The central problem that's dogged CON as a film franchise is that it was only adapted into films to capitalize on a trend. That's always been the way Hollywood operates.... The only reason LWW saw the light of day as a live action film was because of LOTR and Harry Potter....That's one of my huge problems with PC, it feels too LOTR with some cutes. It was jarring seeing the tree sequence and the water god sequence. I half expected Treebird (
) to be leading the troop of trees.
That is why PC was made darker, to make the most of battle scenes and to stick in the sort of romance not apparent in the book. And why Prince Caspian was too overdeveloped for a 14 year old, as was Peter. King Erlian
is right. If Prince Caspian had still been a fourteen year old boy he certainly would have been more appreciative of the help of even the teenaged Pevensies he summoned when in battle with his uncle for his rights. But then, of course teenaged movie stars do grow up, especially if there are multiple delays in filming, even if it was imperative that Peter and Caspian should appear to be the same age for the finished result.
However, Business has had the idea that to make a fantasy blockbuster movie, the recipe is Special effects, battle scenes with good against evil, aannnd...Romance. I'm not complaining about one kiss, really I am not. I still prefer Susan kissing Caspian to the total lack of recognition of any sort of romance at all in that horrible rendition of Rosemary Sutcliffe's Eagle of the Ninth
that I saw around 2010. It is just that neither movie was true to the story allegedly being filmed.
One thing that LOTR also did extremely well with was that spectacular mountain chain in New Zealand. It was as if Aotearoa/New Zealand deserved an Oscar of its very own, just for being, well, Middle Earth/New Zealand. There is nothing like that in Australia, though on Ramandu's Island in VDT the Australian location wasn't too bad at all.
I loved the VDT cinematography, and others of the sets were really good, such as on the Magician's Island, and the Dawn Treader, itself. But special effects, 3D and good cinematography and sets aren't enough by themselves to develop a good film, unless people like watching movies with the sound off and don't care about the story that is allegedly portrayed.
Rose-tree Dryad wrote:It is easy to see how a "safe" adaptation like LWW could become a worldwide success, but it was far less clear how it could kick off a series of seven films, especially if you're familiar with the books. For instance, when I take issue with the fact that Aslan was reduced to a wise old mentor-type character, that's partly because he's literally the only character who is present in all seven stories and you need to emphasize his role in order for the franchise to have legs.
So on the one hand, I take issue as a fan, but I also take issue from a business standpoint. I think that if Walden and Disney had been more mindful of the series as a whole, they would have had a lot more success with the Narnia franchise post-LWW. That's one positive about going forward with a new studio: hopefully they will learn from the mistakes of the previous filmmakers.
Hast hit it, friend Rose-tree Dryad.
That is the trouble with VDT, too. Twentieth Century Fox is part of the News Limited business empire of Rupert Murdoch, and though it was distributing VDT, that sort of movie, with "English toffs", and "Lion-delivered sermons" must have really irked them, as it goes strongly against many of their media values. Especially it was noticeable when the reviews came out. But then The Golden Compass
, and Eragon
, released here at previous Christmases, didn't do all that well down here, either.
Reepicheep775 wrote:A good example being my opinion of The Force Awakens. The most common response I got to my complaints with TFA was something like, "You have to understand that most people didn't like the Prequels. There needed to be a more familiar film to get people back on board before they push the franchise into new directions." While I understand the situation, I just can't bring myself to use it as an excuse for what I see as safe and predictable film-making in a franchise that has always been bold and inventive. I think you should judge a film on its own merits without considering what happened behind-the-scenes.
As far as I know, there was nothing wrong with the Prequels, unless the viewers were purist fans. I did see those movies, more out of love of a Star Wars fanatic offspring than by my own choice, and so I don't like to criticize them. Star Wars is an old movie series that had enchanted an older generation as long ago as 1977, and was revived in the 1990's when new developments in Special Effects made further films possible, especially the last one, Revenge of the Sith
, which was released in 2005. But now The Force Awakens
looks like the producers are trying to milk the Star Wars cash cow for as long as possible, even though I rather enjoyed the movie. Even Kylo Ren, stomping around, looks to me uncommonly like a bad-tempered Severus Snape rip-off. I wasn't aware the Star Wars series was actually based on books, and thought the books are based on the films, which I think is the same as the Indiana Jones series.
That is the reverse situation compared to the Narnia series, where you have the book first and the film second. Maybe that is what makes some of these series films more marketable. We don't know if filmmakers are following an original book story, as is necessary in either King Solomon's Mines, or the Narnia books. Or whether the book, if found in a bookstore, is just a retelling of the movie.