The Golden Compass Movie Review

Discussion in 'Movie Forum' started by The News Bot, Dec 5, 2007.


    1. The News Bot

      The News Bot
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      Reviewed by Andrew Mogford
      Intercision, the central conceit of The Golden Compass is the separating of a child’s soul from their body. This is the perfect metaphor for what this film does to its source material. Ignoring all that is good about the fantasy trilogy, this film jettisons all the meat and leaves just a soulless mess on screen. Easily the most disappointing of the recent big budget fantasy adaptations – this is a very disappointing film indeed.
      Read the full review...
       
    2. Spinke

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      What a shame, I was looking forward to this..
       
    3. daveleeuk

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      I was going to go see this, but I have heard nothing positive about it, so i guess I'll wait till DVD
       
    4. dharold

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      I saw it last night and as a huge fan of the books and play I have to say I loved the film too. It knocks the glasses off the Potter films and does more justice to the intelligence of the books than I'd expected after all the talk of watering down the anti-religious elements (which they've not done as much as I'd feared).

      It isn't as dark as the books. One or two characters live who die in the book and some of the darker moral choices are missing but the world is stunningly realised and both Richards and Kidman give their characters depth without ever seeming to be trying too hard.

      I can't wait for the HD release (Blu-ray?)
       
    5. Mickey G

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      I saw this movie last night and loved it. I haven't read the books so I had no preconceptions. The only flaw was the terrible mockney accent the main character had. I'm guessing it was for the american audiance because it sounded like the mockney accent that was used in one of the firefly episode.

      Otherwise I really enjoyed this movie.
       
    6. lance23

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      I saw it last night and thought it was very poor indeed, the review is right. No magic, no decent characters, a confusing narrative...it's just got nothing going for it and won't last long in the memory.

      4/10
       
    7. dean999

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      as usual hollwood kills a good story and dumbs it down:thumbsdow
       
    8. meansizzler

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      This movie was dog *beep*, it's like Narnia with elements of LOTR, bad scripting, and as for the intro it was enough to confuse the hell out of adults let alone kids, too much info to take into account so early in the story.. some weird actors they chose, what's a cowboy doing in this kind of movie?..

      As for special effects, the snow scenes were a bad sign of obvious blue screening, as well as the CGI for the bears...

      I msut admit would of thoguht it would got a higher review even thoguh I thoguht it was a waste of time..
       
    9. Andrew Mogford

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      In the book the cowboy has a huge role to play and is a major character. He looks perfect in the movie and is portrayed beautifully too - but there is just too little of him....
       
    10. KatTV

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      Well I wouldn't be too put off by the reviewers opinion, since as much as I respect that it may not follow the book as tightly as he would have liked (how many films do?), from a person whos knows nothing of the novels, I and my family including 2 young children who LOVE any kind of fantasy, but recognise quality when they see it, were blown away by it. There may be some shortfalls, and on a second viewing, I may well feel a bit more critical, but I found it a very entertaining, and visually beautiful experience!

      KatTV
       
    11. p5yco

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      Saw this saturday night and i have to say i was very disappointed with the film to say the least. has some good moments but on the whole not as good as expected. 6/10.
       
    12. Growler64

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      I have read the trilogy 3 times and they are the greatest fantasy books ever written. This film has destroyed the huge emotional journey that the books take you on.

      Because of the films extreme inability to explore each of the characters' flaws, strengths and courage rather than just jumping from scene to scene, it will be hated by the audience who have read the books. This will probably cause the film to lose money and the follow ups not made.

      Mostly I am surprised that Mr Pullman allowed this dross to be made. A great big disappointment.
       
    13. KatTV

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      ..but if you haven't read the books, you'll probably love it - great entertainment regardless! ;)
       
    14. BISHI

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      ...............sorry, but this movie is ridiculous. Absolutely no character development, a plot that moves so quickly you cannot keep up with it, and , contrary to what a previous response, absolutely no reference to the fundamental religious conflicts at the core of the books. This movie needed to be 2 or 3 hours long to do the original literature any chance of justice. As I have already said in a previous thread......a travesty !!
       
    15. benbert

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      Girlfriend made me read the books a couple of years ago, and whilst not fantastic I thought they were ok, but she loved them so we had to go see the film. We both thought it was pretty awful, would be hard to make them much worse.
       
    16. KirkSi

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      I've just got the books but want to see the film before I read the books, 'cause by the sounds of it if I read the books first it'll ruin the film.
       
    17. BISHI

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      In all seriousness, I would read the books first and then go to the cinema to watch something completely different.
       
    18. Garrett

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      Think Id rather see a film first as the film is always not as good as the book, you also get ideas what the chars look like in your head and the films somewat different.

      I know whan I saw Ice Station Zebra most of my mates played hell but I enjoyed it. Then I read the book, the films only half the story.

      I also have read all Ian Flemings James Bond books but would have hated to have read them first as the films pinched plots here an there from the books and where a right mish mash of them. Some being cliff-hangers in the books then the films being made in the wrong order.
       
    19. GBDG1

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      Good review, the film is a steaming turd.
       
