Saturday, December 11, 2010

Movie Review and Awards!

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

The third book in this series of seven is without a doubt my favorite. However, due to lackluster reviews of the movie, I went in with low expectations. Before I give my review, I will offer a disclaimer. If you’ve never read the books, you might not like it as much. If you’ve read and loved the books and are fully invested in the characters, you’ll probably enjoy it much more.

Dawn Treader follows the book much closer than Prince Caspian and is a better film. It’s not as powerful or memorable as the first film, but it boasts good pacing and a fun adventure. Lucy and Edmond return to Narnia, dragging along their dour cousin, Eustace. This is where the movie nails it – Eustace is perfect. He’s a sourpuss and wet blanket in the beginning and you pretty much hate the kid – until a moment of greed changes his form.

It also conveys a strong message to those of faith every time Aslan appears on the screen. The ending is very moving, and I was impressed they kept a key line from the book, spoken by Aslan – “In your world, you know me by another name.”

It’s not perfect, but overall it’s a good fantasy and Christmas movie. I enjoyed it!

Next up, some awards I’ve been hoarding:

The “Awesome Award of Awesome Awesomeness!” From Jamie at Mithril Wisdom. Jamie’s blog just turned one and he’s a really cool young man with a bright future. Thanks, Jamie!

I am passing this on to Old Kitty, who has never failed to stop by with a witty comment. (Of course, she must share this award with Charlie…)

I received the “L'Aussie Fair Dinkum Award” from L’Aussie Writing. Thanks so much!

I am passing it on to Talli Roland. She’s indeed a fair lass!

And finally, I received the “Summer Blogger Award” from Carol Kilgore at Under the Tiki Hut. Thank you, Carol!

I am passing it on to Laura Eno at A Shift in Dimensions, who is a great example of summer in winter.

Thanks everyone!

Now, anyone else see a cool movie this week? Don’t forget, Inception came out on DVD this week! Next Tuesday, it’s Despicable Me. And has everyone seen Tangled? Why on earth not?!


Jamie Gibbs said...

Tangled is on my to watch list, just need to get the time off work.
I never really got into the Narnia series; I really need to read through the books first.

Thanks for the shout out too; you totally deserved that award :D

mshatch said...

I'm so glad The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is better than Prince Caspian. I recently saw the latter and wasn't very impressed. What about the dragon, was he done well? I always think it's hard to do a dragon well in film, so it doesn't come out cartoonish.

Anonymous said...

I have yet to read the books. I think I'll take the kids to watch it. Thanks for the review. I saw the trailer for Thor yesterday on Yahoo! one of my favorite comic book heroes from my childhood (sure wish I kept those ten and twelve cent comics!) Looking forward to the movie.

Charles Gramlich said...

I always liked this title the best of any. Very evocative. I actually still haven't seen Prince Caspian but will eventually.

Laura Eno said...

Congrats on the awards and I'm honored that you thought of me!

I've never read the books but the review does sound interesting.

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

Very good review, Alex! You're getting better and better! :)

I'm gonna watch this next week, so I still can't comment on your review of Dawn Treader, but I absolutely loved the trailer.

Congrats on the awards! :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

MSHatch, the dragon was done very well and you could see Eustace in the creature.

Stephen, you've never read the books?

Nebular, I'm working on it - still short but I doubt I'll ever create a long review. And the more I think about this movie, the more I liked it.

baygirl32 said...

I took kiddo to see this last night, she loved it

Southpaw said...

Thanks for the review. I felt the second film fell flat as well and was not too sure about this one. I just might give it a watch.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on the awards! You deserve them!!

My daughter and I love Narnia. I love the Christian aspects of it. From your description, it sounds like a good movie in an otherwise rather bleak showing of movies out there right now. We need good faith-promoting movies to cheer us up in a difficult world.

Thanks for stopping by and cheering me on. I'm now going to start working on my edits!

ediFanoB said...

Congratulations on the awards!

I did not read the Narnia books. Ant it seems that I'm not the only one.Your review is more positive than all the comments I read within the week.
I'm still not sure whether I want to see the movie or not.

Did you see it in 3D?

N. R. Williams said...

I love the Narnia books and am so looking forward to the movie. I'm glad you liked it. I'd love to see Tangled too, but movie dollars are in short supply.

Congrats on the awards.
N. R. Williams, fantasy author

Julie Musil said...

