Review

Harry can't quite get this damn GOLDEN COMPASS thing to work, but it sure is pretty and fun!

Published at: Dec. 3, 2007, 9:20 p.m. CST by headgeek

Do you remember YOUNG SHERLOCK HOLMES? For me, it’s a perfect juvenile adventure film. It has a tragic weight to it and a spirit of great adventure, but in many ways – we were like young Watson, not understanding the brilliance that was inherent even to the youthful Sherlock Holmes. THE GOLDEN COMPASS is an evolutionary leap from that film, but without the ultimate courage that YOUNG SHERLOCK HOLMES had at the end of its tale. The honey-rich intellectual footsie that the film takes with its metaphysical odyssey will sure leap, jump and soar over the heads of folks that came to see the Coca Cola bear gallop with a kid astride, but this film is probably the most visually accomplished vision of a dimensional alternative to our universe. It’s not just that they have talking animals and polar bears that are not drowning in an evaporating arctic. This is just a complete universe. I never fully read the first novel, I got a couple of chapters in and put it down thinking that it didn’t really translate to a film universe. The book’s theories about alternate dimensions and the rules therein just seemed to heady for typical cinematic exposition. And even though it’s toned down to a bare minimum, when compared to the saturated content in the book – it may still confuse some. However, I think its very likely that kids will just look past all this high minded speak and just be wowed by the audacious wonder of this other dimension. I found myself like a Polar Bear king, wanting a daemon of my own… in fact, after the film I came home and went to New Line’s site and found out that my daemon was a female Tiger – and that’s pretty friggin awesome. I mean, in their universe – I could have a Tiger chick named Elpis that would be the mirror of my soul. What is weird about this is this. When I was a kid working at a Renaissance Faire, I tried to buy a tiger – I had the money, from my job as an entertainer – but the seller wanted to meet my parents. And my dad said I couldn’t have a tiger in town. . It’s more than the animals too. They’ve got a strange power source in this universe that looks akin to those badass Plasma balls, but they pull carriages along, the power deco as can be zeppelins as well as ocean sailing paddle boats. There’s nothing in this world, that really particularly feels like ours. Things have doors, people have clothes, but it all seems alien and foreign in a way that doesn’t feel drenched in lameness. The little girl, Dakota Blue Richards, playing Lyra Belacqua carries the entire film on her shoulders and does a great job of it. She’s not cute in that “Awwwwwww” kinda way, but in a rascally mischievous minx-like way. She’s wily and devilish. There’s a glee to what she does, this pixie… and a there is a glow to her… and when you hear about a prophecy that says she’s special, you believe it. Because she is something special. The characters that fill this universe are just universally exquisite choices. Nicole Kidman is lustrous, just stunningly beautiful… a villain, yet one that is so maternal, so guiding – yet as soon as she’s out of sight of the child, she’s a vicious cunt. And that scary fucking mute monkey creature of hers… WHAT IS THAT THING? It’s just evil. Every moment that Daniel Craig is in this film as Lord Asriel… he’s the star. I could totally just go with a movie about Daniel Craig as an adventurous explorer in the arctic with a trained snow leopard. It’s just… classic. Now – as hot as Nicole is in this film, the hottest is… without a doubt, Eva Green. Her wispy flying witch is just hot as could be. Eva was my pick for playing Dejah Thoris in JOHN CARTER – she is radiant and regal – here she adds mysterious to her quiet sensuality. And she kicks a lot of dust in this flick. Now the star of the film is easily Ian McKellen as the voice of Iorek Byrnison – the Polar Bear that Lyra hires to kick ass and take names for her. He imbues so much soul into this character and the animation is excellent. Particularly in the Bear showdown. And folks – there is a moment in that fight that is the singularly most badass thing that I’ve seen in a theater this year. That isn’t to say this movie is great – but it does contain the single most jaw… dropping moment I’ve seen in a film this year. One of those… what the hell just happened moments of ass-kickery that brings the house down. And it doesn’t take place at the end. In fact the end is just sort of there. A flaccid, the adventure will continue endings – instead of the ending in the book which would have made for one of the most awesome OH MY GOD moments of the year… There’s an awfully lot of great work in this movie, lots more than were in the original NARNIA film that Disney put out, but like that film – the sum is never greater than the height of its moments. The film soars, then treads water. It roars, then whispers. It beats its chest, then wipes its ass. That said – I found the film mesmerizing – a gorgeous and thrilling film to contemplate and talk about, but because there isn’t an ending to blow my mind… or even one to vaguely satisfy, well, it just sort of peters out. It just isn’t complete and I wonder if what was there will make the audience propel it till we get to see that ending as a tacked on beginning to a whole new film. I’d be very very interested to see Chris Weitz’s director’s cut – cuz you can quite clearly tell… this is not it. Definitely worth checking out – but as is, this is not a new LORD OF THE RINGS.

Readers Talkback

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  • Dec. 3, 2007, 9:21 p.m. CST

    First

    by Prof_Ender

    First

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 9:22 p.m. CST

    First?

    by snax

    or not?

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 9:22 p.m. CST

    Wow

    by Prof_Ender

    So that's what it feels like...hrm

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 9:26 p.m. CST

    Yet Another Shitty New Line Movie = Positive Review from Harry

    by Nate Champion

    But is there any other kind? Not so much these days. I'd rather get my fingers snipped off with a butter knife then watch two hours of this CGI bullshit.

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 9:29 p.m. CST

    Chris Columbus wrote Young Sherlock Holmes and The Goonies

    by Frijole

    It struck me recently how both movies, written in the span of a couple years and with Columbus lapping at Spielberg's feet, could easily have both originally be attempts at Young Indiana Jones features. A few tweaks to either or both... and voila! Indy Jr.

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 9:32 p.m. CST

    $50 million this weekend may be a struggle

    by AlwaysThere

    50% of the preview screenings sold out, and I'm not hearing a lot of people showing interest in this $250 million dollar picture.

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 9:33 p.m. CST

    Hahahaha...

    by CatVutt

    This review basically says "I didn't read the book, but the book's ending in the movie would've been fucking AWESOME!" Heeeeeeee....Okay. No more wine for Cat.

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 9:35 p.m. CST

    TGC is already a bomb

    by rainbowtrout1265

    Tracking has TGC making around 25 million for it's opening weekend. This looks to be a giant bomb.

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 9:38 p.m. CST

    Well, of course the polar bears aren't drowning

    by chrth

    http://www.newsbusters.org/node/11879 (remove spaces)

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 9:42 p.m. CST

    Loved the books, don't care if the movies succeed

    by Stormwatcher

    No God Killing, no point.

