Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian ~Book Cut~

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8.9
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8.9(7)
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8.9(7)
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9.0(7)
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Overall rating
 
7.6
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8.0
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7.0
A reasonably good take on an overly-long film.
The film is a lot stronger removing the Susan / Caspian "romance" that went nowhere, as well as removing the castle attack.
The new opening is MUCH better as well.
However, there is still a lot of extraneous fluff there. Maybe more of the baddies back-adn-forth could have been removed (I know already a lot has gone). And I think the battle could have been a lot shorter as well. LWW and PC both suffer from post Lord of the Rings blues. Too much battle! That's not the point!
Unfortunately I think removing the White Witch scene was a big mistake. It flattens the character arcs of Peter and we lose the resolution of Edmund. I imagine that was sacrificed to get rid of the castle. Maybe the castle should have been reduced instead of just cut? The point of the castle scene is to really highlight their dependence on Aslan. WHen they just blast ahead without consulting him, they fail.

I also think it was a big mistake adding the scene with the unfinished effects in. The scene added nothing to the film, it was obvious why it had been cut, and it totally jarred. This scene alone makes it impossible to replace the original. I knocked off a couple of points for visual editing for this. If you desperately wanted this scene you should have found a way to cut around or replace the unfinished FX.
However, the orchards scene was a nice addition.

Sound was fine, but Stereo - why? Why not keep it 5.1? Docked some points for that. Also the Disney logo right at the beginning starts off very low then suddenly JUMPS.
Oh, I missed the roar at the end.
Other than that solid editing. Video and Audio quality very good.

A good first effort. But I'd like to see a v2!

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Overall rating
 
9.8
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10.0
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10.0
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10.0
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9.0
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10.0
The Chronicles of Narnia film trilogy is for the most part a pretty good crop. The spirit of the stories is there, the casting is decent and the effects have aged well considering the first film came out 10 years ago. However, the films aren't without their faults. C.S Lewis isn't a writer with a sense of great detail like his friend J.R.R Tolkien. The battle in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe isn't even described in the book, so the producers have had to improvise a fair bit with the film series.

The film version of Prince Caspian isn't without it's faults. The raid on Miraz's castle was the bit that stuck out the most, as well as the romance subplot between Caspian and Susan. However both of these elements have been excised by this edit, which helps to de-clutter the narrative. It also feels like a much more nimble film. The trimmed opening works a lot better too. The film runs a fast two hours, and there was only one bit aspect of that which jarred: The missing Nikabrik. As the scene with the White Witch is gone, Nikabrik is there when Caspian blows the horn but disappears from the film after this. Besides this minor quibble, I recommend this edit. Thanks SoboFilms.

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(Updated: November 18, 2015)
Overall rating
 
9.6
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10.0
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10.0
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9.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
The recent films based on C.S. Lewis’ Narnia books left many fans, including myself, less than pleased, with pointless added subplots and with the central allegory muddled or ignored, among other problems. Fans generally liked the first one but had bigger problems with the next two. Thankfully, SoboFilms is here to try to set things straight.

Sobo has cut out about a half hour from the film, but the cuts are so seamless that I had trouble recalling where the cuts were even made. There are no jarring transitions in terms of sound or video. There is one deleted scene that’s a bit startling to watch, as it has unfinished CGI of Reepicheep and some other characters. But Sobo warns us with a disclaimer at the beginning of the edit that this unfinished scene will be there, so I didn’t have a problem with it. And I can see why he wanted to include it: The scene is one of the few taken from the book with virtually no changes. I note with some frustration that naturally such a scene would be one of the first to hit the cutting room floor for the original filmmakers.

To some degree, Sobo can’t make the film exactly like the book (such as starting with the Pevensie kids rather than in Narnia with Caspian) because the film itself is so heavily structured to work a certain way. (In fairness to the filmmakers, the book was a difficult adaptation anyway. If the movie were exactly like the book, about half of it would involve the Pevensies listening to a flashback from Trumpkin the dwarf while sitting on a beach.) Sobo does the best he can with what he has.

There’s an early scene in the movie where a nerdy kid attempts to flirt with Susan, much to her dismay. The scene comes off as very mean-spirited humor, and it’s nowhere in the original book. The author C.S. Lewis was a nerd himself who had a difficult time with women; he would never have written a scene like that. I was hoping that this scene would be missing from this edit, but it’s still here. Nonetheless, I can see Sobo’s reasoning. The nerdy kid appears again in the very end scene, and there’s no editing around him, so Sobo likely kept him for visual continuity.

(Major spoilers ahead in the next paragraph!)

As with the other reviewers, I do have to say that I kind of wish that Sobo had kept the scene where Trumpkin tries to resurrect the White Witch, but simply cut it shorter. Certainly, the scene in the movie is a disaster. Caspian shouldn’t be so easily tempted, and the White Witch gets way too close to actually coming back to life. However, with this scene missing, Trumpkin disappears inexplicably from the rest of the edit. Plus, Edmund shattering the image of the Witch is one of the few things added for the movie that I actually like. It shows how much he’s really changed. Having said all that, I haven’t tried editing this scene myself, and it may be that with all the other material cut, the scene simply didn’t flow or work anymore.

(End of major spoilers.)

I think that few people watching this edit realize how much work went into the last scene. Sobo opted for a silent, heartwarming return to Earth with just the music (“The Call” by Regina Spektor) and the actors’ expressions carrying the scene. But the scene originally had dialogue along with the Spektor song. So he removed the dialogue, added back in the music, and then painstakingly assembled sound effects for a train station from scratch! The effect is so seamless that you may not even notice it, but it’s extremely well done.

Bravo to SoboFilms for a terrific edit! I can’t wait to see his completed take on the next film, Voyage of the Dawn Treader.




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Overall rating
 
9.2
Audio/Video Quality
 
8.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
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10.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0

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Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
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Overall rating
 
9.2
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
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9.0
Visual Editing
 
9.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
I watched the original film exactly once, and was so disgusted with the castle raid and all the Suspian that I refused to watch it again, preferring the BBC version (which actually respected the book's content). But I took a chance on this edit fixing a lot of that, and I was relieved to see it removed both of the elements I detested most.

I had to dock a star from the audio/video quality because of the unfinished CGI scene - but at the same time that really isn't Sobo's fault, and it is a good scene to have! Also, the song-only ending was lovely but it was very noticeable that the children were speaking to each other on the train - and we couldn't hear what they were saying - so it was slightly jarring.

I docked a star from the narrative mostly because there were the occasional oddity/holdout such as Nikabrik's disappearance, and the bits of Suspian in the form of some longing looks. Overall I felt those elements were more or less handled as best as they could given chopping out whole scenes such as the White Witch one that would've explained where Nikabrik went. I don't remember that scene well enough to know if it were possible to retain much of it while still cutting the worst parts, so I won't suggest that the editor should have done that, though if it were, that might've been a better option.

On the whole I felt that this was a major improvement on the original film, and highly recommend it for any book fan who (like me) was disgusted at Disney's attempt to turn this book into film. The minor issues listed above are just that - minor - and don't significantly detract from the overall enjoyment.

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