Monday, November 29, 2010

When Harry (Potter) met Lucy (Pevensie)

by Gina Welborn

Niki's post on Saturday about Harry Potter books and the Lord of the Rings got me thinking.

See, there was this Facebook status thread last week about BBC's 100 Books You Ought to Read. (I've read--or partially--read 22 of the 100.)  Included in that list were the Harry Potter series and LotR. Now I read Harry Book 1 years ago. Loved it. But didn't read any others because hubby asked me not to because he didn't want the kids reading them. I was fine with that.

Then sometime after Harry began LotR movie 1 was released. My oldest son eventually decided to read the LotR series. He'd left book 3 at home one day so I decided to read it. Well, I *tried* reading Return of the King. Eventually I skipped the pages and pages of narrative to find dialogue scenes.
Yes, I'll freely confess: For me, the LotR movies are far better than the books. 

As far as Chronicles of Narnia (also on the 100 books list), I haven't read any of them either. Maybe I will since I'm determined now to read more of those books on that list. Except Anna Karania. I have it on my book shelf not because I want to read it, but because I want people to see it on my shelf and *think* I read it. Maybe someday I'll read it. Maybe.

Probably not.
Anyhoo, about a week and a half ago, hubby and I drove up to Washington, D.C., for a free advanced screening of THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER. Since the movie wasn't a finished version, I can't give a review (as legally stated by the VP of Walden Media). They were still finishing the CGI work. Pretty sure it was on the Sea Monster battle at the end of the movie. Then again, I'm not positive that they were finished with the mermaids, which were cool looking even if they were finished.

Still, I enjoyed the movie and am greatly looking forward to taking four of my five kids to see it during the Christmas break, unless we can't wait for later in the month. It opens December 10th.

After the movie was over, the representatives from Walden Media gave us a questionairre about the movie to help them with final edits and whatnot. One of the questions was "Did the movie answer all your questions, or if not, what didn't it answer?"

My answer: "Did King Caspian ever find a queen?"

I then shared my question with my hubby and explained my reasoning as "I just asked what everyone else was wondering but felt stupid asking."

The lady sitting next to me said, "I was wondering the same thing!"

The lady sitting in front of me turned around. "I wasn't because that information wasn't in the book."

Her hubby added (rather snidely, IMHO): "C.S. Lewis didn't care about that stuff."

Didn't care about romance?!?!

Now a wiser person would have smiled and said nothing. Before hubby could clamp his hand over my mouth, I looked at the couple sitting in front  of me, smiled, and said, "Well, this just proves that C.S. Lewis wasn't the perfect writer."

They were speechless.

I don't think I made a new set of friends. Still, hubby walked next to me as we left the theatre.

One of my favorite aspects of the holiday season (Thanksgiving thru New Year's Day) is the arrival of blockbuster movies. Event movies. Family movies. Or, as I read in this week's Entertainment Weekly, "an extraordinary out-of-home experience."

Movie attendance so far this year is down 2.1 percent from last year. How many times this year have you said, "______ looks like a good movie, but I'll wait until it comes out on DVD"? Umm, I've said it a good number of times...although my movie theatre viewing this summer was at a record high since we have a drive-in-theatre where an adult can see two new (or mostly new) releases for $7.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows--Part 1 has now earned $220.4 million in 10 days, which is the tenth-best 10-day tally on record. Guess not too many people decided they'd wait until it comes out on DVD.

What 2010 holiday-season movie are you most anticipating seeing and why? And if it's not on this list, what is it? (Click on the title for a link to a trailer and more information about the movie.)
The Nutcracker in 3D (Elle Fanning)
Tangled (Mandy Moore)
The King's Speech (Colin Firth)
Black Swan (Natalie Portman)
The Fighter (Mark Walberg/Christian Bale)
The Tourist (Angelina Jolie/Johnny Depp)
The Tempest (Helen Mirren)
How Do You Know? (Reese Witherspoon)
Little Fockers (Ben Stiller)
Guillver's Travels (Jack Black/Emily Blunt)
Country Strong (Gwyneth Paltrow)
True Grit (Jeff Bridges)

Up next for me is going with oldest son to see TRON: Legacy. However, my "Will Wait for DVD" list definitely includes The King's Speech,The Tourist, The Tempest, The Nutcracker, and True Grit. Nice variety there!

So what about you? Have you seen Harry Potter yet? Or Tangled? Liked it? Loved it? Wished you'd waited for the DVD?


  1. fwiw, Caspian did find his queen in the books. Now you've made me curious about how they handled it in the movie!

    Also, as an aside, I don't know how it comes across in the movies, but Lewis actually cared a great deal about romance. You can see it not just in fiction and in accounts of his real life, but also in his academic work, which concentrated on the medieval literature from which our modern idea of romance evolved. Fascinating stuff, if you ever get the chance to read it. Have a good night!