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 9:42 p.m. CST

    Harry... what would you do with a tiger?

    by W3bzpinn3r

    eat it? c'mon... no human in their right mind would sell a kid a tiger... parents' ok or not. My BSmeter went off the meter after reading that.

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 9:42 p.m. CST

    BTW, the Catholic Bishops approved of the movie

    by chrth

    Never thought I'd see the day, but they gave it an A-II (acceptable to Adults and Adolescents), which is in line with the PG-13 rating. They took a little bit of exception to Magisterium, but other than that they liked it. The Catholic League took exception to the review though. Sigh. Looks like another schism is nigh.<p> schism: http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2007/nov/07113001.html (remove spaces)<p> review: http://www.catholicnews.com/data/movies/07mv242.htm (remove spaces)

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 9:43 p.m. CST

    in other words

    by 900LBGorilla

    It sucks .... Right?

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 9:50 p.m. CST

    2 Issues #1.

    by 900LBGorilla

    1. Just for the record- here on good ol' earth the Polar Bears aren't "drowning in an evaporating arctic" either- that called an Al-Gasm...the actual report Al read (apparently just before he pretended to be a scientist in front of a camera) doesn't support the conclusion he profers as filmed gospel...but Al's lack of capacity for basic reading comprehension aside...who am I to question Al..after all he probably invented the arctic and built it with the proceeds from his "carbon credits" business.

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 9:53 p.m. CST

    Nicole Kidman's in another stinker, eh? Shocking!

    by Zardoz

    She's made one movie that (barely) made $100 million at the box office, won an oscar for a film nobody saw, (or liked) has made more bad movies of re-makes than any actor in history and STILL makes $20 mill per picture. How is that possible? She's pretty and everything, but has she EVER made a good film? (Okay, I'll give you "The Others", "Moulin Rouge" and "To Die For", but what else?) And there's a rumor she's re-making "Lady from Shanghai"? OY!

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 9:55 p.m. CST

    Contradiction?

    by Omar B

    "I never fully read the first novel, I got a couple of chapters in and put it down thinking that it didn’t really translate to a film universe." "In fact the end is just sort of there. A flaccid, the adventure will continue endings – instead of the ending in the book which would have made for one of the most awesome OH MY GOD moments of the year…" So did you mean to contradict yourself in the review or did someone just tell you how it really ends?

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 9:56 p.m. CST

    What's the "Oh My God!" ending of the book?

    by Zardoz

    Since I'm not going to see the movie anyway, I don't care if you spoil it for me...(but others might!)

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 9:57 p.m. CST

    And #2 on a lighter John Carter note

    by 900LBGorilla

    Harry...Harry....for goodness sakes....are you freaking nuts!!?? Eva Green as Deja Thoris??? I just pulled up some pics of her (as I didn't know who she was)... and she is dowright HOMELY... I mean WOW.... even hidden under loads of makeup. Granted, I have never heard of a "perfect" Deja (except maybe a yong Sophie Mearceau had this been made a decade or more ago.... but I think I just heard the worst. Too bad the movie didn't work out though - I'm not too hot on it moving away from live action...

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 9:58 p.m. CST

    meh

    by ironic_name

    meh

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 10:05 p.m. CST

    I SUPPORT THE DROWNING POLAR BEARS ON THIS ONE!

    by chrth

    <nt>

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 10:09 p.m. CST

    The Daemon feature on the website

    by mukhtabi

    Is so utterly cool. Apparently mine would be a fox named Valethra, how about everybody else? Good to hear you got a tiger oh red headed chieftain who went to the playboy mansion in a tigger suit once.

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 10:14 p.m. CST

    Ian McKellen

    by Larry of Arabia

    Must be contracted to star in every fantasy film. Lord of the Rings, Golden Compass, X-Men, Stardust. He should be appearing in Narnia soon. How did Potter miss him? Will he make a cameo at the (no spoiler, really) Wedding in the last film?

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 10:15 p.m. CST

    Ian McShane

    by Canada's King

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 10:17 p.m. CST

    ian mcian

    by ironic_name

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 10:20 p.m. CST

    Bear moment *spoilers*

    by Z 008

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 10:22 p.m. CST

    Bear moment *spoilers*

    by Z 008

    Stupid tab next to enter, Anyway doesnt he rip out the other bears heart and eat it? Cause if it isnt it should be.

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 10:33 p.m. CST

    Zardoz.

    by CatVutt

    There IS not 'Oh My God' ending to the book. Lyra slips out of her dimension into another one. Whoopty Fucking Doo.

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 10:35 p.m. CST

    Scratch the 't' in 'Not'.

    by CatVutt

    Or add an 'an' after 'not'. It's a multiple choice post!

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 10:41 p.m. CST

    I have no desire to see this.

    by Mister Man

    And I'm not sure why.

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 10:45 p.m. CST

    Actually, I do know.

    by Mister Man

    I am too traumatized by the fact that I just found out that when you share a video from YouTube, somebody can click on your name, and see all of your "Favorite Videos." No wonder Mom didn't call me on Thanksgiving. Christmas is going to be AWKWARD.

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 10:45 p.m. CST

    Techincally, there isn't just no "oh my god"

    by Larry of Arabia

    There is no god in the books either.

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 10:51 p.m. CST

    "Oh my (lack of) God" ending *spoiler*

    by chrth

    I think what's being referenced is when Lyra's friend gets his connection to his daemon sliced by Lyra's father. I have to admit, that was pretty f'd up.

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 10:56 p.m. CST

    Can't wait for

    by Burgundy82

    the religious right to proclaim their victory over a godless secular society when this thing bellyflops. Fucking idiots, it's just a bad movie — your stupid boycott probably boosted sales, if anything.

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 11 p.m. CST

    So this is the movie equivilant of....

    by Wed Vid Guy

    eating CHOCOLATE COATED PUSSY JUICE??? If so, I'll pass.

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 11:34 p.m. CST

    I didn't even read his review, did he mention pussies or cum?

    by JimCurry

    I've got to assume he said something like "That little girl is great, she made the hairs on my balls stand up amongst the cum they were lathered in" or something sophisticated to that effect...

  • Dec. 3, 2007, 11:51 p.m. CST

    "Characters repeatedly don't seem to have sensible motivations"

    by CatVutt

    Well, that should make hardcore fans of the book happy. Because that's EXACTLY what the book is like. I actually managed some fondness for the novel for a couple of the fantasy elements. But come on. It's pretty horribly written, and the sequels are markedly worse. There's stuff in there you'd yell at your kid for trying to get away with in narrative fiction. It's awfully damn goofy most of the time.

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 12:03 a.m. CST

    Awesome

    by JacksParasites

    Never read the books but I was very impressed with the movie. And I'm definitely looking forward to the next one, where it looks like we will get some of that Daniel Craig traveling through universes adventure stuff. But I can't disagree with you about that bear fight. There definitely was an amazing jaw-dropping momnent. Loved it.

