Since I dug LOTR, I guess it’s a good thing that PRINCE CASPIAN borrows more than liberally from Peter Jackson’s take on that universe. I was entertained throughout, but it’s hard to shake the “been there, done that” feeling from the whole thing (which is what turned me off the first movie). The look and feel of the fantasy elements and the New Zealand backgrounds, the story of the rightful king being restored to the throne by a band of well-meaning misfits—[SPOILERS] hell, at the end they even pull a TWO TOWERS and have the trees come save the day. (And am I the only one who thinks that’s cheating, like having that damn lion continually save the day every time.)
The kids managed to not be annoying, and the new guy who played Caspian wasn’t as stiff as I feared he’d be. Normally I don’t give a crap about big names and movie stars, but they could’ve used a couple more, especially in the villain section. The actors were fine but all the evil dudes with beards blended together so much and were so interchangeable it made me less impressed by the opposition the heroes faced throughout. At least we got the great Peter Dinklage and Warwick Davis to even it out.
What I did like: the creatures and the effects. The visuals by WETA were solid throughout and impressive, especially the battle elements. Seeing tigers and griffons fighting alongside centaurs and humans in giant fights made me giddy like a kid. The movie was also surprisingly dark with plenty of death and kills for us adults. Unfortunately, as a total film it consisted of tired ideas, executed well.
Commentary by director Andrew Adamson and cast: The director and young cast discuss their experiences making the movie. It sounds like they’re obviously having fun gushing about their experiences, but it seems like more fun for them than us.
Inside Narnia (34:43): A personal story for everyone (or so they say), hear why cast and crew returned for the sequel, followed by a general Making Of covering pretty much everything you’d want to know about Narnia.
Sets of Narnia (23:42): Hosted by C.S. Lewis’ son, this gives you a look at exactly how they translated the book and brought it to life from writing to production design. It is impressive stuff.
Big Movie Comes to a Small Town (23:18): The director searched all over for the best river for the ending scene and found this small town in Slovenia. Here the local community discusses the ordeal of having a huge production take over their town. A ridiculous amount of work, including 9 months of paperwork!
Previsualizing Narnia (10:08): You’ve all encountered previz before on DVDs no doubt. This is no different.
Talking Animals and Walking Trees (4:51): It’s fantasy and magic! The animals talk. Learn what everyone’s favorite talking animal is. Yay?
Deleted Scenes: Ten in total; nothing that does much for the story. Though it is fun seeing the incomplete centaurs with greenscreen legs.
Bloopers (3:06): Kids laugh and are silly.
Secrets of the Duel (6:46): A scene specific look at the fight between Peter and the bad guy. Interesting look at all the prep and planning. WETA is ridiculous when it comes to detail.
Becoming Trumpkin (4:48): Peter Dinklage is awesome.
The Man Behind Nikabrik (11:08): Warwick Davis is awesome. Follow him through a day on the set.
Some Sneak Peeks as well, including an eye opening preview for SPACE BUDDIES. That’s right; the AIR BUD franchise has gone in to space.
Extra Tidbit: The great Eddie Izzard voices Reepicheep, the honorable fighting mouse.