April 24, 2011 | By: Unknown

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter everyone!! :)

This is the day we celebrate Jesus’ rising from the dead after he was crucified and buried! His resurrection seals our salvation and shows that Jesus has the power over life and death. In the gospel of John, Jesus says, “I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again.” (John 10:18) He was in control of the situation all through the Passion week. He was in charge of his own death! 



By his resurrection he showed that he has conquered death. The grave thought it could keep him in, but he was victorious! Because of his sacrifice for our sins, we (who believe in him) are no longer under the power of sin, and because of his resurrection, we are no longer under the power of death! Hebrews says, “…that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.” (Hebrews 2:14-15) When we die, we will immediately find ourselves in Heaven, just like when Tirian dies in “The Last Battle,” he finds himself in Aslan’s Country! This is why we do not have to fear death! This is why Jesus’ resurrection is so glorious! Our savior lives! 


He has “delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have forgiveness of sins.” (Col. 1:13-14) This sounds to me like the rescue of Edmund from the Witch’s camp. You may think that putting the gospel into a normal, fantasy story removes the power of it. Perhaps it does; it’s not God’s Word. But it is still the gospel. Stories are a great help in explaining concepts to people. Even Jesus used parables often to explain key principles. 


When I think of myself as Edmund, stuck in the White Witch’s camp, with no hope of escape or rescue, no family or friends, and the witch herself about to kill me because of my sin, knowing I deserve death, but desperately hoping for salvation, knowing I can’t save myself, that I need a rescuer, a redeemer, I realize how awesome Christ’s salvation of me was. He transferred me out of the domain of darkness into His kingdom of light!


Another concept that struck me was that Aslan was all the way dead. Very dead. Totally dead. The girls and the mice tried as hard as they could to save him, but he was not alive. This is how Jesus was. Some people say that Jesus wasn’t all the way dead when they took him off the cross, and he just walked out of the tomb when he revived. Yeah right. After being scourged, pierced, and probably starved for three days, he could just walk right out, fine as can be, miles to Emmaus? And Romans know how to kill people. They were under orders to kill Jesus, and they did. But just as Aslan came back to life, fully restored to good health and appearance, Jesus rose from the dead, restored to full health. He was dead, but now he is alive! And he will be alive for ever and ever!



C.S. Lewis' explained who Aslan was in this way: "Let us suppose that there were a land like Narnia and that the Son of God, as He became a man in our world, became a lion there, and then imagine what would happen." Lewis wrote Aslan’s sacrifice for Edmund as a representation of Jesus’ salvation of us. Here are some similarities:

God’s Word: “The wages of sin is death.” (Rom 6:23)
LWW: “You know that every traitor belongs to me as my lawful prey and that for every treachery I have a right to a kill… And so, that human creature is mine. His life is forfeit to me. His blood is my property.” (Ch. 13)

God’s Word: “Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins.” (Hebrews 9:22)
LWW: “Unless I have blood as the Law says, all Narnia will be overturned and perish fire and water.” (Ch. 13)

God’s Word: “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.” (Isaiah 53:7)
LWW: “And even now, as they worked about his face putting on the muzzle, one bite from his jaws would have cost two or three of them their hands. But he never moved. And this seemed to enrage all that rabble.” (Ch. 14)

God’s Word: “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom. 5:8)
LWW: “Fool, did you think that by all this you would save the human traitor? Now I will kill you instead of him as our pact was and so the Deep Magic will be appeased.” (Ch. 14)

God’s Word: “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O grave, where is your sting?” (1 Cor. 15:55)
LWW: “When a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor’s stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backwards.” (Ch. 15)



Here is how the Bible describes our salvation:
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ-- by grace you have been saved-- and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” (Eph. 2:4-6)



Seated with him! Just like the Pevensies were crowned and throned at Cair Paravel! We were not only forgiven and freed from the bondage of sin, but we were given an imperishable inheritance: Eternal life in Heaven with Jesus away from the presence of sin! How wonderful! How marvelous! This is my story this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long! Christ the Lord is risen today! Alleluia!

Here is a fun thing for you to check out this Easter! Aslan's Country has opened an "Easter Celebration" page filled with submissions from fans about Narnia and Easter. It's wonderful!

P.s. One more thing! I have this idea in my head for a Aslan-is-Jesus sort of music video to the song "Image of." I heard it on the radio and thought, "Aslan!" Stay tuned, because I don't have it done yet. :( It would have been good for Easter, though! :)
April 9, 2011 | By: Unknown

April 8 - VDT "Double DVD Pack" review

I did it! I went into the store, saw the display, took some pictures, and bought the 2 Disc DVD! :)

At Albertsons I saw the big cardboard ship display with the DVDs and Sodas on it. Pretty cool.

At Albertsons

But they only had the single disc DVD and the Blu-ray combo pack. And I figured Fred Meyer would have the same stuff, since they were also mentioned in the news story.

