Combustible Celluloid
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With: Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes, William Moseley, Anna Popplewell, Tilda Swinton, James McAvoy, Jim Broadbent, Liam Neeson (voice)
Written by: Ann Peacock, Andrew Adamson, Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely, based on the book by C.S. Lewis
Directed by: Andrew Adamson
MPAA Rating: PG for battle sequences and frightening moments
Running Time: 140
Date: 12/07/2005

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

The 'Lion' Bores

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

One of the most popular films of 2005 feels like a retread of the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings films without a stitch of personality. (Director Andrew Adamson previously graced us with the lowbrow Shrek movies.) We get the expected beautiful British children (with full, Hollywood lips), lots of CGI creatures, some "exciting" battle sequences accompanied by trumpeting music, and a few "wonder" sequences in which things are discovered for the first time. Only Tilda Swinton, cast as the White Witch, provides a burst of energy; she surveys everything around her as if profoundly disgusted by everyone else's sheer incompetence. It probably helps if you're a fan of the C.S. Lewis books, but I'm not. It's very long, and sequels will be coming.

DVD Details: Disney has released Narnia on a two-disc DVD set with the usual list of extras: bloopers, commentary tracks, fun facts, and several featuretttes.

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