My disdain for The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is massive. Bland and unimpressive, that film showcased exactly all the bad things about the success of The Lord of the Rings as it featured the elements which were least important and ushered in the bum’s rush of other filmmakers trying to recreate the sensation and fiscall windfall of the Tolkein works with his dead buddy C.S. Lewis. Now, I am not an avid Tolkein reader, because I prefer Anthony Bourdain if I want to read the most minute details of one’s supper but I found the Narnia books to be a relentless bore and that was before I knew they were compelled by the power of Christ Aslan. As I got older and brillianter I saw them for what they are: A Holy Terror.
Prince Caspian is plodding towards us like a slightly awkward little asshole, daring us to buy a ticket. That alone makes me shiver because we all know it’ll be successful. How can it not? Audiences are starved for the comforts of familiarity and if there’s a franchise with less risk and more family value oriented themes, I implore you to present it. Not that there’s anything wrong with being a good family person unless it means you find this shit gratifying.
The Chronicles of Narnia stories from Constantly Sucking Lewis are the most toothless and benign films one could hope for* and its their saving grace to the massive audiences they receive and the Achilles Heel for folks like me who’d rather the fantasy genre shrivel up and die instead of become a gateway for tedium. With Inkheart, Eragon, The Bridge to Terabithia, and The Last Mimzy, my bones ache. I also am baffled that kids, some of the sharpest knives in the drawer, don’t start to see through the fog of opportunism and marketing.
Part of why this development irritates me so is the fact these stories are getting the continued royal treatment. They generate no emotion. Feature no sense of danger. Carry no dramatic tension. Feature nothing visually arresting. Seem to frolic in their sameness.
I’ll give The Golden Compass a pass because the books were very good and I hear there’s a really intense rape scene.
As for Harry Potter, I don’t care if they make fifty of them or zero of them. They’re fine enough diversions but hardly the kind of films I’d revisit. I’ve never read the books, nor will I. I just cannot believe the hype. I refuse to. How good can they be? It’s all a bunch of white people. Note to readers: Don’t write me telling me that they’re brilliant and how much darker and deeper they’ve gotten. I don’t care.
IGN reports, and this is obviously not new news that "Walden Media and Disney are hoping to release Narnia films roughly one year apart from now on." and my already thin sanity regarding the Criminally Sleep-inducing Lewis stories shatters into a million pieces (photograph of me following the news).
There are seven books in this series. Not four. Not five. Seven. There’s a war on, I come from a bad bloodline laced with cancer and heart attacks and strokes, global warming is happening, and Georgia’s drivers are among the worst in the history of Georgia and driving. I might not outlive these films and I don’t know if I can handle five or six straight years of the Narnia machine. It’s not even the religious angle, though this series is a call to arms for the fellowship and worship crowd in terms of banding together behind one big boring product.
A film a year. Add to which more of the other middling fantasy franchises trying to take root and it becomes a cosmic prison reacharound. Cash Source Lewis needs to stop. Relax. Stretch it out a little. Let the kids get old and uninterested. Let the audience dissipate.
How’s about a Narnia film every seventy years? That’s about perfect.
* Yes there’s been only one BUT I KNOW.