You're likely to have heard already, but Robert Sheckley died on Friday. My first editor at Vertigo was his daughter, Alisa Kwitney, who worked with me on much of The Dreaming. The world is truly a poorer place for the loss of his wit and talent. I'm sorry that we never had the opportunity to meet.
Spooky and I made the 4 p.m. matinee of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe yesterday, and I am very, very pleased to say that I was in no way disappointed. I went in with high expectations. Like The Lord of the Rings, Watership Down, and Something Wicked This Way Comes, Lewis' Narnia books, especially the first three, were particularly important to me as a child and teenager. The film is just shy of perfect. I even liked the bit added onto the beginning, the bombing of London as prologue. The casting was superb, especially Georgie Henley as Lucy and Tilda Swinton as the White Witch. As always, I am in awe of Tilda Swinton. I've been in awe of her since Orlando (1992). Her presence in Constantine went a long way towards making up for Keanu Reeves. And now I will probably never be able to see anyone else as the White Witch. She was beautiful and terrible, especially in the climactic battle sequences. Oh, and Jim Broadbent, who can generally do no wrong, was a perfect choice for the Professor. The creature effects were very good (and I'd had my doubts about fauns and centaurs on the big screen), thanks to Weta. The score was magnificent. I know that in this Age of Irony and Affected Indifference, gushing is generally frowned upon. But I really don't care. This film warrants gushing. I have very few complaints, and they're all fairly minor. Liam Neeson did a decent enough job with Aslan, but I couldn't help but think a deeper, more resounding voice was called for and that perhaps Aslan might have been a little larger. Anyway, yes, if you're a fan of the novel, do see the film. I doubt you'll be disappointed. But do not go expecting an adult fantasy. This is a film for children, as it should be, and for admirers of the novel. If you hate children, it will likely drive you mad, which is fine, as it wasn't made for you. Even Lewis' rather heavy Xtian allegory, which I've long since outgrown, was only a very minor distraction. In the end, I think the film comes off as something concerned with far greater and grander things than the doctrine of any one religion. Okay. Enough gushing for the moment.
I should probably be working. Take a moment, please, to look over the current eBay auctions. You might find something you'd like. Also, both the Candles for Elizabeth and Aberrations #27 auctions will be ending today.