The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

A Middle Aged Movie Blog. Being the periodic journal of a film loving middle aged independent science fiction writing father of two and his ongoing adventures in cinema and home video

07/03/2019:
Revisited The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader (2010) with the kids, which was a fun, light, fantasy adventure. Again, like Prince Caspian, more enjoyable second time round than when I first watched it at the cinema. It is clearly the best of the big screen Narnia adaptations, benefitting as it does from an impressively bratty performance from Will Poulter as Eustace Scrubb in his post Son Of Rambow (2007) breakout role.

Poulter’s addition to the cast elevates the material no end and really spotlighted the young actor as a rising star. Thus, it’s a pity they never went on to film The Silver Chair and The Last Battle in the wake of Dawn Treader. However, there will no doubt be another attempt at bringing the Narnia books to the big screen in the future, given that they are so well loved and still widely read.

08/03/2019:
Revisited Tombstone (1993) on streaming, the less weighty Wyatt Earp Western from the early 90’s with Kurt Russell as the former lawman come to Tombstone to seek his fortune.

The movie mixes up classic Western elements with bloody violence, a sweeping wagon trail score, a half-baked romance, and a clutch of genre archetypes. Val Kilmer is value for money as TB gunman Doc Holiday and Powers Boothe cackles menacingly as cowboy villain Curly Bill. The dialogue is clunky at times whilst the tone of the film swings about like a trebuchet. That said, unlike the subsequent Lawrence Kasdan movie, released in 1994 with Kevin Costner in the lead, which focuses mainly on Earp’s exploits at the O.K Corral, Tombstone goes further by recounting in more detail the Earp Vendetta Ride against outlaw Johnny Ringo (Michael Biehn).

It might not have the epic sweep of the 1994 movie, and there’s a lot of bluster mixed with the endless thunder flashes, but it is a much less staid affair, tumbling along recklessly with its six shooters ablaze. Directed by George P Cosmatos.

10/03/2019:
Thought about going to watch Captain Marvel (2019), but the crappy weather and my daughter’s ear infection put paid to that. Once the kids were in bed, sat and watched Jennifer’s Body (2009), a movie I’ve avoided revisiting for close on a decade.

Basically, Jennifer’s Body is a vampire movie penned by Juno (2007) scribe Diablo Cody that uses Vampirism to discuss teen-girl angst in a similar manner to Heathers (1988) and Ginger Snaps (2000) before it. However, its neither as smart, nor as funny as either of those films.

Riffing on menstruation, sexual awakening, trauma, and small-town provincialism, it never properly fuses, despite its aspirations. Still, Megan Fox is fun as the boy hungry possessed cheerleader of the title, whose awakened carnal appetites are decidedly unsavoury. Amanda Seyfried, meanwhile, as nerdy buddy Anita “Needy” Lesnicki, is impressively determined as the body count rises.

There’s enough gore to qualify it as a teen horror movie and it’s knowing enough to qualify as smart. Still, it lacks the courage of its convictions and falters somewhat in its final act. Directed by Karyn Kusama.

16/03/2019:
Watched Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018) earlier in the week, which started out as an eco-friendly save the endangered animals in peril flick in the mould of Jurassic Park: The Lost World, released in 1997, before subsequently morphing into a haunted house movie, with dinosaurs prowling the corridors of a mansion. Whilst I admired its attempt to go in a different direction, ultimately it felt bit redundant. After watching it, it’s hard to imagine where the franchise can go from here though I can sort of envisage a dinosaurs in space plot whereby man attempts to build an amusement park using dino DNA near The Sea of Tranquillity only for it to go horribly wrong (again) and the dinosaurs to run amok. Cue slow motion space-chase style moon shenanigans and gravity defying velociraptors in space helmets and astro suits. Directed by J.A Bayona. Starring Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rafe Spall.

Watched Martin Scorcese’s Silence on streaming (2016), which was a heavy film for a Friday night, but one I’ve been working the courage up to watch for some time. Questions of faith abound as cultures clash and devoted Portuguese Jesuits struggle to adapt to the alien eccentricities of 17th century feudal Japan. The slow pacing and restrained direction from Scorcese add to the grimness rather than blunting it, making for an extremely arduous viewing experience that is unflinchingly brutal when needs be and periodically exhausting. Still, this is a properly daring outing for Scorcese and an interesting addition to his faith-based oeuvre. Starring Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver and Liam Neeson.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

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