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 12:08 a.m. CST

    Just saw Golden Compass 2.....

    by NomoredirtyjokespleaseweareYanks

    It was HOLY FUCKING AWESOME DIPPED IN CHOCOLATE COATED PUSSY JUICESOM!!!

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 12:42 a.m. CST

    Holy Incredible Ass Sweat Covered in Hot Fudge!

    by Wed Vid Guy

    Eh....I don't have the gift.....

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 12:43 a.m. CST

    New Line even managed to make Freddy not scary

    by NomoredirtyjokespleaseweareYanks

    That takes talent.

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 12:47 a.m. CST

    and it only took 3 Freddy's to do it

    by NomoredirtyjokespleaseweareYanks

    The last being Craven's scripted, Chuck Russell directed Dream Warriors. Freddy wasn't frightening again till Craven came back for New Nightmare, then New Line went straight back to being fools with Freddy Vs Jason.

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 12:49 a.m. CST

    Freddy's Dead is the least scary movie ever

    by NomoredirtyjokespleaseweareYanks

    saw it in 3D and all I did was laugh.

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 12:52 a.m. CST

    I hate to be one of those people...

    by Tourist

    ...But I gave up trying to decipher Harry's nonsense after the first paragraph. Your use of the english language hurts me harry.

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 12:58 a.m. CST

    New Line...

    by Tourist

    ...Gave us Magnolia and Boogie Nights.

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 1:06 a.m. CST

    Tourist

    by NomoredirtyjokespleaseweareYanks

    Damn...you have got me there. Both are extremely impressive films, but their swing/strike ratio is pretty low, even by Hollywood standards.

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 1:08 a.m. CST

    Sorry bout the bad lingo

    by NomoredirtyjokespleaseweareYanks

    I'm an Aussie trying to smack-talk

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 1:12 a.m. CST

    It's a digital wasteland

    by Orionsangels

    Making movies used to be a beloved craft. Directors would pour their souls into a movie. Effects teams would reinvent effects for every movie. Now it feels like the star trek replicator. You hit a few buttons and you get the next disgital cash cow. Complete with cartoony CG. Most movies are soulless today. I hope you bring back that movie magic we all miss and love Spielberg, with Indy4. I really do. Maybe I'm showing my age. I dunno.

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 1:54 a.m. CST

    Harry's reading habits

    by Nerdgasm

    must be rather odd. It sounds to me like Harry only reads books he can easily translate into a movie in his mind. Man, that really limits your literary options now doesn't it? In Harry's defense, he is one hardcore movie dude.

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 1:59 a.m. CST

    Whatever... I'll skip this and wait for Netflix

    by grievenom

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 1:59 a.m. CST

    Should have been Sam Mendes and Tom Stoppard

    by WWBD

    Oh well. A second-rate director will yield you a second-rate movie.

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 2:23 a.m. CST

    "It beats its chest , then wipes its ass!" LMFAO

    by HarryBlackPotter

    Good review Harry. I will see it with the family over Christmas, but I expect more Narnia than Middle Earth.

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 2:25 a.m. CST

    I am a heterosexual male...

    by PirateEmery

    ...yet I'd still also admit that I'd watch Harry's Daniel Craig Arctic movie.

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 2:28 a.m. CST

    Whatever... I'll skip this and wait for Torrent?

    by Orionsangels

    ooooh

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 2:29 a.m. CST

    The next STAR WARS?

    by Pipple

    This could be it, folks!! oh the suspense!

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 2:31 a.m. CST

    Funny story

    by Orionsangels

    A girl I know had so much ice around her house from the recent artic blast. That when she went to get her mail. She sat on her butt and slid around doing 360's like in PJs King Kong. She slid down to the mailbox. Grabbed the mail. Used her hands to push and she slide back to her door. All on her butt.

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 3:11 a.m. CST

    Harry, what about the DVD Releases for this week?

    by PirateEmery

    You better get on that and talk about my Pirates...

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 3:45 a.m. CST

    a shame

    by newc0253

    the trailer looked great, but this is consistent with other reviews i've read which suggest that it does a lousy job of translating the alt earth from the page.<p> for the record, i don't think the book would be too difficult to adapt well, the first book ain't *that* conceptual. yeah, there's a lot of different stuff to get across (c.f. daemons) but no harder overall than say Dune or Middle Earth.

  • ...for the simple reason that enjoyment of a trip to the flicks is inversely proportional to the number of retards in the audience with you.

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 3:56 a.m. CST

    IS MOVIE...

    by GilesT

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 6:19 a.m. CST

    Jaw dropping... and Stupid America

    by SKULL1138

    I take it the jaw dropping moment you are referring to is soemones Jaw getting ripped off their face at least thats what happened in the book, personally my favourite trilogy of books ever. But why the talk of toning done the more compliacted stuff to make it more accessible, you obvioulsy mean for Dumb ass trailer park Americans, because the whole beauty of this story is the way it challneges perceptions of Religion and presents an appealing side to atheism, this will not work if they ever want to make the sequels and why not have the killer ending of Lyra wlaking into another world, that must be the worst decision ever made in a book adaptation. Because the second book starts witha different character ihn our own world and that is also a greatr way to start a sequel, becuase when Lyra finally arrives you already have built the character of Will, who is even better than Lyra in the books and will have to be really well cast if they ever do the sequels. I gurantee you I could ahve done a better job with this film and I ahve zero experience, it should ahve been made by soemone who was prepared to take risks and fight against the studo execs, they just wnat a new fantasy film, and thats all it will be unless they allow the film to delve into the more controversial elements that define it as a story. But as always, the story will be dumbed down for an increasingly despndent and low brow American audince who are far too stuck in thie religious ways to see a more realistic and exciting point ov view than the wholly unbelievable and far fetched stories we read in the bible, this story is rooted in real physics not some other worldy power that we are just supposed to believe is there. The story is much better than the one in Lord of the Rings, and I love that book, I love HDM trilogy even more, but wioth LOTR you ahd a pssionate man in PJ making it the way he wantted, in HDM you have the guy wh intriduced us to pie fucking in cinema, really intelligent and thought provoking cinema and an obviou choice for thos truly remarkable novel. Hollywood is fucking dead and buried, multi national corporations that dont know fuck all about art and passion, the only decent films youever get now are the ones made by eople who have enough money and power to make their own thing, as much as anyone can say they hated the Star Wars prequels at elast they were the vision of one man who created it and not some studio wh said, you need amore pod racing thats what the kids like these days. I will go see it, but what at first was an excitement I have not had since the last LOTR or SW film was being released, has now turned to a battle in my soul to still like thsi even though I know they fucked a lot of things up already. One thing they diod get right was the casting, the best casting I have seen in years, everyone is cast perfectly, when I weas reading it I thought of Sam Elliot as Lee and Nicole Kidman is perfect as Coulter. But have the fucking guts to tell the story that won the awards and sold 10 million copies worldwide, I have never loaned the book to anyone who did not love this book implicitly. Harry you are a fat fucking moron if you puick up a book and put it down because you dont think it translates to film, what a wanker. No wonder your writing talent is lamentable, you dont fucking read anything other than scripts for shite hollywwod films, how is that gonna broiaden your horizons, my suggestion read the trilogy in less than a week before you die, so at least when you wake up the land of the dead you will now how to get out by telling the harpies the story of your life, although they may just fucking peck your eyes out because you have been a fat waste of space for years. Once I have conquered the world I am going to spend my own money to remake this the way it should be, and the pie fucker will be nowhere near it.

