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View Full Version : The Golden Compass {spoilers}



Hyrael
2007-12-08, 10:32 PM
I just got back from the theater, and I feel really, really regretfull. Not that I wasted ten dollars on a crappy movie that was absolute torture to sit through, but that those rapeing hollywood bastards might just make money off of their depredations on literature.

I'm a moderately sized (as opposed to big) fan of the Dark Materials series. I read the books back in high school, and their subject matter is bread and butter to me. what can I say, I really like stories where the villian is a organized religion. But aside from that, I am also capable of judging them from a purely literary standpoint, and by those standards, they're nothing special, but still at the high end of the scale, particularly the first book, followed closely by the second. the pacing, mystery, and foreshadowing all combine rather nicely to create a well-paced, engaging story with really hatable villians and fairly interesting characters. Pullman should look for a job at Valve, because he has exactly the storytelling sense that they put into the Half Life series, and we all know how good that is. The Chapter where lyra finds Tony in that shack is roughly anaogous to the part of HL2:E2 where alyx gets injured by a hunter; it gets you into the story by showing that this villain is a cut above the other bastards you have seen so far.

but I digress. I'm too pissed off right now to give a full list of my grivances, but I open up the floor to more eloquent individuals, in that they may lombast and villify the maurauding, evil hollywood bastards who took a decent, if preachy book series, and didnt even have the empathy to kill it, but left it bleeding, violated and dieing, on the sticky, soda-stained floor of a movie theater.

There, now that the urge to be over-the-top and dramatic is out of my system, I will say this: hollywood has lost it's ability to tell a story. They have completely lost touch with real storytelling, and now just focus on making a quick buck with splashy special effects. any Noob DM has a better grasp of storytelling, narrative convention, and exposition than whoever made this movie.

Full list of greivances to follow tomorrow. please share your thoughts

"note: i'm not pissed off over the cutting of the religious stuff from the movie. I realized they had to do that to make it pallatable to the bible-thumping USofA, and I accpet it."

I have lost my faith in Hollywood, and I worry that the current fad of taking fantasy series and making them into movies will ruin even more books. First X-men happened, and we got Daredevil and the Hulk, and Catwoman. Then, Lord of the Rings happened, and we got Eragon, Narnia and so forth. Now they're doing the Wee Free Men, and I'm deeply worried.

warty goblin
2007-12-08, 10:46 PM
I personally enjoyed the movie, and thought they handled the semi-impossible job of telling the book in movie form pretty well. Wasn't great, but was plenty enjoyable and certainly better than the Harry Potter movies, which, with the exception of the third one have been IMHO pretty lame. I didn't feel that I'd wasted my money or my time and plan to watch it again at some point, probably on DVD.

Arameus
2007-12-09, 12:24 AM
Apparently, they didn't tone it down enough.

http://buzz.yahoo.com/buzzlog/81733/a-golden-controversy

Indon
2007-12-09, 12:39 AM
I liked it.

Admittedly:

The Magisterium appeared inept and really not very threatening, and the prospect of them 'taking free will away' on other worlds seemed pretty feeble since they sure weren't managing it on one in the first place.

But, that seemed par for the course, as other aspects of the story basically seem like that of a children or young-adult novel in which that could actually be tolerated.

Blue_C.
2007-12-09, 12:51 AM
I actually liked the movie, right up until the end. I admit it has been some time since I read the books, but in my opinion they did a credible job of conveying the salient points in the novel, though again, only until the end. The end, however, or more accurately where they ended the movie, made me want to throw things.


As I recall, the first novel was supposed to be about Lyra's loss of innocence, her trial by fire. Choosing to end the movie on the high note before Roger's death left me gobsmacked, and everyone in the theater when I went had an identical reaction. I nearly shouted "No!" at the black screen, but managed to recover my wits just in time.

Since the subject was brought up, I've liked the Harry Potter movies so far, with the exception of the third, which just came off as weird to the point of idiotic. I've particularly liked the last two; the full gallop at which the plot sped by was entirely to my taste.

Halna LeGavilk
2007-12-09, 01:15 AM
The books, I think, from a purely literary standpoint were very good. The more I think about the story-line, though, the more it becomes "meh", though. Sort of original, but, not enough.


