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Fun Friday—This Weekend in Entertainment

Friday, May 16, 2008

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This is going to be one of those “entertainment-focused” weekends.

It started for me Thursday night with Part 1 of the three-part series finale of LOST.

Because it has already been announced that 2010 will be the final season, and because there are fewer than 40 episodes remaining, this has been a season of revelation—some surprises, but also some just confirming the theories we’ve been speculating about for the past three years. Last night’s episode served really as a setup for the two-hour season finale in two weeks. But they also managed to plant a little bit of doubt in my mind as to the survival of my favorite character, Desmond. On this show, once characters have resolved whatever problems they had in their lives before they arrived on the island, they have a tendency to die pretty grizzly deaths. Since he just discovered the communications room is packed full of C-4, my main thought was that if they kill off Desmond in the season finale, I’m going to be seriously peeved. I don’t think they can, because it seems like he’s too important to the “war” between Ben and Charles Widmore, but . . .

Okay, now for something that has a little more mass appeal (yes, I do realize that not everyone watches LOST, but at least I know Lori Benton is right there with me!).

In less than twelve hours, Ruth, Lori Lynch, and I will be at the theater caught up in the euphoria of seeing the newest Walden Media movie, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, on opening night. I went and bought tickets last night to save us from having to stand in line, since we know it’s going to be crowded.

This is one of those movies in which I know I’ll be able to totally suspend disbelief and just enjoy it for what it is: a wonderful fantasy movie with a good message at its heart. I know the books and movies have their detractors. However, because I believe in the redemption message C.S. Lewis used allegory and fantasy to convey, I don’t have a problem with the overt spirituality present in the film. That said, the movie is getting its share of positive reviews as well:

    “As a supposed family film, Prince Caspian might be a tad too long and a wee bit violent for the youngest of tykes. For most, however, the film stands a good chance of becoming the Empire Strikes Back of the ‘Narnia’ series: a darker and more satisfying follow-up to an already exceptional starting point, one that will be hard to top with future installments.”
    ~Edward Havens, Filmjerk.com

    “[T]his is a grand and visually stunning epic with thrilling battle scenes and powerful themes. This one has more violence but also more humor, especially from the most welcome new character, a mouse with the heart of a lion and the voice of Eddie Izzard. Like the book, one of the less compelling of the seven-volume series, it is not as involving as the first. Barnes has a nice screen presence (though his accent sounds like he is trying out for a road show version of West Side Story as one of the Sharks). The pacing is strong, the effects are superb, and the battles are exciting. The themes are presented with a subtlety that encourages thoughtful consideration, with a range of possible interpretations.”
    ~Nell Minnow, Beliefnet.com’s “Movie Mom” Blog

    “Enter Prince Caspian, a sequel that far and away surpasses its predecessor and is on the short list of superb fantasy epics. . . . it’s a very bloodless affair although it potentially could still be fairly intense for younger viewers, especially watching the Pevensie children dispose of their enemies. These aren’t naïve cutesy kids, but skilled warriors. Adamson taps into that childhood fantasy of being a heroic warrior fighting alongside magical creatures against stuffy, controlling adults bent on spoiling all the fun. . . . Add on cameos by Liam Neeson as Aslan and 2008 Best Supporting Actress Oscar winner Tilda Swinton and Caspian hits on all marks so effectively that its two-hour plus run time flies by so quickly you can hardly believe it’s over. If you even remotely liked the first installment, you’ll love Prince Caspian, one of the most entertaining film experiences I’ve had so far this year.”
    ~Jeffrey Lyles, RottenTomatoes.com

    “[T]he Narnia books—and so far, the movies based on them—are wonderful as stories about childhood and its loss. Toward the end of Prince Caspian, it becomes clear that the two older children, Peter and Susan, are aging out of Narnia; they’ve crossed over to the world of grownups, and only Edmund and Lucy will be back for the next adventure. . . . The scene in which the kids bid farewell to the dreamlike world that’s become more real to them than their own has the emotional power of great children’s literature. Like Lewis Carroll’s Alice, L. Frank Baum’s Dorothy, or E.B. White’s Fern, the Pevensies live on the border between two realities, the mundane and the magical. For those of us who have long since lost the ability to cross over, it’s a pleasure to watch them make that journey.”
    ~Dana Stevens, Slate.com/National Public Radio

So get out and see it this weekend if at all possible!