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 6:27 a.m. CST

    Dyslexic typer

    by SKULL1138

    My spelling is awful in that post above, apologies, i write too fast sometimes and rely on spell checker to fix my mistakes. Chris Nolan should ahve directed this, in gfact he should irect everything, prestige was greata nd Batman Begins is best super hero mover ever, I so look forward to Dark knight, it could be best sequel made since Empire and will surely (Not outsell) but outclass any of those wank Raimi Spiderman films, that guy should stick to fake blood and low budget effects, as he is a fucking hack. Also why when you post on here do no spaces appear between paragraphs its shite compared to other websites I use, in fact why am I even here.

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 6:27 a.m. CST

    Dyslexic typer

    by SKULL1138

    My spelling is awful in that post above, apologies, i write too fast sometimes and rely on spell checker to fix my mistakes. Chris Nolan should ahve directed this, in gfact he should irect everything, prestige was greata nd Batman Begins is best super hero mover ever, I so look forward to Dark knight, it could be best sequel made since Empire and will surely (Not outsell) but outclass any of those wank Raimi Spiderman films, that guy should stick to fake blood and low budget effects, as he is a fucking hack. Also why when you post on here do no spaces appear between paragraphs its shite compared to other websites I use, in fact why am I even here.

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 6:30 a.m. CST

    I have done it again

    by SKULL1138

    Why is there no edit your post function on this shit hole of a site. You can all guess what things are meant to be so to hang with it. (Spelling ok in this one I think)

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 7:15 a.m. CST

    Harry, thanks for the honest review...

    by Abin Sur

    You liked some stuff, you didn't like some stuff...I don't understand how some of you guys looked at this like a "glowing" review. After we've enjoyed some wine and some weed this weekend, we'll go see the movie and enjoy it for the spectacular visuals and at least a modicum of plot. I really wasn't expecting too much more. Oh, and SKULL1138? Dude, you sure bitch a lot.

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 7:42 a.m. CST

    I Support Drowning the Polar Bears

    by kevinwillis.net

    Oh, wait, they can swim.

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 7:55 a.m. CST

    Stephen Colbert will not see this!

    by just pillow talk

    threat-down!

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 8 a.m. CST

    The hidden nugget of goodness in this review...

    by mascan42

    Harry worked at a Renaissance Faire as a kid?!?!?!? Did you wear the tights and curly shoes and speak in a fake accent? Ye Olde Fag.

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 8:27 a.m. CST

    A good way to pass the time

    by yodalovesyou

    I once went on my own mission to destroy god only to find that, if I did that, the losers of this world would go insane and kill themselves because they don't think faith in other people is a good enough reason to be alive. and on a lighter note I would just like to say... FUCK

  • is because that little kid gets his daemon ripped from him and dies, which is pretty fucking hardcore for a pg-13 film catered toward tweens to end.

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 8:41 a.m. CST

    cost over 10 million I meant to say

    by PVIII

    whoops

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 9:05 a.m. CST

    Bookish

    by Cobbio

    Thanks for the review, Harry. I read the first five chapters of the book several years ago, but then my sister stole it off my bedside table. I never got back to it. Damn sisters!<p> As an atheist, I'm interested to see how this story might be interpreted as a "Chronicles of Narnia for atheists". The film sounds like it was visually stunning but too fast-paced to be considered great. I'll go see it and decide for myself.<p> Then I'll call my sister and tell her to return my damn book. Grr!

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 9:09 a.m. CST

    Crappy ending?

    by lgu91167

    Really enjoyed the book. condensed version: basically lyra goes north to save her friend roger from some evil scientist types who are experimenting on kids and their daemons (souls). Turns out her mum is an evil scientist type too. so she grabs her friend and pegs it north to her dads place but unfortunately he turns out to be an temporary evil scientist type too and he kills poor little roger by cutting his connection to his deamon. Also there was some stuff in there about religon and bears and alternate universes. sounds like they took all the good bits out of the film so as not to piss of those religous types who have nothing better to do than blame books/films like this for the ills of the world

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 9:16 a.m. CST

    um...

    by yodalovesyou

    I've never read the books so thanks for giving away the ending. Now I'm gonna bury Flanders

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 9:26 a.m. CST

    lgu91167

    by PVIII

    you have no idea what you're talking about, since you haven't seen the film. Ministry buildings have pictures of angels painted on them, Ms. Coulter's ceiling has a heaven mural, and towards the end of the film she almost explicitly states that dust is original sin, purpotrated by Adam and Eve, and that the Authority is god. In many ways I found it a refreshing, subtle approach, instead of hitting it over the head.

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 9:29 a.m. CST

    Better than Narnia?

    by Frank Black

    Narnia was unwatchable. The Christian propaganda was so heavy-handed it forgot to be entertaining (I loved the books as a kid) and seemed indeed like a re-tread of the Rings movies. I don't care if a movie is religious because all religions fascinate me but I hate it when its done badly. Golden Compass looks great, entertaining and a little deeper. Now that there is such an outcry against this film I will be there to support it. Why is it that atheist views can't be expressed without other religions getting defense of about it and boycotting it? Kids should question their parents` faith instead of inheriting it (even if they later accept it as their own) because that is healthy growth. Bring on the polar bears.

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 9:33 a.m. CST

    Bitching

    by SKULL1138

    I do bitch a lot, but thats because I hate it when something/a story I love so much is not given the care and attention it deserves. I still stand by everything I have said in that long monoparagraph. By the way Cobbio, read the books as quickly as possible as soemone with an open mind, you will love this. I was not usre whetehr I was an atheist and reading this book really clarified for me what I truly believed in. This book has a quest to destroy god of its own, and I am lining up behind this ideal.