"note: i'm not pissed off over the cutting of the religious stuff from the movie. I realized they had to do that to make it pallatable to the bible-thumping USofA, and I accpet it."

Was this meant to be offensive? I'm not even religious, and I found it offensive. Seriously, that's not cool. I might be wrong in the intention of this, but the wording makes it seem offensive.

Albub
2007-12-09, 01:29 AM
Since the subject was brought up, I've liked the Harry Potter movies so far, with the exception of the third, which just came off as weird to the point of idiotic. I've particularly liked the last two; the full gallop at which the plot sped by was entirely to my taste.

The last two movies were so boring I spent more time looking for the black circle at the corner of the screen when the patched on a new reel of film.

And I really can't see how it's sparking controversy, if you let yourself be offended by portrayal of religion in a parallel universe then you really ought to grow some thicker skin. Heck, I found racism to be less offensive than than this mess.

The Extinguisher
2007-12-09, 01:30 AM
Oh noes! It wasn't 100% accurate to the source material! You mean to tell me there are things in a novel that just don't work in a movie? That's crazy!

skreweded
2007-12-09, 02:14 AM
Well, I read the books loved them (though i am a sap for anything that ends sad) and when i heard there was a movie, thought "hmm. it will suck hardcore. Gonna see it anyway." And so it came to be. Tomorrow, if all goes well, i will be watching it, despite knowing it will suck. Wish me luck.






I plan on doing this with Alvin and friends as well, partly to give a little prize to my inner child, loved them as a kid, and partly to see how long it takes for my brain to ooze out of my nose.


Edit: and havng read the book, i felt safe reading the spoilers.

THEY REMOVED ROGERS DEATH?! Oh. My. God. I honestly may not go see it now.

Turcano
2007-12-09, 02:27 AM
Oh noes! It wasn't 100% accurate to the source material! You mean to tell me there are things in a novel that just don't work in a movie? That's crazy!

Well, the critical consensus seems to be that what they cut was apparently the backbone of the work, so anyone who hasn't read the book doesn't know what the hell is going on.

Tirian
2007-12-09, 02:32 AM
Yeah, no doubt. A well-directed movie supplements a well-written book, but expecting one to fulfill all the roles of the other is foolish, and leads you to reject art that is actually good. One may as well think that The Wizard of Oz was a train wreck of a movie because it ignored nearly half of the book, eliminated major characters, and couldn't even bother to get the correct hair color for the protagonist. Despite this, many people seem to think that it is an enjoyable enough film.

In my opinion, if The Golden Compass had a flaw, it is that it was too faithful to the book. There are a lot of proper names that are easily identifiable on paper that become garbled when pronounced by people with a variety of British accents. "Serafina Pekkala" is one of these names, and I suspect that the name of the Bolvangar defence squad was another name that I didn't realize that I didn't understand until five seconds after the name was said. They made a good start in renaming Iofur so that he wouldn't be easily confused with Iorek, but they could have gone much further in my mind.

Foeofthelance
2007-12-09, 10:42 AM
Yeah, no doubt. A well-directed movie supplements a well-written book, but expecting one to fulfill all the roles of the other is foolish, and leads you to reject art that is actually good. One may as well think that The Wizard of Oz was a train wreck of a movie because it ignored nearly half of the book, eliminated major characters, and couldn't even bother to get the correct hair color for the protagonist. Despite this, many people seem to think that it is an enjoyable enough film.

I never read the book; still hated the movie. I understand that the movie can't condense the entire book into a few hours span of time. Yet what they did with GC wasn't so much cut the scenes down for length as it was cut out the plot for length. Think of it in terms of Pirates of the Carribean...now remove any mention of a plot whatsoever. Thats what they did wrong. They forgot to tell you what was going on, and in a disjointed manner at that.

VeisuItaTyhjyys
2007-12-09, 12:14 PM
I didn't have any problem with the Golden Compass, other than I never saw the polar bear, and it seemed to focus more on Heroin than I remembered from the book.
Oh, wait, I saw American Gangster instead when I bought a ticket to this movie because it's theatre was too crowded. Glad I didn't miss anything.

Tirian
2007-12-09, 01:41 PM
Yet what they did with GC wasn't so much cut the scenes down for length as it was cut out the plot for length. Think of it in terms of Pirates of the Carribean...now remove any mention of a plot whatsoever. Thats what they did wrong. They forgot to tell you what was going on, and in a disjointed manner at that.

