Thursday, December 16, 2010

Voyage of the Dawn Treader: a review, bullet-point style

I am on Christmas I'm not even going to try to forming paragraph-type thoughts. You get what you get and you don't get upset.

I'm basically tagging anyone who I have perceived has some interest in Narnia, however remote. So that status you liked or that comment you made or that conversation you heard me have or had with me on the subject is getting you a tag on this note. ;)

Anyway, here is a review (bullet-point style) of VoDT:

- The 1940's sequences were wonderful. Of course, I love all things 40's. There were some pretty funny moments involving Edmund and Eustace here, too. Georgie Henley's acting wasn't at its peak (she was definitely better later on), but the other two were great. And there's the first of two appearances by Susan in this sequence, so I am happy. :) <--that's a happy face.

-I loved the sequence when they actually go to Narnia through the portrait...very inventive.

-The Dawn Treader--the actual ship--was GORGEOUS. I would like to sail on it, please.

-I was sort of disappointed that Lucy didn't get any other costume than the pants and shirt she borrowed from Caspian...but Isis Mussenden (costume designer, obviously) did a great job making it look good on her.

-About the music: all I can say is that I miss Harry Gregson-Williams. David Arnold was a great composer, don't get me wrong--but I missed the original feeling the Gregson-Williams gave to the film. There were parts of the VoDT soundtrack that reminded me a little too much of Charlotte's Web. However, I was glad to hear that Arnold recycled the original Narnia theme (duuum, dum dum duuuum, dum dum dum dum dum duuum!) quite a bit. :)

-The new actors were stellar; they picked the perfect person for Eustace and Drinian was pretty a Yul Brynner, kill-joy sort of way.

-Narnia-movie-haters-yet-fans will be relieved to know that, true to the book, Peter and Susan don't actually go back to Narnia.

-They did add a couple of themes to the plot, nothing too huge though. A green mist was the biggest one, laying seven swords was the other. If you think about the latter, though, it's not too far-fetched from the book, since it also involves seven things. They also 'added' on the theme of temptation, if you can call it an addition. There's plenty of temptation in the book.

-The special effects were good...for the most part. I think they changed the shape of Aslan's face and the color of Reepicheep's eyes, so I wasn't happy about that, but otherwise, they did a great job animating Coriakin's garden and house and all the various interesting creatures. All the creatures except....

-The Sea Serpent. They overdid it, IMHO. The battle with it was very intense, and the creature itself was gruesome and uuuuugly. If you see it in 3D, that is going to be a VERY frightening part (what a magnificent understatement that was....)

-Ramandu makes no appearance, but his daughter does. She is blue, and I thought she was a little dizzy. But then that might just be because all girls hate her anyway...

-Caspian was good...of course. Improved: hair, accent (especially accent...British now) and overall acting (according to some. I personally didn't have much of a problem with him in the first movie but that's just me. I guess ;).

-I'm not going to commit the grave offense of giving away a spoiler (in writing, anyway. I have told a couple people..) but a very important scene from the end of the book was left in...a scene you'd never have thought the secular world would cut in. One of the perks of having Michael Apted direct, maybe?

-I had to stick the word "epic" in here somewhere. Might as well be at the end as a summary. ;) Here: EPIC!

I have talked to a number of people and read some reviews ..if you didn't like the other two (I understand how a purist wouldn't like PC, I can't process how anyone could find sonething wrong with LWW), don't rule out Voyage of the Dawn Treader. People who hated the other two (especially PC) are saying that this one is a vast improvement. Go see it. It's so different from the other two that chances are, you'll surprise yourself and love it.

K, shutting up now.


Meredith said...

Oh, I completely agree with everything here.
I LOVED the part with Edmund and Eustace fighting in the first couple of scenes, and the overall movie was bomb.
I have to agree, I was missing Harry Gregson-Williams so much I might have died. If I ever meet that man I'll hug him very very hard. Not saying the soundtrack was bad, it was very good! But to me it sounding like a NannyMcPhee-Peter Pan soundtrack.
And I practically had to close my eyes at the sea serpent part, I don't know how little kids are going to watch that!
But overall, GREAT GREAT moive. Looved it. Need to watch it again.

Näna said...

I agree with pretty much everything....especially the music and costumes:) It was an AMAZING movie though.

Love and hugs,

Jo March said...

I haven't seen it yet!!!!!!!!! *growly growly* We have to wait till it comes out on DVD.

Lucie Manette said...

@Meredith: I know...I just think the soundtrack was too cliched. Oh well. And yes, I don't know how little children can see it and not close their eyes...I was turning away quite a bit, too!

@Nana: :)

@Jo: Aww, that's simply tragic :'(. But it's rumored that the DVD could possibly come out as early as Easter....:). Sorry you can't see it in theatres...

Chanel said...

I completely agree with all you said! I found the music wasn't as good as it previously was, but it was great how they still put in the original theme :)! To me I didn't really like the green mist, I thought it was a tad to weird for Narnia. This might be kind of weird, but I was laughing through the entire seas monster scene, and I don't know why? It seemed like it came out of Pirates of the Caribbean?! I loved The scene were Lucy is transformed into Susan and she wears that gorgeous dress! I want that dress so bad! Overall it was still amazing, but I think my favorite Narnia movie is still the LWW, *sigh*. Great review!

Anonymous said...

Dear Lucie...

Pretty good review! This particular movie is very dear to me (due to a long series of events) and I've seen it twice in theatres now. I really love it, in spite of all the changes. The only issue I have with it is that the Seven-Sword-spell-thing was the solution, not Aslan. I loved just about everything else about it though...but I agree that the Sea Serpent was a bit too much. Especially when it kind of split itself open--ugh. I actually loved David Arnold's music, though; it was different from Gregson-Williams, but I thought it was for the better (Dawn Treader needed some fresh sounds). The LWW soundtrack remains my ultimate favorite, though.
I could go on and on, but you get the picture... I pretty much loved it!


Joanna said...

I concur. I also was bummed by the lack of female costumes, but what was I to expect? There really were only two girls! ;-) Got to love those narnian belts though, simply stunning.

We just saw it recently and then dissected it with our friends over hot cocoa. I think it was much better than PC, especially regarding Ben Barnes. 1. Much better accent and acting I thought, 2. No Susan subplot.


Näna said...

Hey, Lucie!

Just stopping by to let you know that my blog is now public...and for good this time:) The blog feeds being messed up was such a pain we decided public was the way to go:)

Did you have a good new year? Happy 2011!


Jo March said...

I saw the Dawn Treader last night!!!!! It was....EPIC :P No, seriously, I loved it. My mama didn't like the green mist thing very much, but it made perfect sense to me. And since we saw it at home on our little ole TV, the sea serpent wasn't scary at all.

I had tears in my eyes at the ending - it wasn't over emotional but it still broke your heart. I loved Edmund's attitude at the end - it helped make it clear exactly *why* Lu and Ed were too old to come back.

I could probably talk about VDT for a lot longer - but I'll let you go :D Full review coming on Scraps (my blog) soon, though :D