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Monday, December 26, 2005

Katherine Kersten's Korner

Today's Kersten kolumn is about how wonderful a movie The Chronicles of Narnia is and how it is the kind of movie that kids should be seeing today. I don't know about the movie, since I haven't seen it yet, and I'm not going to see it until it makes its way to the cheap theater: No movie is worth paying eight or nine bucks in the first-run theaters. But like almost all kids, I did read the book when I was younger, and I enjoyed it. I have forgotten much of it, but it wasn't for the subliminal Christianity that I liked it, nor is that view particularly necessary.

Kersten cites a social science study that shows how kids today have a large number of emotional and behavioural problems because kids aren't taught how to lead a good life. Maybe that's true, I don't know. I wonder how much the increase in the number of reported emotional and behavioural problems is due to better diagnoses and more medical intervention: in the old days, kids who acted out probably would not have been taken to see a psychologist. But in any case, you can't argue that there are many kids who have problems with ethics and morals.

What does this mean? Considering that the U.S. remains a largely Christian nation and one that makes religion a central part of life, it's odd that this isn't somehow wearing off on kids. Perhaps it is the variation of Christianity out there: I know of many so-called "Christian" families where the kids are a holy terror, as well as several non-religious families where the kids are just fine. So I don't think the answer is more Christianity, which is very clearly the unwritten subtext in Kersten's kolumn.

To me, the simplest and most effective way to lead a moral life is summed up perfectly in the Golden Rule: treat others like you would want to be treated. Since most religions use this as a central tenet of some kind, it's isn't necessary to ram Christianity down anybody's throat. In fact, C.S. Lewis understood this very well, which is why Narnia seems to be a good film. It's not self-righteous for it's own sake, but it sounds like it teaches by showing a good example. That's not hard for anybody to do, is it?

2 Comments:

At 9:52 PM, December 26, 2005, Blogger Robb said...

Robb's Popcorn Reviews
Narnia or Not? 12/21/2005

Chronicles of Narnia one and 1/2 *

From all the predictable Disney hype one would think there would be
something for everyone in their Christmas release of their version of
C.S Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia. Unfortunately, I don't know any of
those people. It's sad to say that offers up some of the worst acting
I've seen in a long, long time. Surely there had to be better child
actors than these very two dimensional, and unemotional children. As a
matter of fact we just finished watching the DVD of City of Lost
Children, which was filled with endearing and powerful child actors.
Disney didn't even bother to go low with cute. Better had they left out
all the live actors and leaned even more heavily on their CGI animation.
The true actors were the beavers, wolves and foxes. These animated
characters stole what little there was of the story. Their humanity was
more believable than what purported to be human actors. And speaking of
story, what story? I normally like to see a film without the
disadvantage of having read the book it's based on. In this case,
without the backbone of the book the story was relatively pointless and
thin. Even the well known religious metaphor was weak and no more
significant than a basic animist myth. The animation is the only thing
that carried the film at all. However, after the 3D CGI animation
extravaganzas of the Lord of the Ring films Narnia's larger scenes were
at best meager. The "armies" were barely battalions. I mean, if you're
going to do a major battle then do it full out. The production shortcuts
were obvious, not only in scale but in the quality of the 3D work during
the battle when character motion was often stilted.
Overall only one and a half stars, and thats mostly for those lovers
of the books who are so devoted that they will like the film no matter
what I say.
Robb
Chronicles of Narnia 1-1/2*

 
At 9:59 PM, December 26, 2005, Blogger Robb said...

Robb's Popcorn Reviews
Narnia or Not? 12/21/2005

Chronicles of Narnia one and 1/2 *

From all the predictable Disney hype one would think there would be
something for everyone in their Christmas release of their version of
C.S Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia. Unfortunately, I don't know any of
those people. It's sad to say that offers up some of the worst acting
I've seen in a long, long time. Surely there had to be better child
actors than these very two dimensional, and unemotional children. As a
matter of fact we just finished watching the DVD of City of Lost
Children, which was filled with endearing and powerful child actors.
Disney didn't even bother to go low with cute. Better had they left out
all the live actors and leaned even more heavily on their CGI animation.
The true actors were the beavers, wolves and foxes. These animated
characters stole what little there was of the story. Their humanity was
more believable than what purported to be human actors. And speaking of
story, what story? I normally like to see a film without the
disadvantage of having read the book it's based on. In this case,
without the backbone of the book the story was relatively pointless and
thin. Even the well known religious metaphor was weak and no more
significant than a basic animist myth. The animation is the only thing
that carried the film at all. However, after the 3D CGI animation
extravaganzas of the Lord of the Ring films Narnia's larger scenes were
at best meager. The "armies" were barely battalions. I mean, if you're
going to do a major battle then do it full out. The production shortcuts
were obvious, not only in scale but in the quality of the 3D work during
the battle when character motion was often stilted.
Overall only one and a half stars, and thats mostly for those lovers
of the books who are so devoted that they will like the film no matter
what I say.
Robb
Chronicles of Narnia 1-1/2*

 

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