It seems like a surprising accusation to me because I think that GC did have a plot. Lyra's best friend is kidnapped by the sinister Gobblers, so she sets out to rescue him. Along the way, she helps her allies Ma Costa and Iorek to achieve their goals. In the end, with the aid of her allies, she is able to rescue her friend and put an end to the regime's atrocities, and then heads onward to learn more about her father and the physics of the multiverse.

That's a pretty good plot to me. In fact, if the books had never been publicly published, and I therefore would not know all of the intrigue that was going on behind the scenes, I think I would be both satisfied and curious to learn more. It is hardly as if the subtext is not going to appear in the movies at all -- the director is just waiting for the proper time to unveil it in the context of a trilogy of films. In novels, you can subtly foreshadow things a long way in advance, but in the trope of movie trilogies you wait until nearly the end of the second film to tell the protagonist that she is in the middle of something immense and personal.

Wizzardman
2007-12-09, 02:13 PM
It has been a while since I've read the books, but I rather liked the movie. I thought it followed the plot of the book fairly well (a certain loss aside), and it had the perfect cast for the roles involved.

Again, they had to change a few things, and the ending was cut short (there have been some suggestions it was cut short because the original ending was a cliffhanger, and the scriptwriters didn't know if Golden Compass would be successful enough to merit a sequel, so they wanted to end it on a high note), but it was otherwise pretty good. It followed the book fairly well, and remained more cohesive and coherent than many book-to-movie conversions I've seen of late.

True, the Magisterium did seem a little inept, but they didn't exactly get much screentime--mostly because they weren't as important as the main villain or any of the other major characters, and really just served as backstory.

But honestly, I don't know what you guys are talking about--the plot was fine. Most book-to-movie conversions these days do a lot more damage to the original plot than the Golden Compass did; at least the main villain remained the same, and only one major scene was lost. I thought they did a pretty good job.

Winterking
2007-12-09, 02:25 PM
My greatest single complaint was the soundtrack/score. A good score can take a movie full of choppy little scenes and too much exposition, and turn it into a flowing, smooth, effective explanation of everything that is going on, pulling you deeper and deeper into the world. A bad score makes the chop worse, and distracts from the movie, which I saw happening here. During the panserbjørne fight, the music was distracting me from what was going on, and it happened other times too.

I also think the movie could have been scripted much better. There were too many short segments transitioning jarringly from one to the next, the best and most climactic part of the story was lopped off (the realization on Lyra's part that Lord Asriel isn't a Good and Heroic person, but pragmatic and ambitious and cruel to those he doesn't care about, is a very powerful scene, and a better intro into another movie than the "balloon into the sunrise" idea that they went with.

But I suppose that's what happens when the scriptwriter is the director, and not too experienced, nor terribly devoted to the story.


I do think, though, that the setting, props, casting, scenery, and so on, was done perfectly. Svalbard, the Magisterium, and etcetera were just as I imagined, and Sam Elliot as Lee Scoresby was a stroke of genius. His short little introduction scene was perfect.

Hyrael
2007-12-09, 04:43 PM
I didnt have a problem with the characters, or the acting, or the visuals. Oh, sure I think they could have been improved with a little less steampunk, but what I'm complaining about here is the pacing and presentation, and I dont understand why they could have done a better job of it. It was the pacing, the introduction of the plot, and the instant reveal of everything. They just dropped every weird oddity and plot aspect on you in one go, and because of that the plot, characters and setting just seem corny and stupid

The first scene of the book was of the utmost importaince. It introduces the mysteries that will bug you for the rest of the way. by the end of the first chapter, where's what you know:
1 lyra is deceitfull
2 Asriel is a little scary
3 Dust is an elementary particle that is attacted to humans, particularly adult humans, children less so. There is mention of the term "severed"
4 Humans have Daemons in this world
5 there's something called the magesterium, which is vaugely religious, and seems to have alot of clout politicaly
6 there is mention of other worlds, creating a nice bit of irony, as Asriel seems to have taken a picture of this other world. we obviously know about this, because we're in one, looking at these people.
7 the word Panserbjorne(?) is mentioned
8 a man named Grumen is dead, apparently

