UPDATE: Ebert has corrected his mistake!
Here’s the earlier post…
The vigilant Mark Shea notes Ebert’s big error:
Here’s the first sentence of his review of Narnia:
C. S. Lewis, who wrote the Narnia books, and J.R.R. Tolkien, who wrote the Ring trilogy, were friends who taught at Oxford at the same time, were pipe smokers, drank in the same pub, took Christianity seriously and hated each other’s fantasy worlds.
Here is Lewis, displaying his hatred of Tolkien’s fantasy:
Such a book has of course its predestined readers, even now more numerous and more critical than is always realised. To them a reviewer need say little, except that here are beauties which pierce like swords or burn like cold iron; here is a book that will break your heart.Elsewhere, he enthusiastically declared some of its scenes “as good as anything in Homer”.
Tolkien, it is true, did not return the compliment to Narnia (“too allegorical”). But the Mutual Hatred meme Ebert confidently states as Fact is rather wanting in actuality and warns the informed reader that this review is going be written by a guy with a tin ear for fantasy and, in particular, Christian fantasy (he was weak in his review of The Lord of the Rings too).
But here’s the part of Ebert’s review that made me smile:
This involves Aslan dying for Edmund’s sins, much as Christ died for ours. Aslan’s eventual resurrection leads into an apocalyptic climax that may be inspired by Revelation. Since there are six more books in the Narnia chronicles, however, we reach the end of the movie while still far from the Last Days.