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The Alethiometer tells us that three readers have seen GOLDEN COMPASS... annnnddd....

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. I'm looking forward to this movie. I've read the first book and 3/4ths of the second... it was one of those I put down and just never picked up again, although I didn't really have any problem with it. I guess I just disconnected. Anyway, I dig the first HIS DARK MATERIALS book and I dig the look of the trailer and the cast they've compiled. We've got three reviews... Be wary of spoilers, especially if you haven't read the book. Enjoy our first review!

Hello, I just saw The Golden Compass this Sunday, and as I haven't seen any reviews yet, well, here it goes: I got invited to a cast and crew screening of the Golden Compass this Sunday, as I (worked in some capacity on the movie). I also have to point out that I've read the books and I quite like them, but I've always wondered how easily they could be translated to the big screen. The end result of this conversion was better than I expected, but not great by any means. The film starts up with a quick overview, using voice-over narration, of the fantasy setting or "universe" that the story is set in. It reminded me a bit of the beginning of some terrible movies, like Jet Lee's One and Reign of Fire, where the viewer is asked in a quick narration to accept the basic premise and suspend disbelief, in other word, to not think and just "swallow the pill". In this case, the pill you get to swallow is that the story takes place in an alternative universe, very much like our own, with the biggest difference being that people's souls have a material representation in the form of talking animals (daemons), which accompany each person throughout their lives. I had not much trouble getting into it as I knew the story, but I can see people who don't having a bit of a difficulty accepting it, specially in the hasty way in which it is presented. I prefer when a fantasy movie shows me, rather than explicitly tells me, the rules of their alternate reality. Ultimately, this is a fantasy film and the main target for it is kids, so most of the audience will probably go along with it, but I guess some adults might be a bit annoyed by the way the story gets going. The Golden Compass has many interesting sequences, ranging from the journey to London, to an armoured Polar bear fight, to an intense battle in an ice landscape, most of which have an exciting pace and are executed nicely from a visual point of view. The art direction is top notch, specially in the first part of the film, and the design of vehicles, devices and wardrobe wonderfully conveys the concept of an alternate reality. The visual effects are also for the most part good, and the polar bear fight is specially well executed, as the bears have a very convincing weight and momentum to them. However, many of the other animals have a very CG, animated feel to them, and their quality and believability is very irregular. The acting is also good for the most part, although some of the interactions with the cg animals have that "talking to air" feel to them. Daniel Craig is specially charming, though his part in the film was limited to very few scenes. Nicole Kidman works great for me as the Ms. Coulter character, as she portrays it exactly as I imagined it from the book, sexy and mischievous, but with a touch of tenderness. Dakota Blue Richards plays the role of the cute, smart girl well enough, but is really nothing special, and some of her lines sound unnecessarily overdone. The main problem I have with the film is that the flow of the story between scenes, and the editing generally, feels rather choppy. I know for a fact that the cut was changed multiple times, and the timeline of events from the book was altered partially for financial, marketing, and artistic reasons. In my opinion, although slightly different from the book, it doesn't betray the spirit of the story, although hardcore fans might disagree. My main problem with it is that the different sequences don't seem to connect with each other as smoothly as they should. Other than that, the whole tone of the story is definitely more cheerful than the books, as some characters that die in original story manage to survive here, which is a pity, as I really like fantasy films that aren't afraid to show tragedy to a younger audience. The studio and director also decided to leave some key events for the second film, which is not surprising seeing that they (NewLine) did the same with the Lord of the Rings. To wrap up, I would recommend Golden Compass to any fantasy film fan out there, but I have to admit that I don't think it fully fulfilled its potential as an adaptation of a great book, specially as it doesn't dare to be as dark and controversial as the literary version. However, it still is one of the finer fantasy films that's come out since the Lord of the Rings, although not my favourite this year (Beowulf was awesome!). Anyway, I'm interested in hearing the impression of people who don't know the books. My two cents...

Seems very fair and a solid mixed-positive. Our next two reviews are probably more solidly mixed and with some more spoilers, including something about the end of the movie that might upset some fans of the book.

Howdy Harry, first-time responder & short-time reader here who was treated to an early screening to New Line Cinema's adaptation of Philip Pullman's "Northern Lights" : "The Golden Compass". I'm going to try and keep this brief because I do not have much time. I'm not a reviewer by any sense, just a lover of film so you can take my thoughts as you like them. The visuals are amazing with the dæmons and the polar bears being the highlights. The film is exceptionally crafted with some terrific set design and costuming. Although, some of the makeup was a bit much. There is some great voice work on behalf of Ian McKellan, Ian McShane and Freddie Highmore. For some reason Christopher Lee gets a giant credit when he is in one scene and says one line and Daniel Craig gets an "and" and has more lines. I enjoyed Sam Elliot as Lee Scoresby, the aeronaut, (he could stand there and talk about anything and he would be good, here he is a real spark) and almost everyone else except for Dakota Blue Richards as Lyra. A complete miscast. She does not seem as confident as Lyra was in the book and when she cried (rather, became emotional) she could not pull it off. I was able to look past that because everything around her was beyond what I expected. Now let me get to the part that made me mad - the ending. For those of you who have read the book, as I have, you will expect to see the ending on film because it is a perfect setup for "The Subtle Knife". Let me tell you that it does not exist in this film. It was clearly shot, as shown in the trailer, but it did not appear on screen. This made me say out loud in the theatre "Where's the ending?". I always stay until the end of the credits and I hoped that the final bits would make it in, alas they did not. They essentially removed the last chapter and had they left it in they would have given audiences something to talk about/guess how the story would continue. Thus generating more buzz for the next film. I would recommend seeing it and I might end up seeing it again. I would say that this is not a children's fantasy, more of a young adult fantasy because there are some scenes that could frighten smaller children. The plot is a bit complicated for those who have not read the book. Case in point, the person I saw it with said they would need to see it another time to get everything. If you use this call me Skillet. (obviously this wasn't very brief, but what can you do) Johnny K

And here's our final and shortest review.

Hi Harry I was lucky enough to be at the GC world premiere last night.... Having read the books a few years ago and being what one could describe as a fan of them, I was willing this movie to be the new LOTR (ie a trilogy that both adults and children can enjoy).... I won't waste describing the plot of the film as surely everyone knows that by now... The main actors are all fantastic especially Nicole Kidman and young Dakota as Lyra, the film looks amazing, the effects are stunning, and yet there is a big hole missing in the centre of the film and alas it is the absence of a plot. If you have not read the books, then forgetaboutit! You'll enjoy looking at the film but you won't have a scooby (clue) as to what is going on... I hope it succeeds but before they film the sequels they may want to think about getting in someone to help with the scripts... Cheers MC

Readers Talkback
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  • Nov. 28, 2007, 7:53 a.m. CST

    Narnia for atheists

    by rev_skarekroe

    That's what I heard.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 7:53 a.m. CST

    But ORly sez they want to kill God

    by c4andmore

    I'm there

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 8:02 a.m. CST

    Just what we need: More CGI animals and fantasy bullshit.

    by Nate Champion

    I hope this movie bombs. This is the kind of film that has ruined cinema over the years -- spectacle over story, cgi over imagination. And from the director of American Pie, no less. Way to go!

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 8:02 a.m. CST

    First reviewer

    by The Seaward

    "The film starts up with a quick overview, using voice-over narration, of the fantasy setting or "universe" that the story is set in. It reminded me a bit of the beginning of some terrible movies, like Jet Lee's One and Reign of Fire" And Fellowship of the Ring?

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 8:04 a.m. CST

    apparently catholics are pissed about this movie?

    by pikagreg

    how come?

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 8:05 a.m. CST

    Potter-ish, right?

    by Gatsbys West Egg Omlet

    so is the polar bear gay?

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 8:07 a.m. CST

    sounds like shite

    by ironic_name

    ok cg doth not a movie make.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 8:08 a.m. CST

    @Nate Champion

    by mooseaka

    If this movie was an original screenplay, you might have a point, but as a book adaptation, you're dead wrong. The book is chock with imagination and story, and from everything I heard, they almost had to downplay the some of the imaginative elements to make the movie understandable to the mainstream audience (like what they did with LOTR). If anything, blame the mediocre Narnia movie for stealing HDM's thunder two years ago. There weren't even Polar Bears in that story, but they added them to the movie, deliberately to undermine HDM which was in production. <P><P>As for the director, Weitz also directed "About a Boy" which might be one of smartest comedies about what it means to love somebody that I've ever seen. I think he has it in him to make this work.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 8:09 a.m. CST

    Glad you like the first two books, Quint...

    by Abin Sur

    Because the third one is a real shit-burger. Hopefully it won't be the same if the movie gets made.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 8:13 a.m. CST

    My Mom's church has been urged to boycott this...

    by Nice Marmot

    ...I had heard that the Bible thumpers would be boycotting it, even though the religious subject matter was cut from the flick altogether (pussies), but I was surprised to hear it's already spread to a tiny church in podunk West Virginia. My wife and I are big fans of the books (bring on the bashing of books 2 & 3), but I'm not one bit excited for this movie. And am I the only one that pictured Lyra's Oxford and London looking just like the Oxford and London of our world? Or is the gigantic, shiny Oz-tropolis I'm seeing in the trailers and previews what you pictured?

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 8:13 a.m. CST

    f you use this call me Skillet. signed-Johnny K

    by ironic_name

    heh.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 8:19 a.m. CST

    The Catholic Church is calling for a boycott

    by I Dunno

    I wasn't planning on seeing it because, you know, it looks so gay but in light of this boycott I think I'll buy a ticket for it and see something else.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 8:31 a.m. CST

    Catholic Church boycott.

    by CatVutt

    Hilarious. The so-called 'anti-religion' elements in the books are so heavy-handed and silly they're hardly worth mentioning, let alone getting upset about. This could be a decent entry into the fantasy genre, but I'll probably wait for DVD. And I'd be stunned if anyone bothers to try adapting the other two crapfest books. That's probably why the ending is different.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 8:34 a.m. CST

    is it possible...

    by God's Brother

    for Hollywood to actually MAKE a big budget fantasy film, based on exceptional source material, without hobbits, that's actually good and watchable, maybe even worth multiple viewings? I won't judge this film before I see it, but the cynical side of me just knows they've fucked it up somehow. It would be a shame if they did... but then, "From the director of American Pie" never did inspire much confidence. However, We'll see!

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 8:38 a.m. CST

    I'm going to make a film

    by kwisatzhaderach

    where they have a big battle and destroy the Catholic Church. Seriously, it can only benefit mankind.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 8:40 a.m. CST

    Beign a Catholic...

    by Anna Valerious

    I don't blame them, even though Nicole said that she wouldn't have done the film if she thought it was entirely anti-Catholic. So I'm waiting to see what the reviewer in that Catholic newsletter my mom receives says about it. But I feel the book is just thinly disguised rantings of an Atheist against organized religion. Not only that, he gave away the big reveal too soon and it became a drag to read. But why oh why keep vilifying the church? Just because of the one bad apple mentality regarding the pedophiles and the fact we seem strict just breaks my heart. I don't force my beliefs on others, but it's really getting me irritated to see the majority hating us because of certain priests who should've gone under more psychiatric profiling as well as morons like Giselle Bundchen thinking that sex doesn't have consequences. Then again, I liked "The Seeker: The Dark is Rising", which wasn't something that pissed off the churchgoing Catholics like myself.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 8:50 a.m. CST

    Would love to see Farmer's "World of Tiers" as a movie.

    by Andre the Frog

    Or even a decent adaption of Riverworld.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 8:52 a.m. CST

    Anna Valerious

    by Nice Marmot

    If Pullman were an Atheist, he'd be bashing God. He didn't do that. He bashed corruption in organized religion. You know, puny humans. Not God . . .

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 8:54 a.m. CST

    I'm on board for anything that pisses off Catholics!

    by Trazadone

    Don't they get it? Their protests have the opposite effect - it's great advertising for the film! This movie was off my radar until I started to hear about the "boycott", now I'll definitely check it out. Are the Catholics worried that their magical and superstitious beliefs can be so easily derailed by a Hollywood fantasy?

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 8:57 a.m. CST

    Anna Valerious

    by ironic_name

    i think people are against religion because its "cool"..<P> y'know.. like being emo, or having purple hair.<P>"like, srsly! lets go to the mall and be different by dressing alike!"

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 8:58 a.m. CST

    It's not that there are pedophile priests

    by I Dunno

    It's that the entire organization conspired for centuries to cover it up and relocate the kiddie diddlers to keep them out of trouble. How anyone could give them money every week, knowing where it goes is beyond me.<p>As for the movie or the books or whatever being anti-religion, I haven't read them but so what if they are? Whenever religious people organize a boycott or picket something, it just shows how weak their faith really is that they can't stand to let any dissenting opinion go without trying to stomp it out.</p><p>Then again, at least they're not starting riots and blowing themselves up.</p>

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 8:59 a.m. CST

    see above my last comment for an example

    by ironic_name

    of herd mentality 'individuality'

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 9:02 a.m. CST

    I'm torn

    by Bloo

    the previews do not appel to me and the first reviewer mentioning the voice over explanation doesn't bolster my confiedence any as they are doing a similar thing in the previews (i.e. "imagine a world where witches are real..."), in fact when I heard about the book series I thought it was simply an effort to cash in on the growing fantasy market spurned on by Harry Potter. Kinda like the books Shadowmancer and Wormwood where a Christian Brit's answer to Potter that, while good, didn't capture the hearts and attentions like Potter did, same as that Irish, I believe, book series Artimes Fowl. Wasn't Miramax supposed to make that into a movie as the books were all published by Miramax books. Or The Thief Lord? Again it all seemed to me like an attempt to cash in, get your message across, and hope to collect the cash.<P>one other question, are the daemons pronounced "day-mons" or "dee-mons" just curious because I've heard it both ways

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 9:03 a.m. CST

    The catholics aren't dumb...

    by UltimaRex

    The advertisement works both ways...

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 9:04 a.m. CST

    26th

    by dirtsandwich

    Damn!