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 9:46 a.m. CST

    Great, now my mouth tastes of throw-up.

    by kiddae

    "She’s not cute in that “Awwwwwww” kinda way, but in a rascally mischievous minx-like way. She’s wily and devilish. There’s a glee to what she does, this pixie… and a there is a glow to her… and when you hear about a prophecy that says she’s special, you believe it. Because she is something special." BLAAAAARGHGLDFLHDJSK

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 9:47 a.m. CST

    I MEAN REALLY

    by kiddae

    WHAT THE FUCK

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 10:11 a.m. CST

    Support

    by Cobbio

    Thanks, SKULL1138. I've been an atheist for many years, so I already know what I believe in (or DON'T believe in, to be precise), but I'm glad Pullman's book helped you clarify your own leanings.<p> I never try to unconvince someone of their religious beliefs, since the human condition in its many forms is fasinating to me. Live and let live is my general attitude toward life. But then again (from About.com):<p> "Every single study that has ever looked at the issue [of atheism] has revealed massive amounts of bigotry and prejudice against atheists in America. The most recent data shows that atheists are more distrusted and despised than any other minority and that an atheist is the least likely person that Americans would vote for in a presidential election. It's not just that atheists are hated, though, but also that atheists seem to represent everything about modernity which Americans dislike or fear."<p> Furthermore, Atheists are hated twice as much (39.2%) as Muslims (26.3%) in America, and these numbers are even more skewed worldwide. The full rundown:<p> Atheists: 39.6%, Muslims: 26.3%, Homosexuals 22.6%, Hispanics: 20%, Conservative Christians: 13.5%, Recent Immigrants: 12.5%, and Jews: 7.6%<p> I'm not trying to incite a riot or backlash amongst talkbackers, just pointing out statistics people might not be aware of. Thus I'm glad as hell this film, with its decidedly less Christian mythology, is being released. Even if it's not a great film (when's the Director's Cut coming out?), I'm thankful for its existence.

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 10:19 a.m. CST

    Cut ending

    by Kizeesh

    I don't see how the ending can be cut short without it feeling like it just stops. Bakshi LOTR style... unless it cuts before they open the portal, then I don't see how anyone means it. If they cut that then how can the film end?

  • much, much better (the film that is). However, I despised LWaW, for a variety of reasons, none of them stemming from the whole christian thing - I just thought it was a shitty film.

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 10:27 a.m. CST

    On the cut ending

    by chrth

    What I heard is that the cut ending is being moved to the beginning of the second film -- just like Karate Kid did!

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 10:33 a.m. CST

    my deamon = matt damon

    by zooch

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 10:43 a.m. CST

    "could totally just go with a movie about Daniel Craig

    by zooch

    as an adventurous explorer in the arctic with a trained snow leopard"<br><br> Why couldn't this be the movie?

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 10:58 a.m. CST

    chrth

    by PVIII

    that's correct, but this movie is going to have to break 120 domestic for a sequel to be greenlit - otherwise 15 million will literally only be seen on the dvd. OUCH.

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 11:36 a.m. CST

    Chris Weitz's ELRIC OF MELNIBONE

    by godoffireinhell

    I hope this does well so that he can get his trilogy of ELRIC films off the ground.

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 11:49 a.m. CST

    Movie is dreadful; TV trailers are plants

    by thegreatwhatzit

    TV trailers for this yawnfest are embarrassing. All sorts of superlatives ("Great", "Classic", "The next LORD OF THE RINGS", et al), squeezed between quotation marks, are superimposed over the non-action. The sources of these "raves" are reduced to fine print; and it turns out that each of the quotes are written by the same "critic" (a stooge on the E! Channel). Snoozed through a preview of this film--all lousy CGI and squealing kids (by comparison, BRATZ looks appealing [shiver]).

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 11:51 a.m. CST

    Elric movies...

    by Frank Black

    ...would be so AWESOME!!! I hate reading sci-fi and fantasy but I love Elric!

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 12:03 p.m. CST

    When The Preview Says:

    by Aquatarkusman

    "From the studio that brought you the Lord of the Rings," you can just smell the desperation as it looks to bomb. No one I know is going to see it; we're all Narnia-ed out; most action occurring in video-game quality CGI is wack; no star power; they'd better hope Burger King starts selling little ferret toys so the entire studio doesn't go under.

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 12:04 p.m. CST

    Poor jews

    by Flying Spaghetti Monster

    cant catch a break

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 12:20 p.m. CST

    was the movie as dense as the review?

    by BMacSmith

    i wasn't sure what i just read. was it good or bad? i think when harry doesn't say, that is his way of saying he thought it sucked.

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 12:23 p.m. CST

    Eva Green

    by Dollar Bird

    Could have been a good Dejah Thoris, I think. It's dem smokey eyes.

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 12:23 p.m. CST

    SKULL1138

    by addyadam

    I get you passionate about a story you hold dear. I understand your feelings twords something that isnt as good as it could be. But why the america hate? I loved reading what you had to say intill you slipped into the stereotipical " I'm a british douchebag that hates america so everytime I say something I am going to say wank wank wank stupid americans stupid americans ect ect."

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 12:38 p.m. CST

    New Line fucked it up

    by Redfoot the Fence

    I really, really think Weitz made a terrific film...New Line just doesn't want us to see it. The flow of the film is choppy as fuck, jumping around as if it's a string of scenes instead of a complete narrative with complementary pieces. And the absence of the orginal ending, which was filmed, is a travesty...it completely eviscerates the emotional climax of the story, which would also have been one hell of an F/X spectacular. But New Line obviously wants to protect the audience...oh no! We can't have a child die at the end of the film! The real motive, of course, is that the studio wants the film to stand on its own in the event it bombs. And it sucks...not the movie, but the situation. There's a truly good movie in there somewhere. I know it.

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 12:38 p.m. CST

    first book

    by DeadPanWalking

    The characters don't have sensible motivations in the first book, it's revealed in the last two when the author seriously sticks it to the church. The first book is definitely "meh" compared to the final two, so that might have translated to the movie. The second and third books are edge-of-your-seat tour-de-forces that make you turn pages so fast you can barely catch your breath. I honestly don't know how they can do the next two movies without being out-and-out picketed by right-wing Christians.

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 1:57 p.m. CST

    I wish Harry stil had the guts

    by Sepulchrave

    ..to review a big picture poorly. I love HDM. I wanted it to be a success. I am all for the anti-religious stuff. And I can see that this is flimsy, twee, gutless film-making for an imaginary demographic of poor widdle kiddies that mustn't see scary blood or anything remotely risque. Not good enough? Throw it on the dustheap. Insist on excellence. Stop praising nondescript genre garbage.

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 3:11 p.m. CST

    CatVutt, the ending to the book is an extreme OMIGOD...

    by Lenny Nero

    ...SPOILERS... <p>Oh, it's just a story about looking for another dimension that may not exist, and then suddenly the universe gets ripped the fuck open. <p>No, that's not an "oh my God" moment at all.

