Archive for December, 2005

 The Family Stone

“Finding your path” is the message behind this movie. Well, that, and “letting your freak flag fly.” In the end, it’s a love story, but not the kind you would expect. Or maybe it is since it deals with just about every kind of love imaginable — familial love, homosexual love, fraternal love, and, most importantly, love of convenience and how destructive it can be. An endless string of hilarious and awkward moments center around Sarah Jessica Parker’s character, as she visits her boyfriend’s family for Christmas. She undergoes a vital transformation as a result of the culture clash, and leaves her mark on the family as well. While the ending is somewhat sad, it is an endearing story and well-written and superbly acted by the ensemble cast.

 The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

This movie is simply magnificent. From the fantastical creatures that inhabit the world of Narnia (C.S. Lewis borrows heavily from just about every culture’s mythology on Earch, from cyclopes to the phoenix), right down to each CG-hair in Aslan’s coat (that makes the lion in Jumanji look like 1st graders did it). The CG overall is impressive, although just slightly inferior to Lord of the Rings in quality (some of the creatures’ movements lack that natural fluidity). The pacing of the film is just the tiniest bit tedious, but the story is every bit as compelling and the battle scenes are as visually stunning as LOTR, if not as dark and gritty. The swordplay is not as meticulously choreographed, as in Peter’s final battle with the Witch they aren’t so much fighting as simply posing with their weapons, but this is a minor criticism. In general, this is a great film and should do well this Christmas season as a family-friendly children’s movie, replete with strong Christian symbology.