Movie Reviews: THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE & BROKEBACK MOUNT
THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE
Through a magic portal, the Pevensie kids Lucy, Edmund, Susan and Peter escape from World War II England to Narnia, which is inhabited by all sorts of talking beasts, including the lion Aslan (Neeson). The children learn that the mystical land is ruled by the evil White Witch (Swinton), who holds on to power through a seemingly unbreakable spell.
Cast Liam Neeson, Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes, William Moseley, Anna Popplewell (more)
Director(s) Andrew Adamson
Writer(s) Andrew Adamson, Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Genre(s) Fantasy, Adventure, Family
Release Date Dec. 9, 2005
DVD Release Date April 4, 2006
Running Time 140 minutes
MPAA Rating PG - for battle sequences and frightening moments
The Chronicles of Narnia is decent fantasy film but doesnt quite exceed anything done in better fantasy films like the Lord of the Rings films. Lord of the Rings set a fairly high standard for fantasy films, unfortunately, Narnia seem to retread a lot of the same ground but without achieving the same level of enjoyment. Narnia is paced at an almost snails pace which make the films 2 hours feel closer to 3. Once the movie reaches its predictable finale, it fails to impress. The scale of the movie just doesnt seem large enough. The story seems to require a greater scale than what its given. Visually the film is decent however the CGI animals tend to stick out quite a bit and not in a good way. On a positive note, the acting was fairly decent in particular from the younger members of the cast. As a film, Narnia is predictable and at times a bit boring, I wish this film was more fully realized but sadly it falls a bit short.
In Wyoming and Texas in 1963, a rodeo cowboy named Jack (Gyllenhaal) and a ranch hand called Ennis (Ledger) take summer jobs tending a flock of sheep on forest-service land. The entirely unexpected outcome: a torrid affair between the two men. Later in their lives, they go their separate ways and find wives (Hathaway, Williams), but the memory of that summer refuses to fade.
Cast Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Randy Quaid, Anne Hathaway, Michelle Williams (more)
Director(s) Ang Lee
Writer(s) Larry McMurtry, Diana Ossana
Genre(s) Romance, Drama, Western
Release Date Dec. 9, 2005 New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco; Dec. 16, 2005 select markets; Jan. 6, 2006 500 theaters
DVD Release Date April 4, 2006
Running Time 134 minutes
MPAA Rating R - for sexuality, nudity, language and some violence
Brokeback Mountain is a melancholy meditation on the issues of love, loss and living the life one desires. This movie is a story of 2 gay men but the themes and issues that are woven into the film are universal. The acting in the film is top notch, especially from Heath Ledger. Ledger has done some simply horrid films over the last couple of years and was nearly falling off the acting map before this film. His performance here makes up for it and then some. His portrayal of Ennis is dead. There are quite a few times where you can just see all the pain and turmoil written on the Enniss face. In addition to the fine acting the cinematography is just gorgeous, quite a few shots, especially near the beginning of the film are just breathtaking. As a whole, this is a film piece of filmmaking; Ang Lee earned his directorial Oscar.