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 3:13 p.m. CST

    mediocre movies with moments of greatness

    by ewokstew

    Is all we seem to be getting lately.

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 3:21 p.m. CST

    Golden Compass & Young Sherlock

    by FullMetal_Atheist

    Actually Harry, Young Sherlock Holmes & The Pyramid of Fear (as it was called in the UK) opens with a scene shot in the grounds surrounding the Radcliffe Camera in Oxford, as does The Golden Compass. I know this because I'm fucking old and I was an extra on YSH.

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 4:32 p.m. CST

    I Believe in God

    by kevinwillis.net

    I consider myself a Christian. I want to see this movie. Might take the kids. If they want to read the books: great, they're reading! I was an atheist until I was, like, 32. If you've got a solid faith in God, fiction shouldn't really be all that threatening. If you have a crisis of faith because of a sci-fi or fantasy novel, there's something else going on there. Just my 2 cents on the whole religious thing. Praise Jesus, people!

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 4:34 p.m. CST

    Mediocre Movies

    by kevinwillis.net

    Blame CGI. Check out some of the great movies from the seventies, where so much depended on the sound and cinematography. Or the 40s and the 50s, where it was all script, dialogue, acting, editing, framing, etc . . . man, I love me some classic cinema. But without CGI, we wouldn't have my favorite movie in the last ten years: The Incredibles. Yay!

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 4:37 p.m. CST

    British Douchebags that Hate America

    by kevinwillis.net

    Don't let it bother you. They hate themselves almost as much. It's more their emotional problems getting regurgitated than anything that remotely resembles an actual observance of reality.

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 4:47 p.m. CST

    "Not as good as Young Sherlock Holmes!"

    by Mgmax

    That's gotta hurt.

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 6:12 p.m. CST

    Well, it wasn't 'Oh My God' to me.

    by CatVutt

    It was pretty telegraphed. I actually did think there was some decent ideas in the novel. I just didn't think that particular reveal was all that surprising. At all. Not even a little bit. What the fuck else did anybody expect to happen?

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 6:26 p.m. CST

    CatVutt, we seem to differ on this term.

    by Lenny Nero

    I never said an "Oh My God" moment had to be a surprise or a twist. It was, however, extremely cool, kind of terrifying and an astounding set-up for the remainder of the trilogy. Now that, good sir, is an "Oh My God" moment to me. <p>Were you surprised when the Rebels blew up the Death Star?

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 7:19 p.m. CST

    Do I understand this correctly?

    by Dr Hemlock

    2 hours of CGI...starring Nicole Kidman ...from the studio who tried to rip off Peter Jackson? I can't wait to NOT see this thing!

  • Although, I'll acknowledge any residual enthusiasm I might have had for the story was completely and utterly stomped into oblivion by suffering through the other two books. It's been a long time since I read the first one.

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 8:44 p.m. CST

    Maybe all nonbelievers should go out and support this

    by BMacSmith

    or else its gonna be an endless line of shitty christian movies

  • Dec. 4, 2007, 9:22 p.m. CST

    JAW DROPPING...ha, nice one, Harry.

    by dead youngling

    Can't wait to see that part.

  • Dec. 5, 2007, 9:53 a.m. CST

    But seriously.... *some spoilers*

    by Kizeesh

    how does it end then? I just read that they cut the last 3 chapters? HOW THE FUCK DOES THAT WORK? <p> That would make it end with her meeting her father in his weird northern house? or does it end with Iorek being crowned again?

  • Dec. 5, 2007, 2:32 p.m. CST

    this movie was pretty bad

    by FuryofthefilmFan

    I best described it as Lord of the rings without any orcs, ringwraiths,character development, any likeable characters , plot and a logical steady pace.

  • Dec. 5, 2007, 6:49 p.m. CST

    Harry how many

    by Nabster

    hot dogs do you eat at the movie theaters?

  • Dec. 5, 2007, 7:36 p.m. CST

    How did the book end?

    by BobPalpatine

    I read the books like 4 years ago and forget. It seems like I recall Lord Asrael and Nicole Kidman's character walking across a sky bridge into the other world, but I forget.

  • Dec. 5, 2007, 8:12 p.m. CST

    A flaccid, the adventure will continue endings...

    by Lt. Kaffee

    oooo, so like the LOTR films?

  • Dec. 5, 2007, 10:52 p.m. CST

    Someone please explain this from the books...

    by Immortal_Fish

    Okay, so the author is an atheist. That's his choice and I get it. Honestly<P>But here's the rub -- If the author of these books (which I have not read) got so pissed and indignant about Lewis's Narnia series (if internet buzz is to be believed) then this poses two questions in my mind...<P>1) Why can't religious folks be outraged since outrage is what urged the author to write these books in the first place?<P>2) Why did the author include "god" as a character that was killed off in the series since said author does not believe that "god" exists? In other words, why would you need to kill something that does not exist?<P>IMO, as a 3rd party observer, the first question justifies the religious toward their outrage (tit for tat) while the second question lionizes their position for very obvious and evident reasons.

  • Dec. 6, 2007, 8:05 a.m. CST

    Answers

    by Kizeesh

    1: Who said they can't? The problem is the normal one, people only look at the hardline Xtians and their sermonising and madness.<p> 2: Technically, and he goes to great boring pains to explain this during the books, the God character isn't actually God. He's just an angel who pretended he was God. And God is in fact some natural phenomenon of life and other bollocks. But yeah he was trying to sybolically kill God because it suits his Atheist propaganda position.<p> I'd like to add that I'm agnostic, and have no opinions wither way about religion. But I thought the books started off fair and get exponentially crapper as they continue.

  • Dec. 6, 2007, 10:06 a.m. CST

    Buying a Tiger

    by HwelII

    You should have used a tuna sandwich. Tigers will do anything for a tuna sandwich.

  • Dec. 6, 2007, 2:28 p.m. CST

    Harry at a Renaissance Fair?

    by queerfilmjunkie

    Wow, Harry, you must have really stood out since the rest of the people at the Renaissance Fair were a bunch of fat fucking losers. Then again, maybe not.

  • Dec. 7, 2007, 11:22 a.m. CST

    Most critics

    by BeatsMe

    seem to be saying the problem is that it's not emotionally involving. But that was a problem with the books too. Lyra is just kind of a cold character, she never really feels fleshed out as a real human being. There's lots of imagination in the world Pullman creates, but I can't really fault the movie for finding ways to make people care about the characters.

