The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe was a smashing holiday success at the box office. Not only did Aslan leave a giant gorilla named Kong in his wake, he also ultimately overtook a famous boy wizard in the standings.
Narnia, which releases to DVD today in fullscreen, widescreen, and a special 2-disc edition, recently passed Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire to become the 24th-highest grossing film ever at the U.S. box office. Its current domestic total is fast closing in on the $300 million mark, while its international total has exceeded $700 million.
It's indeed one of the major films of recent years, and the DVD release is certainly one that will become a part of many home libraries starting this week.
But there's another new Narnia film that is also worth a look: C.S. Lewis: Beyond Narnia, which premiered on the Hallmark Channel in December, right when Aslan was hitting the theaters. The Faith & Values Media production is an insightful hour-long "docudrama" that examines the life of the man who penned the Chronicles of Narnia.
Anton Rodgers plays the role of Lewis in Beyond Narnia, which explores the inspiration behind the Chronicles and other Lewis works. Written and directed by Norman Stone (who also directed the award-winning BBC version of Shadowlands), the film depicts Lewis's faith journey from atheist to believer, and the role that others—including J.R.R. Tolkien—played along the way.
The second half of the film delves more into Lewis's relationship with Joy Gresham, the American woman with whom he would fall in love and eventually marry. Gresham, played here by Diane Venora, died of cancer three years after their wedding, prompting a time of agonizing sorrow which Lewis ultimately ...1