Then, on Sunday, we have the two-hour conclusion of Cranford on PBS.

Just like in the best soap operas, things are getting stickier and stickier for our lovely ladies—and our few gentlemen—in the never-quiet, rarely peaceful town of Cranford. Gossip generated from half-heard conversations and misunderstandings bred from overactive imaginations lead to both humor and heartache for our characters, especially Sophy and Dr. Harrison. Before the miniseries ends, typhoid fever and an accident at the railroad construction site threaten the lives of two of our main characters—but don’t worry, the film ends on a happy note . . . and left me wishing BBC would make it into an ongoing series (that we wouldn’t have to wait more than a year for over here on this side of the Pond).

For a limited time, you can watch Cranford online at PBS’s website. This weekend’s episode should be available for viewing Monday. The DVD releases May 20.

7 Comments
  1. Friday, May 16, 2008 11:19 am

    That’s good to know about Cranford since I missed the beginning. But since our usual Sunday night show has ended for the season, I’ll be looking for something to watch before the start of the week. I still haven’t seen an episode of Lost. Maybe I need more tube time.

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  2. Friday, May 16, 2008 12:28 pm

    I love Lost! I posted about it last night with my favorite moments of the episode. Two weeks… I hope I can stand the suspense 🙂 😛

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  3. Saturday, May 17, 2008 12:20 am

    I’m absolutely right there with you, Kaye. I’m so nervous for Desmond. I actually want to see him back on the island in one piece (since it doesn’t look like Penny is going to show up soon, but if she did that would be great… just don’t think they will have that reunion yet), as much as Desmond himself would hate that. As Sun was walking away from the cabin door… I actually felt mostly afraid for Jin. I want him to still be alive on the island, too. I want Jin, Sawyer, Juliet and Desmond to all be alive when this season concludes.

    I’m looking forward to Prince Caspian too, but won’t be going this weekend. I don’t like to sit slap up against strangers in the dark to watch a movie, so I’ll let the crowds thin out.

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  4. Saturday, May 17, 2008 12:37 am

    Kaye, I found some nice photos of Ian Cusick at this non-English LOST blogspot site:

    http://foreverlost-lostmania.blogspot.com/2008/05/sesin-de-fotos-de-henry-ian-cusick.html

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  5. Saturday, May 17, 2008 12:41 am

    LOVED “Prince Caspian”! Definitely want to try to see it again…maybe after it’s been out a week or two. Looking forward to Indy next week now… 🙂

    Also anxious for the conclusion of “Cranford” – I preordered the DVDs from Amazon today.

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  6. Sunday, May 18, 2008 11:02 am

    I did a Prince Caspian responce (not really a review) over at my blog last night.

    Short answer is I thought it was okay while I was expecting *great* so I was a little disappointed, even though it was a good movie.

    Feels weird to say so.

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  7. Caleb permalink
    Sunday, May 18, 2008 1:23 pm

    I saw Prince Caspian last night. When I got home, I rewatched The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe to try to decide which is preferred, and honestly, I think I’m going to go with Prince Caspian.

    LWW has more nostalgia going for it since that’s the only one I specifically remembered, but Prince Caspian seemed far better in almost every other way. The religious parallels aren’t nearly as blatant, which I think allowed for a brand of storytelling I prefer (i.e. not preachy). Then of course there’s the detail of it having WAY more action, which any guy can appreciate.

    That one review you posted that compared it to the Star Wars franchise is about as spot-on as I can think to describe it. A New Hope is a great movie, much like LWW, but the story is a little predictable. The Prince Caspian/Empire Strikes Back attitude allows the material to at least FEEL new, even if you have ultimately heard it told a hundred times.

    I loved Prince Caspian. I wouldn’t hesitate to call it my favorite of the Summer so far. I loved Iron Man, and thought the second half of Speed Racer was awesome, but C.S. Lewis is tough competition. Especially when mixed with Andrew Adamson.

    I’m kind of hoping Indiana Jones will take its place though.

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