  • Dec. 7, 2007, 2:56 p.m. CST

    Yourdaemon.com

    by YourDaemon

    Seriously getting loads of emails asking about this film. Your Daemon Ltd is nothing to do with the picture. Sorry to disappoint. Give us a shjout if you want tax returns done, or need to raise some film finance, but no, we can't make you a Daemon, or sell you toys so stop asking already! http://www.yourdaemon.com

  • Dec. 7, 2007, 3:39 p.m. CST

    skull1138...

    by DoctorWho?

    I'm not a Catholic or anything, but the obnoxious "I'm smart and all people religous are fucking morons" angle comes off as pretty intolerant. Sorry your childhood was raped but its JUST A MOVIE!

  • Dec. 7, 2007, 5:58 p.m. CST

    I thought it was great

    by CherryValance

    but you can't compare things to LOTR. Okay I guess you can, but I can't imagine anything topping that in 100 years. Anyway, I hadn't read these books but I think I'll have to now. I was completely enthralled by it. I saw no real weak points. If I had to pick at it, I'd say that Miss Richards acting is of Harry Potter quality, which is 'okay'. But otherwise I thought it rocked. It was a total surprise for me. I think it's my second favorite movie this year after 'Lust, Caution'. I want to see the sequel tomorrow.</p> And on an interesting if not strange note, I think a little kid pooped his pants in my theater. There was what appeared to be a three year old deciding seats when I walked in and I thought that was a bad idea. And then at the end it smelled like poops, so I'm guessing that polar bear showdown got him. I'm sure that's too much information but I thought I had to share in case anyone plans on taking a small fry to this. People need to consider whether they should be taking their kids to movies based on more than nudity and graphic violence. Apparently badass polar bears can scare the crap out of small children.

  • Dec. 7, 2007, 8:43 p.m. CST

    Single Most Badass Move

    by PirateEmery

    AICN, you guys are right on in your stance on the "Single Most Badass Move of the Year."<p> I was sitting near some fellow UCSB students, who were like, "that's the 13 in the rating!"<p> Knowing full well that there were a good deal of kids (under 8) in the audience, I was gleeful. This oughta teach parents to blindly take their kids to a movie without looking at the rating.

  • Dec. 7, 2007, 8:47 p.m. CST

    The Ending...

    by PirateEmery

    was shit. Not "the shit." Just plain chocolate covered pussy juice infused shit.<p> They ought to have gone on and met up with Lord Asriel at the end, instead of leaving it as open as they did. I totally thought they were going to do that too, thinking that the book's ending had it much further than that reunion. I clearly yelled out "What the fuck?!" when the screen blackened and went to credits. What had been an amazingly awesome movie, just crashed into infamy.<p> Apart from the ending, the entirety of the movie was GREAT. THAT's what pisses me off about the ending.

  • Dec. 8, 2007, 10:55 a.m. CST

    HwelII...

    by Billy The Fish

    ...they're also partial to reading your comic books and drawing mustaches on all the superheroes.

  • Dec. 8, 2007, 2:18 p.m. CST

    Harry, have you ever actually written a BAD review?

    by Keeper Of Chimps

    I'm trying to figure out exactly what type of movie you wouldn't fine "fun" and "magical".

  • Dec. 8, 2007, 3:36 p.m. CST

    This shit was incomprehensible gibberish!

    by TallBoy66

    Hell, Southland Tales made more sense than this. Just, gawdawful moronic crap that don't make much sense and amounts to nothing. Blah. What a goddamned waste, why the hell did people read those books in the first place.

  • Dec. 8, 2007, 6:22 p.m. CST

    Golden Compass? Have We Met?

    by sky14kemea

    ITS NORTHEN LIGHTS! DAMN THE MOVIE NAMERS! its not even gold, its actually bronze i thinks... ive read all 3 books and its a great story, the film looks good too, i may watch it after i kill myself over the name NORTHEN LIGHTS! im wondering whether there already was a movie called northen lights and thats why it was renamed, surely they could have called it Northen Lights: The Golden Compass (bronze mo-fo's its bronzey) i rest my case, good movie, good trilogy, good review, sh*tty name

  • Dec. 9, 2007, 12:42 a.m. CST

    DOES ANYONE CARE?

    by moviemo

    What saddens me is that when reading these books, just like when watching an episode of Heroes, I get the sense of great potential simmering and sometimes boiling under a sugar-coated surface. The Golden Compass was a BIG opportunity to accomplish more than excellent storytelling, but actually OPEN PEOPLE'S MINDS, and the filmmakers have completely missed the mark.

  • Dec. 9, 2007, 12:45 p.m. CST

    They should have taken the opposite approach with the ending

    by Mazzle

    They should have taken the opposite approach with the ending. Rather than leaving out the true ending of book 1, they should have went a little bit into book 2 and shown Lyra stepping into our universe. That's really when the series started to impress me with its truly epic and imaginative scope. <br><br> * imagines a scene where Lyra walks through the portal into a Starbucks with a bunch of busy Londoners working on laptops. Pantalaimon jumps out, morphs and knocks over a non-fat Latte. Everybody stares at them in utter shock.* <br><br>That would have been pretty cool. That said, it was an excellent movie and an even better series. I'm not sure how they're going to pull off book 2 and 3. Those ones will be very hard to translate into film, IMO.

  • Dec. 10, 2007, 12:59 a.m. CST

    Mazzke

    by PirateEmery

    Yeah, I'd rather it have been a "mind blowing" cliffhanger ending (OMG WTF!), than a weak and petering out cliffhanger ending.<p> Add it to the list of things directors should have done with failed movies...

  • Dec. 10, 2007, 9:40 a.m. CST

    That's £13 Million?

    by Kizeesh

    Wow I think it made more money over here in the UK. Maybe they'll take the hint and make a sequel which is more thoughtful and less US-Centricly minded

  • Dec. 10, 2007, 10:16 a.m. CST

    Another lameass adver... uh... review

    by FuckKnowles

    From HeadShill for another lameass CGI crap-fest.

  • Dec. 10, 2007, 11:07 a.m. CST

    God or no God. New Line just realized they do indeed

    by CrichtonAstronut

    Need Peter Jackson to direct their Fantasy Epics. Check the relative box offices between this and LOTR then decide how relevant Pete is to the success of The Hobbit.

  • Dec. 10, 2007, 11:17 a.m. CST

    I wholeheartedly support anyone opposing any church.

    by ZeroCorpse

    It's too bad they whitewashed the movie to make the religious bad guys seem more reasonable and benign, when we all know that the true reason we have wars in this world is because insane people can't stand that other insane people don't agree on which god's ass to kiss. <p> Here's to selling a shitload of "His Dark Materials" books in my bookstore..! Maybe I can add in a copy of Christopher Hitchens' "God is Not Great" to each purchase!

