8:00 PM, 19th July, 2008
The second film in the Chronicles of Narnia series is to be released later this year - over three months after this booklet goes to print, three years after the first film and two years before the next is scheduled. It's a pity we'll have to wait so long for the one after that: C.
S. Lewis's first three Narnia books are easily his weakest, and I'm sure the hardest to film, the talking-animal elements sitting awkwardly next to the kind of high fantasy adventure his friend Tolkien had inspired him to write. Yet Andrew Adamson managed to make The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - the most awkward of the lot - perfectly convincing; so I'm willing to bet that the more atmospheric sequel will be better still.
For those of you who want a plot synopsis - what, you haven't read the books? Holy goatblight. Back in my day, everyone had read them. And that was decades after they were published - I'm talking the 1980s here; it's not like that was last century. Oh wait, it was. Sigh.
So anyway, for the uncultured among you: a year after their first series of adventures, the Pevensie children are again magically summoned away to discover that something is rotten in the state of Narnia: a thousand years have passed, their exploits of (from their point of view) a year ago have become half-forgotten legend, and Prince Caspian, the true heir to the throne, lives in hiding while his tyrannous uncle wields power. But if you'd read the books, dammit, you'd know this.
10:20 PM, 19th July, 2008
Esther Blueburger is a very weird girl. She breakdances at her Bat Mitzvah, she befriends a duck and talks to God through the toilet. Oddly enough, none of this behaviour assists in fitting in at her all-girls private school, or with her high-strung mother's dream of family perfection. But a meeting with the tough girl from the local public school and her mum gives Esther a chance to learn about being true to herself...
Does this sound like the most sickeningly awful quirk-by-numbers ever? Then rack off ((ndash)) we don't need your Australian-film-knocking ways here! No, this is undoubtedly a hidden Aussie gem, one that will go down in the annals of time along with The Nugget, You and Your Stupid Mate and Amy as a moment where true cinematic genius comes to shine.
Okay, so this hasn't come out anywhere yet, so it's possible there's a hidden gem somewhere under the slatherings of wackiness, and Toni Collette has occasionally shown skill in picking a good script here and there. Alternatively, it could suck totally. There's only one way to tell ((ndash)) and that's to stick around in the cinema for this one. It's only an hour or two of your life ((ndash)) and you'd be sleeping in tomorrow morning anyway...