So mom drove me over to Walmart. There they had Dawn Treader banners on their "new releases" stand by the check out. They were selling the single disc DVD, Blu-ray combo, plus the "Double DVD Pack" and "Single Blu-ray disc" versions... (which are, i think, exclusive at Walmart, Target and Best Buy.)

At Walmart
Since the 2 Disc DVD ("Double DVD Pack") was the one I had decided I was going to get, I bought it. I was thrilled to find out that inside of their bad cover/sideways/"Perfect Easter Gift" box, was a regular single disc DVD with a pretty cover! YES! and... an "Explorer Pack" single disc case, which supposedly has all of the bonus features the Blu-ray has except for three featurettes. (Click on the second picture to see what I mean.) I don't think this is the case...


 
As soon as I could (after a dentist appointment and my sister's senior photoshoot) I popped the movie DVD into our DVD player. I LOVE THE MENU!! Very cool montage in a frame shaped like the Magician's map. On the main menu you can click: PLAY, SET UP, SCENES, or EXTRAS. I clicked on Extras. There you can watch the four Deleted Scenes or the Director/Producer commentary.

I watched the deleted scenes. The first (In Narnian clothes) I'm glad they cut, because I don't think it would have flowed or been in character for Lucy at all. The second (Eustace is Ill) and third (Mutiny) are both scenes mentioned in the book. The filmmakers didn't stray as far as you think from the story. I'm kind of sad these scenes were cut. The last (Doubt) was one I suspected would be on the deleted scene list after watching the movie a couple of times. Remember the scene right before they reach Ramandu's Island and Edmund and Caspian are in the cabin with the swords? In the movie there is only one line, and it seemed incomplete... I was right. The rest of it is the deleted scene "Doubt." It's basically a time for Edmund to be inspirational... Never give in to temptation, doubt, etc.

The "SET UP" and "SCENES" looked good. I didn't play the movie yet because I didn't have time. :(

The second disc "Explorer Pack" is definitely a fun present for an Easter basket. Do you get Easter baskets at your age? I didn't think so. I stopped at about age 11. That's the age this disc is marketed to. :/ On each Island there is a narrated explanation of the island. There are little explanations about certain Narnian characters, good and evil. And a very easy "seven swords" game that shows you a picture of the sea serpent if you lose and Aslan if you win. Nice... Oh! One new thing I did enjoy was "King Caspian's Guide to the Dawn Treader." Ben Barnes is narrating as Caspian, giving you a tour of the ship and telling how it was made in Narnia (with the help of the mice, dwarves, etc.) I also loved the animated short, which is dedicated to Pauline Baynes. It's not really animated, just some of Pauline Baynes' drawings being used to illustrate King Caspian's (Ben Barnes again) adventure from the time the Pevensies left him as King and then rejoined him in the sea. (Think the Dawn Treader credits.) That was very entertaining. Especially the joust between Caspian on Destrier and Shasta on Bree..... :p ) Anyway, moving on! The only really official stuff on the disc is the Theatrical Trailer, the four Fox Movie Channel Videos which you can download for free on itunes and a short Behind the Scenes promotional featurette called "The Epic Continues." which I have seen online somewhere also. Not much new. Or maybe it's just not new to me since I work for a Narnia site, and I hear about these videos when they appear online. The best video is the "Making of a Scene" Fox video. AWESOME. I want more of that for all of the movie!!

In short, this bonus disc IS NOT your average "Here's how we made the movie! We had lots of fun and we learned a lot! Here's special featurettes of us backstage! Oh and don't forget the outtakes and cast commentary!" I saw none of that. It had NO long Behind the Scenes video, NO cast commentary (we knew about that), and NO outtakes!

But the actual movie DVD disc is VERY cool. And I can't give an opinion on the Blu-ray combo edition, because I don't have a Blu-ray player. Here's Griffle's analysis on NW. All I can say is it looks really beautiful! (All of the fold-out pictures and all!) The Blu-ray does have more good Behind-the-Scenes stuff... like a VFX reel and a "Battle on the Sea" featurette. Oh, and I heard once that there was supposed to be a "Seasick Gag Reel." Everyone thought that was the outtakes. I don't know. If they're on the DVD, they're hidden, and I haven't found them yet.

I'm hoping for a future "Special Edition" or "Collector's Edition" or "Extended Version," etc. that will have a lot more Behind the Scenes and stuff on it. This movie was awesome, and it deserves an awesome set of Bonus Features. I'm afraid most Narnia fans will be disappointed. Unless they buy the single disc DVD. That one is awesome! :)


Two more notes....

