ever a seat to fill or a random person to place wandering around in the background, nine times out of ten it was Picard. While Picard has crossed paths with Irv he and Joe have never met. Perhaps they will some day but for now just can an eye on the background.
First Appearance - The Producers
Other Notable Appearances: I’m not telling you, that’s no fun. It’ like Where’s Waldo – go find him!
Ice Cream Sandwich – Delicious and… deadly? Usually when you see someone eating an Ice Cream sandwich, someone else is experiencing a substantial amount of pain. Still, how nice is an ice cream sandwich on a hot summer day?
First Appearance - Saw IV
Other Notable Appearances: Bee Movie, Run Fatboy Run, Saw V