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 9:07 a.m. CST

    Nice Marmot and I Duno

    by Bloo

    Nice, actually PUllman is an Athesist, again I haven't read the books so I'm sure I'll be corrected here, but in the 3rd book don't they kill God?<P>I Duno, I'm a Christian, Protestant pentecostal, and it really irritates me when the Christians get in their herd pack mentality, if you think that people don't need to see the movie that's fine, tell them not to see the movie, but to organize boycotts and protests in front of theatres is stupid in my opinon. Same with the efforts to stop people from saying "Happy Holidays" and have them say "merry Christmas", yes I agree that noone should be punished for saying Merry Christmas but when you make such a big deal about it, it makes you look stupid. I think American Christians get so up in arms about the littlest things instead of doing what Jesus said to do and the early church did and that is showing love.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 9:08 a.m. CST

    Marmot

    by Anna Valerious

    Um, did you read "one bad apple mentality" in my post? Look, I don't know of ANY so-called corrupt priests in my area. Hell, I don't know of any corruption aside from pedophiles and the stalker. Though an episode of "South Park" put it best as a lot of them forgot what the bible was about...though this was largely about pedophilia. But why hate God because some of his messengers make mistakes? To err human, to forgive divine.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 9:08 a.m. CST

    Pronunciation of Daemon

    by The Seaward

    According to the first book, the word daemon is to be pronounced like the English word demon.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 9:13 a.m. CST

    Can't wait

    by Omar B

    I can't wait to see this thing. Sure they cut the ending, changed the name of the bear, left a bunch of people alive. At least the story gets told. Praise Hail Satan.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 9:15 a.m. CST

    Pullman is not Anti-catholic...

    by rock-me Amodeo

    ...so much as he is anti-God. His hatred of the Catholic church is the basis for his atheism.<br><br>"My books are about killing God," he says, which has been recognized as not-the-ideal-sales-pitch in several places. All of which I find kind of funny, since he shouldn't want to kill what he say he doesn't believe exists, but I get what he is saying. He's trying to kill people's belief in God.<br><br>Better men than him have tried that, too.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 9:15 a.m. CST

    they don't kill god in the last book

    by lex romero

    it's explictly said in the last book that it's not god, it's just some old angel that claimed to be the creator, and was then imprisoned and used by some evil guy as a "i'm doing evil shit in the name of God". The books aren't anti-christian or anti-God, they're anti-church. It's the institution and the people that use the power of it corruptly that Pullman attacks, not God.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 9:19 a.m. CST

    'Bad apples'

    by Sepulchrave

    as a former Catholic schoolboy, I can say with certainty that I don't know ONE anyone who didn't know at least one sexually creepy Catholic priest or Christian brother. Sexual problems related to celibacy are ENDEMIC in every area of the Catholic Church. Some of them were nice enough; sexually repressed homosexuals; others were perverts, but none of them were happy, none of them were living anything LIKE an honest life and many of them were dangerous. Regarding HDM; the main problem here is not that it is going to be anti-religious, nor not anti-religious enough or childish or not spectacular but that AS USUAL, the screenwriters have failed AGAIN to write a script that adequately expresses the philosophical subtleties of the books, which are basically Miltonic rebellion and Blake religion of the body and senses retold for children. There is no anti-religiosity in this film that is not several centuries old. Hollywood proves yet again that the main stumbling block in it's quest for fantasy and creativity is a fundamental American stodginess, conservatism and puritan vulgarity of mind. See Pan's Labyrinth for a story about a child with adult themes. CS Lewis is alright for Hollywood because it's basically very slight stuff, as all thinly veiled allegory always is; allegory is not creative or satisfying; just a thin mirror for an agenda, political or religious. The Narnia books are hardly epic; thin pamphlets of about 110 pages. Santa Claus? Arabs as monsters? Talking mice twirling their whiskers and saying 'Prithee'? Silly stuff, really.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 9:22 a.m. CST

    Oh and GOD is DUST, not the Authority

    by Sepulchrave

    The kids are out to SAVE God from a bunch of Satanists. And The Guardian had a full review of this yesterday.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 9:23 a.m. CST

    The ads make it look like a Narnia ripoff

    by Live.

    and I didn't bother to see Narnia. Everybody is looking for the next Harry Potter franchise, but all the pale imitators just look stiff and cold.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 9:26 a.m. CST

    Damn

    by homerofthesea

    I don't mind that they've taken out the anti-Church stuff, though I do wonder how they'll manage to do that with their adaptation of the third book without completely reworking it. Meanwhile, the trailer makes the movie look slick and heartless. I don't know who came up with the rule that in adventure movies the leads can never look dirty. Evidently these movies are all set in the same alternate universe where sweat glands don't exist. And it looks like they really messed up Lyra's character, either in the casting or in the script (hard to tell from just the trailer, but it does feel off). I'm bummed.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 9:28 a.m. CST

    ironic_name, organized religion is the definition

    by I Dunno

    of herd mentality. There's nothing "cool" or "edgy" about not wanting to have anything to do with it, that's not the thought process. Being a condescending prick to anyone not religious isn't very Christ-like though.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 9:31 a.m. CST

    I hear there's a Treatment for the 2nd film

    by THE KNIGHT

    But how on earth can the script be written if this writer's strike lasts? Aren't they trying to get going before Dakota Blue gets too old? <p> New Line isn't even sure if this is going to be a hit yet either.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 9:39 a.m. CST

    Why

    by Calimist

    is it that religious material can come out in theaters without a problem but when something remotely "anti-religious" or pro atheism comes out the fucking churches want to boycott? That my friends is what is wrong with this world today.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 9:39 a.m. CST

    About the Ending

    by DrManhattansUnit

    It's been made clear on several movie sites that the ending of the first book has been moved to the start of the 2nd movie. And rightly so, it's too dark to end the movie like that.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 9:39 a.m. CST

    Harry Potter movies have heart

    by Live.

    Even the first Columbus movies, which everyone rags on, had a great deal of heart and warmth to them. Probably due mostly to Rowling's source material. It is the secret of the franchise, and why they succeed when their imitators fail. All of the wannabe followers stuff their movies with CGI fantasy creatures, magic, and well scrubbed kids, but still watch their movies fail. They forget to put any heart in the midst of their empty effects.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 9:46 a.m. CST

    Catholic league makes me feel sorry for Pullman:

    by newc0253

    I think the Northern Lights trilogy is made up of a brilliant first book, an interesting second book, and a third book so direly bad it made me regret picking up the series in the first book. It is quite literally the worst ending to a trilogy i've ever seen, and that includes Matrix Revolutions.<p> That said, being attacked by the Catholic League is enough to make anyone feel sorry for Pullman. I think he ruined the third book and by extension the trilogy with his inability to get past his own dogmatic grudge against organised religion. But the idea of his trilogy is a sound one and the trailers to the first movie make it seem every bit as good as the first book deserves.<p> And despite hating the third book, i'm still keen to see this in theatres because i think Weitz's adaptation will almost inevitably improve the trilogy overall (i.e. by taking out Pullman's dopey ideas in the third book).<p> it's a little surprising, though, that they left out the ending of the first book. i would have thought that was the strongest way to hook in audiences for the subsequent films. It certainly worked that way in the book.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 9:53 a.m. CST

    oh i forgot

    by Calimist

    all hail the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 9:56 a.m. CST

    Ad spam

    by Live.

    Everywhere I turn online, I run into ads for this movie. The studio certainly seems to be shelling out tons of money in advertising. Most annoyingly, they do the full page ads, where you surf to a site, get re-directed to their ad page, and have to click "skip" to get back to the site you wanted. It's a minor annoyance if you hit it at one site, but a major annoyance when you're hitting it smeared everywhere, or you're a repeat visitor to the site.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 10:05 a.m. CST

    Atheists don't need Narnia

    by wintocha67

    Besides LOTR isn't prosthelizing, as far as I know.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 10:08 a.m. CST

    Killing God, but believing in daemons

    by zinc_chameleon

    Is kinda funny. Philip Pullman writes a fantasy where souls are so real, you don't even need to be clairvoyant to see them, then he talks about killing God? Dear Philip: once you consider the reality of a soul, or of anything that cannot yet be measured by scientific instrumentation, then you are in the realm where God is not only possible but likely. p.s.:all the important humans in this trilogy possess psychic powers as well. To believe in psychic powers and not God is not Satanism, it's just incomplete philosophy.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 10:10 a.m. CST

    Calimist

    by Omar B

    "Is it that religious material can come out in theaters without a problem but when something remotely "anti-religious" or pro atheism comes out the fucking churches want to boycott? That my friends is what is wrong with this world today." Because they have held onto the same fairy tale idea about a god for so long. Even to believers the fairy tale about a merciful (yet seemingly always angry and in constant need or self assurance through prayer) god wears thin. You accept fairy tales your whole life and then see something that questions it and it drives you up the wall because it points out the absurdity of your belief system. If a children's movie can rattle the foundations of a belife system so that you have to protest then it just points more the absurdity of it. As children we accepted Santa Clause, The Easter Bunny etc. without proof of their exostance, but we grew up. What is belife, faith, but accepting something you have no proof of. That the enemies of rational thought, acccepting something whatever it may be without a single thread of proof exept for what the other brainwashed sheep say, the blind leading the blind yet all of them proclaiming that the can see the truth.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 10:10 a.m. CST

    Potter and LotR it ain't

    by greyspecter

    As a lover of literature and scifi/fantasy, I wasn't impressed with the trilogy, though I dropped it 3 chapters into the last book. The quintessence of the Potter books and the Lord of the Rings trilogy was, i think, a definite world and place where characters were established and developed, after which they were given greater scope to their adventures. There was also the fierce cameraderie between the various characters that was absent in HDM. But mostly, the pedantic preachiness of Pullman's hatred of God, the Church, et all, was what soured the tales. Say what you will about Narnia and the lack of nuance, but Lewis told engaging stories about fundamental issues in humanity, albeit from a different perspective (which is why we read books in the first place, particularly in these genres). He borrowed from Christian tradition, but his message, if any, was simply that the Bible has some compelling themes in it, and they are relevant to the history of mankind. Pullman sublimated the stories he told to his desire to expose organized religion and specificly Christian and Catholic faith to a degree that the stories suffered irrevocably. As a Christian myself, I've read many anti-religious material while attaining a M.A. in literature from a liberal arts university. I can disagree with the sentiment of the writing and still appreciate the writing as art, or at the least interestingly told stories. HDM wasn't compelling, interestingly written, or even art, unless you're more interested in religion-bashing than reading fun lit. He has some creative ideas, but the execution was flawed and that isn't the fault of the moviemakers.<p> As for the movie, I won't go see it, nor will I protest it. Vote with your pockebooks, my fellow believers. That's the only language Hollywood understands.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 10:19 a.m. CST

    zinc_chameleon

    by Omar B

    "Is kinda funny. Philip Pullman writes a fantasy where souls are so real, you don't even need to be clairvoyant to see them, then he talks about killing God?"" The deamons are an allegory for how we change as we grow up. An adult's demon only has one form but a child is constantly changing because they grow and change. It speaks to a child's potential and not being locked in but unlimited. Which is why they are symbolically trying to remove the deamons, it's symbolism for removing choice so the child will have to accept and believe.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 10:19 a.m. CST

    BOYCOTT THE CATHOLIC CHURCH!

    by IAmMrMonkey!

    Pray to Cthulu instead.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 10:22 a.m. CST

    Was Chris Weitz

    by Series7

    The right guy to direct a movie like this? You think they would have given him a warm up movie to show that he could do something this big. Seemed like a big risk, plus he didn't come off as a Gonzo fan ala Jackson (plus Jackson had much better earlier work). Weitz's movies always seemed really lazy to me, like nothing special about them except the script. I mean American Pie is classic but not for it looking good. But Andrew Adamson had only done Shrek and he pulled off Narnia.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 10:22 a.m. CST

    Was Chris Weitz

    by Series7

    The right guy to direct a movie like this? You think they would have given him a warm up movie to show that he could do something this big. Seemed like a big risk, plus he didn't come off as a Gonzo fan ala Jackson (plus Jackson had much better earlier work). Weitz's movies always seemed really lazy to me, like nothing special about them except the script. I mean American Pie is classic but not for it looking good. But Andrew Adamson had only done Shrek and he pulled off Narnia.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 10:25 a.m. CST

    I Dunno

    by ironic_name

    you instantly think I'm Christian?<P>or that i want to be christ?<P>Ghandi made fun of dumb people, too. maybe i'm hindu<P>or believe that "God" is another way of saying "the space-time continuum"<P>anyhoo nicole kidman and fake looking bears are my gripe with this movie. now lets make fun of tom cruise. everyone agrees hes crazy!

