Review “Prince Caspian”

I’ve been traveling, commencing, and grading papers, so I haven’t been able to see the “Prince Caspian” movie. Have any of you seen it? If so, how was it?

“Prince Caspian” the movie

Here is a preview of the next Narnia movie, an interview with the producer: Behind the scenes of ‘Prince Caspian’.

HT: The Pearcey Report

Hobbit, the Movies

The movie version of “The Hobbit” is getting under way. Here are some details:

Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro was named on Thursday to direct two movies based on the J.R.R. Tolkien book “The Hobbit” to build on the blockbuster success of “The Lord of the Rings” series.

Plans to make a two-part precursor to “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, based on Tolkien’s three-volume follow-up to his “Hobbit” story, were announced in December after settlement of a bitter legal dispute cleared the way for the project.

Del Toro, whose credits include “Pan’s Labyrinth” and “Blade II,” will move to New Zealand for the next four years to work on both “Hobbit” films with executive producer Peter Jackson, who directed all three “The Lord of the Rings” movies, according to New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios.

The studios have said that filming will begin in 2009, with tentative release dates set of 2010 for the first film and 2011 for the sequel.

The plans call for del Toro to work back-to-back on “The Hobbit” and its sequel, which will deal with the 60-year period between that story and “The Fellowship of the Ring,” the first of “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, the studios said.

Del Toro’s “Pan’s Labyrinth” was a pretty remarkable fantasy movie, however creepy and depressing, so he should be OK. Jackson, who did such a good job with the trilogy, will be in charge. That this two-movie arrangement will include not just “The Hobbit” but will cover the 60 years before “The Fellowship of the Ring” is interesting, indeed. I guess that means that filmmakers will be taking on at least part of “The Silmarilion.”

John Updike on the Resurrection

In case you missed it, Tickletext, in his comment on Grunewald’s Easter painting, posted this poem by John Updike, who is one of our most distinguished and critically acclaimed contemporary authors and a Christian (brought up Lutheran, now an Episcopalian), and yet hardly any Christians read him because his novels have so much sex in them! But treasure this:

Make no mistake: if He rose at all
it was as His body;
if the cells’ dissolution did not reverse, the molecules
reknit, the amino acids rekindle,
the Church will fall.

It was not as the flowers,
each soft Spring recurrent;
it was not as His Spirit in the mouths and fuddled
eyes of the eleven apostles;
it was as His Flesh: ours.

The same hinged thumbs and toes,
the same valved heart
that — pierced — died, withered, paused, and then
regathered out of enduring Might
new strength to enclose.

Let us not mock God with metaphor,
analogy, sidestepping transcendence;
making of the event a parable, a sign painted in the
faded credulity of earlier ages:
let us walk through the door.

The stone is rolled back, not papier-mache,
not a stone in a story,
but the vast rock of materiality that in the slow
grinding of time will eclipse for each of us
the wide light of day.

And if we will have an angel at the tomb,
make it a real angel,
weighty with Max Planck’s quanta, vivid with hair,
opaque in the dawn light, robed in real linen
spun on a definite loom.

Let us not seek to make it less monstrous,
for our own convenience, our own sense of beauty,
lest, awakened in one unthinkable hour, we are
embarrassed by the miracle,
and crushed by remonstrance.

John Updike, “Seven Stanzas at Easter”

Taking the scariness out of Jonah

A Touchstone article criticizes children’s Bible story books that take out the scariness that is in the Bible, looking particularly at the treatments of Jonah and the whale. The author, Ronald F. Marshall, argues that the scary parts are necessary for the child to realize the Gospel in those stories. See Eaten Alive.

Another big-name author turns to the right

First David Mamet, now Tom Stoppard, the British playwright, turns away in revulsion from 1960′s-era radicalism to find his inner conservative. Read 1968: The year of the posturing rebel.