I played Dungeons & Dragons growing up. I collected figures and multiple-sided dice. In short, I was geeky. But I loved the game and the images it created in my head of characters and different worlds and oh my God, there I go again... being geeky. I can't help it. A 12th level Paladin with a 24 dexterity, and somebody please stop me before I kill again!!!! I enjoyed that time and there's no doubt in the world that it helped me with my creativity, but I'm all grows up now and have placed it neatly up on a shelf as one would with a nicely painted Minotaur figurine.
So the family and I went to go see Prince Caspian, the latest installment in the Narnia Chronicles. I have enjoyed the books and because of my Dungeons & Dragons background, I have always enjoyed stories involving alternate worlds where Goblins lurk and giant buffalo creatures roam the earth on two legs with gigantic double-sided axes. When I talk of the Rings Trilogy, I still get some eye-rolls from friends saying they don't really dig fantasy movies. And to me, describing The Lord Of The Rings as a fantasy trilogy isn't doing it much justice. It's just a really good batch of movies. Dress up the bad guys how you like, but these were classic good versus evil movies. And when I defend or just discuss the Rings Trilogy, I do it unabashedly. Without guilt or fear of judgment. I don't make excuses for it saying "well, you have to like fantasy movies." You just have to like well-made movies on an epic scale. When the trilogy came out, the parallels between it and 9/11 were uncanny. And let me say that I hate drawing parallels such as this, but it was unavoidable and is a testament to the timelessness of these stories. There will always be good and there will always be some big fucking monster trying to kill all that is good.
Prince Caspian is not very good as a stand-alone movie and as the second installment in a franchise it's even worse. What makes the Rings Trilogy so good is the reason why Prince Caspian fails. The story could not transcend the mythical lands or the creatures. About halfway through the movie, the Narnians have lost a major battle and had to retreat. There's a quick exchange of glances between a couple Centaurs. The male centaur looks at the female centaur as if to say "things didn't go well." With this news, the female centaur begins to cry and all I could think was "man Centaurs are geeky looking." Like something an anti-social kid in early Jr. High might be drawing on his notebook instead of listening in his Math class. A special "character" in his imaginary world that he dreams about every single night. It's like a Liger in that it's a combination of two un-geeky things that when combined together becomes the pinnacle of geekiness. In the Rings Trilogy, you could dress the characters up as you like. They could be Hobbits or Wizards or gigantic trees, but they were still human in how they were presented in the movie. The Centaur scene was supposed to be emotional as two stoic man/horses delivered reams of dialogue in a single look and the result was pure hokiness. Not a human story, but just a geeks dream come to life on the big screen.