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 10:28 a.m. CST

    didn't read the books, followed it okay

    by filmcoyote

    I sent in a review to Quint from the premiere too, hope it gets posted as I haven't read the books so have a non-fan point of view. The film really worked for me and i found the pace its strength. The negatives in the reviews above seem largely to come from comparison to the book and since surely most people seeing the film won't have read the book that seems a bit specific to me. It's much better as a film than any of the Potter films and Narnia.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 10:29 a.m. CST

    Meh. I'll spend my money on I Am Legend instead.

    by grievenom

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 10:29 a.m. CST

    "HDM wasn't compelling, interestingly written, or even art"

    by CatVutt

    And that pretty much sums up my feelings on the books as well, and clearly illustrates why a Catholic Church boycott is so damned silly. The books simply never present any ideas that even rise to the level of intriguing enough be taken seriously in the first place.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 10:33 a.m. CST

    Change the title to "Revenge of Doctor Doolittle."

    by Uncapie

    I'd sneak in the theater to see that. Otherwise, I'm burnt out on CGI'd talking animals.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 10:38 a.m. CST

    Calimist and Omar B

    by rock-me Amodeo

    The reason the religious protest (an action with which I disagree, since a protest implies relevance and importance, two things that most movies lack) anti-religious movies is because PRO-God movies are (or should be) representative of the best aspects of religion, ie, love. ANTI-God movies are usually anti-believer movies, and therefore represent the aspect of intolerance and/or hatred. Funny, the non-religious get up-in-arms about the intolerance of the religious, while being just as intolerant and mocking of the religious. <br><br>As far as the aspects of God, while I'm not qualified to lecture on theology, my understanding of prayer and God is not that God needs self assurance. Nor does he need information - what could a person inform God through prayer that he doesn't already theoretically know? Nor could it be to manipulate God to action - if God were that weak willed and anemic, who would ever care to follow?<br><br>Therefore, if the purpose of prayer is not to conform God to our will, it must be to conform us to his will - that is to say, motivate us to be agents of change or mercy in some situations, or to simply accept there are things that are completely out of our control.<br><br.Funny, when a Buddhist talks about the wisdom of knowing when to act and when to be still, everyone thinks it sounds wise. But if one attaches wisdom to God-type theology, people will say its just part of being a mindless hoard. You make the call.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 10:38 a.m. CST

    Boycott Org Religion = Watch this Flick?

    by aceattorney

    LMFAO

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 10:39 a.m. CST

    Fuck the Catholic league

    by Series7

    Anyone who listens to them deserves not to watch any movies period. If your faith is SOOO weak that a movie (a fictional event) will shake it to the foundation, then you probably did not have enough faith to begin with. I am not religious, and I have nothing against it, I just hate this mindless banning of Art because it may go against what you think is correct. Plus these people have amazing sway with the public? And we wonder why George W. is still in office? These people sat around and supported Mel Gibson's movie and then he turns around and is banded an anti jew, I don't care about that because I've been drunk and said dumb shit (some of it documented on this site!). It just makes me mad that we still live in a time when any religion period has any sort of power. Any religion is wrong when it starts to say we are right you are wrong. Religion is a personal thing. If you want to protest this movie, make another movie thats pro Catholic in its beliefs. Dont just sit there and tell mindless followers that this movie is a sin and should be banned. This movie looks really expensive, and big bugeted movies have not been getting all their returns (Beowulf???) and if some douche bag with a book gets millions of people to not see this movie, who would most likely see something like this and it tanks and loses a lot of money, then fuck them. This movie may suck I don't know, what I do know is if companies keep losing money on their tent pole movies then less of them are going to be made, and then we will be stuck in a world were only Judd Aptow movies are made because they are cheap and everyone loves them. EHhhh the people on this site would probably like that. Oh and I am baptised Catholic as well, but I guess that may mean something to some people? Not me.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 10:41 a.m. CST

    It's funny...

    by rock-me Amodeo

    If a Buddhist talks about the wisdom of knowing when to act and when to be still, everyone marvels at how smart that is. But to attach that same wisdom to a God-type theology, many people will just sit back and say it's part of the herd mentality.<br><br> You make the call.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 10:50 a.m. CST

    funny

    by hum noises for the Beast

    how religion always seems to bring the best out in us

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 10:52 a.m. CST

    obviously the FSM is anti-god

    by occula

    i agree, fuck the catholic league. needing to drum up support somehow so you've decided to rag on a movie? how about thinking about what jeebus would do and instead going to darfur or afghanistan and helping refugees? too messy for you? gee, what a surprise. it's so much easier for these organizations to make a big stink than to bother to do a big good.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 10:53 a.m. CST

    Fuck all religions

    by Series7

    Is the point I was trying to make. You can't sit around and ban movies like The Golden Compass and danish cartoons. And say nothing when movies like Daddy Day Care get made or you find it ok to kill a women because she smoked a cigerette. Just shut up and keep to your selves, until God/the elephant with 8 arms/Ali/Jewish God/Harry Knowles (thats a budda reference)/John Smith/Tom Cruise (becaus I don't believe in John Travolta)/Satan comes up to me and says believe this or die then there really are no real "rules" for how society should run. PLUUUUSSSS where in the bible does it say thou shal not watch Polar Bears whomp on each other, that scene was enough to get my butt in a seat. Shit I'll pay to have my whole local church come with me, I'd have to find it first, do they still have churchs in Wal Mart?

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 10:56 a.m. CST

    Hum noises...

    by rock-me Amodeo

    Was that irony or sarcasm? LOL<br><br>You know, I think religion (not to be confused with faith, since you can have one without the other) is like alcohol: it brings out more of what was already there, and gives it focus.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 10:58 a.m. CST

    Narnia blew!

    by StovetopStuffin'

    This looks infinitely better. I'm going to read the books before I see this though. Kill God....yes please!

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 11:02 a.m. CST

    "specially"? Try especially genius.

    by jimmy_009

    Christ almighty.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 11:04 a.m. CST

    Holy Shit I can post again

    by NomoredirtyjokespleaseweareYanks

    In the Bible, words having to do with killing significantly outnumber words having to do with love.God allows Adam and Eve to be deceived by the Serpent (the craftiest of all of God's wild creatures). They eat of the "Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil," thereby incurring death for themselves and all of mankind for ever after. God prevents them from regaining eternal life, by placing a guard around the "Tree of Eternal Life." (Note: God could have done the same for the "Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil" in the first place and would thereby have prevented the Fall of man, the necessity for Salvation, the Crucifixion of Jesus, etc.)

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 11:04 a.m. CST

    Sounds like a dud to me

    by jimmy_009

    It looks like a knock off of too many things. I'll pass.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 11:07 a.m. CST

    Amodoe

    by hum noises for the Beast

    Take your pick, ill proballiy get shouted at for quoting Kevin Smith (seeing how popular he is with catholic’s) “its better to have an idea then a belief because its easier to change “ or something like that

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 11:07 a.m. CST

    but wait there's more

    by NomoredirtyjokespleaseweareYanks

    God's arbitrary preference of Abel's offering to that of Cain's provokes Cain to commit the first biblically recorded murder and kill his brother Abel.God is unhappy with the wickedness of man and decides to do something about it. He kills every living thing on the face of the earth other than Noah's family and thereby makes himself the greatest mass murderer in history. With the Lord's approval, a slave may be beaten to death with no punishment for the perpetrator as long as the slave doesn't die too quickly.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 11:08 a.m. CST

    but wait there's still more....

    by NomoredirtyjokespleaseweareYanks

    In the Bible God kills 371,186 people directly and orders another 1,862,265 people murdered. People in the Bible tried to force beliefs of imaginary paranormal beings onto others, and many times when they failed they killed in the name of God. A good start is the first two commandments, no others gods or idols - they result in Moses killing 3,000 friends and family in Exodus 32:27-28. David and Gideon slaughtered thousands. Jesus said in John 15:6: "Anyone who parts from me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned." Revelation 9:15 prophesize angels will kill a third of mankind. Is mass murder a principle of right conduct?

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 11:09 a.m. CST

    Three people who can't agree on what's wrong.

    by Christopher3

    Worrisome.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 11:09 a.m. CST

    phew, glad to get that off my chest.

    by NomoredirtyjokespleaseweareYanks

    Religion SUX. Waka Waka Waka.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 11:14 a.m. CST

    All the Christian groups are getting ready to boycott it

    by chrth

    Not just the Catholics. The fact that they cut out the religious stuff somewhat makes it worse in their eyes, because they think it'll cause the kids to read the books (which, of course, doesn't have it cut). And since these are the same groups that made so much money for Passion, I imagine they'll be successful.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 11:19 a.m. CST

    crth...

    by rock-me Amodeo

    You're assuming that religious groups will be able to work together. Good luck with that. <br><br>Most religions spend more time erecting defenses against each other rather than against the devil that they don't take seriously. Sad, but true.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 11:20 a.m. CST

    The Guardian's (never a paper to shy away from bashing OR)

    by Jugs

    review..and SPOILERS!!! If Darth Vader wore a blond wig, a slinky dress and a dab of Chanel behind each ear, he could hardly be as evil as Nicole Kidman, playing the gorgeous villainess Mrs Coulter in this spectacular new movie version of Northern Lights, the opening episode of Philip Pullman's fantasy series His Dark Materials. Pullman reportedly suggested Kidman for the role. Even if he hadn't, Kidman herself would have been kicking her agent's door in to get it. This is the very best sort of part for her: statuesque, elegant, seductive, with a hint of cold steel. In many ways, it's her juiciest character since the sociopathic meteorologist in To Die For. Mrs Coulter's unspeakable plan is to get the feisty teenage heroine Lyra into her clutches and, among other dastardly projects, grab Lyra's precious Alethiometer, or Golden Compass: a magic, fob-watch-type contraption which tells not time, but truth itself. Lyra is played by Dakota Blue Richards, who with a name like that should really be a 27-year-old country singer from the US. Actually, she's a 13-year-old acting newcomer from Brighton, and she does well, although her rough "urchin" accent comes and goes. The Golden Compass is set in a retro-futurist version of the real world: a faintly Gilliamesque place of bizarrely crowded neo-classic cities and Heath Robinson flying machines. Here, human beings all have their own "daemons", like witches' familiars, but benign, shape-shifting essences that incarnate that person's human spirit. It is a world ruled over by the Magisterium, a powerful mind control cult. Boldly contesting the Magisterium is Lyra's adored uncle and guardian, the gallant Lord Asriel, who, like Indiana Jones, has a glamorous career portfolio. Asriel is a man of action, mystical seer, anthropologist and Oxford don. From his travels in the frozen north, he has found evidence of other worlds, other existences. He is thus suspected of heresy by the Magisterium, keen to impose a kind of Vatican-Caliphate-Soviet rule over all minds. Its agent, Mrs Coulter, is set to work on Lyra and also pursues a horrible plan against children generally. Asriel is played by Daniel Craig, sporting a distinctive, non-Bond beard for the occasion, and he is a fellow of Jordan College, Oxford, which allows Lyra to live there in a little attic room and also grants her the very remarkable privilege of dining at High Table. In her battle with the forces of regimented thinking and evil generally, Lyra finds herself making common cause with a wildly diverse band of brothers, including a cowboy-adventurer played by Sam Elliott, nomadic grandees played by Jim Carter and Tom Courtenay, and a highly aggressive polar bear called Iorek Byrnison, voiced by Ian McKellen, who has a very violent moment of bear-on-bear action with a hated usurper of his royal status. It's so violent, incidentally, that this scene might almost rule out some of the younger audience. As with many adaptations of this sort, a lot of the novel's supporting background material which might acclimatise us to the story's strange and distinctive world has been stripped out. You're just plunged straight into the action and have to get used to this bewildering, exotic new universe as best you can. The effect is interesting and alienating, though the tiniest bit more absurd than I think Philip Pullman would have intended. It's not hard to see which buttons this movie is hitting: Narnia, Hobbits, Hogwarts, Star Wars. Christopher Lee has a small part - and I very much hope he is given more to do in succeeding episodes. The crowded imaginary universe of The Golden Compass takes some getting used to, and in some ways, as a non-follower of the Pullman books, I have still to be entirely sold on it. But it certainly looks wonderful, with epic dash and a terrific central performance from Nicole Kidman, who may come to dominate our children's nightmares the way Robert Helpmann's Child Catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang once did ours. It has no other challengers as this year's big Christmas movie.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 11:20 a.m. CST

    chrth, not crth...

    by rock-me Amodeo

    doh.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 11:20 a.m. CST

    Can't wait to see this!

    by Frank Black

    I love talking Polar Bears who fight and I hate organized religion so it is a perfect match for me.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 11:20 a.m. CST

    Wait, there's still more.....

    by NomoredirtyjokespleaseweareYanks

    And to any christan who wants me to keep an open mind, I will and am ever hopeful for the return of Zuess.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 11:21 a.m. CST

    "It will cause the kids to read BOOKS"

    by I Dunno

    I think that says it all right there. Harry Potter got a generation of kids to put down the Wii-mote and pick up books. Christians call it Satanic. I see a pattern emerging here.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 11:22 a.m. CST

    Dammit

    by NomoredirtyjokespleaseweareYanks

    Satan caused that spelling error(You prove he didn't).

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 11:23 a.m. CST

    The polar bears don't just fight, sometimes they are very happy.

    by rock-me Amodeo

    <br><br>They're bi-polar bears.<br><br>

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 11:25 a.m. CST

    Daemons, Souls, and Killing God...

    by micturatingbenjamin

    The idea of a soul irrespective of a 'God' being controlling it isn't as paradoxical as you might think, because many, many, many, pantheonic religions believe in spirits rather than one single 'Invisible Man Who Lives In the Clouds and Gives a Shit What You Eat, Wear, and Say'.<p>It's a uniquely American point of view that religious folk have to believe certain things to fall into the 'believable'. Which is why most Americans are fine with Muslims and Hindus, but mock Aboriginal spirit-worship or Paganism.<p>In my own opinion, it's all hokum and humbug, but you do whatever gets you through the night.<p>So far, I'm reading the first book, and it's like a really cynical Dickensian take on kids' fare. Problems I have with the book is Pullman writes as if people are at their neutral state wicked or at least selfish and snarky, and no good exists in the world in a natural state. Children are mean and cruel, savage little beasts of cunning. The 'good' ones are stupid or would seem to be in the universe he created. You can see the guy doesn't like organized religion simply from the way he writes the book.<p>From what I gather of the ending, he debunks the 'God' everyone worships as a pale, weak, and nonsensical non-factor. That worship of 'God' is pathetic, and leads only to evil.<p>It's a very cynical view, guys, but I'll say this: I work in a business where I get to see kids, possibly your kids, goofing off with a service meant for the deaf, and how they spend their free time would sicken most people. It's not cute, or as pithy as 'Hannah Montana'. Most kids these days are grim, racist little fuckers with no concept of consequence because of their child-fetishist and ignorant fuck parents. Whoops, tangent.<p>That said, this flick seems like a watered down version of the book, and believe me, it's palatable this way, because while JK Rowling's disdain for the machine of Christianity is cleverly disguised, Pullman's cynicism is on every page.<p>This is going to do well, because of the adults that go see it who hate religion, and think that Pullman's a breath of fresh air in a world of 'Jiminy Cricket-worship' disguised as entertainment.<p>Lastly, the movie probably begins that way because Pullman has a paragraph before the first book that describes the universe, with the exception of daemons, which he unfolds in the story. Oh, and he tries to push all those reactionary 'bible-thumper' buttons by naming people and things after the names of 'real' demons. And also manages to use the word demon to describe something cute and fluffy and wonderful. Great trick, if it works, expect Fred Phelps to banish the lot of the moviegoers to HELL for seeing this flick. *shrug*

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 11:26 a.m. CST

    "Daniel Craig gets an "and" and has more lines."

    by mbeemer

    I understand the "and" credit is sometimes sought after because it emphasizes the actor who receives it over the others.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 11:27 a.m. CST

    "[God] kills every living thing..."

    by mbeemer

    "...on the face of the earth other than Noah's family and thereby makes himself the greatest mass murderer in history.<p><p> Hey, the Devil put it best himself in an episode of "Reaper":<p><p> "My toy, I get to break it if I want."