I have to admit, I haven't read the Narnia books. I know, I know, what's wrong with me?

I have a Netflix copy of Charlie St. Cloud, which I'll watch tonight. One of the animators for Tangled is speaking at my church tomorrow morning. Should be interesting!

Old Kitty said...

Congratulations with your awards!!!! And thank you so much for nominating me!! How awesome!!!! Yay, thank you!!!! Charlie says "purr-meow". LOL!!! He does this Elvis lip curl when he says that btw, it's very funny!!

Anyway!! Narnia books!!! I loved the books!! Loved them!! And I did like the first film, the second was ok and this time I think I'll wait for it to come out on DVD and not rush to the cinema like the second film only to be all disappointed!!!

BTW - maybe it's just me but I was slightly horrified by the scene in the first film where Father Christmas gives real weapons as christmas gifts to the children. I know they were about to fight the rather gorgeous and ever so fabulous Snow Queen (she has to be one of my bestest screen villains cos she's gorgeous and ever so sexy lovely and oozing such naughtiness!!)and her minions but I kept thinking - it's Christmas - goodwill and peace to all and you're giving them weapons of mass destruction??? Oh dear!!

Anyway, just a random thought, off I go now to take more medication!! LOL! take care

Anne R. Allen said...

Thanks for this. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader was my favorite book of the series--the favorite single book of my childhood. (How can all these people not have read it? They missed out on some serious childhood joy.)

I've been terrified the film makers would ruin it (I didn't like the way Prince Caspian veered off plot.) But now I think I might enjoy this one. Great review.

Old Kitty--a big draw of the Narnia books is that kids get to succeed at fulfilling grown-up responsibilities. It's a way of envisioning themselves as the adults they might become. It's in a fantasy context, but they need to have real power, not just "let's pretend."

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I saw this yesterday afternoon - thought it was a little stiff at first, but by the ending, I was hooked - and crying like a sap! I read these books over and over as a child, so to see it on the big screen sends chills up my spine.

DEZMOND said...

ah, you know I do love me some talking animals in films and in reality as well.

Second ah, I see you like my new christmasy avatar :)

And I was privileged to be awarded the Awesome Awesomeness Award with Arlee and You from our favourite Welshman.

TS Hendrik said...

I'm glad to hear Narnia was good. The last one was just a bit disappointing. Hopefully I'll see it later today.

Gail said...

I love this series and look forward to seeing the movie.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Baygirl, glad she did!

Holly, it's better than #2.

Ann, then you and your daughter will love it!

Edi, yes - saw it in 3D, but like Toy Story 3, it really didn't need it. The critics are being overly harsh and cynical with this film and I've no idea why.

Julie, that's amazing!

Kitty, I can picture the Elvis curl.
You'll like this one much better than the second.
And that scene in the first one follows the book, so you'll have to ask C S Lewis why he gave weapons.

Anne, it changes a few things, but nothing like what was done to the second movie. I think you'll really enjoy it.

Diane, yeah the ending really pulls at the heartstrings.

Dez, you will like it then! I was hoping you would post a Christmas avatar and snagged it earlier today. And I almost gave you the award until I remembered Jamie had already done so!

TS, if everything about the books moves you, then you will enjoy this one, and much more than the second movie.

Chris Phillips said...

I saw Edge of Darkness this week (netflix) It was good, but less the badass Taken type character I was expecting.

Golden Eagle said...

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader sounds good--I love the books. :)

Congratulations on the awards!

Summer Ross said...

Congrats on the awards. I haven't seen the new Narnia yet. but I hope to take my girls sometime. as for movies I've seen, tangled was a great movie, I really liked the horse.

The Words Crafter said...

Yay! I'm glad you liked Dawn Treader; I really want to go see this. Even though the second installment was less true to the book, I still enjoyed it.

I saw the cartoon version of Wardrobe when I was little and have since had a serious thing about lampposts.....

Congrats on the awards and have a great weekend!

Michelle Gregory said...

Alex, thanks for the review. after reading mixed reviews on the Narnia Fan website, i was debating leaving this one for DVD, but your opinion holds more weight than theirs, so i'll be seeing this in the theater.

the last movie i saw was Red, but that was a few weeks ago. except for one scene, i loved it. can't beat Bruce Willis and John Malkovich. and Helen Mirren in combat boots...just priceless.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Finally went to see 'Tangled' today with my 16 year old daughter. We had fun except for the cranky kids behind us.
I think we'll go see Dawn Trader over Christmas break.

