“The Golden Compass” is Bronze at Best

Genres: Action/Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction/Fantasy and Adaptation
Running Time: 1 hr. 58 min.
Release Date: December 7th, 2007 (wide)
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of fantasy violence.
New Line Cinema

Director: Chris Weitz

JJ Rating: B -

A little girl who has no parents becomes important because of a prophecy. She is handed a golden compass to help her on her journey. The Golden Compass.

Hmmm…..orphan child turned hero….how….unique. There’s nothing like seeing a movie by a devout Atheist. It was preachy and I bet so are the books....since this movie was watered down according to those that have read it.

The funny thing is the use of the word daemon. I'm pretty sure Phillip Pullman (the writer of the book “The Golden Compass” or “Northern Lights” depending on what country you are in) wanted to use it because to him it's just a word that so happens to sound like demon and since his books are not too nice towards Christians or Religion why not use a word that would irk them? There are those that will nitpick about the meaning but so what. And then I must point out that the word is pronounced like demon but is spelled daemon. It is pronounced (I’m assuming) with a long a sound. It’s almost like the name Damon except with the e sound in there. It’s a creature that is an extension of the person like a soul but it is in the form of an animal. They should have pronounced it the right way and it would have been less distracting. Or it’s pronounced like demon which is funny considering there is an A in there. Or I’m just totally ignorant on the fact that the “A” is silent or has no significant value at all.

Whatever it was the word was totally omitted from the trailer. Funny a movie that is mocking the Christian control is trying to fool people into believing the movie is for children. Because if it were to be different than the group it mocks it would have had full disclosure and allow people to hear the name daemon pronounced like demon. I guess spirit animal was copy righted by those pesky American Indians. I mean he could have come up with an entire new name for those creatures. Star Trek does it often with aliens as well does most fantasy books with names and locations.

The main character was annoying. Dakota Blue Richards plays Lyra and either Lyra is annoying or the actress is annoying. I can’t really decide. Either way I did not like her. She irked me. There was just something wrong with her demeanor that just bugged me the entire movie. I like the name Lyra though. I dislike the collective name for the animals so they should have bugged me because of that, but I liked the animals. They were amusing sometimes, especially her daemon Pan, but she was just plain annoying.

Clever is The Golden Compass’s inventions such as the horseless carriage and the air ships. The CGI work with the polar bears was amazing, along with the daemons. Pan is my favorite character and probably because I like Freddie Highmore. But the whole idea of having a soul animal, or an extension of oneself as an animal, is interesting and fun to think about. At the movie’s website you can answer twenty questions and find out your own daemon. I liked Nichole Kidman who plays Marisa Coulter who is a mix of genuine kindness and genuine slyness. She's always amazing and this time is no different. I liked Sam Elliott who played Lee Scoresby. He had the right demeanor, I think, to play that character. Also I liked his jack rabbit played by Kathy Bates....she has the two funniest lines and those are her only two lines in the entire movie.

The conversation between Kidman and the Richards about dust made me laugh. I like originality but The Golden Compass has to use the story of Adam and Eve in a mocking manner is not at all original. It just bugs me that writers would choose to openly bash beliefs. I dislike evolution. I think it’s the dumbest thing to believe in but I’m not going to have my characters in my stories state that or use it as an idea to center around…bashing evolution. It’s dumb.

I'm all for people having their right to mock people and ideas but The Golden Compass does not do it subtly as it should. It openly does it and without regret. I think that if it’s done subtly then it allows people to decide what is going on and what the entire movie/story is about. However, in this story it becomes preachy for a cause that is not at all hidden.

I almost fell asleep during it. I did. I don’t remember when I almost did but I did almost fell asleep.

The Golden Compass is a negative little movie with lack of any kind of hope. That is not at all shocking---about the lacking hope. It was so not at all peppy like some movies that have some glimmer of hope or a sunny day that is to come. It just was gloomy like a storm is always going to be there to kill you should it decide to come on full force. If it were a person it would state the glass is half empty.

The Golden Compass is an ok movie. It’s not horrible. It’s decent. I dislike the people that read the book because they have this need to bash it because it’s not like the book. WOW really? Who would have thought that the movie would be different from the book? The real question one should ask, if they see the movie and love the book, is if they got the main gist of the book. If they did not then maybe, just maybe, there is something to be upset about. Otherwise shut up about the book being better. No need to say something that is already well known fact about book-to-movie movies. Also I think they did not use the writer as much as they should have. I think that when transferring a book to a movie the writer of the book should be used fully, if they are available to be used, because then at least the gist of the idea the writer had for the story will be shown in the movie even though some things had to be nixed.

I, of course, will not be buying The Golden Compass. I might watch a bit of it if I happen to catch it on TV but that’s it. I really think the name sucks as does the original title for the book in the U.K. which was Northern Lights. I think there could have been a cleverer name given like The Care Takers or something punny like that. It’s not my love, so me trying to give it a name would be pointless. So who should see the movie? If you have interest in seeing it, then go right ahead. If you are easily offended because you are a Christian, then don’t bother. Some people have stated it’s the worst movie they’ve seen. It’s not the worst movie. Of course with this day in age of over saturation people might feel as if they’ve seen this type of movie before, which is why it’s so important to keep the writer close by and have his input as much as possible. But The Golden Compass is just not a golden movie as the trailers try to shove into the minds of everyone it wanted to assimilate. It is bronze at best.

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