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 11:35 a.m. CST

    mbeemer

    by NomoredirtyjokespleaseweareYanks

    yeah, I know.... but at least I shut those religious nuts up.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 11:37 a.m. CST

    NoMoredirtyblablabla

    by rock-me Amodeo

    What religious nuts? I'm looking through the talkback, and the only person I see ranting about religion is you.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 11:39 a.m. CST

    They don't have to work together

    by chrth

    Trust me, they've already started the anti-GC campaign.<p> As for Harry Potter, there's a mix of opinion among the Christians about it, especially after the 7th book. I *think* most of the groups don't have a problem with it.<p> Besides, there are always the Narnia books. The idea that Christians are opposed to children reading is wrong, and espousing such an opinion makes you as narrow-minded as the religious zealots.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 11:40 a.m. CST

    rock-me Amodeo

    by NomoredirtyjokespleaseweareYanks

    look behind you, its Jesus.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 11:43 a.m. CST

    whatever, nomore...

    by rock-me Amodeo

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 11:45 a.m. CST

    Christians are Opposed to...

    by micturatingbenjamin

    Free thought. Free-roaming kid thought, imagination that doesn't have at its core a belief in the spaghetti monster above all others. Bleah. Christians would be happier if the people would just stop wondering if all this worship is somehow harmful, and get down on their knees and donate already.<p>Again, bleah, I say.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 11:47 a.m. CST

    micturatingbenjamin: see my last comment

    by chrth

    Honestly, some of you anti-religious nuts are worse than the religious nuts. When did open-mindedness become a sin for the athiests?

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 11:50 a.m. CST

    Re: they don't kill god in the last book

    by Curious_Jorge

    According to the Snopes article about the author, Phillip Pullman, it says "he left little doubt about his books' intended meanings when he said in a 2003 interview that "My books are about killing God" and in a 2001 interview that he was "trying to undermine the basis of Christian belief." http://www.snopes.com/politics/religion/compass.asp

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 11:55 a.m. CST

    the problem with His Dark Materials

    by systemsbroom

    is that Pullman built a really quite beautiful and imaginative set of worlds, and interesting characters, and then ruined it all by descending into a sophomoric and needless screed against religion. It's akin to a contemporary Michelanglo sculpting a contemporary David, and then slapping a big garish plaque on it that says "Bush is teh Evil." Why ruin something that would otherwise be great with a ridiculously trite, oversimplified, and ham-fisted message?

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 11:55 a.m. CST

    My deal is, I'm not pre-religion

    by rock-me Amodeo

    I'm pro-love. That said, I'm not above called someone out on their stupidity or zealous narrow-mindedness. That goes for deists, atheists and everyone in-between.<br><br>As far as christians being opposed to free thought, I have to disagree, knowing one christian pretty well. They are opposed to thinking that all thoughts are equally valid, as is everyone else. (free thought - lets climb down the mountain vs. lets lower ourselves using a strand of fishing wire. Two thought that are not of equal value.)<br><br> The difference is in the value system. Just like every other sentient being. I let my little kids dance on the coffee table. Others would not. Different values. Christians would prefer not to go to a perceived God-mocking movie. Others don't care. Different values, and its all really okay.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 11:55 a.m. CST

    Or even PRO-religion...

    by rock-me Amodeo

    darned lack of editing feature...

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 11:58 a.m. CST

    The real problem with His Dark Materials

    by chrth

    is that the second book was lame. Never should've included "Earth Prime" in the mix. There were a million ways to go after the first book, and of course he had to go Terrocentrist. Ugh.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 11:58 a.m. CST

    Last two reviews split on Dakota Blue Richards

    by Freakemovie

    Saw the movie last night, and although some of her lines were beyond awkward - there's a lot of "talking in paragraphs" in this movie - the actress was good. Liked the movie overall but it felt pretty minor.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 12:03 p.m. CST

    chrth

    by systemsbroom

    Book 2 pales before the lameness of Book 3. I really got the impression with Book 3 that Pullman was running short on time, and never really had a great plan to pull together all the setup in Books 1 & 2. I hear you on the Earth Prime complaint, though. I did like the hints that Will was perhaps our world's version of Lyra, but all the stuff with the dark matter physicist was a bit too much. I think that the books might have been better if the plot moved from Lyra's world to the many other worlds, or focussed more on the no-world Lyra's father was building.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 12:04 p.m. CST

    Agree with rock-me Amodeo

    by Freakemovie

    I'm Christian, and while I liked the film and think Pullman can write about whatever he wants, I understand some people's apprehension in exposing their kids to a series in which God is quite literally killed off. However, I do find it quite funny that some of the pushier religious groups are boycotting the movie because it "is designed to be very attractive in the hope unsuspecting parents will take their children to see the the movie and that the children will want the books for Christmas." (taken from an anti-GC Facebook group) Please. There's no conspiracy here. They're making the movie for the same reason as always: to MAKE MONEY. Not to trick your kids into buying the books.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 12:06 p.m. CST

    Sorry rock-me Amodeo

    by NomoredirtyjokespleaseweareYanks

    That was quite a rant though huh? I really don't mean to offend anyone, I see the goodness inherant in all religions. Its just that as I was accosted in the mall today by a crazed preaching zealot who told me flatly that my 3 year old girl was going to hell unless baptised(all whilst she stood there) . It took every non- christian bone in my body to not drag him up and down the mall by his ass hairs. The guy pissed me off so much and this is my first chance to rant.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 12:07 p.m. CST

    chrth...Whathehoothehay?

    by micturatingbenjamin

    Huh? You're misunderstanding me, or you're willfully ignorant. I'm saying that if you bring the Golden Compass into a church and ask someone, anyone, to read it, they'll shudder and probably spurn and shun you from the community, regardless of the literary merit of the book. If this were still the Middle Ages, they'd fork the evil eye at you, and that wonderful hickory smell in your nostrils would be your ass burning at the stake. They (Christians) won't see for themselves what it's about, but will wait for their leaders to tell them what to think.<p>Open-mindedness is not the same as willfull ignorance or accepting willful ignorance as an alternative to plain old mindedness, much less open-mindedness.<p>Open-Mindedness is NOT the same as gullibility. You keep your mind open to every possibility, so that when facts appear that shake your current understanding, such as : THERE IS NO CREDIBLE PROOF OF SANTA CLAUS, you can accept them and incorporate the new data into your world view. Not, just blindly accepting whatever garbage theory and junk science gets spewed by the dirt-worshipping mental savages out there who want one thing: thought control, and behavior modification through fear and subjugation.<p>Don't get me wrong, Christianity has some adherents who truly believe in the redeeming power of faith in Christ and his teachings, but sadly, none of those poor fuckers get a say in Church doctrine. Poor, literally, as they believe that, like their Lord, posessions are not important, nor happiness, but telling the truth of the existence of God, and treating one another as you yourself would be treated. They don't believe in judging me for my lack of faith, because they understand that only God metes out justice and balances the scales as in 'Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord'. The true Christians are shouted down when they suggest that perhaps the church should start giving all they have to those less fortunate, possibly changing the world to benefit all, not just go to the clothes comparison ceremony each week, pretending not to masturbate or fuck or say 'fuck' when they cut off a finger accidentally....or buy their kids violent toys, or beat their wives or lust after that hot ass teenager in the choir. Repressing their selves for he sake of appearance, and mocking all that the Christ apparently held dear. True seekers of redemption are exactly as elusive as the frigging non-entity of God itself. The real Christians exist at the margins, and are spurned by the religious machinery created by the money grubbing fucks who use this tall tale to scalp and fleece the gullible at will.<p>I'm open-minded, but fortunately, the gift of reason and discernment hasn't left me just because I grant the infinite possibilities of reality to persuade me to another way of thinking.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 12:12 p.m. CST

    micturatingbenjamin: My main issue is

    by chrth

    You're painting billions of people with the same brush. There's a close-mindedness there that exceeds all but the worst travesties that organized religion has visited upon this planet. Your inability to see that you're doing that is quite sad, frankly.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 12:13 p.m. CST

    Leo...

    by micturatingbenjamin

    It's really not that easy...Dammit, I wish it was. I REALLY wish it was, because tripping is fun. But focusing on writing is tough while you're tripping balls on some kickass LSD. It's more fun to play video games while tripping. I'm writing a fantasy novel, and most of it's not simply closing my eyes and making shit up because of drug interactions. It's a little bit harder than that. But not much. ;)

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 12:20 p.m. CST

    micturatingbenjamin - I can't deny your eloquence.

    by rock-me Amodeo

    Nor would I. Well, said, if a bit cynical. But as I read your comments, I have to agree with Chrth's response.<br><br>It made me think that you and my slightly-racist dad could compare your notes about Christians and his notes about asian people: they all pretty much looked the same to him, too.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 12:23 p.m. CST

    chrth

    by micturatingbenjamin

    *sigh* Yes. I know, and I've not claimed otherwise, man (or woman). I believe you billions (I suspect you're referring to Christians, here...) are misguided. It's not closed-minded. If the spaghetti monster comes to me in a vision, or I'm visited by an angel, or high-fived by Christ after he helps me with the big game, then of COURSE I'm going to believe. But because the fact is that there is no such thing as God. Not real, never was. That's a fact.<p>And, your attempt to make me seem worse than the ignorant fucks who committed evils like the Salem Witch Trials and the Inquisition or the Catholic Church ignoring pedophelia exposes your own debate style. Painting me with that brush is just the nice ad hominem attacks one expects from zealots.<p>So, invoke your prayers, or fork the evil eye at me, and NOTHING will come of it! It's a fact. Like gravity is a fact. Or breathing is a fact.<p>Save up all your good deeds for that invisible condo in the sky, meanwhile, I'll do just whatever the fuck I like without a guy in a suit telling me what I should be doing by deciphering the poetry and texts of nomadic desert people from long ago.<p>Disbelief because of lack of proof is called reason. Disbelief because of a willful ignorance is what Christians do, that's being closed-minded.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 12:25 p.m. CST

    by Omar B

    I love that post.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 12:26 p.m. CST

    Anna Valerious no, it's not the decades of protecting child rapi

    by s0nicdeathmonkey

    it's the 2000 years before that where the church did all sorts of other evil shit. Like the sale of indulgences? The vilifying of female sexuality. Complacency in the holocaust? The Pogroms? The Crusades? Forced confession/conversion? The issue is 2000 years of hipocracy and lies over a silly creation myth.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 12:26 p.m. CST

    Nomore...

    by rock-me Amodeo

    No big deal, and that was quite nice of you. And I get it: the other day I saw the bumper sticker that said, "Lord save me from your followers." And I was sad because for every 49 sincere, humble followers, there is 1 asshole who makes all 50 look like losers. But as I like to say, going to church doesn't make a person a christian any more than going to Pizza Hut makes you a pizza. I wish there was a setting on everyones tricorder that could detect douchebags, but alas, there is not. Give your girl (I have two little girls) a hug for me. Gotta go.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 12:35 p.m. CST

    by Omar B

    Wait, tell me how writing on this site is direct result of the catholic church?

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 12:36 p.m. CST

    Cynicism...

    by micturatingbenjamin

    Is often misinterpreted. I'm cynical of the current Church, because current Christians don't do the things written in the Bible that Christians are supposed to do. As evinced by my belonging to said church since I was about three years old. I wonder how many of the consumerist mall-zombies out there last Friday would call themselves 'Christian', since they were buying for 'Christmas', no? Wasn't it the Christ who said 'Buyeth thou the most cheapest of goods to keep my birthday holy'. No, it was those in charge of the commercialistic charge to purchase equating Christ's birth with getting the latest toy. I might wield a massive brush, but they provide the paint.<p>Racism is abhorrent because hating someone for a genetic trait is useless scapegoating. Genetics is a fact, too, and guess what? Racism is different from Athiestic Cynicism (I'm more of an agnostic, where, like I said, you give me more than anecdotal evidence, and I'm willing to be persuaded.) How are they different? Your racist dad hates someone for something they cannot change and had no control over. I disdain Christians for their behavior, and continued behavior when alternatives to narrow-minded haranguing of women, homosexuals, and the poor alike.<p>If there is a Christ returning to the Earth, remember that in the Revelation to John, he saw that many will call out to him saying 'Lord, Lord!' and guess what? Christ looks at them and shakes his head saying 'You never knew me'. Why wait for Revelation to come? Why not call a spade a spade, and say that these people aren't Christians, but power-hungry and willfully ignorant folks. Yeah, I'm cynical, but that comes from being irradiated by the belief structure from an early age and being a believer until realizing that things were being omitted from the church's teachings when it was inconvenient to them to admit. A Bible scholar I went to said the most brilliant thing about the Bible I've ever heard...'Many so-called Christians come to the Bible with questions that the authors did not intend or presume to have answers for.' He was a Christian, and in the sense of a man I would look at and say; 'That guy knows his stuff, and still lives the life Christ would want him to, I suppose.'...But there are still billions hooking their wagons to the star of faith that is in Man not Christ.<p>I prefer Paul's statement of conjecture to the Romans when someone asks me about the Bible: Romans 12:14 'So then each of us must give an account of himself to God.'<p>I don't cotton to being called a racist or my dislike of modern zealots being compared to racism. I dislike something that could be changed, but don't seem likely to, and that is DEFINITELY cynicism, but no, not racism.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 12:37 p.m. CST

    as for Giselle

    by s0nicdeathmonkey

    "Gisele has said "To prohibit condoms is ridiculous, just think of all the diseases transmitted without them", asking "How is it possible to not want people to use condoms and also not have abortions? It's impossible, I'm sorry""--that's a totally reasonable assertion. Same way the other religions that are not anti-sex/anti-women have less problems with, you know, RAPING CHILDREN. Because, this is one consequence of your beliefs. You believe sex is bad and shameful, and then children get raped. I believe in secular humanism, which as to my knowledge has never caused even one genocide, or one rape. Your beliefs stand at a few hundred million murdered and countless children raped. But yeah, you've got the higher moral ground because you pretend penis and vagina contact is naughty and wrong.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 12:41 p.m. CST

    Anna Valerious furthermore,

    by s0nicdeathmonkey

    You do know at least one priest who has raped a child. The levels of priests who rape children was over 10 percent according to an LA times article I read. Therefore, it's very likely that you have prayed under, and moreover, respect(ed) a child rapist at some point. The part that's funny to me is, the molestation stuff isn't even the worst of it, but that's what you're so defensive about.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 12:41 p.m. CST

    s0nic!!! Thanks to interventive consequence!

    by micturatingbenjamin

    Wow, well put. My penis is naughty, and crooked, and therefore wrong. It's also too small, I'd prefer one of a gigantic proportion, but alas, there is no God to pray to to change that.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 12:42 p.m. CST

    heh heh - okay, ONE more comment!

    by rock-me Amodeo

    "Disbelief because of lack of proof is called reason."<br><br> Technically, is there is a LACK of proof, that is a textbook example of the need to KEEP an open mind.<br><br>Disbelief because of proof positive is called reason.<br><br>Sorry, dude (or dudette.) Respectfully, I couldn't resist. That's Logic 101.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 12:43 p.m. CST

    IF there is a lack of proof...

    by rock-me Amodeo

    ..darned lack of editing feature...

