Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Review of Peter Pan and The Valley of Vision

Sovereign Grace Praise has released a new CD called The Valley of Vision which is, in my opinion, the best recording I have heard from Sovereign Grace. If you’ve never bought a Sovereign Grace CD you really need to. They are the first “praise” group I ever listened to after being somewhat of a hymns-only snob for most of my teenage years. What the other recordings lacked (somewhat) in the quality of recording/mixing this recording excels at, the instrumentation is just great. The lyrics are based on the Valley of Vision book of prayers & meditation but aren’t direct quotes, the style is very contemporary.
The Valley of Vision page is really neat - lots of video interviews, deffinitely need to check that out if you have a couple minutes!

Last night we had a lovely little “family night” we spread a cloth over our bed and ate hot dogs in the bedroom like a picnic. Then I’d downloaded a movie for us to watch.

Rachel Hurd-Wood as Wendy and Jeremy Sumpter as Peter Pan in Universal's Peter Pan

I downloaded Peter Pan and I was so pleased with it that I let the girls watch it again today. It was just great. First of all they did such a fantastic job casting, Jeremy Sumpter who plays Peter is just brilliant and Rachel Hurd Wood who plays Wendy is perfect, she is a lively story teller, intelligent, spunky, romantic, adventurous and beautiful – the perfect child-heroine.

Olivia Williams in Universal's Peter Pan

Olivia Williams (this was the best photo of her on yahoo movies) who plays Mrs. Darling (who I’ve also seen in the Emma Thompson/Hugh Grant “Sense & Sensibility” as Jane Fairfax) is just gorgeous and though her scenes are few they are priceless, but then, of course there is Jason Isaacs

Jason Isaacs as both Mr. Darling and Captain Hook in Universal's Peter Pan

who is perfectly amazing playing both the timid and mumbling Mr. Darling and the cruel villain Capt. James Hook. He is mean, lying and ruthless, he is “old, alone, done for.” but not too scary – bravo! There is also a crazy aunt, and Tinkerbell and the various Pirates who are varying degrees of scary but nothing at all compared to “the Pirates of the Caribbean” (which was as disappointing as the last X-men movie) and some scary mermaids which we only get to see for a minute, which in my opinion was a minute too much, my girls were talking about the “bully ladies in the water” all evening!

Rachel Hurd-Wood as Wendy and Jeremy Sumpter as Peter Pan in Universal's Peter Pan

Okay, back to the good parts of the movie, the story unfolds so naturally and whimsically, it has lots of romantic moments and lots of pirate-y sword-fights with dashes of humor sprinkled here and there. It follows very faithfully the story of Peter Pan that I have always heard (from that musical Peter Pan with a girl playing Peter and they fly on strings – you remember that one?) except that they allow Hook to fly at the end, which worked wonderfully. I really loved how they showed that wanting to be a child and just play all of the time was not really worth pursuing, that it was good to grow up, that yes, it meant going to school and working hard and putting away some of one’s dreams that it also offered things that children can not truly experience like romantic love and manly bravery, rather than childish attraction and a boyish spirit of adventure.
Everything about this movie is well balanced, not too scary, not too fantastic, not too dark, not too childish. It is definitely a true “family film” not just a children’s movie.

Harry Newell as John Darling, Harry Eden as Nibbs and George Mackay as Curly in Universal's Peter Pan

After we’d watched the movie the girls started playing “Wendy and the Mermaids” the Mermaids would be on the floor and Wendy would be on our bed a.k.a. the “rock” we “the Mermaids” would pull her “Wendy” into the “water” which was really the floor in order to tickle her. When it was my turn to be Wendy I cried for help to “Peter” who was sitting on the bed playing with Katie-Abigail, “Peter” (really Daniel) said that Peter discovered that fairy dust was really pollen and now had a sinus head-ache.

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