The Hess Report

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Christmas Eve Movie Comments 

The last thing you want to read on the night before Christmas is my opinion of certain movies. But, this is the Hess Report, and if you're reading, it means you realize the true wisdom behind my writing, and will happily take whatever informational crumbs fall from the house of Hess. Also, I'm drinking Scotch Whisky and Jamaican Rum, so you'll just have to deal with me.

About a month ago, we took Maddie and Lucy to see Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Wererabbit. Everyone loves Nick Park, genius, etc. Well, the original W&G shows are okay, but I don't really see the genius in them, beyond the cleverness and quality of the animation, which is, of course, first rate. Chicken Run, by the same crew, is a whole different ball game to me. It's great.

So, we headed to the new Pittsburgh Mills (a giant mall/dining/entertainment complex) to their very nice theater. The movie was entertaining, though not what I'd call brilliant. Lucy, however, was not a big fan. In fact, she was so scared that protection!Joy had to take her out with about a half hour to go. When asked later what it was that had scared her so badly, it turned out that it wasn't the wererabbit. It was the bad guy that was being mean to W & G. She doesn't like mean people in movies and shows. Go figure. Of course, she now refers to the movie in Voldemort-like fashion as "the movie that I won't even say the name of." When we drive past the Mills these days, she clenches her fists and growls "I wish that place had never been built."

Next movie: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. Obviously, Lucy did not attend. If she couldn't handle a mean claymation Brit, the odds of her being able to handle violent combat and ritual sacrificial murder were pretty low. Maddie and I went, and her evaluation was "Awesome. That was soooo cool. I loved it. That's all I'm going to think about for the rest of the day."

My evaluation: it was okay. Not bad. Could have been better. The real problem, from my perspective, was the typical one when going from book to movie: all of the internal stuff, unless extremely craftily handled by the director, is out the window. That's not a problem for the Harry Potter series, as they are basically plot, plot, plot. Not that that's bad. It just means that if you wanted, you could more or less use the Harry Potter novels as their own screenplay. Not so for The Lion, et. al. One of the great strengths of the book is the sense of awe and wildness that Aslan conveys to everyone around him. That, though he's on their side, they need to beware of him, because he is, as is said several times, not entirely tame.

One last note on all of the silly, Christian bashing reviews that I've read of Narnia. These people are complete idiots. One of the comments I see most often in these reviews is that "the books had only a slight Christian parallel, and any attempt to read more than the slightest meaning into it is really reaching on the part of desperate Christians." Well, guess what? I've read the book several times recently, as our kids are just the right age to start appreciating such things. I've also read the whole rest of the series. I have to agree with them that Aslan is not a metaphor for Jesus...

Spoiler Alert for the Narnia Series

Aslan is Jesus, in a quite literal way. In the last book, the world of Narnia ends, and Aslan welcomes the good creatures of Narnia, as well as several humans from our world, into the afterlife. There, the reader learns that Narnia is a parallel world to our universe, and that Aslan is the one and only Son of God of the world of which Narnia was a part, who also happens to be the God of our world. Aslan's Jesus, and there's no way around it. It's not a metaphor. It's the text.

But waaaah! say the leftist Christian-hating journalists. Jesus wasn't a lion! He was nothing like Aslan! Well, that just means that in addition to needing to actually read The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe before commenting, there's another book they maybe ought to go back and read before they begin shooting off their mouths.

So here's a hint, you journalistic dumbasses: don't make comments about something that you haven't read, or that you've read and of which you haven't the slightest understanding. You people suck.

Merry Christmas!

I quite agree with you, and I am of the belief that many people reporting on the movie have never read the books.
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