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 12:43 p.m. CST

    micturatingbenjamin

    by Freakemovie

    Your whole assumption that most Christians are like the girls of the Salem Witch Trials or the pedophile priests is where you're wrong. Honest, kind, level-headed Christians don't live in the margins at all - they're the silent but vast majority of Christians. Then you get the crazies and the Pat Robertsons and some evangelical groups, and they grab all the headlines and make anyone who's not a Christian think we're all complete fucking nuts. I've talked to so many agnostics and atheists with this misconception that it's beyond depressing. But I suppose the radical minority ruining it for the moderate majority is nothing new in history.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 12:45 p.m. CST

    Enough already.

    by CatVutt

    Seriously. There's nothing remotely thought-provoking in any of these silly books that even warrant a legitimate discussion about religion. It's laughable. Talk about buying into the completely fabricated controversy.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 12:46 p.m. CST

    Okay, just read the cynacism post, so one more...

    by rock-me Amodeo

    just give me a sec...

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 12:48 p.m. CST

    "Hardcore fans might disagree"

    by Abominable Snowcone

    I guess I'm way out of the loop, because someone had to explain what this movie was to me. I'd never heard of the books (the first of which apparently came out in 1995--not that long ago). I'm not saying I'm in shock that a book series can have fans without my knowing about it, but I doubt some "fans" are as devoted as they suggest, when I--a devout geek--have never heard of any of this until maybe a month ago. I saw the commercial and to me it was like, "Meh! Hey, I've got some high concept for you! Imagine this--sentient polar bears...in BATTLE ARMOR!!"

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 12:59 p.m. CST

    MicBen

    by rock-me Amodeo

    Okay, first, wasn't trying to call you a racist. And my dad didn't hate asians, not at all (hence me using the word SLIGHTLY). He simply saw no real difference between the Japanese, Koreans, Chinese, etc. But of course, there is a world of difference, especially if you grew up in one of those cultures.<br><br>All I was trying to show you is how your broad brush strokes regarding christians could evoke comparisons to racism. The catholics, Luthorans, Presbyterians, non-denoms, etc, see as much distinction between themselves, and each has varying viewpoints on acts of service, missionary work, etc. Some christians regularly work and finance Habitat for Humanity, for example. Others prefer sending food to Africa. And still others will go to a mall and try and gang-save poor passerbys.<br><br>I think you did a good job of saying that some few christians are not worthy of contempt and are not absolute morons (and I guess that was you giving a compliment) but the rest of your posts seem to lump them all together.<br><br>But all christian denominations are not the same.<br> All christians in a particular denomination are not the same.<br> And all people who belong to a particular church or denomination are not necessarily Christian.<br><br>And, reading between the lines, all christians are not the christians that wounded your spirit when you were younger.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 1 p.m. CST

    rock-me Amodeo

    by Omar B

    "Technically, is there is a LACK of proof, that is a textbook example of the need to KEEP an open mind." No, I think lack of proof only goes so far. Lack of proof for me means just that. If it can't be proven, it must be thrown out as any other thing that has no ground in reality. Does one keep an open mind about the Easter Bunny's existence because as you say there is no proof. It sounds like asking someone to believe something on faith not fact, I live on fact not faith divorced from all proof.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 1:01 p.m. CST

    Amadeo

    by micturatingbenjamin

    You're absolutely right. I do keep an open mind because of that lack of proof. I was mistaken, there. Just writing off the cuff without a proofreader. :)<p>But, to me my disbelief comes from proof positive that there is no God in the terms that people are pushing in the pews of modern Christianity.<p>And to Freake...Hey, look, you know what? Christ would spit the milktoast, lukewarm majority 'Christians' out of his mouth, you know that? You allowed HIS church to be taken over by the Phelpses and Robertsons and Helmses and pedophile priests. The Pharisees and Money Changers are among you and while you claim to lament it, NOTHING is BEING DONE. There's even a warmongering douche in the White House claiming his Christian faith, and lots and lots of Americans saying 'Yeah! That guy is a CHRISTIAN'!! Really? Shock and Awe? Bomb the shit out of them? Christian doctrine? Or total, immeasurable BULLSHIT?<p>If the bad rap Christianity is getting causes you to 'shrug' and go on your way to put up your Christmas Tree and find your Easter Eggs, then you must not give much of a damn about your 'sacred' belief in God, no? If that's what you allow to represent your Church then you are just as culpable by your inaction as those committing the crimes. Jesus himself in the Bible casts the same aspersions on the so called faithful who allowed the Church to become a den of thieves waaay back then according to the written Word.<p> Take back your Church, is what I'm saying, if you truly believe the codswallop in the Bibble that people attempt to pass off as genuine fact.<p>I'd prefer not to call myself an athiest, because soon, there will be proof of a power that governs all, a unification theory that shows all are joined by governing and measurable forces, and we're all the same stuff deep down, and all can believe in the 'big electron'. The possibility of God as a 'big invisible all powerful man who gives a shit' doesn't come to mind as remotely likely. A loving creator or wise counselor, or king of all men, seems like the invention of a imagination-lacking person, not a divine entity.<p>I respect a person and their beliefs and won't bust their balls directly as long as they keep me out of their nonsense. I worry about a group of people with those beliefs shouting and nodding along with a leader. But I fucking stay awake at night imagining the evils a society based on this crap can pull with people just shaking their heads sadly saying 'But REAL Christians aren't like THAT.' Tell it to the dead, as if they'd care.<p>Amadeo, you seem like a generous soul, and will have well-adjusted and normal kids, and it's good to hear that kind of rationality about the worldview out there. I don't hate Christians. I disdain the modern Church in all its permutations.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 1:05 p.m. CST

    On-Topic once more...

    by micturatingbenjamin

    This flick is going to do well if the girl playing the plucky Lyra is any good at being the rough and tumble 'Pippi Longstocking-y' character from the books. If not...I dunno. I'll probably see this one, just to see it.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 1:11 p.m. CST

    Always the script

    by Messyjoe

    I have read all the books and always though it could be a stunning trilogy. It is unfortunate that Hollywood can do the technical, art, CG etc. well enough usually, but they just don't know often how to do a polished script or a good job in editing. I will go and see it, probably more than once, and hope that if they do the the other books, that it improves each time. Why am I not in charge? Then it would be perfect!

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 1:17 p.m. CST

    s0nicdeathmonkey: apologies for the godwin, but

    by systemsbroom

    secular humanism is a pretty big tent. Sure, it includes deists like Emmerson and Jefferson, but also arguably the German political leadership circa 1930-45. Point being that a group's credo isn't an innoculation for or against genocide or other forms of human-on-human nastiness. Also, does anyone want to discuss the books/movie?

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 1:24 p.m. CST

    Omar

    by rock-me Amodeo

    "If it can't be proven, it must be thrown out..."<br>"I live on fact not faith divorced from all proof." <br><br>But can you PROOOOOVE you live like that? Can you prove to me what you had for breakfast on August 12, 2003? Nyuck, nyuck, nyuck...<br><br>I'm just bustin' your chops, man. Don't hurt me! But some things cannot be "proven." We must then rely on the testimony of credible witnesses. <br><br>Credible witnesses for the easter bunny = 0. Credible witnesses for those who think they have seen God work in their lives = a debate neither of us would win (though I wish I had the time to pick your brains on it, you and about three other people in this talkback...)

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 1:26 p.m. CST

    Oh, yeah, and before I really, REALLY leave...

    by rock-me Amodeo

    I plan on seeing the movie. the effects look killer, Kidman never hurts the eyes, and at the very least, I'm guessing it will provoke some debate...cheers!

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 1:31 p.m. CST

    "stated goal is to destroy the Catholic Church"

    by newc0253

    who the fuck cares?<p> the Catholic League is its own worst enemy, because nothing is gonna make them look stupider than campaigning against this movie. if the church is so weak that a hollywood adaptation of a fantasy trilogy is enough to bring it down, then maybe it deserves what it gets.<p> my complaint with Pullman's 3rd book isn't its atheism - i was looking forward to a decent war on heaven from the beginning - my problem was the sophomoric nature of the story, and the way it ruined what was otherwise a promising series.<p>

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 1:32 p.m. CST

    Everyone knows it by now...?

    by Heckles

    Never heard of the Golden Compass before I saw the movie poster here. Not everyone reads fantasy books, chump style.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 1:36 p.m. CST

    Amadeo

    by micturatingbenjamin

    What it does definitely boil down to is the testimony of credible witnesses...which is what the men who followed Christ implored all to do after his assumption into Heaven. If the people I've encountered...not just at one time recently, but over and over during the years, my years of belief that is, are the 'credible witnesses' you'd use....I feel comfortable standing where I do on the issue.<p>I was asked, 'Would Jesus come to your church?' when I was younger, and I answered 'Not at all.' For this, I was rebuked by the teachers of the school (a Baptist Middle School) and not asked the reasoning behind my answer which was "Christ abhorred the buildings filled with public worshipers who couldn't manage simple decency and understanding for one another."<p>There's no credible proof for Johnny Appleseed, though he seems like a good guy, I wouldn't base a life philosophy around his teachings of being cool with people and plant trees wherever you go. Though, you could do a lot worse than that as your guiding faith.<p>Many DO a lot worse than that all the damned time.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 1:44 p.m. CST

    rock-me Amodeo

    by Omar B

    "But some things cannot be "proven." We must then rely on the testimony of credible witnesses." Yeah, things that did not happen or are not true cannot be proven. My dad's a scientist, my step dad is an economist and my mother's a banker. I see facts and figures, not filtered through fantacies I want to think are real. For peopel who think god has worked in their lives there's this line "god helps those who help themselves." That's the great cop-out, if you work hard and do something great it's not your achievement, it's god who did it. While if you do something wrong, you own that sin alone. The footprints in the sand are my own, no one carried me as much as the church would like to say that, it would prove human achievement hollow.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 1:47 p.m. CST

    Wounded Spirit---Heh...

    by micturatingbenjamin

    Amodeo, this is my last post on this subject for this thread I suppose...but there was no singular or group of Christians who 'damaged' my faith.<p>It was a process as natural as erosion...An ever plodding crush of my faith under the weight of the fallacies of the church, and refusal to acknowledge things like evolution or understanding of other faiths...<p>Things like watching a man in our church arrested for molesting children set free, while the kindest woman I ever met was eaten alive by cancer during the same time. Taking things in stride seems to be the goal of religion, and while the woman was sentenced to die by her biological malady, she never once complained about death or the unfairness of her being struck down by the kind, loving God who allowed that monster to go free.<p>Lack of logic and reason became stultifying, faith overriding common experience and actual fact became irritating, and the same faces would flood the churches I went to...the few smattering true believers in Christ's message, among the vast sea of people just looking for a direction for their life, and finding it easier to believe in the invisible rather than owning up to their own damned problems.<p>My spirit's fine, if you could call my entity a soul or spirit. But when I look back on my faith, not once was it ever proven to me by my own witness. So, there you have it. Fact eventually eroded Faith, and I accepted the absence of God with a sigh of relief, and now live my life without the need to approve my actions against a rulebook written a long time ago by a man who spoke to the invisible.<p>And there, I can take pride in knowing I'M doing good. I'M choosing to be a good person, and not doing it out of fear of punishment by an all-powerful gremlin, or guilt or hope of reward...I get to take all the glory for my achievements, and I get to accept all my failures for what they are; my own deficiencies. Amadeo, have a good one.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 1:55 p.m. CST

    Omar - clue in

    by Harry Crevice

    "Yeah, things that did not happen or are not true cannot be proven." You're completely missing the point. I think what he was saying is that some things can't be proven empirically, like a scientist would. I can't prove Nixon was president. Theres no experiment I can do, and observe, and repeat, that proves Nixon was president. But I could talk to people who knew him, and read books, and stuff. Show me a fact or figure you didn't directly perform and I'll show you relying on a "credible witness." The debate would be over who you and Amadeo would consider credible.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 2:04 p.m. CST

    Harry C

    by Omar B

    Prove Nixon existed scientifically through his DNA in his grave. Also through the people who knew him. Though the records of his time in government sure I can prove he existed. I can't do the same with something that does not exist. I'm not trying to change anyone's belief system here man, I just can't accept something, anything that there's no proof of existing.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 2:05 p.m. CST

    How about No Hell?

    by Messyjoe

    In book 3 Lyra leads the dead out of Hell. Surely this is as anti-Catholic it gets! After all, scaring people to behave or they go to Hell, won't work anymore.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 2:18 p.m. CST

    But that's the point.

    by Harry Crevice

    Soon or later, you find a person in history whose body you can't exhume, and then you find yourself having to rely on testimony. I can't speak for science, but thats how the legal system works. Expert testimony. You can you can't accept it for something that doesn't exist, but you talk like you're rejecting the proof because you've already decided the outcome. According to you, Paul Revere could not exist. The fact that you played on a certain playground or made out with a certain girl never happened, if you can't find your DNA on that playground (or on that girl). But can YOUR testimony be beleived? If we, the people, find you credible, then yes. But if we don't, then we reject many events in your life, in everyone lives because they cannot be "proven." Yet they happened. Your definition of proof exludes much of reality from existing. And what i'm saying is that the proof of God, and many other things, relies solely on testimony, in the legal sense. just food for thought.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 2:20 p.m. CST

    Incidentally

    by Harry Crevice

    I couldn't give a damn about what either of you believe. Im just a fan of critical thinking.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 2:25 p.m. CST

    by Omar B

    So you are saying that truth is a matter of numbers believing it not imperical proof? If they can prove a body in the desert is King Tut and the swirls out in the sky are galaxies forming and collapsing then yes, thing that are physical, have form and exist can be proven and tested imperially. As I said man, show me the proof that there's a real christian god and and I'll accept it.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 2:31 p.m. CST

    Unless we're talking about The Talisman

    by skimn

    all these "kids on a mythical quest" flicks look the same to me. Did TNT totally give up on Talisman??