  • Dec. 10, 2007, 11:20 a.m. CST

    Immortal_Fish...

    by ZeroCorpse

    "god" is a character in his book for one reason: It's FICTION, and he's relegating god to being a FICTIONAL character in a FICTIONAL book. To an atheist, that says it all. <p> If he were writing non-fiction and referencing a deity, that would be a totally different thing. But this is fiction, and as such he's sort of underlining that "this is the only place you'll ever see this deity-- In stories."

  • Dec. 10, 2007, 12:33 p.m. CST

    Zerocorpse

    by m2298

    Will you be giving away the Hitchens book as a free bonus? I'm not sure the author will be happy with that.

  • Dec. 10, 2007, 4:28 p.m. CST

    Some very entertaining parts to it

    by Richard Cranium

    It's beautifully shot, and it's an intriguing concept (the daemons are a super cool idea), and any movie with Sam Elliot playing an old west gunslinger AND Ian McKellen playing a giant bear should automatically kick all sorts of ass. And I did like it well enough, but it just never really hit the epic status for me. I really think if they had about another half hour to develop the characters a bit more that the movie could've been much more than it was... As for the 'anti-religious' aspects, if I didn't already know the background of the story, I wouldn't have picked up on them at all. The evil overlords were portrayed more as the leaders of a totalitarian state than as Church leaders. I don't think I heard the actual word 'church' used once, in fact.

  • Dec. 10, 2007, 9:05 p.m. CST

    Stupid is as stupid... Zerocorpse

    by 5 by 5

    "when we all know that the true reason we have wars in this world is because insane people can't stand that other insane people don't agree on which god's ass to kiss." I can think of two wars right off the top of my head that had nothing to do with religion... WWI and WWII. You obviously have a chip on your shoulder about religion, which is your right. Don't let that hate make you stupid. Obviously some wars have been fought over religion, but to say that ALL of them have is silly.

  • Dec. 11, 2007, 7:27 a.m. CST

    I will wait for this on Dvd

    by emeraldboy

    but from what I hear, new line chickened out becuase they did not want to offend middle america. So they cut some if not all of the controversial aspects of the book. They should just stop and dump the whole thing. because if they continue they ruin the whole trilogy. I never cared for the second half of third book. I hated the way pullman wrote up lyra transistion into adult hood. It made me sick if they can change that I would welcome. I loved the ambition of the second book. but I dont think this trilogy is going to get off the ground. The idea of a republic of heaven is going to make fundamentalist christians very angry as will the idea of The two gay angels, Balthamos and Barusch. The subtle knife is probably Pullmans tour de force and the battle scene in the second book is magnificent.

  • Dec. 11, 2007, 1:41 p.m. CST

    Someone said they have no interest in this but they have no idea

    by scrumdiddly

    I'd suggest it's because it looks like just another work of Hollywood leechery. There are soooo many novels that could have been adapted into transcendent cinematic experiences but few actually are. *sigh* I don't read much but I think I'd read this series (which I had never heard of before a few months ago) rather than see the shitfest screen product.

  • Dec. 15, 2007, 7:35 p.m. CST

    My God this movie was boring

    by F69

    Here it is in a nutshell- A couple of Polar Bears have a scrap, there's some lame fight at the end and the rest of the time all the characters seem to be talking about REALLY IMPORTANT STUFF but we have to take their word for it that it's really important because we only ever hear them talking about it, never actually being shown. The little girl goes here, then she goes there, she meets some talking animals and some crazy travellers called jipos or jiptions or something. Everytime she goes somewhere new we get the standard 'Trailer Shot' you know the one, where the camera follows the actor as some huge epic landscape is revealed. It's all meant to be magical and wonderous but after awhile you kind of think "so what? DO SOMETHING ALREADY! HAVE A POINT!!!" People have gone on about the 'great' CGI but I've seen MUCH better, would it have killed them to use a real animal once in awhile? I'll admit, I only went to see this movie because my younger cousins wanted to see it but by the end I was wishing they'd have asked to see Enchanted... Seriously, Enchanted. The last time I was this bored at a movie was Eragon but I will say that unlike that film The Golden Compass was at least original and not a blatent, shameful ripoff of star wars like that shitfest was.

  • Dec. 20, 2007, 7:39 a.m. CST

    The Golden Compass is an international success

    by Sepulchrave

    Looks like we may see The Subtle Knife in production after all.

  • Dec. 21, 2007, 5:41 p.m. CST

    I Agree F69

    by HExTeXly

    COMPASS was really boring. This movie was the first in a long while where I was actually checking my watch. I kept thinking "gee, if this ended right now...I'd be okay with that." And what was with the "dust." They couldn't think up a better name? L-A-M-E

  • Dec. 25, 2007, 3:48 a.m. CST

    the most boring fucking moviw i have seen in a long time

    by slappy jones

    dear fucking god....so fucking mind numbingly boring. it is virtually unwatchable. and for those of you claiming it is a success internationally. that really is not enough in this case..as you will see when NO SEQUELS ARE EVERY GREEN LIT. its a turkey...just in time for xmas.

  • Dec. 25, 2007, 3:50 a.m. CST

    thats meant to be movie

    by slappy jones

    and no sequels are EVER green lit.sorry sepulchrave...there will not be another film from this series. not only will the film not go into profit but the lawsuits from the families of the people the film has put into irreversable comas will be costly.

  • Jan. 21, 2008, 12:08 a.m. CST

    the ending...

    by taurenlegend

    ...was weak. I am a fan of the book and I thought the tragedy of the books ending was missed in the film's. www.luckylegendary.com

  • Feb. 14, 2008, 10:50 a.m. CST

    test

    by Dashing Roger

    test <br> test

  • Feb. 14, 2008, 10:52 a.m. CST

    test2

    by Dashing Roger

    test2 <p> test2

  • May 5, 2008, 5:33 p.m. CST

    i want to change my previous comment

    by sky14kemea

    ive changed my name sh*t name, sh*t movie 1. where's the ending?!?! - i remember an ending in the book, as much as i like the kid roger, isnt he meant to become deceased o_O also, there was an actor who had the most ridiculous toupe on, i couldnt take the movie seriously after that, which was a shame as it was in the second scene, and it kept me laughing for the next 2 scenes after >_< i hope they dont make the sequel, at least not anytime soon

  • June 18, 2008, 2:24 p.m. CST

    watched it last night...

    by just pillow talk

    It was okay I guess, never read the books, so it clearly seemed like gobs of info/scenes were missing. Some decisions made no sense, like the little girl and bear going by themselves to the place where the kids were being held. Um, you're king bear now, bring all your boys and rough up the joint. <p>My wife did say she liked it better than Narnia for what that's worth.

  • June 19, 2008, 8:05 a.m. CST

    or the prequel...

    by just pillow talk

    The Golden Tracking Stick.

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