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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW -now this is what you call a box set
i ordered this boxset having bought, quite some time ago, a very limited leather bound complete book set of the Chronicles of Narnia direct from the U.S.A.for future appreciation (hopefully ??)
these were/are for my own children once they are old enough to appreciate the value of such items.
the whole point of telling you this is to relate my own personal...
Published on 4 April 2006 by R. Pievaitis

versus
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Thin
Hollywood's constant striving to fit complex and major works of fiction into short cinema timescales has serious implications on the film's watchability. Too much of the story is cut and it leaps far ahead of itself in order to keep pace, this film just needs more time in it. The CGI is of course superb and generally it sticks to Lewis's intentions and morality, It'll...
Published on 9 April 2006 by Mr. J. J. Percival


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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A magical adaptation of an even more magical story, 4 April 2006
By 
Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Special Two-Disc Collector's Edition) [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
If you're going to bring a beloved classic to life, you had better do it right - and director Andrew Adamson did just that, largely because of his own special memories of reading the book as a child. The timing for this film was also right - not only because it follows in the wake of the masterful Lord of the Rings series (and there will always be comparisons between Narnia and LOTR, despite their vast differences) but, more importantly, because this film really could not have been made any earlier. I wasn't a big fan of CGI when the technology emerged; I thought it took away from the purity of the medium and, of course, it was oftentimes obviously not real in those early days. When you watch The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, though, you see the undeniable magic that CGI has now opened up. This film is heavy with computer animation, and its integration with real actors and sets is virtually seamless. Aslan, by way of example, may well be CGI's highest achievement to date. For one thing, he looks bloody real in every scene, but what is truly amazing is the depth of feeling and emotion that comes through in his face and gestures, particularly during the scene at the Stone Slab.
There's really far more to praise about this film than I have time or room for. I'll just say the cinematography and music are masterful, and the creation of the different creatures (be they computer-generated or wonders of costuming) are incredibly detailed and realistic. I just want to hurry up and talk about the children playing the Pevensie siblings. Do they give awards for best casting? If they don't, they certainly should, and this film would take that prize hands-down. They boys (William Moseley as Peter and Skandar Keynes as Edmund) are excellent, but the girls are nothing short of perfect. There's just something about Anna Popplewell (Susan) that I find blissfully charming. Her character is basically the smart and careful one of the bunch, and Popplewell just radiates nobility and a maturity beyond her years. Young Georgie Henley, though, takes the proverbial cake as little Lucy. I tend to think of this story as Lucy's for the most part. It is she who first takes us into Narnia, and we see that enchanted land primarily through her eyes. Aslan is the central character, but Lucy is really the audience's link to everything that happens. I think you can experience Narnia just by watching Lucy - the childish wonder, the joy of the land's magic, and the heart-breaking sadness of the White Witch's most evil deeds. If you listen to the children's commentary on the DVD, though, you'll be even more impressed with these kids. Georgie is the quintessential child, a fountain of unbridled energy and unabashed honesty, but she also asks the director some incredibly insightful questions about some of his directorial decisions. All of these kids are smart as a whip, but that Georgie truly is something special.
I'm assuming you already know the story here, so I won't go into plot details. What makes the story resonate so deeply is the myriad of interpretations you can take away from it. Clearly, there's a strong Christian allegory at work here, primarily in terms of Aslan, the rightful king of Narnia, but you don't have to view the story in that way at all - although the moral implications of this classic contest between good and evil are obvious and beneficial to all. Your interpretation, in fact, may very well change with each viewing. Children can just enjoy it as an adventure with talking animals, but as they come back to the film over time they will begin to pick up on the deeper meanings of the story. This is one of those rare films that gets better and better with each viewing.
You have to love the bonus features on the two-disc collector's edition. We're talking hours and hours of behind-the-scenes footage and insights into the whole Narnia experience (and a few bloopers). I really love the Kids and Director Commentary, and I would heartily encourage you to watch that. Filmmaker commentary (and there's one of those here, as well) tend to be rather boring. I got more out of the Kids Commentary than I would normally get out of ten filmmaker commentaries. You also have the option of watching the film with interesting facts about Narnia popping up from time to time. If you really want to know how in the world this incredible movie was brought to life, you'll relish Disc 2 and its hours of interviews and film prep featurettes on the casting, design, costuming, creature-making, etc. You can also find really nice information on the different creatures you'll meet in Narnia - and you can even explore Narnia's most important locations and hear a little more about what happens in Narnia after the story of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe ends. The Special Two-Disc Collector's Edition of this movie is truly the complete package - and a must for Narnia fans.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not as extended as I would have liked!, 11 Dec 2006
By 
jdennis_99 (Nottingham, England) - See all my reviews
When I heard that there was going to be an extended version of LWW, I was very excited, especially being a big fan of the Lord of the Rings extended editions, which added considerably more to the films, and brought them closer to the spirit of the books. I was hoping the same would follow for LWW, but my wishes were only partially satisfied.