it is this crucial chapter that draws the audience into the story. Aside from the Daemons, the political stuff, and so forth, this world seems similair to our own. Beyond that, we know very little

then, the whole rest of the book is devoted to illuminating these mysteries. you find yourself looking ahead to try to figure out where this is heading. When you find new things out, it's a shock. In the movie, they beat you over the head with the plot, put in alot of weird pointless cutscenes to what the villians are doing. The whole thing was rushed, and with only a few minor tweaks to timing and a few cut/added lines, it would have been a decent adaptation. If they had added another 15 the movie would have been much improved. they could have given a little more time to the opening expositions, and cut out later plot beatings, given more down-time to create the "long journy" atmosphere, and dwell more on the Station, particularly the caged Daemons. But instead, they must have assumed that anyaudience presented with a mystery or question that wasnt answered within five seconds would loose interest or walk away.

Also, I would have liked to see a more first person perspective. no cuts to the Station, the Magesterium's inner workings, or anything like that.

It was, visualy, a good adaptation, but the plot was rushed, skimmed-over, and fake-feeling. They captured the look of the story, bu not it's soul. which is unfortunate, as other adaptations are at least able to capture the soul of their source material, even if they mess up the plot. look at jurassic Park. they completely twisted the book around and butchered the plot, but the result was in it's own right a good movie, and it captured the tone and atmosphere perfectly. Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was the same, only the result was less good. but the movie still captured the soul of the book. GC did not.

PlatinumJester
2007-12-09, 05:04 PM
The film was mediocre but Nicole Kidman was hot so it all balances out in the end.

Blue_C.
2007-12-09, 05:38 PM
1 lyra is deceitfull
2 Asriel is a little scary
3 Dust is an elementary particle that is attacted to humans, particularly adult humans, children less so. There is mention of the term "severed"
4 Humans have Daemons in this world
5 there's something called the magesterium, which is vaugely religious, and seems to have alot of clout politicaly
6 there is mention of other worlds, creating a nice bit of irony, as Asriel seems to have taken a picture of this other world. we obviously know about this, because we're in one, looking at these people.
7 the word Panserbjorne(?) is mentioned
8 a man named Grumen is dead, apparently


Aside from the first and last points, what was missing from the first parts of minutes of the film? Actually, we're shown the first point, it just isn't as emphasized as much as in the book. That was a misstep, but I can't think of how they could have done it better, it'll have to do. The last point was probably cut because of the possibility there will be no sequels.

True, the opening monologue was a little heavy handy, and it could have been allowed to unfold naturally, but they probably wanted to avoid the problems of the first Harry Potter movie, when half the adults in the room were asking their kids what the hell was going on.


The film was mediocre but Nicole Kidman was hot so it all balances out in the end.

:amused: Excellent point. As soon as I saw her in the previews, I grinned manically and couldn't wait to see the movie. Though her first scene was somewhat of a let down. A woman that glamorous couldn't find a flesh tone bra?

BURNhollywoodBURN
2007-12-10, 10:56 AM
In my opinion, the movie did not deserve to end like that. It was just... horrible. NOTE TO DIRECTORS: If you're going to lead into an intense sequel, YOU DON'T END ON A POSITIVE NOTE. Honestly, the ending was extremely horrible. It would have been better on a TV miniseries, except shorter. I usually don't like very long movies, but I'd make an exception for this one if it ended on some sort of cliffhanger. The only way I'd forgive the directors for that terrible, terrible ending is if they ran out of money. I loved the CGI parts, so I guess I could let it go.
@V: Indeed, it's not that hard for the media to produce something controversial nowadays, but it generally won't sell with most people if it's too controversial. Borat was a close call.
EDIT: Now that I think about it, there are still some extremists who'd boycott it, but no one gives a rat's intestines about them.

Solo
2007-12-10, 11:03 AM
"note: i'm not pissed off over the cutting of the religious stuff from the movie. I realized they had to do that to make it pallatable to the bible-thumping USofA, and I accpet it."

I thought we were past the stage where we clung to negative and outdated stereotypes fostered by prejudice and ignorance.

My mistake, I must not have gotten the memo.

Culwch
2007-12-11, 05:36 AM
I haven't read any of the books and am not even remotely aware of their plot, so for me, the Golden Compass was just a holiday kiddie movie. Sort of like Chronicles of Narnia (in whose case I knew the plot of the book).