Please don't think I regret buying this. No! I couldn't rest until I had seen the display and bought one. It made the day special. Also, If I had bought the single disc DVD I would have "wondered til it drove me mad what would have happened if I had" bought the bonus disc also. I'm glad I got to see it, and I'm sure I'll enjoy watching those Fox featurettes next year, when I've forgotten what they are about. :p

Also, I'm not trying to dissuade you from buying the film!!! If you have already seen all of the Fox itunes featurettes I mentioned, and you don't care about seeing the Pauline Baynes short, then just buy the single disc DVD. Or you could buy the Blu-ray and let me borrow it to see the extra stuff I'm missing! :p Just kidding... The Blu-ray is probably the coolest though. It even comes with a Digital Copy!! If I want a Digital copy I have to buy it off of itunes for $15. Oh how I wish we had a Blu-ray player!!

Anyway... I hope you enjoyed my long review. :p

Further up and Further in!
April 7, 2011 | By: Unknown

Tomorrow, Tomorrow!


It’s the evening of April 7th, 2011.

Tomorrow is the day we’ve been waiting for.

No day has been anticipated this much since December 10th!

Any Narniac could tell you what happens tomorrow.

Or hopefully anyone who has seen trailers and ads on tv or online.

Tomorrow the stores will be blessed with the arrival of…

THE BEAUTIFUL DAWN TREADER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have been getting very excited about the release of this film lately.

Probably because of all of the cool promotional websites Fox has launched.

See them here and here and here.

Makes me giddy.

Which is exactly what they wanted to happen.

Or maybe I’m just excited because it’s Narnia.

Either way.

Anyway, today I saw a picture in a news story that thrilled me.

  
It was a giant Dawn Treader model with shelves!

Made out of cardboard.

We ignore that detail.

The shelves held copies and copies of the VDT DVDs and Blu-rays!

They also held soda.

It comes free with the movie.

Tomorrow I plan to march into one of those stores.

I’ll scream a bit if I see one of those displays.

Then I’ll take a picture of it.

Or several.

Matters how many I can handle before people start staring.

Then I’ll have my mom take a picture of me beside it.

Then I will carefully choose my copy of the film.

I can’t wait to see them with my own eyes.

The pictures online of the DVDs all look so different.

I’ve been curious what mine will actually look like.

Oh.

Then I will buy the DVD with money I have saved from Christmas.

Thanks, Grandma and Grandpa!

Then.

I will own the Dawn Treader Special Edition 2 Disc DVD!!!

Later I’m planning on asking the manager something.

Can I keep the display?

When you’re done with its presence gracing your store, of course.

Maybe he’ll say yes.

Then I’ll have to figure out where to put it.

We ignore that detail.
Plans are being made all around the country to watch VDT tomorrow.


I know I will. I’ll probably watch it a lot in the coming months.

Be ye warned.

Anyway, you’re invited to come over to my house and watch it with me!!

Or, as one of my enlightened Narnia friends remarked,

“LET’S JUST GO TO NARNIA AND WATCH IT THERE!!!! :D :D :D :D”

I hope you enjoyed this post.

In my opinion it’s rather random.

And it makes it look like I’m more excited than I really am.

Which is not true.

I’m super-de-duper excited.

Signing off!

April 2, 2011 | By: Unknown

Box Office Update and Earthquakes


I haven’t updated you on how Dawn Treader is doing at the Box Office. Last time (in $300 Million Dollar Thoughts on January 5th) I said that they had earned 300 million dollars worldwide. This was way less than LWW or PC made the same time in their run. But word of mouth has been spreading, and Dawn Treader is steadily receiving more and more money through the box office.
The last country to open The Dawn Treader was Japan, on Feb 25. You can read more about the premiere and promotion here and here. Japan was Prince Caspian’s largest foreign market, so hopes were high that VDT would raise a lot of money in Japan. Three days after it premiered in the Japanese theatres, VDT passed Prince Caspian's foreign gross of $278 million, Dawn Treader's foreign total being $284 million.

Then disaster struck.

A huge tsumani and earthquake hit the northeast part of Japan, destroying miles and miles of land and killing hundreds. Repercussions were even felt in Western North America in the form of big waves wrecking Brookings, OR and Crescent City, CA. There were also large wind storms all throughout Oregon, knocking down trees and damaging power lines, putting many (including my family) out of power for days.

While all of this is tragic and heartbreaking, we Narnia fans realized something else. This could have a bad effect on the Box Office numbers for Dawn Treader and other movies that had just opened in Japan. If Dawn Treader doesn’t do well its last leg, it could be a deciding factor concerning future Narnia movies! In a way, the Narnia franchise itself was shaken by an earthquake.

Then some good news: On March 13, we heard that Dawn Treader had crossed the 400 million mark, thanks to Japan. Fox and Walden have started talking about Narnia 4 (which is going to be MN, more news on that later), which is very exciting! Last week I heard that Dawn Treader had passed $410 million! Even with Japan’s disaster! The film everyone had declared would sink because of its opening weekend numbers, is sailing slowly and surely ever east, and it may even pass Prince Caspian’s Box Office score of $417 million.