As the latest film installment of C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, Prince Caspian is receving little better than average in its reviews. Entertainment Weekly gave the film a “B minus;” On Rotten Tomatoes, its average rating is 6.3/10; and it received two thumbs down from Ebert & Roeper. I haven’t seen Prince Caspian yet. I thought the trailer for the film looked good — better than the Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe in fact — but I may wait for video to see it after reading these reviews. I’m a fan of C.S. Lewis, but movie prices are so expensive these days that I’m reluctant to spend my money on just any movie. If you’ve seen it, what’s your general feeling about the movie?
While I generally stick to posts related to medieval history and historical fiction and fantasy, I ran across this short blurb about The Alchemist by Paul Coelho being made into a movie. I haven’t read the novel yet, but I’ve heard really good things about it from friends, and I understand it’s a truly heartwarming, inspiring story. It’s a short read, only 208 pages in paperback. Filming is supposed to begin late spring or early summer, and Laurence Fishburne is slated to star in the title role.
Review of the novel from Amazon:
Like the one-time bestseller Jonathan Livingston Seagull, The Alchemist presents a simple fable, based on simple truths and places it in a highly unique situation. And though we may sniff a bestselling formula, it is certainly not a new one: even the ancient tribal storytellers knew that this is the most successful method of entertaining an audience while slipping in a lesson or two. Brazilian storyteller Paulo Coehlo introduces Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who one night dreams of a distant treasure in the Egyptian pyramids. And so he’s off: leaving Spain to literally follow his dream.
Along the way he meets many spiritual messengers, who come in unassuming forms such as a camel driver and a well-read Englishman. In one of the Englishman’s books, Santiago first learns about the alchemists–men who believed that if a metal were heated for many years, it would free itself of all its individual properties, and what was left would be the “Soul of the World.” Of course he does eventually meet an alchemist, and the ensuing student-teacher relationship clarifies much of the boy’s misguided agenda, while also emboldening him to stay true to his dreams. “My heart is afraid that it will have to suffer,” the boy confides to the alchemist one night as they look up at a moonless night.
“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself,” the alchemist replies. “And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.” –Gail Hudson –This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
I almost exclusively stick to medieval history when posting on my site, but I’m curious about the new movie 10,000 B.C. The story follows the life of young hunter whose love interest is taken captive, and then he sets out with a small group to pursue the captors and save her. The movie premiered this past weekend and took in around $35 million. It has received overwhelmingly negative reviews from everything I’ve read. Only 7% of critics with Rotten Tomatoes gave the movie a positive review, and according to Metacritic, the film averaged a score of 37 out of 100.
The story is not based on an actual historical event — finding enough archaelogical evidence to re-create this time period accurately is extremey difficult. By comparison, ancient Egypt began around 3,150 B.C., so you have to go back 7,000 years just to reach 10,000 B.C. Some would argue they have uncovered ancient civilizations dating back to this time period and long before. Others claim humans have only been around for 8,000 years or so. Depending on what theory you subscribe to, you can make a good case for either point-of-view. I haven’t studied this era extensively; my knowledge is limited, so I couldn’t even say what the oldest archaelogical find of human civilization dates to. It seems there are lots of competing claims out there with everyone wanting to say they have found evidence of the oldest humans. I’ll leave that debate for the experts.
There was a documentary on the History Channel last night called Journey to 10,000 B.C. Did anyone see it? Here’s the show description from the History Channel website.
Discover the thrilling real story of life on earth in prehistoric times. Viewers will go back in time to when early humans are just starting to inhabit North America and huge climate fluctuations cause a mini-Ice Age. The saber tooth cat, the giant ground sloth and the woolly mammoth are suddenly becoming extinct. How does man survive? Travel to early archaeological sites in North America and watch as scientists uncover fossilized bones, ancient homes and weapons of stone. State-of-the-art green-screen computer animation re-creates the great mammoth hunts of the time.
I have it on Tivo, and hopefully, I’ll get the chance to watch some of it tonight.
The movie version of C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian premiers May 16th, 2008. I saw The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe when it came out, but I was not that impressed with it. The CGI was spotty in parts, and the child actors were not all that great. The battle scene was not bad, but it didn’t completely “wow” me. The movie seemed to want to be on the level of J.R.R. Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings but fell short. It’s hard to compete with the job Peter Jackson did in translating Tolkein’s novel to film.
I haven’t read Prince Caspian; the only two books I’ve read in the Narnia series are The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (of course) and The Magician’s Nephew. I really respect C.S. Lewis, and he has been an influence in my writing, but still, I don’t think I’ll go see Prince Caspian. I do like the poster though.
Anyone planning to see it? What are your thoughts?
This week heirs of J. R. R. Tolkien, author of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy and “The Hobbit,” and a group of publishers joined the battle with a lawsuit demanding at least $150 million from New Line Cinema, the movie studio that hit the jackpot with three enormous hits based on the trilogy. Read the rest of the article …
Once again, another suit in Hollywood. This time, members of the family among others claim they have not received a penny from New Line based on an agreement stating they should receive 7.5 percent of the gross revenue for any films adapted from J.R.R Tolkein’s novels. New Line is accused of deducting more than $100 million per film from a pool that was to be paid out to the tustees and others. Just last December, Peter Jackson and New Line settled a suit in which Jackson sued New Line for cheating him out of millions of dollars by selling subsidiary rights at less than market value. It looks like this latest suit could be trouble for New Line, as beneficiaries of the charitable trust (the plaintiff in the case) include organizations such as the Darfur Appeal and the World Cancer Research Foundation. To me, it seems (from the current evidence) that the plaintiff has a fairly strong case. What will this mean for New Line? And its plans to produce “The Hobbit?”
The character Harry Potter apparently appeared in the 1986 film Troll starring Noah Hathaway and June Lockhart and directed by John Carl Buechler. Not the same Harry Potter, although both films do share a commonality in their use of magic.
Harry Potter (Noah Hathaway) and his family move into a new neighborhood, and Harry meets an old woman Eunice St. Clair (June Lockhart), who turns out to be a witch, and she and Harry enter the Troll’s fairy world to try and stop it from turning other people into plant pods. Compelling.
I’ve never actually seen the film, but I was reading about it on wikipedia and IMDb, and the entry on wikipedia says the Harry Potter in Troll is also a dark haired young boy about the same age as the Potter from J.K. Rowling’s novels, and he enters a world of magic and meets wizards and fights a troll.
Supposedly, John Buechler is doing a remake of Troll, with the name Harry Potter still used for the main character.
I learned recently that George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire is going to be made into an HBO series. A Song of Ice and Fire includes four novels (A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, and A Feast for Crows), with a fifth one in the works (A Dance with Dragons) and plans for two more to round out the series at seven. For a while now, some friends and I have been talking about how we would like to see A Song of Ice and Fire on the big screen, though to do that would be challenging as each novel is nearly 1,000 pages, and so a TV series might work better for such a project. The plan is to write a season for each novel. I haven’t found any dates on when the first episode might air. Seems I am a little late to this news, as the article from Variety was published January of this year, but I thought I would go ahead and throw this out there, for those of you who weren’t aware.