J and I attended "The Chronicles of Narnia" yesterday. I'm at a disadvantage in reviewing it, because I never read the books. I thought it was pretty good. There were good performances and the effects were effective. The interaction of the kids was realistic and provided a solid emotional engine to the story. I loved the variety of the creatures, especially the minotaurs and the centaurs. I was some disappointed in the general ugliness in the "bad guys." And, Santa? I'm sure it was in the story, but the chase that turns out to be not the witch, but the big, jolly guy felt more than a little manipulative.
At this point, I can't resist a comparison to "Fellowship of the Ring." In that movie, the pursuit by the Nazgul was real and frightening. No manipulation needed. I should resist these comparisons further, as I read the Tolkien books twice and have seen the movies two or three times. Still, I think that Peter Jackson's vision for his movies, both in story and the cinematography, was much bigger than "Narnia." Good movie, but not really a thrill.