For me, the film was a failure. The GFX were nice, but I think I've seen better. The plot is simplistic, silly and full of inconsistencies. Dialogue is lame (call me corrupt, but in the audience, when the witch asked "what Gypsy was I once close with", the unanimous whispered answer was "All of them?") and the "Luke, I am your father" moment was preposterous. All in all, the film was extremely naiive; I don't know if the books were for children, but if they were "LotR-serious", the movie failed to convey that.

Also, what's with the deal about Magisterium? Not having read the book, I understood the Magisterium is sort of a totalitarian world-government wannabe; No indication of them having any religious significance.

TK-Squared
2007-12-11, 06:20 AM
There were polar bears. Armoured Polar Bears.

Fighting.

Drunk and rampaging.

I ignored the rest of the film.

Prophaniti
2007-12-11, 01:55 PM
"note: i'm not pissed off over the cutting of the religious stuff from the movie. I realized they had to do that to make it pallatable to the bible-thumping USofA, and I accpet it."
Seems a couple of people have taken issue with this phrase of yours, though I personally don't see why. While the vast majority of the population is content to leave alone and be left alone with regard to religion (the way it should be IMO), many of the ones who feel the need to meddle do so on the 'religion' side of an argument. I have a perfect example:

I live in Utah, and had seen some of the previews, though I'd never heard of the books before, and gathered it was another novel-to-movie adaptation, to be approached cautiously or ideally enjoyed while pretending it has nothing to do with any novel. I thought, "I'll probably get that one on Netflicks in a few months, see how it is then." There were other movies coming out I intended to save my money for.

Then I saw a bit on the news about a school principal, who for some unfathomable reason took it into his probably well-meaning head to protest this movie. It was not that he protested it that caught my interest, it was HOW he did so. He decided it was his MORAL DUTY as principal to warn all the parents of his school that the movie 'promoted aetheism and mocked christianity' (paraphrasing) and SUGGEST to them in an email that it was not a good movie to take the family to. This was a gross over-stepping of his bounds and responsibilities as principal. If he had done this as a private citizen and stood on a street corner handing out pamphlets or something similar, he'd have been fine. These emails were sent out with him, as the school principal, advising what movies were suitable for other peoples children. That is inexcusable.

It had two effects on me. 1)it immediately increased my interest in seeing the movie. 2)it (bluntly) pissed me off. I am a religious person, yet if my kid had been going to this school and I'd received such an email, I likely would have replied with phrases I would never repeat in church, that is if I could stop myself from personally smacking him upside the head.

I now remark to my wife every time we see a poster or ad, espesially if we have our baby with us, "Quick, change the channel/turn around/look away! We don't want her to get ideas about aetheism!" to which she laughs in order to keep me from feeling stupid:smallwink: (joke's getting old... I shoud stop while I'm ahead.) I now intend to watch the movie before the end of the month to see what everyone's so worked up about.

Grimtongue
2007-12-11, 02:07 PM
"note: i'm not pissed off over the cutting of the religious stuff from the movie. I realized they had to do that to make it pallatable to the bible-thumping USofA, and I accpet it."


Are you serious? Christians no longer make up the majority of the US populace, heck, I'd say there are probably more people who are anti-Christian then there are who are Christian.

Legendary
2007-12-11, 03:28 PM
Um, they're practically EIGHTY PERCENT OF THE NATION.

They make up a majority.

The Bunny
2007-12-11, 05:18 PM
It's funny, because in another forum it was people hating both the movie AND the book. Mostly it was said that the only people who liked the book were people who were anti organized religion.
Funny how opinions change from forum to forum.

side note: I love you guys *hugs*

Eldpollard
2007-12-11, 05:34 PM
What I don't like is it being called The Golden Compass. Which I realise was the American name for the book. But in its country of origin (Britain) it's called the Northern lights. It's just that the alethiometer is neither a compass nor is it golden. Golden implies gold-like. It's gold. I haven't seen the film yet but I will do.

JadedDM
2007-12-11, 07:19 PM
I don't know if the books were for children, but if they were "LotR-serious", the movie failed to convey that.

Also, what's with the deal about Magisterium? Not having read the book, I understood the Magisterium is sort of a totalitarian world-government wannabe; No indication of them having any religious significance.

