5/16/08

Prince Caspian: Random Bear FTW

If you've seen an episode of Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim, then you may remember seeing the Random Bear. He shows up every now and then to do something awkward and garner some nervous laughter... Well, he must have a magical wardrobe or something, because somehow he found his way into Narnia. About three quarters of the way into the movie we finally recognize him. Perhaps it would have been better if he had never spoken. But the biggest laugh of the film comes from when Random Bear says "For Aslan!" He sounds like a retarded hobo. And I don't know whether it's because now that I've recognized him for what he is I see him everywhere, but it seems like he's in absolutely every scene after that awkward moment whether he belongs or not.

Why It's a Geek Movie
Fantasy is the domain of the geek. It seems the higher the intelligence, the more apt one is to imagine those things that cannot happen. If ever there was a geekier Christian than C. S. Lewis, I don't know where to find him.

What's it About?
In The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, four children find a magical land after traveling through a wardrobe and through an exciting turn of events, they become Kings and Queens of Narnia. Turns out time travels quite a bit faster in Narnia than on Earth. When the kids go back a year later, hundreds of years have passed in Narnia, a human kingdom has invaded and taken over Narnia and the rightful heir to the throne has a price on his head set by his uncle who craves the crown. It's up to Peter, Susan, Edmond and Lucy to reclaim Narnia for the Narnians and hand its rule over to the rightful king: Caspian.

How to Appreciate It
I never actually read this book, though I did read the first one. It seems with any book-turned-movie there are a few things to consider. They are not going to be exactly the same, that's just a given. In order to appreciate any of these kinds of movies, one has to take a tip from Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. He has had his story turned into a series of novels, a radio show series, a video game, a TV series and a movie and every time it's almost completely different from the first time. But Douglas doesn't mind that at all. Adams treats every incarnation of the story as a new story in itself. And this is how to appreciate any adaptation: realize that when you go into a theater, it's not to read a book, it's to watch an entirely different story on the big screen. Try to appreciate the movie for itself, and forget about whether or not it's anything like the book.

Is it Worth It?
Have you ever known someone who's accidentally wronged you and apologized profusely afterwords? Did this person also come up to you several times after you'd forgiven them and apologized some more? And then, after a while, did he start apologizing for apologizing so much? If you have, then you're starting to get the idea of the bulk of this movie. The first one was criticized as being too boring, so they tried to beef up the action in this one. And beef it up they did. Almost every single scene of the first half of the movie there was some kind of useless conflict going on. I didn't mind at first, but it started to get to the point where it was kind of silly. All things considered, though, it's still got my approval. If you can get past the profuse apologies, it's worth it in the end to laugh at the Random Bear.