    20. Shockabuku

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      I haven't read the books, but I thought the film was very poor. It felt like the director was having to squeeze an awful lot into a relatively short film (by today's standards at least). So we get underdeveloped characters, and what should have been an exploration of a fantastical world becomes really quite brief and superficial. As an example, compare the final battle with any of the major set pieces in the lotr trilogy, not just in spectacle but also in emotional investment, and you'll realise just how badly this whole film was handled. I would guess a LOT of material has ended up on the editor's floor, so I'm hoping for an extended uber-cut on DVD at some point.
       
    21. Shockabuku

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      Just read your review and I'm very interested to see that you found the soundtrack to be poor. I thought exactly the same thing...to the point where I actually left my seat after 15 minutes & asked a member of staff to check if the surround sound was working (made no difference)! I also got them to turn up the volume as it was very quiet. I wonder if our experiences with the audio are coincidence, or whether this "blockbuster effects movie" really does have a dreadful mix?!
       
    22. Bushido

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      A friend worked on the movie and said that after completing filming they had to call the actors back for reshoots as the film when edited together didn't make much sense "story wise".

      Sadly the film company that was processing the new reshot material damaged all the new film and it couldn't be used!

      I think they director knew what a problem the film was, tried to correct it (costing millions $) and then couldn't and had to release it. Its a shame as the books are great!
       
    23. wiyosaya

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      Personally, I think anyone considering the religious aspects of the movie, as the reviewer does in the first paragraph of the review, is missing the entertainment value of the movie. I wish people would stop trying to be politically correct, or "religiously correct" about things like this. :lease:

      My wife and I went to see the movie after reading the review of a respected reviewer in the US. Here is that review. We both loved the movie and consider it better than much of the drivel out there these days.

      So, I'll suggest that if you are going in looking for the connotations of the film, you are looking for the wrong thing. To me, this movie was about values, suppression of truth or bending the truth to fit your view and about hope. We, my wife and I, hope that a sequel is made so that we can see the rest of the story.

      My vote :thumbsup:
       
    24. raigraphixs

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      true the world is gone pc, religion crazy, documentaries are for that kind of discussion, movies are to enjoy, i loved the bear fight!, im easily pleased.


      .
       
    25. Shockabuku

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      Having not read the books, and so being unaware of the anti-religious nature of them prior to watching the film, I had no preconceptions about this flick. Personally, my view has nothing to do with any politically/religiously correct/incorrect malarky, I just thought it was plain & simple a bad piece of film-making. I just read the Empire review, and what I was trying to express a few posts back in this thread is very well surmised in this excerpt...

      "The movie’s greatest disappointment is the total lack of atmosphere or scale. This is a quest that ventures from Oxford to the North Pole, yet gives the impression of being navigable at a relaxed pace in a weekend, with frequent pauses for being shot at. Weitz manages one grand sequence, a crunching duel between two polar bears (looking a lot better animated than early footage suggested), but for the film’s climactic battle the drama escapes him. His sparsely populated frame and limited selection of interesting shots serve to make events look meek and isolated rather than epic....That the first book has been so mishandled doesn’t bode well for the (already greenlit) more complicated ones to come."
       
    26. raigraphixs

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      Totally agree it did not feel epic at all, say compared to LOTRs, it felt more like the Potter movies, maybe a too big a project from the director of About A Boy, but he will only learn from his mistakes should he make the sequel and correct those things.


      .
       
    27. BISHI

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      especially this bit - To me, this movie was about values, suppression of truth or bending the truth to fit your view and about hope-

      Well that is precisely my and others, infact Pullmans point. What you are describing here IS Religion and what this film did WAS completely gloss over it thus missing one of the pillars of Pullmans work !
       
    28. Garrett

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      I watched the film last night of a recording I did the day before and thought it was terrible, it had no soul, it seemed as though they were making a story by the numbers and so sterile. And the big battle, one army turns up then an other
       
    29. Fmrl

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      Same here, big disappointment and confusion all round. I thought it was supposed to be a kids film yet some of the fighting was a bit gory and brutal.

      I'm guessing the film wasn't all that well received and therefore it's doubtful there's ever going to be a sequel - so the abrupt ending really spoils it too. Shame.
       
    30. TheyCallMeTJ

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      This film was probably one of my biggest disappointments ever. Loved the book trilogy and the trailer had promised so much. But its exactly what you say, no soul. Bunch of scenes cobbled together without any narrative flow. And it is also clear they bottled it at the end because in the trailer there is a scene on a balloon that I know happens AFTER the end. In the book, the end is vary daring but the film played it safe. I find it tragic because the books are magnificent. I love religious undertones in fiction wether it be pro religious or anti-religion, they both are great elements for fantasy. I love the Christian undertones of Harry Potter and Narnia as much as the anti religious tones of Dark Materials (Golden Compass trilogy).

      I actually saw a brilliant theatre play of the whole trilogy played out in 2 parts a month apart at the London NFT. Asrial was played by a very commanding Timothy Dalton (a c oincidence that it was another Bond actor???). The production was quite remarkable for what was just a 1 month play for each part. But the NFT (National Film Theatre) is a very flexible stage with a lot of mechanical effects. It was incredible, the best fantasy stage play I have ever seen. They even had a live orchestral soundtrack playing all the way through it giving the play a very epic feel. Such a shame it was a short run play.
       

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