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 2:51 p.m. CST

    Series7

    by Captain Mal

    "Any religion is wrong when it starts to say we are right you are wrong."[P] Do you not see that you've just done the very thing you're attempting to condemn? You even used common phraseology to describe both instances, dork (i.e., "wrong"). [P] It is the very nature of religion (and every other worldview) to believe in it's own "rightness," and, therefore, others' "wrongness." You may as well say that religion is just fine as long as nobody actually believes it. Interestingly, I feel the same way about antitheism, capitalism, post-modernism and mo-cap technology. [P] The point is, don't patronize theists with condescension unless you want them to react exactly the way they have been since the rise of popular secularism. Treat 'em like three-year-olds who believe in fairy tales, and they're very likely gonna throw a tantrum.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 2:55 p.m. CST

    Hey s0nicdeathmonkey

    by diverdan

    Wondering how you figure that Anna would "know at least one priest who has raped a child." You do realize that 10 percent is not that big a number don't you? With about 90 percent not having raped a child don't you think it's far more likely that she would NOT know a priest who had committed rape?

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 3:10 p.m. CST

    diverdan

    by NoodlesHahn

    I think sOnicdeathmonkey came to that conclusion because if you've been going to church your entire life then you've easily seen at least ten priests. Obviously you would know plenty of priests that are not child molestors but chances are one of 'em is.<br><br>I'm an atheist and I've known more than ten priests.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 3:14 p.m. CST

    Phillip Pullman & Richard Dawkins sitting in a tree...

    by HarryBlackPotter

    ...K.I.S.S.I.N.G. I have enormous respect for both of this god-haters. I do however wonder at what point they realised religion was the root of all evil? Maybe it was when they where made to fallate a Catholic priest when they were altar boys. I was turned me off religion the day my local vicar was rushed to hospital with a large wooden cross up his ass. He said he was inspired by The Last Temptation of Christ and wanted to suffer for the lord, but he didn't know someone at Blockbuster had put the wrong movie in the DVD box and he'd actually been watching The Exorcist. Let Jesus fuck you!

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 3:21 p.m. CST

    Honk iF you're Jesus!!

    by Calimist

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 3:27 p.m. CST

    Extraordinary claims...

    by Calimist

    require extraordinary evidence--C.S.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 3:32 p.m. CST

    One bad apple...

    by Tourist

    ...Boy...You should Google the history of the Catholic church. You got a fuckin' rotten fruit store there. Thats completely aside from the child slavery and worldwide baby raping. I do agree with their decision to boycott though. Its preferable to have halfwit loonies just not go, rather than have them burn down cinemas(india) or have films locked away from public consumption(Australia). Just because a movie is Anti-religion doesn't mean its a sign of hate or dsicrimination. It just means someone is pointing out that your belief system is wrong. Being the weak willed, slightly stupid individuals that you are, you freak out when you realise you live in a house of cards. "if God were that weak willed and anemic, who would ever care to follow?" I don't know. I asked myself these questions when I was about 5-7 and realised what a crock of shit it all was, like Santa and the Easter Bunny. Have you even read your bible? His incessant low self esteem lashing out at humanity does get on your nerves after awhile. As for the free thought and close minded aspect of religion, as usual, the adherent is only half to blame. The church very much, most certainly, is opposed to free thought, or the exploration of ideas. They become particuarly wound up if any of the ideas suggest a system of living anyway opposed to their franchise. Of course, the people who blindly follow orders are guilty of not having the will or sense to question this absolute authority. 10 percent is a huge number for an organisation. People were especially angry that the other 90 per cent covered it up. Besides people need to stop getting hung up on the pervert priest thing. Yes, its been a world wide problem for hundreds of years, and will continue to be, but its just one more issue on a very large stack for the catholic church. Yeah, being expelled from catholic school at the age of 6 may have tainted my views a little.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 3:42 p.m. CST

    What happened to Sam Raimi's

    by Sick Fixx

    adaptation of the Sword of Truth series? Development limbo, I'm guessing.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 3:43 p.m. CST

    Being A Catholic

    by StarTrek Apologist

    Being a Catholic you should be able to discern the difference between an author commenting on the dangers of Theocratic control and your own paranoia connected to being a member of the church with the longest history of being a Theocracy in the west (yes, it was in the past, but what other Christain denomination ran all of Europe from Rome for a good stretch?). You might also give some thought to saying things about "one bad apple" and "pedophiles" - who are you, Robert Novak? It wasn't one bad apple, it was many, and the church spent millions protecting and moving these bad apples instead of asking WWJD and protecting it's young. A library card and high school reading level would shed a lot of light on your life. You might look into such easy to learn pop culture references like the Crusades, Galileo, the Spanish Inquisition, and the sudden adherence to the Prime Directive when it comes to Nazism. Are all Catholics bad? Certainly not. Is the church itself bad? Obviously it means a great deal to millions of people across the globe and offers most of them a sense of belonging and security and actually manages to help a fair share of people. Is the Catholic church also responsible for a great deal of evil and wrong doing throughout its entire history, obviously ignoring the rules laid down by the boss? Yes, and very recently. So maybe instead of trotting out the old stand by of “everyone’s out to get us” when a film comes out with talking polar bears (or wizards with a lighting bolt scar on their forehead), maybe engage your brain before opening your mouth (or typing… you know what I mean).

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 3:48 p.m. CST

    Open Minded?

    by bythehairofsanjaya

    Accepting mutually exclusive and conflicting world views is not being open minded - it's called being insane.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 3:50 p.m. CST

    rating

    by m2298

    The film's been rated PG-13, for "sequences of fantasy violence".

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 3:50 p.m. CST

    Terry Goodkind

    by Omar B

    I'm glad someone brought up The Sword Of Truth. Last I heard it's still in development. Just finished reading the last book Confessor, awesome.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 3:59 p.m. CST

    Captain Mal

    by Series7

    You bring up a good point. Never thought of it that way, I was just mad and wanted to fling poo. I am just upset that this group has a lot of swaying power for movies it shows interest in and not, what they need to do is put up a sort of non biased site like Children in mind. And call it god in mind and let people know how anit budda a movie is put but only by pointing out the instinces in the movie where their is blasphamy. And let the STRONGER KISS army generals view that site and see if the weaker privates can handle such a movie themselves without exploding in disbielef. Instead of just telling everyone not to see it. And yeah you SAY talk to theists like they three year olds, but I'd rather not talk to them at all it always ends up in the never ending circle of conversation. Where in the end the essectially is not right and wrong in this universe just want you want to believe is right and wrong. I mean how do we know that we were put on this earth just to kill each other? Or as George Calin put it, How do we know that our only purpose in life was to create plastic so once we all die the earth will just incorporate it into a natural resource.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 4:08 p.m. CST

    Wow, Three Posts Before We Got To The Fighting

    by skoobyx

    ....that what I hate about TB's lately.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 4:14 p.m. CST

    You should come over to the AICN COMICS talkback, then...

    by rock-me Amodeo

    We're a lot nicer over there. Mostly. Usually.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 4:15 p.m. CST

    Pippi Longstocking...

    by elvine

    was also written by an atheist, micturatingbenjamin.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 4:57 p.m. CST

    New ending makes sense IMO

    by Mazzle

    The studios did not commit to a 3 movie deal, so I think it made sense for them to leave out the final few scenes of the book. If they decide not to make the other two, it's better that we have a story with a beginning, middle and end rather than a story with a beginning, middle and cliffhanger. <br><br> The one thing that I don't like is that they seemed to have unnecessarily changed some of the details of the book. For example, in the written version, Lyra's doesn't have the only alethiometer. There are actually three of them out there, one of which is with the Magisterium (the bad guys). The only significance of Lyra having one is that she seems to have some sort of intuitive ability to instantly communicate questions to the alethiometer and interpret its answers. In contrast, the other alethiometers are all operated by scholars that have devoted their entire life to understanding how to use it. Those scholars might take days to ask a question and interpret the answer, whereas Lyla can do it in seconds.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 4:59 p.m. CST

    "f you use this call me Skillet. signed-Johnny K"

    by finky089

    - best part of the whole thing <p> ha ha

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 5:05 p.m. CST

    AICN talkbacks vs the real World

    by finky089

    In AICN talkbacks, Star Wars vs LOTR and Baybashing garner more ill words and vehemence than religious viewpoints. <p> In the real world, nobody gives a rat's ass about which fantasy movie is better and instead blow each other up over reglious viewpoints. <p< Suddenly, AICN looks like such a saner place to dwell.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 5:07 p.m. CST

    Xiphos- they have opposable thumbs

    by finky089

    actually they just asked them kindly and- viola! polar bears in armor.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 5:19 p.m. CST

    "a beginning, middle and cliffhanger"

    by newc0253

    except the ending to the first book isn't a cliffhanger. it's simply indicating that the story continues onwards. even if the studio doesn't make the next two, it's a perfectly reasonable ending. p.s. clockwork orange wasn't banned by the censors in the UK but Kubrick pressured Warner Bros to withdraw the film from distribution there. Warners agreed so for over 27 years later when Kubrick died, it was impossible to get distribution rights to screen the film in the UK. crazy, huh?

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 5:31 p.m. CST

    M-o-M, that was my point exactly

    by finky089

    TBers have a habit of saying how much they think this place sucks sometimes. But when you compaer what people aregue over in TBs to what people offline do to each other over comparatively just as subjective stuff, it puts AICN in a better light. <p> Though what I said was also tongue in cheek, because fantasy movies never started or resolved any global disputes. Least, that I'm aware of. Closest we got was Tom Cruise vs. South Park, perhaps.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 5:33 p.m. CST

    Another Catholic chimes in...

    by King_Knut

    I'm a Catholic, and I read the novels a couple of years ago. Not only that, but I live in Oxford and studied at Oxford University, where the opening novel is largely set. I only just missed out on getting some work on the film, too. While thoroughly enjoying the first book, the deeper into books 2 & 3 I got, the less involving I found them. The last 100 pages of the final book compose the most fanciful of flights. Having no tether to anything familiar, I found it a real struggle to engage with the third novel. I didn't perceive the books as particularly attacking Catholicism, or organised religion, corruption in the church, or anything else: they're just too messy for that.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 5:36 p.m. CST

    Xiphos

    by finky089

    I finally got around to reading this Compass book of reknown/infamy earlier this month, thus the only reason I know that detail. It seemed ratehr convenient to me, like a way to explain how these bears could put on this super-tough armor. But, maybe it'll make more sense after reading the other books. Or perhaps I should just take it with a grain of salt since this is a "fantasy" story where I'm already supposed to be suspending my disbelief. <p> Maybe I'll crack open a can of Coke and think about it all for a while.... or not.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 5:37 p.m. CST

    systemsbroom

    by s0nicdeathmonkey

    fair enough, however, I would maintain that a fascism like that of Adolph Hitler is actually based around the same general principals as a cult. It is therefore not applicable to the point at hand as a cult is a religion with a faster endgame. Also, I was being coy with my claims of secular humanism.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 5:43 p.m. CST

    diverdan

    by s0nicdeathmonkey

    10% (according to the LA times front page on the day of the settlement) is a HUGE number when one considers the rate of pedophilia (even including incest) outside of the church. Also, if you know more than 10 priests, you likely know a child rapist.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 6:38 p.m. CST

    Why do people say Narnia is a Christian story?

    by W3bzpinn3r

    The Narnia books were written by a man who was well known to believe and accept paganism. Narnia was a pagan re-write of the Christ myth.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 7:41 p.m. CST

    If it's anti-Christian, every Christian should see it

    by Drath

    Because how else will you answer it's charges? Of course they're wrong--unless they're directed at false ideas that the world and even some Christians may have adopted about the faith. The first book is very magical and not what I would call anti-Christian. It's the sequels that get pushy about it, at the cost I would say of the storytelling. Villains are unjustifiably redeemed because they're fighting "The Church," and the heroes become very passive. The characterization of Lyra described in the first review upsets me because that's the weak Lyra of the third book and not the strong Lyra of the first one. Darnit, wrong way to retcon!!!

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 7:49 p.m. CST

    I think these books are getting a bad rap here.

    by Mockingbuddha

    I wouldn't call them fine lit, but they were great in a Stephen King, suck you in and get you caught up in a well developed world(s) and make you care about the characters sort of way. I for one wish they would leave in the anti religion stuff just because it gets people so worked up. I love the idea of a big budget action family film going there, but I can't imagine it will. I do agree also that the third book was not too great, but it was more of the way it jumped around so much, if I only read Lyra and Will's story I like it okay. Oh, and MandalorianSage, I believe western culture survived the middle ages through the efforts of the Islamic World as the Catholic Church was busy destroying Western culture as fast as it could. Although, as far as I'm concerned the only difference between Catholicism and Islam is the way they pronounce the word "god."

