I went to see The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe tonight, with Noumenon and some of his (and Cowboy's) relatives. Two of the relatives were kids, 15 and 10, perfect for watching this kind of movie.
I liked it. I didn't love it, but I liked it. It was good, just not magnificent. If they would have gotten Weta Workshops to do all the effects, instead of just letting them do the armor and weaponry and giving the rest to Industrial Lights & Magic, I think it would have been better. I mean, the main CG stuff was good, like Aslan and the beavers and the centaurs, things like that. But there were too many minor parts that weren't polished and perfect, little flaws around the edges that kept catching my eye and distracting me. Like this one twitchy little critter in some of the scenes with the White Witch...I don't know what it was, but it annoyed me every time it appeared, because it looked like it belonged in Shrek, not this.
Oh, and can I rant about the costuming for a minute? Most of it was nice, and the bits of 1940's England were quite lovely. But what was up with the White Witch's main costume? Here, I've got a picture of it...isn't it odd? It looks like two giant styrofoam sno-cone cups stuck together and covered in squishy silver stuff. What is up with the whole shelf thing on her shoulders? It's just weird.
As for acting, well, I first have to say that casting Liam Neeson as the voice of Aslan was bloody brilliant. How delightful! As for the children...they're good little child-actors. Not Freddie Sizemore or Haley Joel Osment or Margaret O'Brien, certainly, but I'd say they're on par with the kids in the Harry Potter movies. And the boy playing Peter (William Moseley) is really rather hot...and before you accuse me of being a mental minor-raper, he was born in 1987, so he's 18 and legal, nyah nyah nyah-nyah nyah. Actually, he was so charming and earnest and brave, I almost gave up my traditional allegiance to Edmund and became a Peter fan! But I didn't, because Edmund came through as usual and gave my heart-strings a good tugging with his whole fall-and-redemption character arc. He's always been my favorite, from the very first time I read the books. Maybe because I see a lot of myself in him--I hate being scolded and bossed and told to 'do as you're told'. His whole "Oh, yeah, well watch this!" attitude is a lot like mine.
I don't think I liked this enough to want to buy it when it comes out on dvd, but it definitely made me want to revisit the books. And I'm glad I went to see it in the theater, because that was loads of fun. Especially since I don't get to go see movies with gobs of people very often, and this is the sort of movie you want to see with gobs of people.