  2. Oh, I got all excited when I saw Nutcracker 3D, but then remembered that 3D movies give me a migraine. Last one I saw was The Last Airbender and I promised not to do that to myself again. I prefer to watch movies at home because it saves me money and a headache. Even for non 3D movies, the speakers are usually too loud for me.

    Okay, I do want to see Voyage of the Dawn Treader and the Jack Black version of Gulliver's Travels. I can watch his stupid movies over and over. We've watched School of Rock 20 or 30 times at my house.

  3. Ha ha! The title gave me pause. Wouldn't it be fun to throw all these characters together and mix them all up? They could team up together in a truly epic battle between good and evil. Oh, and we'll have to include the Star Wars folks, too.

    Don't feel bad, Gina, I've only read the first of the Narnia series. I very much enjoyed The Screwtape Letters, though.

    As for holiday movies, since our nearest theater is 40 miles away, and taking the whole brood is quite costly, we do most of our movie watching on DVD. Of the list, the only one I really want to see in theaters is The Tourist. For the usual Johnny Depp reason.

    When they come out on DVD, I'll add Tangled, Black Swan, The King's Speech, and HP and the Deathly Hallows, in that order.

    Dina, my boys can quote School of Rock almost verbatim. Drives me nuts. : )

  4. Jessica, thanks for the Caspian-getting-his-queen update. Which book does it happen in since it wasn't in Dawn Treader? Or is it just a side mention?

    I'm currently reading a book by A.W. Tozer, but my next non-fiction read will be C.S. Lewis's Mere Christianity.

    So, Jessica, is there any holiday movie you're looking forward to seeing?

  5. Dina, I'm with you about 3D movies because I always get a headache watching them. Took almost half of Avatar before my eyes could finally focus.

    We watched Alice in Wonderland recently in the 2D version. I didn't feel like I missed anything by not watching the 3D version.

    School of Rock is hilarious. My family also likes Jack Black's Nacho Libre. However, none of his movies fall in to my "worth seeing in the movie theatre" standard. Still, let me know your thoughts on Gulliver's Travels. Last version I saw of that was the one with...omg, I went blank on his name. Cheers guy. Sam and Diane. Married to Mary Steenburgen. Ted...Ted Danson.

  6. LOL, Niki! I understand the "usual Johnny Depp reason."

    My family also has a "usual Ryan Reynolds reason." :-)

    Oh, and you're soooo right on the cost of movie watching. Which is why only hubby will take kids 1-4 to see Dawn Treader, probably during matinee hours. And they won't be allowed to buy any concessions. Going to the drive-in is more cost-effective, but they close from November to April/May.

  7. Oh, I can't wait to see "Voyage of the Dawn Treader." That's my favorite of the Narnia books. There's a scene in the book with Reepacheep the mouse, where they drink the water they're sailing over and it satisfies them like Living gives me goosebumps. But maybe that's just me. You're so lucky you got to see it already, Gina!

    I saw HP 7 part 1 opening weekend and loved it, but we've already concluded around here that I'm a HP geek. I'd love to see Tangled, too. There are others on my list, like The King's Speech and The Tourist, but in all honesty, I see grown-up movies very rarely in theaters anymore. The cost of a babysitter outweighs the price of dinner and a movie!

    Totally off topic: Just rented "Babies" (finally) and loved it.

  8. I enjoyed reading your comments on the films immensely. Caspian does indeed find a wife; we meet her towards the end of the novel "Voyage of the Dawn Treader" (chapters 13 and 14) and the confirmation of their marriage comes in the last paragraph of the book. She's also mentioned in chapter 4 of the next book, "The Silver Chair," which is about her and Caspian's son.

    By all accounts (I've not seen the film yet!), we actually meet Caspian's future wife earlier in the film - but it seems they didn't make their future relationship obvious enough to anyone. (Odd, considering they put in a non-Lewis romance in the second film!)

  9. As Niki has boldly admitted 'the Johnny Depp' reason, I too am interested in The Tourist. Just cause I like to see him in the rare 'normal' role. But not sure I can take two hours of A.Jolie. And I don't want a lot of these type of movies, well, not since Cary Grant stopped making them.

    I'm waiting patiently for next year's release of a new Jane Eyre. If I could get this to link well I would. I can't. so here's the gobblegygook html language instead:

    I guess I'll check out 'The King's Speech'.

  10. Okay. I'm back. I'd heard nothing about The King's Speech. I see that Jennifer Ehle plays in that movie. She was Elizabeth Bennett to Colin Firth's Darcy. (but I'll wait for the DVD)

    Okay public confession time here. I'm going to blame it on having no children living at home for over 10 years but I haven't seen any LOTR movies, and only the first Narnia. Didn't read them either.

    Well, hey, I haven't seen the Jack Black movies either. I saw two movies at the theatre in 2010 and Santa just bought them for me for Christmas. I'm so predictable.

    I know. I know..

  11. Yeah, I agree with Jessica. Caspian definitely finds his Queen in the book, so now I hope they deal with it well in the movie. Sigh.

