“The Tale of Despereaux”: Read the Book. (Don’t Wait for the Movie.)

My review of The Tale of Despereaux is coming to Christianity Today Movies next Friday. For now, I'll just say this: Read the book before you see the movie.Please. Pretty please. You'll thank me for it. … [Read more...]

DecentFilms on Prince Caspian: Lewis’s Themes and Ideas are “Largely Lost.”

When it comes to The Chronicles of Narnia films, well... I want them to be great. I want them to be entertaining, yes. But more than anything, I hope that the filmmakers finds ways to preserve the ideas at the core of the story. In The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, they did a decent job, but some of their decisions suggested that they failed to understand some of Lewis's ideas. And in stripping Aslan of some of his authority, they weakened the character and the core of the story.Steven … [Read more...]

“The Defanging of Aslan”

Steven D. Greydanus interviews the men behind Prince Caspian.And he finds them making some rather dubious claims. Unlike presidential candidates, the films' producer, Mark Johnson, doesn't even want to talk about change ... at least when it comes to Narnia."I've produced a lot of movies based on books," he said, speaking at a New York press event with other Narnia filmmakers. Citing titles from The Natural to The Notebook, Johnson said, "We made big changes in all of those in order to … [Read more...]

Specials: Reepicheep. Indy trailer. Katherine Heigl. Philip Yancey.

Today's specials concern a mouse, an archaeologist, the star of Gray's Anatomy, and one of my favorite Christian writers... … [Read more...]

Susan Cooper’s “The Dark is Rising” Seeks a Title

First came the announcement: The Dark is Rising, Susan Cooper's classic novel of fantasy and adventure, was becoming a movie.Then came the trailer, and hopes quickly began to crumble. It looked awful. And the story had clearly been revised to be more "accessible," rewriting the particular context and characters of the book. … [Read more...]

Christ the Canceled

Looks like creative differences have buried the big-screen version of Anne Rice's Christ the Lord... at least with Good News Holdings.I have a hunch that it'll rise again. … [Read more...]

The Dark is… um… well…

Here's the trailer for The Dark is Rising.I've met a lot of fans of Susan Cooper's novels. My wife Anne, for one. I have a feeling the fans will pull out their hair when they see this. And no, I don't mean in fits of excitement.I mean, really, doesn't this just look like a collage of tired fantasy cliches?"Even the smallest light shines in the darkness."Here's an article from back in May about just how far they're going in "updating" the story.Man, with the exception of Pan's … [Read more...]

“Children of Men”: Literary sabotage, or award-winning adaptation?

The debate continues:Did the screenwriters for Children of Men take a novel written by a Christian, which offered a profoundly Christian vision of human depravity and redemption, and turn it into an attack on Christianity?Or were they just interested in taking P.D. James' premise and exploiting it for their own purposes? … [Read more...]

Mike Johnson prepares "The Tale of Despereaux"

One of my favorite childrens' stories... the kind that's so good, adults should be reading it... … [Read more...]

Will “Charlotte’s Web” Be Broken?

One of my worst film-adaptation nightmares looks like it's about ready to come true.Charlotte's Web, one of my favorite children's books, was made into a fine animated film decades ago. But with the success of Babe, it became inevitable that the book would be turned into a live-action talking-animal movie.I hoped and hoped they would do the job with dignity.But alas, I've just seen a preview, and my worst fears are realized:The trailer prominently displays a moment when a rat is … [Read more...]