Sunday, December 26, 2010

Flash Fiction/Dawn Treader Review

Yay! Some people still read my blog!

I had two requests on the comments section of my last post, but I'm welcome to more!

First, Q said succinctly, "Flash fiction."

My opinion on flash fiction...I have to confess that I had to go look it up on Urban Dictionary because I had no idea what it was! defines flash fiction as "A style of fiction writing characterized by intensity and brevity. Usually under a page in length."

With that being said, I would have to say that my opinion on it would probably vary with the different pieces I would read. It would probably be similar to my love/mostly hate relationship with free verse.
I love the idea of telling a story in six words or less, so I might like some flash fiction, but I would have to read more of it before I could really have an opinioin.
(by the way Q, if you know some good flash fiction on the internet, I'd love to read it.)

Moving on to Countess Madeline's request: "Hello! I think you should write a full review of Dawn Treader. I'd like to see your thoughts on the film."

Countess, are you sure you want to open that floodgate? All right, here we go!

As I said in my last post to start out, I thought it was an all right film, but a terrible adaptation.
Going into the movie, I had a somewhat optimistic view. Though we had received conflicting reports in the news about making the movie, I thought that changes made to the film couldn't ruin it overall for me.
They could.
Watching the movie, I felt like the writers of the script were high the entire time they wrote it and didn't really care about the integrity of the themes of the book. The convoluted mess of an adaptation tried to go for a more "epic" Harry Potter type film, but in doing that, it felt like a cheap fantasy film made for young children with a mindless story and shallow characters. (for the most part)

This review by glumPuddle on NarniaWeb expresses most of my frustrations well, and though I wouldn't go so far to say that I won't look forward to the next film (if it is made) I will be more pessimistic about it.

With all that negativity out of the way, I will say there are some things that I did enjoy about the film.

(spoilers will probably follow)

1. The look of the actual Dawn Treader ship I really, really loved. The purple sail was all I had hoped it would be, and the whole ship was beautiful. With that being said, I wish they had had more sweeping majestic shots of it.
2. Will Poulter's performance as Eustace. Try as they might, they couldn't ruin him for me.
3. Eustace's relationship with Reepicheep.
4. Caspian with facial hair. (ok, that's not super important to the film, but I felt like it was one of the more redeeming qualities of it)
5. The one part in the movie I can think of with verbatim words from the book where Aslan says that in our world, he has another name, and that the children must learn to know him by that name. That part....made me cry. (in a good way)

There was probably more that I enjoyed, but those are the main good qualities. (in my opinion)
Now to the really bad....
The really bad, I thought, for the most part wasn't was they put in, but what was left out.

The whole "quest" thing....ok, I'm going to skip the whole part about the seven swords to defeat the green smoke thing. I wouldn't have minded it so much had there not been a total lack of the true purpose of the voyage. (in the book) The true purpose of the voyage in the book was about the honor of finding the seven lords and fulfilling an oath and about the longing for Aslan's Country.
In the movie...there was hardly any of that.

When I think about it, I can't understand the thought process for alot of the scenes that they ruined or left out entirely. For most of the instances, they took something incredibly clever and meaningful and dumbed it down to fit the formula of a typical action movie.
For excample, the whole scene at the Lone Islands and slave traders was completely ruined. Instead of the clever plot to reclaim power without any fighting whatsoever, what do the script writers do? Make it an action scene.
Another example: the irony about how Reepicheep figured out how to defeat the sea serpent? Completely lost.
And though the Dark Island was creepy and all with the poor spirits sacrificed to ol' Smokey, (good to know he lived beyond the crappy ending of Lost) it never truly scared me like the Dark Island did in the book. I don't remember exacly what they said in the movie, (something to the effect of thoughts becoming realities) but that doesn't have the psychological impact of this exchange: (this is not the exact exchange, but I don't have the book in front of me at the moment)

Lord Rhoop: We must sail! Turn back! This is the island where dreams come true!
Capt. Drinian: What could possibly be the matter with an island where dreams come true?
Rhoop: No, no, not dreams as in fantasies or daydreams, but dreams. Dreams! Nightmares!

Listening to the dramatized version when I was a kid, I remember there was a blood-curdling pause before everyone sprang into action to get the heck out of Dodge. It scared the living daylight out of me.
Whereas the movie, it was somewhat creepy, but then Edmund says something to the effect of, "Oops! I thought about a sea serpent! We're screwed!" and the scene goes right back to its intended direction of action, action, action.

This probably sounds more like a rant than a review, so if it's not your cup of tea, I apologize.

Closing thoughts: for me, the bad outweighed the good. Prince Caspian managed to be a great adaptation (with its few quirks) as well as a great film, and I felt that Dawn Treader had so much potential to be great (it is, after all, one of my favorites of the books) but as a building is only as good as its foundation, to some extent, a movie is only as good as its script, and this one was bad.

If anyone would care to give his opinion, please comment! Once I wrote a controversial post about Lord of the Rings that had about twenty comments of back and forth debate, and I loved it.

Next time on Cease Repining: to balance out a negative review with a positive, Lady Brainsample will write about Tron: Legacy.

Monday, December 20, 2010

My Poor Blog.......

....has been abandoned for months. I know.

I have excuses, but probably nobody wants to hear them. College, theater, tae kwon do, etcetera.

Assorted thoughts:
Mockinjay was great, but I liked the first two books better.

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader movie was a TERRIBLE adaptation of the book, but an ok movie.

Rosencranz and Guildenstern Are Dead=Awesome movie.

Wonders if putting the status, "I really miss being a hooker..." would result in something bad.
Those of you who don't know, I played Violet in the play It's a Wonderful Life last month. You say, "I didn't think she was a hooker!"
Well, in the play version's alternate world she is. And it was very fun/challenging to play a sexy character and actually get to attempt to seduce George on stage.
Hence the status.

I would really like to start writing on my blog again, so if anyone has any requests for rants, reviews, or other such scribblings, please comment!