Msgr. Barr also has an article on the subject, "Film Tells Story of Faith Forgotten, Hope Renewed (PDF)," in The Observer, a Catholic newspaper:
The movie may appear to be for kids, but the adult-themed message takes on the modern, cynical, godless world view that all of us must encounter each and every day:that religion is for the immature, that faith is useless, that the very ideas of God, Jesus, resurrection and life everlasting are fairytales meant to help children sleep, and not for adult consumption. [more...]
Meant to help children sleep? I thought they were meant to scare the bejabbers out of 'em. I'm joking, of course, but I don't remember Bible stories ever helping me sleep at night.
Honestly, I didn't enjoy the first Narnia movie all that much, but then again, I'm no fan of the books, either. Msgr. Barr indicates the new film is good, so I'm hoping for an improvement over the last. He is undoubtedly right that it will get mixed reviews no matter what, as some critics will be unable to get over the religious themes or unable to reconcile a stunted perception of Christianity with the movie's action sequences. I doubt, however, that many people will attack the film out of revenge for the poor showing of The Golden Compass. Barr attributes Compass's poor showing to Christian outrage, but I'm more inclined to attribute it to the bad script and direction. Barr also notes the comparative popularity of the first Narnia film, but Narnia undoubtedly has a larger pre-existing fan base than His Dark Materials, so I don't think the comparison is valid.