Melissa said...

I LOVED Tangled. I'm seeing Dawn Treader on Sunday! Which is tomorrow (where has my week gone? Gah! School sucks!) I'm so excited.

Helen Ginger said...

I haven't been to the movies this week, but I do need to get to the store and buy Inception. I plan to give it to my husband for Christmas. He didn't go with my son and me when we saw it in the theater (and loved it).

Unknown said...

I read the entire series of Narnia but that was long ago. I remember actually liking Eustace and laughing at his ill-tempered mood. However, I lost momentum in my enthusiasm as the books progressed only because the allegory became a little bit much.

Congrats to the award winners!

I admit I have not seen any of the films you mentioned but I do have two of them on my DVD queue on Netflix. Thanks for the recommendation of Inception. I look forward to seeing these movies in the coming weeks. :D

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Golden, you'll enjoy the movie then!

Summer, glad you saw Tangled!

Words Crafter, you will love it!

Michelle, was RED not just a lot of fun? Reviewers are being really harsh on this movie - just don't expect an Oscar contender and you'll enjoy it!

Melissa, enjoy!

Helen, he'll be thrilled with that gift. Get the three disc set that comes with regular AND BluRay.

Chary, Inception is the best movie of the year!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review! Heading over to some other sites to check out how kid-friendly it is (The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was too scary for preschoolers, imo) and decide whether to see as a family. I think I definitely want to see it in the theater now!

Denise Covey said...

Hey Alex I made tracks over here straight away after reading your comment re Byron. I had that name chosen long before I read your book (haven't finished yet) so please don't think I poached. My guy is all tied up with Lord Byron the English Romantic poet, unlike your sci-fi guy!

Congrats on all your awards. I'm pleased Talli gets passed the Fair Dinkum award.

Thx for your review on ...Dawn Trader. I was wondering if it was worth a visit. I'll definitely get it on DVD. I have the series of books and always get my students to read them all.

Hope your sequel is coming along...

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Congratulations on the well deserved awards, Alex! You are an awesome blogger...

Great review! I loved The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. I read it to my class every year. It sounds like now that I have more time on my hands I should read the rest of the books. :)

Mason Canyon said...

Great review. I'll have to add this to my 'must see' list. Congratulations on the awards, well deserved.

Thoughts in Progress

Copyboy said...

It's sad that this series doesn't seem to be living up to the Lord of the Rings one.

Cheeseboy said...

Dispicable Me is still my personal movie of the year. Glad this one was better than the first, because I hated the first one.

More awards? We should have a show in your honor.

Jemi Fraser said...

I haven't been to a movie in forever. I really have to correct that! :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Melody, I'd say nine and up for this one.

L'Aussie, I knew you didn't steal it! Byron is just a name one doesn't see often. I picked it out over thirty years ago and knew no one at the time who had it. (Now I know of a quarterback named Byron Leftwich!)

Sharon, it's a delightful series!

Copyboy, that is a travesty, consider the two authors were such good friends and both series are so beloved. But I will take Narnia over Harry Potter any day.

Cheeseboy - really????

Arlee Bird said...

I'm probably done with movies for the rest of the year with the holiday seasons approaching. Looks like things will be pretty busy for me. Hopefully I will have some reading time though.

Tossing It Out

Unknown said...

Some great movies and I haven't seen any of them. I'm waiting to watch them in the comfort of my home. But, thanks for the wonderful reviews. And congrats on the awards.

Jai Joshi said...

I'm so excited about Dawn Treader! Thanks for giving a positive review, I'm glad to finally see one. All the reviewers I've read have seemed like they're channeling Eustace. This review gives me some hope.

Congrats on your awards!



Excellent reviews and congrats on the awards and also to the people you have passed them on to.

Have a great Sunday

Amie Kaufman said...

I can't WAIT to see Voyage of the Dawntreader. It's one of my favourite books in the series. When you really love a book, sometimes the joy of the adaption is just in seeing that world come alive. Husband and I are heading off to see it on date night, can't wait!

Enid Wilson said...

I've watched the first movie. The locations were spectacular but the story I found it too predictable. So I'm not sure if I will watch this one. I'm more into my "ancient" stuff. So I'll watch The King's Speech.