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 7:56 p.m. CST

    i just read Compass and

    by finky089

    I didn't think there were overtly anti-Christian tones like the "media" stories keep insisting. If I had never heard of this book or its author and just randomly read it, I would not have taken away a strong anti-Christian theme. <p> Is it critical of those in power? Yes. Is the church the one in power? Yes. But it's not an attack on Christianity. It's critical of those in power supressing anything ideologically different than what those in power believe. Why? Because those things threaten the longevity of their power when it's based in BELIEF. <p> From that point, I guess you could make a tenuous argument that it is critical of Christianity because it asks people to obey via their belief or otherwise be seen as a threat. <p> Maybe I missed something. I haven't read the other books yet, so I can't speak to how Pullman's books may change in tone after Compass.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 8:05 p.m. CST

    finky089

    by systemsbroom

    The more controversial material doesn't really show up until the second and third books. Especially the third book. And it's too bad when it does, as it's not particularly insightful, or interesting--just sort of screedy in a way that detracts from and ultimately overshadows the really quality aspects of the story. I don't want to spoil it for you, so I won't go into more detail, but I for one was wishing that Pullman would just stick to the fantasy, and abandon the polemic.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 8:13 p.m. CST

    signature

    by MovieSamurai

    I guess I left my e-mail signature on, w/e

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 9:22 p.m. CST

    It's not the anti-Christian thing...

    by zinc_chameleon

    It's anti-world building. Tolkien said it best: "When you are forced to use allegory, you have left the best of fantasy. A great fantasy approaches *evangelium*; that is, it points to a Greater Reality. If in the GC world, daemons exist, then God exists. Basic syllogistic reasoning.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 10:05 p.m. CST

    Worship ME.....The Great Pumpkin!!!!!

    by BetaRayBill07

    Thats right bitches, I've got little Linus' soul- now I'll get yours! Haha...hahaha....aaaaahahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 11:36 p.m. CST

    Not Atheist Books. Anti Organied Religion Books

    by Larry of Arabia

    He seems to think that a god, or gods, exist and left/don't care/have no effect/left. Organize religion fails and becomes corrupt because of this. By the way, a lot of you have no idea about even the basic tenants of Islam, Catholicism, and the like are. Seriously. Atheists gloss over non-religious genocide like Stalin and Mao in their crackpot theory that Religion is the cause of all evil, and the Religious gloss over the fact that, well, they don't exactly have a rosy history in that regard either.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 11:44 p.m. CST

    Oh, and when science finds that Unified Theory

    by Larry of Arabia

    We will have to ask ourselves "Ok, where did this unified law come from? What set that in motion?" The religious may ask, "where did God come from?" Both seem to have the same answers. God just is. Natural law just is. Great. Now that we know we both rely on FAITH that what we believe just "is" and that neither can answer everything alone let's move on.

  • Nov. 28, 2007, 11:50 p.m. CST

    *snoooooore*

    by occula

    all this jesus talk is boring. let's talk about how the bears put on their armor some more instead. or how odd it is that thus far in this TB nobody's asked if we all think the movie would be better if eva green showed her boobies. actually, i think i just answered my own question there.

  • Nov. 29, 2007, 1:14 a.m. CST

    This movie is an insult to palm readers.

    by redfist

    I my am a palm reader, and I find it insulting because they never talk about the imporantce of hands. The polar bear, he has those foot pads and I cant read those. Now, how silly is palm reading, we laugh and mock it for being a fantasy, however we give serious credit to stories 2000 years old and make no sense. Your faith does not bother me as long as you understand that not everyone beLIEves in that fairy tale and could care less if your feelings are hurt by the movie. Maybe it is trendy not to bash on organized religion...but no one should be abouve public mockery. Especially a group that thing a virgin gave birth to the son of a god who rose from the dead. If I said that story at work, they would have me locked up, but it is acceptable for an organized group to share that view. I am sure that this movie will poison the minds of the little children, how are still developing their understanding of the world and rather than beLIEve in Christ they will believe in a talking polar bear....Blasphemy!!!

  • Nov. 29, 2007, 2:40 a.m. CST

    Redfist

    by Captain Mal

    Whether or not you choose to believe it, stories that "make no sense" don't endure for 2000 years. The very reason why Christianity has endured and, indeed, prospered for so long is that the story speaks directly and sensibly to an important need in most people--redemption. You see this same theme explored in nearly every enduring tale, regardless of culture. Of course, nearly all the classic books and films that have defined their generations incorporate this idea as well. Redemption doesn't always take the same shape in these, but it is perhaps the most common theme in the history of literature. Ever wonder why? So you don't have to believe the story of Christ, but don't paint your ignorance on a billboard, friend.

  • Nov. 29, 2007, 2:53 a.m. CST

    Revalations=zombies versus Dragons

    by s0nicdeathmonkey

    "I shall kill her children with death"-- G-d.

  • Nov. 29, 2007, 4:44 a.m. CST

    I too saw GC and (spoilers)

    by Trader Groucho 2

    felt like the filmmakers carried the burden of having to do tons of exposition because this world is distinct, and without the exposition, it's confusion central. The film is not the full three acts of the story. It leaves the audience hanging with a lot unresolved. <p> Confusing to me was that Nicole Kidman could slap her daemon, hard, and not feel it herself. This runs counter to everything set up about daemons up to this point. <p> Also confusing was at least one character asking her daemon a question about something she had to have known her daemon could not have known. <p> I haven't read the books, so for me the movie has to make sense on its own. Maybe someone can help me with these issues?

  • Nov. 29, 2007, 4:48 a.m. CST

    They should've let Shane Meadows direct it...

    by workshed

    ...at least then the child casting would've been perfection. I suspect a papal conspiracy - make the first film a load of shit = no sequel = death of the book/franchise (Dakota Blue Richards stated the other day that Pullman is writing a fourth novel). I was routing for a great director to come on board with this franchise from the off but they elected to go with some rookie intent on making green screen his principal tool. DOH..!

  • Nov. 29, 2007, 4:53 a.m. CST

    "The Christians like boring things"

    by ironic_name

    like starwars?<P>hehehehe... anyways, I'm opposed to the movie cuz it just doesn't seem that interesting. - like stardust.<P>pullman can say whatever he wants.

  • Nov. 29, 2007, 5:30 a.m. CST

    M-O-M

    by DocPazuzu

    Why is it that you adamantly refuse to divulge where you're from because you find it "irrelevant", yet have no trouble asking other people where they come from?

  • Nov. 29, 2007, 9:58 a.m. CST

    Captain Mal!?!?!

    by redfist

    "So you don't have to believe the story of Christ, but don't paint your ignorance on a billboard, friend." So, I am ignorant for not believing in that? Wow, I am retarded! Faith is believing in what you can't see, but more in what you feel. I can coop with that, I also have no problem with people who jerk off to guns-n-ammo in the privacy of their own home. I just don't want you little fairy tale to be received as the normal standard of socity. yes yes I know we live in AMERICA, a christian counrty...no wait we are not a christian nation, freedom of relgion reins...I just want freedom from it.

  • Nov. 29, 2007, 10:01 a.m. CST

    WWJD?!?!

    by redfist

    First thing he would do is to tell you to get that crucifix off the wall. The worst day of his live and you have it hanging in your house, around your neck. How would you like it if everyone carried a picture in their wallet of the day, in 3rd grade that bully spit on you.

  • Nov. 29, 2007, 10:03 a.m. CST

    ZOMBIE JESUS By Xiphos

    by redfist

    You sir, you!

  • Nov. 29, 2007, 10:32 a.m. CST

    THE STUDIO HAS FUCKED THIS!!!

    by performingmonkey

    The original vision of this movie seems to have been tampered with a GREAT deal over the last 6 months. Cast changes, switching scenes around, cutting the ending (which is clearly seen in all the trailers). I also bet the beginning narration was studio imposed. Daemons and the parallel world could have been explained with dialogue. I hope for a DIRECTOR'S CUT one day.

  • Nov. 29, 2007, 11:09 a.m. CST

    FUUUUUUUUUUUCK

    by NomoredirtyjokespleaseweareYanks

    The daemon code prevents me, from declining a rock off challenge. What are you terms? Whats the Cahahahatch.

  • Nov. 29, 2007, 11:36 a.m. CST

    america isn't a christian country

    by ironic_name

    romans nearly destroyed Christianity..<P>if they had've chosen budidhsm instead, people would be asking for money, and declaring war in the buddha's name [i know buddhism like to say it doesn't believe in a god, but they believe in life, which is the same concept]<P>and nosexplease.. you mention a lot of deaths in the bible.. I guess you really hate jews, huh?

  • Nov. 29, 2007, 11:42 a.m. CST

    Redfist

    by Captain Mal

    No, you're ignorant for saying that the story of Christ "makes no sense." Thought that was clear enough in previous post.

  • Nov. 29, 2007, 11:52 a.m. CST

    rock-me Amodeo

    by hst666

    I just wanted to point out your response yesterday regarding the validity of beliefs and the acceptance of certain beliefs was either missed the point or was disingeuous (1) No one was objecting to a Christian person's decision to not see the film. They were complaining about the uproar and protests. Perhaps a bit zealously. (2) Christian ideology has held back or attempted to hold back science for millenia. Have there been scientific believers in Jesus - sure. There have been many. Doesn't mean that Christianity hasn't attempted to hold back science. Ironically, as a practical matter I believe the proselytizing nature of Christianity may have in fact significantly contributed to groeth in science/technology/dominance of Western Culture, because new ideas were constantly being brought back by Missionaries. However, the Christian ideology itself has at best hindered the advancement of science.

  • Nov. 29, 2007, noon CST

    xiphos ino ur tyring to be "controversial" (oooh!) but...

    by ironic_name

    a: Christ, supposedly [coming back from the dead isn't a miracle, life is a miracle, as is forgiving those who 'transgress' against you being kind is a miracle, thats why i follow Yeshua ibn yoseff, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, and Tenzin Gyatso] came back from the dead, whether this was mistranslated from apostles keeping him alive in their hearts, or really coming back.<P>ie: still alive.<P>b; the greeks believed in the dead being corporeal, as did the egygptians.<P> and the Draugr is an early zombie<P> "the Epic of Gilgamesh" and "The Zombie of the great Peru" have zombies in them

  • Nov. 29, 2007, 12:01 p.m. CST

    systemsbroom

    by finky089

    thanks. That's unfortunate. Perhaps I'll read some Ross Thomas instead of picking up the other books anytime soon.

  • Nov. 29, 2007, 12:03 p.m. CST

    enough fighting lets just make fun of $ientologists!

    by ironic_name

  • Nov. 29, 2007, 12:08 p.m. CST

    ironic_name. Ummmm Nooooooooo

    by NomoredirtyjokespleaseweareYanks

    I pointed out facts, I did not say lets all hold hands and rejoice as i count the number of dead Jews. I have a problem with all religion, not just a small pack of arseholes, who were unfortunate enough to be moved in next to their enemies. Thats like throwing a cat over the fence o a dog pound.

  • Nov. 29, 2007, 12:35 p.m. CST

    MATT DAEMON!

    by Spandau Belly

    I'm hilarious!

  • Nov. 29, 2007, 12:48 p.m. CST

    WWJCD

    by micturatingbenjamin

    What Would Jesse Custer Do? Yeah. THAT'S the anti-theocracy flick or TV series we need.

  • Nov. 29, 2007, 12:51 p.m. CST

    Speaking as a Catholic...

    by Billy The Fish

    ...and someone who is capable of keeping his religion in perspective, can I suggest that it isn't Catholics per se that are making a scene about this movie, it's probably the usual tub-thumping suspects - emotionally repressed and spiritually-retarded bible-bashers of Middle America. These stiffs don't represent mainstream Catholocism any more than the 9/11 loonies represent Islam. One's religion should be like one's politics - a matter of self-belief and quiet reflection. I enjoyed these books for what they were - the 'anti-Narnia' trilogy. I'll be taking my daughter to see it shall see this film and no doubt we'll enjoy it immensely. Anybody dissing a film by claiming to speak on behalf of Catholics everywhere should be locked in a room and forced to watch 'The Life of Brian' and episodes of 'Father Ted' until they possess the ability to lighten-up and rejoin the human race. It's a film, kiddies. Get over it.

  • Nov. 29, 2007, 12:51 p.m. CST

    I don't have a problem with Jesus . . .

    by Thall_Joben

    Just his dumb fucking fan club.

  • Nov. 29, 2007, 1:16 p.m. CST

    kingdom vs republic of heaven

    by biginjapants

    I agree that Pullman gets a bit heavy handed. But I think the discussion here is overlooking his main theological point, which comes out in the end of the third book. What the books really knock isn't religion, or even organized religion, but the peculiarly militaristic/monarchical notion of God as a "Lord and King" who requires constant worship and obedience and subordination, which has infected Christianity since the Council of Nicea. A few interesting notions that he puts forward in opposition to this: 1. the character of the "real creator", who doesn't need to be so incessantly praised and obeyed 2. the idea that any "God" who requires such obedience must in fact be a nervous usurper and 3. that heaven is not a kingdom ordered around by one being, but a republic of many beings who are able to co-exist peacefully without being subjugated. Interesting ideas.

  • Nov. 29, 2007, 2:07 p.m. CST

    Pullman 'a bit heavy-handed'?

    by newc0253

    in the same way that Stalin was a 'bit of a dictator', right?<p> yes, the War on Heaven is a great concept but hardly original to Pullman (all the themes were there in Milton). It would be fine also if Pullman was just attacking theocracy and authoritarianism in general. But whereas the first two books are basically about opposition to theocracy, Pullman doesn't even bother to disguise his beef with christianity in the third book. It's as though JK Rowling had turned to the reader halfway through the Deathly Hallows and said, "by the way, reader, in case you hadn't missed my many heavy handed hints, you should know that Voldemort represents the God of the Old Testament". Pullman attacking organised religion i don't have a problem with. Pullman's cackhanded allegory and lazy writing i do have a problem with.<p> It's interesting that Ursula K Le Guin's final Earthsea book, the Other Wind, has almost exactly the same target (patriarchal wizards have condemned humanity to purgatory) and outcome, but handles it infinitely better. The difference is Le Guin is too good a writer to let her issues overwhelm her story.

  • Nov. 29, 2007, 2:58 p.m. CST

    HA!!

    by lb

    Honestly, they should just base a movie off this talkback....it's hilarious. Back on topic, HDM books are great (except the third which gets far too heavy handed right down to Lyra's last speech about the 'republic of heaven') but they are no more worst than the Harry Potter/ Narnia books and could make a great series of movies if handled correctly.

  • Nov. 29, 2007, 3:28 p.m. CST

    Capt. Mal

    by redfist

    I would argue more with you but you seem like you have been brainwashed your entire life to believe in that fairy tale called the bible. You might want to hang your brain out to dry, or it might get moldy.