There have been various reports that the film is extended by half an hour. Not so - I think they've managed to squeeze in another 10 minutes or so. Most of this 10 minutes consists of wider establishment shots, some of which are worthwhile, but some of which just seem to slow the pace of the film. Unlike LOTR, there are no added scenes which were omitted from the theatrical edition, just a few little bits and bobs added in.

Some fans will be pleased to know that the most additions are in the Battle of Beruna sequence, which do serve to enhance an already impressive scene. However, you can't help feeling that the extra 10 minutes could have been put in the theatrical version without too much trouble.

The movie is definitely better as a result of the additions, but only by a little bit. It's not a revolutionary change. If you're just a passing fan, and already have the theatrical version, I would suggest that you'd probably be better off buying something else. If you don't have the theatrical version, or you're a manic Narnia geek (like me), then it's worth getting.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Confessions of a Narnia Fanatic, 15 May 2006
By 
Mark Baker (Santa Clarita, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Special Two-Disc Collector's Edition) [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
Ever since I first discovered Narnia in the third grade, I have loved this series of seven novels. While I have read through the series several times, this book remains my favorite and I have read it more then any other.

Naturally, when I first heard about this movie, I was excited. I tried to keep a healthy skepticism about me since so very few movies live up to their books, but I couldn't help it. I was counting the days until I got to see this. And I was not disappointed in the least.

Sticking fairly closely to the book, the story follows four siblings. Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy are sent to the countryside to live with a professor while the Germans bomb London during World War II. While playing hide and seek one day, Lucy (Georgie Henley) hides in a wardrobe, only to find herself in a winter landscape. Exploring a little more, she meets a faun named Mr. Tumnus (James McAvoy). After serving her tea, he confesses his desire to turn her over to the evil White Witch (Tilda Swinton). The White Witch has turned his country of Narnia into a constant winter with no Christmas.

Naturally, her siblings don't believe a word Lucy says when she returns. A second trip with Edmund in tow doesn't help things. But when all four of them wind up in Narnia, they find themselves caught in an epic battle between good and evil where they are prophesied to free Narnia from the White Witch's reign with the help of the great lion Aslan (voice of Liam Neeson). But even if they can survive treachery in their own ranks, can four children really free Narnia?

The movie expertly captures the spirit of the book while making lots of changes. Those familiar with the original story will certainly notice a few changes already (hide and seek was the excuse the second time Lucy went, not the first), but these changes enhance the movie. This is especially true in the middle third. The trip from the Beaver's house to meet Aslan was much more harrowing in the movie and Edmund gets some extra scenes never dreamed of for the book. The changes were actually necessary to make the story work for the movie. Most of them help establish the changes the characters are going through, which is handled in the narration of the book. Obviously, that isn't an option for the movie.

As I said, these changes didn't bother me in the least. I was so caught up in the story I didn't care. The kids do an absolutely amazing job with the acting, especially since they are doing lots of acting to effects that won't be there until much later. Georgie Henley, the youngest as Lucy, especially does a good job, which is important since Lucy has to carry so much of the early story by herself. I was also quite satisfied with Aslan's voice. Liam Neeson brings the right mix of majesty with reality to the role. And Tilda Swinton's White Witch is equal parts creepy and evil without being over the top.

The effects were amazing as well. This movie could not have been made 5 years ago. While a few of the creatures might look a little fake to some, I want to know where they found the talking beasts. And the scenery, taken from locations all over the world but mostly New Zealand, was beautiful as well.

Even though the movie is rated PG, parents will want to take the rating seriously. There are several intense moments, especially the opening of London being bombed and the final battle. In keeping with the PG rating, the final battle is (thankfully) blood free, but it might be too intense for kids. Only you can judge for your family.