The books were not meant to be for children, although the American publishers did try and market the first book for kids, probably because the protagonist is a kid. Boy, weren't they surprised by what happened in the second and third book?

The Magisterium is basically their dimension's version of the Roman Catholic Church. The Protestant Reformation never happened in that world, and so the church is now extremely powerful.

DeathQuaker
2007-12-13, 08:02 AM
Um, they're practically EIGHTY PERCENT OF THE NATION.

They make up a majority.

The book draws phrases from and makes obvious refererences to, specifically, the Catholic Church (e.g., "Magisterium" refers to the Church's auhtority). Catholics are Christians, but there are also certain types of Protestant Christians who'd love nothing more than to see the Catholic Church criticized, so this is a case where you can't really lump the two together.

About 25% of Americans are Catholic as of 2001 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_the_United_States) (numbers probably haven't changed that significantly since).

And last I checked, the Vatican was not located in the United States. So watering down the movie to please the Catholics wasn't for the benefit of a certain group of Americans only.

Oh, also, just because 80% of Americans say they're Christian on a census doesn't mean each and every one are Bible-thumpers. It's a pretty diverse group of people, and often one end of the spectrum is at odds with the other.

Closet_Skeleton
2007-12-13, 08:59 AM
The books were not meant to be for children, although the American publishers did try and market the first book for kids, probably because the protagonist is a kid. Boy, weren't they surprised by what happened in the second and third book?

Sorry, these are children's books. Just because you read them doesn't make them adult books. They're in the childrens section of all the English book shops I've seen them in. Serious themes and literary recognition in no way stops something being a children's book.l

Prophaniti
2007-12-13, 09:30 AM
Sorry, these are children's books. Just because you read them doesn't make them adult books. They're in the childrens section of all the English book shops I've seen them in. Serious themes and literary recognition in no way stops something being a children's book.l

Exactly what I've been saying about that damned Harry Potter series, but no one else seems to understand:smallannoyed:

When I see the movie, I think the best approach will be to pretend it's not based on any book and just enjoy it as a movie. I should have done this with LotR... *sigh* live and learn I guess...

Hyrael
2007-12-13, 10:04 AM
Hey, what was wrong with lord of the rings? I've read and been re-reading the books since gradeschool. And I thought those were good movies. You know why they were good movies? the director, producer, and writers involved LOVED the source material. you could tell. So yeah, Fellowship cut out Tom, the Barrow, and severely abridged the flight from the shire. So what? it didnt hurt it as a movie. they had to cut SOMETHING.

Maybe I'm babbling here, but I didnt feel any love when I watched the golden compass. They werent trying to make a good movie, they were trying to take a book and repeat it by rote on the silver screen, but edit it so as to be less offensive to everyone, and make sure no little kids got scared. In it's own right, it's a poorly directed movie with good CGI, acting, and visuals, but some of the dialogue is painfull, and the Pacing is just horrible, and some plot elements and events just dont make sense.

And while yes, america does have 80% christians, it does not mean that they're all bible thumpers. but people of any stripe tend to get a lot more fundamentalist if you start bad-mouthing their beleifs. I know when people start laying down the hellfire on me, I sound so much like richard dawkins you'd think he was dead and I'm channeling his ghost.:smallwink: . and there's a damn strong, politicaly savvy, absolutely humorless Right wing christian power structure over here.

Atheists and agnostics and other people of reason have less power over here than they should. It's probably because people of that stripe tend to be intellectuals, and damn stubborn, ornery ones at that. Organising them is like trying to herd cats, especially since they live in a different world, and many have no patience with the utter, utter stupidity of politics. Religious people can be intelligent too, obviously, but with atheists and agnostics I think there is a definite positive correlation. Many people just happen to be both intelligent and religious, but many atheists are atheists because they're intelligent (or at least intellectuals. they could be stupid, coarse, short-sighted bastards with no social grace. At the very least, they have more education. I think. Sorry, it's just hard to imagine a thought-out atheist high school drop out. maybe they dont care about religion). and we all know that politics is pretty much the antithesis of science. Science is about the search for truth. Politics is about the quest for personal power, regardless of truth.