  • Nov. 29, 2007, 3:32 p.m. CST

    Christianity's endurance

    by queerfilmjunkie

    Christianity has endured because people in power saw organized religion as a means to retain their power. This is how the Romans went from sentencing Jesus to death to being the leading purveyors of Christianity. Through the Roman Catholic Church, they found a means by which they could claim divine rule over others, conquering and murdering and oppressing by divine authority. As literature, the Bible has historical significance, but its far too pedantic and allegorical to be considered a great work of literature. As far as redemption goes, the Bible isn't so much a meditation on redemption as a guide on how and why to seek redemption. Like any institution, Christianity has had both a positive and negative impact on the world. Leaders of organized religion have perpetrated or been complicit in some of humanity's greatest atrocities, but they have also promoted literacy and higher learning. While the teachings of Christianity have persisted for millenia, that's hardly unique among cultural mythologies. The issue I have with modern Christianity (and modern Christians) is the adherence to doctrine and dogma over of ration and reason. Humanity's understanding of science and the natural world is far more expansive than it was 2000 years ago, yet many Christians insist that we should ignore our great strides in science and philosophy and instead base our political, ethical and scientific decisions on modern interpretations of a 2000 year old text that is a transliteration of a transliteration of a transliteration of a transliteration. If you want to believe in Santa Jebus, that’s your prerogative. It’s when you expect the rest of the world to ascribe to your archaic dogma that I have a problem with you.

  • Nov. 29, 2007, 3:41 p.m. CST

    okay, a lot heavy handed

    by biginjapants

    You're absolutely right, newc0253. That third book was a disappointing read for those very reasons. It made me think of Tolkein's opposition to allegory. LOTR is so much more durable for that very reason. But for me (less well read) it was an introduction to this intriguing theological stance.

  • Nov. 29, 2007, 6:02 p.m. CST

    How can Christianity be heavy handed? Did he have holes

    by s0nicdeathmonkey

    in his?

  • Nov. 29, 2007, 6:05 p.m. CST

    *didn't he

    by s0nicdeathmonkey

    damn lack of edit.

  • Nov. 29, 2007, 6:09 p.m. CST

    FUCK THE CHURCH, Read The Books

    by LaserPants

    Yeah, Jesus was a great guy. Too bad the Church seems to have COMPLETELY missed the point of his message, misinterpreting it as a message of hate, misogyny, mind-control, and child-rape. <br><br> HIS DARK MATERIALS is the most important "children's" fantasy series for adults ever written. Not the least for which is its utter pwning of the psychotic and evil catholic church. If the movie keeps half the truths the books spake so boldly, I'll be happy. The uppance hath come, the backlash is in full effect. Goodbye fundies, welcome to the new humanism, rationality, and truth -- the REAL message of your Christ.

  • Nov. 29, 2007, 7:56 p.m. CST

    I'm Catholic and I need to be told what I should like!

    by Bob Cryptonight

    Thank you, Holy Father & Staff! And my check is in the mail, by the way.

  • Nov. 29, 2007, 7:59 p.m. CST

    I'm Catholic and if I read a book about atheists--

    by Bob Cryptonight

    --I will become one. God bless The Pope for keeping evil ideas from us all!

  • Nov. 29, 2007, 8:11 p.m. CST

    Lost Jarv, about Anthony Burgess...

    by Sick Fixx

    Did you know that what occurred to the old rich man and his wife happened to Burgess and his wife for real many years before he wrote the book? It always made me wonder why he played Alex in a sympathetic light due to this.

  • Nov. 29, 2007, 8:46 p.m. CST

    quite interesting 'bout 'clockwork orange'

    by occula

    all the jeebus chitchat aside, i still think the real problem with this film is the film itself, not the derivation from the source material or what the source material stands for. i still can't help feeling this is yet another shiny plastic 'maybe we'll get narnia opening weekend b.o.' endeavor with no real heart to it. doesn't anybody want to make a beautiful film that MEANS something to kids the way books do? there are so few of them out there...

  • Nov. 29, 2007, 8:47 p.m. CST

    i love zombies.

    by occula

    and dragons, too.

  • Nov. 29, 2007, 8:51 p.m. CST

    Sword of Truth

    by Sick Fixx

    I'm going to wait until Christmas to read it, but every other review I've skimmed has absolutely reamed Confessor a new one, Omar B. But then, the critics have never been a fan of Goodkind speaking his mind and actually using his fantasy world as an allegory for ours, i.e. adding any intellect to what is otherwise brain candy.

  • Nov. 29, 2007, 10:10 p.m. CST

    Golden Compass 2: Electric Boogaloo.

    by Fa Fa Fooey

    It could happen.

  • Nov. 29, 2007, 10:11 p.m. CST

    Can a straight guy see Golden Compass?

    by Fa Fa Fooey

    Seems really gay and all (not that there's anything WRONG with that).

  • Nov. 29, 2007, 10:25 p.m. CST

    Redfist

    by Captain Mal

    Nice cop out, yo. As far as I know, you have no idea what I believe, nor how I feel about the Bible. I've been pointing out the fundamental fallacy in your initial argument. I'll repeat it: stories that "make no sense" don't endure for two-thousand years. Regardless of whether it's true, false, or something in-between, the story makes sense. By dismissing it that way, you make yourself appear uninformed and, well, a bit thick. Either sack up and defend your statements intelligently, or shut the fuck up to begin with.

  • Nov. 29, 2007, 11:49 p.m. CST

    MAL

    by redfist

    Since I guess that I need to spell this one out for you here we go: THE BIBLE IS A WORK OF FICTION. My statement that it "makes no sense" refers to the fact that in realtiy: vigins don't give birth to demi-gods, the dead do not rise from the grave, no water to wine, fish from an empty baseket. Since it seems more important for you to agrue the use of the sentance "makes no sense" and considering that you want to tell me to STFU because I am not accepting these stories as fact, just shows how narrow minded you are and how people need to challenge this idea that we accept relgious people at face value, just because it is thier "faith". It is nonsense, pure and simple. I will call out any person that thinks this fairly tale book is real life. whoopy-do it this tale has survived 2000 years. Do that make it fact? How many myths and ledgends have survived through histroy and not looked on with such reverence?

  • Nov. 29, 2007, 11:52 p.m. CST

    And since

    by redfist

    Arguing this point with you is like beating my head against a really thick brick wall, feel free to post a really mean reply and feel victorious, because I amd not going to response. I think the TBers got the idea.

  • Nov. 30, 2007, 12:12 a.m. CST

    Redfist

    by Captain Mal

    You don't wanna argue the point? Fair enough. Going forward, I'd suggest you don't make arguments you haven't the substance or stamina to stand behind, or someone like me might call you on it. It is funny, though, that you still think you've got me all figured out ("narrow-minded" isn't a descriptor anyone who knows me would use), and you're attacking that straw man instead of defending your argument. FWIW, I don't believe in a Biblical interpretation of the historic events recorded in the Gospels. I made an issue out of your post because willful ignorance just galls me, particularly when it's being used to attack others. Cheers, yo!

  • Nov. 30, 2007, 12:43 a.m. CST

    Finished the First Book, Aaaannd...

    by micturatingbenjamin

    Not gay. No, in fact, once Iorek takes the center stage (admittedly near the end but still and all) the book takes a turn for the kickass. Even if they leave the events as they stand and just give them the kiddie movie treatment, removing the intense gory bits, the story of the bears frigging rules.<p>As for the Bible as 'Fiction'...yeah, it's mostly bullshit people told other people to get them to do what they wanted to do. From length of beards to thou shalt not eat peanuts out of the shit of donkeys-type health directives, mostly bullshit. The fearful cling to the hope of redemption and salvation from what happens after you die...(a litle thick to begin with, wouldn't you say?)..the others use it as a pedestal to stand upon to rise above others...yet still more view it as a moral compass to live their lives by. Mainly, these days it's away for the elite to wage war on the gullible and easily swayed to 'divide and conquer', appealing to the ignorant's ability to scramble when afraid.<p>Mal, I don't know you from Divis Mal, but here's the scoop, the Bibble isn't factually accurate: Bats aren't birds.<p>Women don't get 'sick' once a month, and a man who chooses to bed down a woman on her monthlies doesn't need to be shunned by her family.<p>Also, there's little merit to one dude putting hundreds of thousands of species into one boat, and propagating the Earth entire from Mesopotamia.<p>What else is bullshit in the Holly Bibble? Lots of stuff. I won't attack your faith, but I will be happy to point out the fallacy of placing your faith in bullshit, because someone has to turn on the lights around here, the dark ages are long since over. Cheers right back atcha, mister guy! ;)

  • Nov. 30, 2007, 12:51 a.m. CST

    Huh...

    by Krillian

    Every time I come back to Talkbacks, I'm reminded why I haven't been in a while. Religion's one of the last areas where people feel like they can be as mean and hateful and disrespectful as they want becuz they feel the other side is intolerant. I was on the fence about seeing the movies until I read the books. The books are pretty good, but Pullman's anti-God agenda hurts what otherwise could have been a classic trilogy. Final note: I'm glad I live in a country where teachers are not threatened with 40 lashes and six months in jail for letting their class name a teddy bear "Mohammad".

  • Nov. 30, 2007, 1 a.m. CST

    I just got to get some more!

    by redfist

    you haven't the substance or stamina to stand behind...more like since you just attack me rather than my point, why should I bother talking to you. My willful ignorance? WTF are you talking about. I stated the truth that the bible is FICTION. Attacking people who beLIEve in that bullshit should be the norm. If I walked into my office and said I am now a member in the church of Narnia, I would be laughed out of town, however, if I come in the office and say "all life on earth is only 5000 years old, cause the bible says so...well people would look at me and say...well alright Dave and move on. Our toterence for this nonsense has allowed it to become common and to spread thoughout every corner of socity. My point is: no one is above mockery and especally people that believe in fairy tales. Take that straw man. now fuck away and cheers yo.

  • Nov. 30, 2007, 1:16 a.m. CST

    *Yawn*

    by micturatingbenjamin

    Oh yeah, Muslims are kooky! They beat on women! That's weird!<p>Religious people do shit like that all the time, and it's just as shitty to say 'God made me do it' as it is to say 'the Devil made me do it' or 'The Grinch made me do it' or 'Mr. Snuffalupagus and the Wombles made me do it'.<p>I'm anti-religion and anti-extremists....Both are a little cracked. So, please don't spew that 'See?! Muslims are Kooks! Kill 'em All!' rhetoric...it's BOOOORING. Find a new scapegoat.<p>Here's something you can attribute to America's fucked up problem with promiscuity = sin...a guy up here in Wisconsin slipped his mistress the abortion pill, and caused her to miscarry. Wow. Marriage = Religious institution/sacred = Gift From God....Yet, he chose to off the unborn to maintain his 'appearance' of piety. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Two questions: Where did this asshole get access to TWO women? And second, does he have bucket seats, because that takes fucking BALLS to try that shit. His punishment should be the woman getting to kick him in the dick as hard as she can...but only when the fucker's not expecting it.<p>Oh yeah, and fucking armored bears vs. blimps and shit. ;)

  • Nov. 30, 2007, 1:18 a.m. CST

    So, another undeserving movie gets free, hysterical advertising

    by scrumdiddly

    from crazy Catholics? Lovely. This was just plugged on the BBC in an interview with Daniel Craig. I hate how their message always seems to be "YOU WILL SEE THIS NO MATTER HOW BAD IT IS! WE OWN YOU, LICENSE-PAYING FILTH!" The little previews they showed looked like shit. Lots of fuzzy CGI. And stop with the fucking talking animals! Make something else! Gah!

  • Nov. 30, 2007, 1:19 a.m. CST

    OW MY BALLS!!!!!!!!

    by redfist

    Coming to NBC this Fall.

  • Nov. 30, 2007, 1:36 a.m. CST

    Avoidance Reaction

    by ill-bread

    The Golden Compass will be fairly easy to adapt (with the right casting and CGI) but I’m at a TOTAL loss as to see how or WHY anyone would watch the adaptations of the rest of this trilogy. When I started reading book II of the series, (SPOILER alert) I got as far as the part with the children having their souls/daemons/familiars CUT FROM THEIR BODIES and threw the book away from me with a vengeance. It was too much like a creative form of child rape and left me feeling sick and angry. I’d be interested to hear from people who finished reading the series---I just couldn’t stomach the direction the books were going and am frankly amazed that the scary and crazed Right Wingers haven’t latched onto this and ran with it. I still can’t get the imagery out of my head, of the poor boy with his soul/familiar cut out of him as he lives a half-life in slavery, wandering around the arctic with the other half dead children longing for their souls.

  • Nov. 30, 2007, 1:42 a.m. CST

    THIS MOVIE IS BORING!

    by thegreatwhatzit

    Regardless of your religious convictions (or lack of them), this movie sucks. We attended an "after hours" sneak and this was one yawnfest. CGI crap, kiddie actors howling, Nicole Kidman in denial of her BILLY BATHGATE days (zip sex appeal).

  • Nov. 30, 2007, 1:58 a.m. CST

    OMAR B

    by thegreatwhatzit

    The only thing more annoying than a self-righteous Christian is a windbag atheist. Get a life.

  • Nov. 30, 2007, 4:01 a.m. CST

    Clockwork Orange

    by newc0253

    i live in central london and can comfirm that droogs are based on south londoners, who all dress in white except for their boots, paint one eye with mascara, wear bowler hats, and speak in a clever argot of cockney and newspeak.<p> anyone who tells you different, my brothers, is out of his rassoodock and probably a filthy dook to boot.

  • Nov. 30, 2007, 7:18 a.m. CST

    Go with GOD!

    by Dazzler69

    I never thought I would have to proclaim a positive comment for GOD, but I want to help GOD where I can. Hopefully this movie won't crack my beliefs like everybody says but you never know.

  • Nov. 30, 2007, 10:24 a.m. CST

    There won't be a sequel - and not because of the Xtian nuts

    by gruntybear

    In Book II: The Subtle Knife, the lead little girl crosses over into our world. How dull. To go from talking armored bears and legions of airborne witches to drinking cans of Coke and making fish-out-of-water comments about women wearing breeches. Ain't gonna happen as a sequel. No way. No how.

  • Nov. 30, 2007, 6:37 p.m. CST

    for the love of god xiphos

    by aestheticity

    its WERE not WHERE