Every hope I had for this movie was met or exceeded. I hope they do all seven of the books. In the meantime, I can not wait to see this one again.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars narnia, 19 Aug 2006
This review is from: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Special Two-Disc Collector's Edition) [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
this film is really great. mr tumnus the faun is done really well, the beavers are so funny, and the four pevensies are great! if you see the extras, you realise just how much effort was put into the film, and the children had great fun doing it, and this comes out when watching the film. when it was showing at the cinema, i think i must have seen it every single time i could!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Go Narnia!!!!, 29 Mar 2006
By 
B. Probert "seanyprobert" (East Sussex, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Special Two-Disc Collector's Edition) [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
Harry Potter was amazing! King Kong was mind-blowing. This film had a big job and it delivered itself with a nice fun-filled, faithful adaption of the beloved book by C.S Lewis.
I'll start off by saying that Tilda Swinton put in a better performance of The White Witch than what Naomi Watts did as Ann Darrow and the kids put in better performances than the kids in Harry Potter so acting wise the film was brilliant.
However what Narnia lacks that Harry Potter and King Kong mastered is special effects, don't get me wrong the efects are good but are what you would come to expect from a film made 5 years ago, this is shown by the CGI backdrops as you can blatantly tell the actors/actresses are standing in front of a green screen.
The highlight of the film is the two beavers fantastically voiced by Dawn French and Ray Winstone, and they looked fantastic but not as good as Kong.
Altogether this film is definitely worth a buy, but people expecting a special effects masterpiece might leave feeling disapointed.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth it for the extras?, 6 Dec 2006
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I have to confess, I gave my original two-disk copy of the film away back in the summer: partly because I knew the recipient would treasure it, and partly as an excuse to buy this version when it emerged. Perhaps that's my point: I'd find it diffficult to justify owning both versions. The two extra disks offer an agreeable and solidly-researched documentary on Lewis and the Chronicles (very little that will be news to anyone who's done their homework, but nice all the same) and a 150 minute "making of" documentary that more or less follows the course of the film. Both are better for being linear programs, without the need to navigate a system of menus, bells and whistles. And both are worth having. On that basis alone, I'm happy to have forked out 25 for the set and the original film. The film itself doesn't incorporate a vast amount of new material, and several things that I'd looked for didn't make this cut (e.g., the "romp" after Aslan's resurection and the dancing scene from the trailer). However, I find it difficult to give this film in any guise less than 5 stars (4 for added value relative to the original is fair). Considering how the LWW could have been massacred by a less sensitive, faithful and intelligent treatment, I'm happy to embrace Adamson's interpretation and overlook the bits I would liked to have changed. I'd probably have been wrong in any case :o)
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Narnia, 23 July 2006
This review is from: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Special Two-Disc Collector's Edition) [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
This is a great retelling of one of the great children's classics of the last century. The setting is in the middle of world war II, and the set pieces in the first few scenes of the film are very realistic as the four Pevensie children are sent away to the country.

The four children are perfectly cast and Tilda Swinton is a stylishly wicked and ruthless Snow Queen.

The CGI effects are flawless, especially on details like Aslan the Lion's fur and the magical creatures in the giant battle at the end.

The dvd comes with an extra disc packed with special behind-the-scenes features and interviews with the cast, director and crew members.

A superb retelling of one of the most beloved children's books.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic film for all the family, 3 May 2006
By 
O. Doyle "celticshedevil" (Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Special Two-Disc Collector's Edition) [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
Two big movies (in my mind anyway) that were due out this year were Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and the Chronicles of Narnia and I was waiting with baited breath to see both. By far my favourite of the two was The Chronicles. I'll admit that I haven't read C.S. Lewis books so I can't comment on how closely the film portrays the book. What I do know is that it truly lived up to my expectations and will be a dvd that I will be adding to my collection.

The story starts with the outbreak of WW2 and the Pevensie children, like many others, are being shipped off to the countryside for their own safety. While playing hide and seek in their new abode they stumble across a wardrobe which transports them to strange new land. Narnia is a magical land where the inhabitants are suffering under the 100-yr rule of the white witch. Stories have told of four children who will come to Narnia and ultimately end the rule of the white witch and liberate the inhabitants. Therein starts the battle between good and evil.

Tilda Swinton does a fantastic job as the White Witch but Georgie Hendley playing Lucy is the winner for me. Considering her age she plays her role fantastically...as do all the children. The film was shot in New Zealand and the scenery is just amazing. The cinematography is stunning and the entire film just sucks you in. In my opinion this is a fantastic film that can be enjoyed by all the family.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Adaptation, 16 July 2006
There have been critics of this movie, and to a certain extent they have a point - The large battle scenes will never rival those of the Lord of the Rings, however, this movie was aimed at a younger audience as were the excellent books. When viewed in context, this movie hits the spot. From the first moment the Pevensie children set foot in the land of Narnia through to their return through the wardrobe this movie delivers an exciting and magical adventure.

The movie started in an inspired way with the Luftwaffe air raid over London introducing the audience to the reason why Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy were staying with Professor Kirke in the first place, and then rolled on with a consistent and easy flow. The locations were magnificent, and the use of animatronics amazing - as were the CGI and CGI augmented creatures! A particularly nice touch was the way that Mr Tumnus shook away the snow from his hooves by stamping on the mat - his 'backwards' goat legs really looked the part. The witch was not as frightening as she could have been, but had I been six years old I'd have been terrified. Aslan was surprisingly lion like but managed to convey the majesty of the king.

I liked this movie and I look forward to the coming of "Prince Caspian" in 2008.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great film, excellent picture, great sound, 22 Sep 2008
Great film, enjoyed it despite initial misgivings about watching a 'kids film'. Not going to review it in depth since so many others already have on the DVD section.

The picture on the bluray disc is excellent throughout, which does mean that some of the more dodgy special effects are shown up - though fortunately not too often. For the most part the graphics are very good, Aslan in particular is impressive.

The sound offers 5.1 and uncompressed. I could not get the uncompressed sound to work initially, but all was ok after a play around, and the uncompressed sound is very good. Footsteps in snow never seemed so loud! The 5.1 sound is also good, but does lack the detail of the lossless format.

One issue was that if I stopped playback on the ps3 (and went to the ps3 menu screen) and then restarted the disc, the disc would start right from the beginning of all the disc selections etc, which is unusual as most other discs go right back to where I left off watching. Not a big deal though.

Great family fun, this disc will show off your home cinema system.
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