  12. Susanne, the only time I cried in Dawn Treader was at the end when Reepacheep...umm, does what he does. I could cry now just remembering.

  13. Sammie, so was Capsian's queen the girl who was the star? 'Cause she's the only possible girl I could think could be who you're talking about. I wasn't sure if she was really a star (she mentioned she could change to another form if that one wasn't pleasing, which Caspian and Edward both heartily said no to her doing).

    Earlier in the film, Lucy asks Caspian "Have you found a queen yet?"

    He responds, "I haven't yet met one to equal your sister."

    Well, it's good to know he gets a girl. Thanks, Sammie, for easing my wondering.

  14. OMG, Deb!!! I'm sooo looking forward to seeing Jane Eyre. A couple years ago I read the novel. Then I decided I'd watch the movie version. Guess what. There are four mini-series, so I went to the library to check one out. Only I didn't know which one was the best one. Thus I took all four.

    Watched them newest to oldest. Three of the Janes fit the character. None of the Rochesters did.

    Seems like I read the guy playing Rochester is a hottie.

    Wish we lived closer so we could go see the movie together. Instead I'll take my oldest daughter.

  15. Victoria, unless they add stuff to Dawn Treader that wasn't in the version I saw, then I can safely say "No, they didn't deal well with Caspian finding a queen."

    There was no girl in the first part of the movie who could possibly be his queen. Was she on the first island when they're captured and sold as slaves?

    Here's to hoping my question causes them to add to the movie. LOL!

  16. Deb, you really ought to watch the LotR trilogy. Not all on one day, although my family did that one Saturday.

    If only to see Viggo and Orlando...

  17. I love movies... but I have no love in my heart for 3D films. I don't like wearing the glasses, I don't find it a superior movie going experience, I think all the colors look muddy, and I hate spending an extra three or four dollars a ticket to get in. However, my son enjoys 3D, which is why I've seen a few :+}

    Movies I'm looking forward to... HP and Dawn Treader for sure. Tangled looks cute, but I might wait for the DVD. Black Swan is intriguing. And The Tourist is a big YES becaus of both Depp and Jolie. The King's Speech, Gulliver, and True Grit are all on my future Netflix list. So many movies, so little time!

  18. Sammie, so was Caspian's queen the girl who was the star? ... I wasn't sure if she was really a star....

    Yes, that lady is Caspian's eventual queen. In the book it only says that the girl's father is a retired star, and so there's no indication whether or not she herself is.

    And you're welcome. :-) I would have wondered, too.

    Earlier in the film, Lucy asks Caspian "Have you found a queen yet?"
    He responds, "I haven't yet met one to equal your sister."

    Thank you for sharing this - at least I'm prepared so I won't complain aloud in the theater. :-) This is the non-Lewis romance added into the "Prince Caspian" film; in the books, there's no romance between Caspian and Susan.

    As to the people who told you that Lewis didn't care about romance or didn't mention it: Caspian and his bride are, imho, the most romantic and beautiful pair Lewis has written into the Chronicles; Lewis tells us how they meet and what happens in their lives.

    When Caspian and the others first meet the star's daughter, they say that "they had never known what beauty meant" until they see her. There's a hilarious little scene (well, it was to me) where Caspian hints broadly that he should get to kiss her (yes, this is in Lewis's text), and the girl just smiles at him and tells him he may not until he has finished his task. At the end of the novel, Caspian is going to make a selfish, disastrous decision which everyone tells him is wrong, and the only thing which causes him to stop is Lucy's reminder that he essentially promised to return to the star's daughter. (He continues acting like a jerk, though, and Aslan steps in to correct him.)

    Their story gets very sad in "Silver Chair" in a kind of starkly tragic way (rather than a teenage-angsty manner).

    On an unrelated note: I nearly forgot about "The Tempest" coming out with Mirren until I saw your list; thank you. I'm excited about that one.

    But besides "Dawn Treader", the one I've been following obsessively is another on your list - "The King's Speech". I hope it will get a wider release - near me! I've always loved the story of George VI and Elizabeth. (I loved James Wilby as the king and plan to see Laurence Fox playing the same character in a film about the abdication coming out in the next year or two.) Of course, there's the added bonus of seeing Firth and Ehle on screen again together, even if it's very brief. They could be eighty and in walkers, and I'd still hop up and down like a squeeing fangirl and shout, "It's Darcy and Elizabeth!" :-)

  19. Thanks for the list Gina! I've been a bit out of touch with what's happening in the movies lately!
    I usually wait for my boys to tell me what's good- they check out the trailers for me.
    I think the Nutcracker sounds intriguing. Usually love anything ballet... but I think the Black Swan gets into some stuff that crosses the line for me.
    I really want Dawntreader to be good....

  20. Harry Potter, for sure, and hopefully The King's Speech too. :) I'm a sucker for movies about British royalty (my favorite of all time is "A Man For All Seasons") even though the moral of all of them seems to be "stay far away from British royalty!"


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