Two Fantasy Travel Movies

13 Jan

The return to the forsaken middle school was always imminent throughout the holiday break. I suppose I took my freedom for granted, but now it’s too late. Christmas is over. It’s 2011. School is in session. Needless to say, I miss the holidays already. I can only look back and smile. I remember two movies I saw over the break: The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader and Gulliver’s Travels. These are both movie adaptations of fantasy travel-themed books. I’ll start with the latter.

 

Promotional Poster for the movie. Break free of the strings, Gull!

Gulliver’s Travels

(PG)

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.

 

Jack Black, renowned funny guy, has acted/voice acted in a lot of movies before, but this is his first time producing one. All in all, not bad for the first try.  It is not entirely like the original book, but they revised it to fit the present day. (Watch for the hundreds of pop culture references.)

 

The movie stars Lemuel Gulliver, a guy who’s worked in the mail room of a newspaper for 10 years. One day, he tries to get at least one thing done: Ask out the cute travel editor Darcy Silverman. Instead, he chickens out (I can relate) and instead takes an application form for a travel writer job. The next day, he returns with a few (plagiarized) sample articles. He gets an assignment right off the bat to go out to the Bermuda Triangle. Boy, does he get lost! After sailing through rough water into an upward whirlpool, he finds himself in the land of Lilliput, where everyone is about five inches tall and British. He at first, is treated like a monster, but through a strange turn of events, he becomes a hero, much to the dismay of Lilliputian General Edward. Gulliver soon reshapes Lilliput into a modern-day metropolis, where he is treated like the great hero he said he is. Needless to say, he lied. I’ll leave the rest to moviegoers. (Me no like spoilers.)

Comedy is common, but sometimes it seems like it goes a while without a chuckle. Some of the dialogue and emotions can seem a little hollow, too. But all in all, this movie is pretty good.

Another promotional poster. A dragon, a lion, a boat - this poster has everything!

The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader

(PG)

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

 

The fifth book in the renowned Christian allegory series is now a movie. (My mom was particularly excited for this film, since it was the first Chronicles of Narnia she read.) In this chapter we say goodbye to some characters while bringing in a few new ones, most notably, Eustace Clarence Scrubb. (Have you ever heard such a horrid name?)

The older siblings Peter and Susan have moved to America, while Edmund and Lucy stay with their obnoxious cousin Eustace (The movie’s provider of comic relief) until WWII ends. Lucy and Edmund are looking at a painting of the great sea one day, and they think the ship in it looks particularly Narnian. Right on cue, The painting starts spouting water. Lucy, Edmund, and unfortunately Useless, er, Eustace, are engulfed in the torrent of the leaky landscape. Next thing you know, they end up in Narnian waters. Their old friend Prince Caspian saves them and takes them back to his ship, the Dawn Treader. Eustace is mortified, what with being stranded on a boat in the middle of nowhere. Then he sees the abnormally-large talking rat Reepicheep. Oh yeah, and the minotaur. Anyway, Caspian and his crew are on a quest. They need to find seven lost Narnian lords. They also need to find a source of an eerie green mist and save the people it has been swallowing. Of course, the two are somehow linked. Each lord has or had a magic sword that can dispel evil. (Hmmm… Collecting seven magic swords… I have an idea for an RPG!) Through the battle against evil, they must combat the evil within themselves, and grow into heroes.

This movie has phenomenal effects, and a great plot. C.S. Lewis would definitely be proud of what his stories have become. Definitely my favorite Narnia film yet.

-Hunter

(Thx to Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. for photos.)

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One Response to “Two Fantasy Travel Movies”

  1. Dot Davis January 14, 2011 at 2:54 am #

    I really enjoyed these reviews, Hunter! They’re very well-written and I love your lively style—with, of course, your trademark humor interspersed! I think you have a knack for reviewing and wonder if you’ve thought of that as a potential career…???

    I love that you laid out the general gist of the flicks and added some interesting details, but left enough to the imagination for the sake of the potential movie-goers. So many reviewers just don’t seem to “get it” on that point!

    Based on your reviews, I would like to see “Gulliver”, but will pass on all things Narnia. A little-known fact about me is that I LOVE anything that has tiny people in it, such as “Tom Thumb”, or even anything that makes people SEEM tiny, such as “The Fly” (the straight pin scene!!) So Gulliver it is…if I ever get to a theater. 😦

    Thanks for letting me live the city life of movie-hopping vicariously! It was fun to find out what’s going on in the culture.

    Lastly, sad to say, you need to fill me in on what “RPG” is. I’m in the dark there.

    Write on, Hunter!
    –Dottie

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