‘The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe’ is too black-and-white, even for kids

[rating=2]Starring: Tilda Swinton, Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes, William Mosley, Anna Popplewell
Director(s): Andrew Adamson
Writer(s): Ann Peacock, Andrew Adamson, Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely

Anna Popplewell (left), William Moseley and Georgie Henley are siblings who become rulers of a mystical land in 'The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe'
Anna Popplewell (left), William Moseley and Georgie Henley are siblings who become rulers of a mystical land in ‘The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe’

The Chronicles of Narnia starts off well enough. The four engaging Pevensie children, Peter, Susan, Edmund and the irrepressible young Lucy, huddle in their living room while Hitler’s bombers strafe London. As the explosions near, their panicked mum herds them into the cellar. Next thing they know, they’re boarding a train for the safety of the English countryside. As their mother tearfully sends them off in the crush of the station, their anguish is palpable. Unfortunately, it is just about the most moving scene in the film. Because it is human.

So, too, is the interplay between the siblings as they try to keep a stiff upper lip while making themselves at home in the huge country estate of the mysterious Professor Kirke (Jim Broadbent in a role better suited to Christopher Lloyd.) While these scenes are slow, there is definite life to them, and the sets are rich, varied, and intriguing. And so we are hopeful when Lucy, having found the perfect place to secret herself during a game of hide and seek, discovers that the wardrobe she’s climbed into is actually the door to a snow covered forest. Our sense of wonder grows as she meets a friendly faun (a.k.a., satyr) who introduces himself as Mr. Tumnus. Vividly played by James McAvoy, we feel a thrilling pinprick of magic, and are both delighted, and a little fearful, when Lucy happily agrees to go to his house for tea. His home turns out to be a hobbit like cave in the side of a rock hill with an arched door, and as she enters the look in his eyes tells us that all is not as benign as it seems. While we know that she can’t actually be in the kind of danger this intimates, it is still riveting.

Read more‘The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe’ is too black-and-white, even for kids

The Truth behind ‘White Noise’ Part I: Expert describes Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP)

Tom Butler explains EVP, the science behind the supernatural thriller, 'White Noise' starring Michael Keaton.
Tom Butler explains EVP, the science behind the supernatural thriller, ‘White Noise’ starring Michael Keaton.

In January, the supernatural thriller White Noise not only thankfully ended Michael Keaton’s maddeningly long absence from the screen, it also introduced the very real concept of EVP — otherwise known as Electronic Voice Phenomena.

Read moreThe Truth behind ‘White Noise’ Part I: Expert describes Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP)

How To Write a Killer Query Letter

The query letter is king!
The query letter is king!

You’ve just finished the best screenplay you’ve ever written. Congratulations. The easy part is over. Now you’re ready to move on to the real challenge, getting someone in power to actually read the damn thing!

In other words, in the if-it’s-not-one-thing-it’s-another category, after having successfully scaled Pike’s Peak, you now find yourself staring up at Mount Everest. Take a deep cleansing breath, and get ready to master yet another deceptively difficult form of writing: the query letter.

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‘Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle’ is NOT a typical stoner film

John Cho and Kal Penn get high in 'Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle'
John Cho and Kal Penn get high in ‘Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle’

[rating=3]Starring: Kal Penn, John Cho, Paula Garces, Fred Willard, Neil Patrick Harris, Anthony Anderson
Director(s): Danny Leiner
Writer(s): Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg

On the surface Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle is a typical stoner film. On Friday night two twenty-something guys smoke themselves into a wicked case of the munchies, and decide that the only solution is to scarf down as many burgers and fries as it takes to appease their hunger. The catch? The burgers have to be from White Castle, a fast food chain famous for teeny tiny burgers called sliders. Luckily there’s one not far from their New Jersey apartment. Or, there used to be . . .

Read more‘Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle’ is NOT a typical stoner film