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The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
The latest film in the Narnia franchise is full of talking creatures, large-scale battle scenes, and even a little romance. What is it missing? Originality, humor, and most importantly…originality! Picking up one year after the first film takes place, which is hundreds of years by Narnia’s clocks, the four main heroes (Peter, Lucy, Edmund, and Susan) are summoned back to Narnia by the exiled Prince Caspian. It seems Caspian’s uncle, Miraz, just had a son and decided that now is the time to kill Caspian and take over the throne. Hmm…uncle trying to kill next in line to the throne…film with lion in it…Disney production…hmm…it all seems a little familiar. Anyways, with the help of four siblings, Caspian must unite the creatures of Narnia and reclaim what is rightfully his. While “Prince Caspian” is not a horrible film, it is merely an average one. Which is a shame considering the first one was well done. One of the main problems I had, beside the plot/script, was that the nondescript villain. Compared to the White Witch in the first film, Miraz is not menacing at all. At no point does he display the cunning of the truly great villain. There is really nothing memorable about Miraz at all. I guess the same can be said for most of the characters this time around. There is no creature in Narnia that really keeps your interest, like Mr. Tumnus did in the first film. Heck, even Aslan the lion seems to be slumming it in this one. Trumpkin (played by the wonderful Peter Dinklage) is probably the closest thing to an interesting character. Yet even he at times feels like the poor man’s Gimli of “The Lord of The Rings” fame. Despite the numerous familiar aspects of the film, “Prince Caspian” at least keeps the audiences interest for the most part. Thought it is darker than the first one, families will probably enjoy this film quiet a bit. I just wish they decided to bring some new life to the franchise, rather than retread on material already covered in better films.
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Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Although I was excited to see Indy back on the big screen, I went into this film with moderate expectations; and got a moderately entertaining film in return. Though the film does not leave much of a lasting impression, there was much that I enjoyed in this film. I thought the chase sequence in the jungle was well done; and I am probably one of the few people that actually enjoyed Shia LaBeouf in the film (minus the swinging with the monkeys section). I think he will do a decent job with the franchise in the future. Hey, Hollywood has been ripping off Indy for years with films like “National Treasure,“ “The DaVinci Code,” and “ Sahara.” I doubt LaBeouf could be any worse than Nicholas Cage, especially with Spielberg at helm. Similar to James Bond films, you have to suspend most of your disbelief to really enjoy the films. Especially in this one, where an older Indy can still move and fight better than most twenty year-olds. Sure the plot had more holes than a cargo net…I still can’t figure out how a loopy Professor Ox was able to go all the way back and put the skull back were he found it…but really, when it comes to Indy the plot has never really been the strong point. Indy has always been about the adventure and humour. Which is what you pretty much get in this film. Granted I could have done without the nuclear bomb testing scene, and the whole temple scene at the end. Not to mention that Cate Blanchett’s seemingly indestructible Dr. Irina Spalko would have been better suited as a Bond villain rather than Indy’s. Still I was willing to let all that go and just enjoy the film for what it was. An entertaining piece of fluff that you will most likely forget about in the morning.
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