Fire and Cross

Jeremy [Retro] said...

i have tears... i have high hopes for narnia 3... the movie looks so promising in the trailers... but since dropped by disney. i was afraid... this is going to be a wait til the dvd.

can i say "tron"... yeah!


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Jai, that's a great analogy! It IS a fun movie, so don't listen to the sourpusses.

Amie, that's it! That is why I said if you loved the book, you'll enjoy the movie more, because it's all about seeing it come to life.

Enid, remember, it IS a children's book!

Talli Roland said...

Yay! Thank you for the award! :)

Happy Saturday, Alex!

Simon Kewin said...

This was my favourite book of the seven too - although on rereading them in later life I found them pretty disappointing. Probably because I now knew what the subtext was. For me the allegorical aspect spoiled them. Will go and see the film though, hoping it isn't too overt ...

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Talli, you are welcome!

And Simon, the Christian aspects of the books are exactly why I like them so much.

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

I liked your review of Narnia. I definitely would like to see it some time...along with Tangled. I just have to find the time! argh!

Kelly Polark said...

I've only seen the first Narnia book and watched the first movie (both versions). I need to catch up!

Susan Fields said...

My ten-year-old daughter saw Dawn Treader with her cousins last night and she said it was better than she expected. I'm not sure what she expected, but I thought that was a very positive review. I'm looking forward to seeing it now.

And congrats on your awards!

Abby Minard said...

Congrats on the awards, Alex! And I've seen Tanlged- I LOVED it. My daughter did too. I want to see Voyage of the Dawn Treader- I don't remember the book very well, but I loved that whole series. The first two movies were actually pretty good, I must say. Espcecially since I don't remember every detail, it was easy to miss anything that they left out. Glad you liked it!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Kelly, yes you do!

Thanks Susan! And it was better than I expected as well. Glad your daughter enjoyed it.

Abby, glad you liked it! I meant to reread the third book before the movie, so I don't remember it exactly either.

Dempsey Sanders said...

congrats on your awards Alex, you deserve them its and excellent site you have.
Love the chronicles of Narnia, yet to see this one though

TerryLynnJohnson said...

Oooh, I'm so excited to see this! And Tangled. We live FAR from a movie theatre, so they are a special treat. Love your review!(I did indeed love the book) I look forward to reading more reviews here. I've struck gold on this blog.
Inception - yes, it's under the tree. Great movie that!

Melissa Gill said...

I can't wait to see VDT, it's always been my favorite book. I'm taking my nephew on Wednesday night.

Karen M. Peterson said...

I haven't read the Narnia books yet, but I will probably see Dawn Treader. Just because that's what I do.

Thanks for the review! Glad you weren't disappointed!

Karen Lange said...

Congrats to you and the new winners, Alex!

dolorah said...

I haven't seen a movie in ages. No, wait - I did see Jonah Hex about a month ago, and even wrote a review. The review is still in longhand. Ach- that movie has already made the circuits. . .

Its been so long since I read Narnia that I think I should read them again.

I did enjoy the ending of this movie. I caught it on a cable channel and I only got to see the last half hour. I really want to go buy it now - quite excellent. Oddly enough, I do remember that last line from the book, although I couldn't remember WHICH book he'd said it in.

Congrats on all the awards. I'm hoarding that Fair Dinkum award myself - I'm quite proud of it - and a couple others. I just haven't had the time to post them yet.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thank you, Dempsey.

Terry, thanks! Hope you get out to see the third Narnia movie. You'll love it.

Good for you, Melissa! Seems it's everyone's favorite of the books.

Donna, I wish I'd read the book again just before seeing the movie, but I don't think it missed much. I watched Johah Hex as well, just never got around to a review.

Patricia Stoltey said...

I'm doing my weekly movies in December, so I saw Morning Glory last week (and thorough enjoyed it). This week I'm thinking Burlesque.

Anonymous said...

Dawn Treader was my favorite book of the series too--just saw Prince Caspian.

Liked Inception a lot. Still trying to see looks really cute!

Hannah said...

I got my INCEPTION day of! Love it!

also Black Swan comes out this Friday and I for one can't wait to see it!! Squee!

Simon Kewin said...


Yep, I figured that. I'm afraid that's precisely why I dislike them!

Pat Tillett said...

Thanks for the review. I think that about seals it for me. I'm gonna scoop up the GD this weekend and check it out.

Congrats on the awards!