So, what with one thing and another, one of the very things that makes the golden compass a good book is rather unpopular over here. You have to be pretty damn subtle to get across any religious satire, and it has to be specifialy aimed at Fundamentalists, or be shallow humor, like jokes about the pope's hat, which arent very funny anyway. Or be in a venue where you know that people will be pissed off anyway, so you can do whatever you please, like South Park. and even then, they get sued by the catholic league. (admittedly they caught the most flak for the Bloody Mary episode, and that was kind of excessively offensive, and with no real point or message. Great Queen Spider in RHCL, now, that was good satire)

WalkingTarget
2007-12-13, 11:33 AM
What I don't like is it being called The Golden Compass. Which I realise was the American name for the book. But in its country of origin (Britain) it's called the Northern lights. It's just that the alethiometer is neither a compass nor is it golden. Golden implies gold-like. It's gold. I haven't seen the film yet but I will do.

The biggest reason I can see this being done in general (for the book and for the film) is that with the American title, all 3 of them are named after a device of some kind (Compass, Knife, and Spyglass) so there's a sense of continuity. That's about the only real reason I can see, though.

I'm not saying I don't like Northern Lights as a title, but I think Golden Compass works if it's to be part of a trilogy.

Also, in American English (at least, my particular mid-western dialect of it) the word "golden" can be used to mean that something is made of gold, not just that it appears to be gold, so the North American title works in that regard (for example, in "The 12 Days of Christmas" it's "five golden rings" instead of holding "gold" over 2 beats as I've heard others sing it). As for "compass", if I remember right, didn't Lyra think it was a sort of compass when she first saw it? It's not one, but the physical similarity is there.

Anyway, I saw the film last night and agree that it felt rushed in many places and I lament some of the things that were glossed over and left out, but I saw it with somebody who hadn't read the books but enjoyed the film greatly.

Prophaniti
2007-12-13, 01:14 PM
Hey, what was wrong with lord of the rings? I've read and been re-reading the books since gradeschool. And I thought those were good movies. You know why they were good movies? the director, producer, and writers involved LOVED the source material. you could tell. So yeah, Fellowship cut out Tom, the Barrow, and severely abridged the flight from the shire. So what? it didnt hurt it as a movie. they had to cut SOMETHING.
I know they loved the source material, at least more than anyone else who's played with it. I do believe they did a very good job of making a movie, it's an excellent movie, but there were simply too many blatant story changes, all unnecessary, that really make it bad for me to enjoy as a 'book on the big screen'. These include, but are not limited to: The absolutley inexcusable wuss they made out of Frodo Baggins; Having elves show up at Helm's Deep; Having Elrond bring Narsil to Aaragorn at Dunharrow. These were all WRONG, horrible choices by the director and others who adapted it, changes that don't detract from the movie (with the exception of the first one) but make it a horrible book adaptation. I don't mind things being cut for time concerns, I mind things being changed for no good reason.


And while yes, america does have 80% christians, it does not mean that they're all bible thumpers. but people of any stripe tend to get a lot more fundamentalist if you start bad-mouthing their beleifs. I know when people start laying down the hellfire on me, I sound so much like richard dawkins you'd think he was dead and I'm channeling his ghost.:smallwink: . and there's a damn strong, politicaly savvy, absolutely humorless Right wing christian power structure over here.

See my original post for what happened here in Happy Valley...
*snip*

Atheists and agnostics and other people of reason have less power over here than they should. It's probably because people of that stripe tend to be intellectuals, and damn stubborn, ornery ones at that. Organising them is like trying to herd cats, especially since they live in a different world, and many have no patience with the utter, utter stupidity of politics. Religious people can be intelligent too, obviously, but with atheists and agnostics I think there is a definite positive correlation. Many people just happen to be both intelligent and religious, but many atheists are atheists because they're intelligent (or at least intellectuals. they could be stupid, coarse, short-sighted bastards with no social grace. At the very least, they have more education. I think. Sorry, it's just hard to imagine a thought-out atheist high school drop out. maybe they dont care about religion). and we all know that politics is pretty much the antithesis of science. Science is about the search for truth. Politics is about the quest for personal power, regardless of truth. I just want to make one point here, and I realize this is a semantics issue, but...
Science is not the search for truth. Science is the search for FACT, for verifiable, provable fact. Religion is the search for truth, the medium through wich most of the worlds people try to find the absolute meaning behind everything. Also, I have seen a similar correlation between intellectuals (as opposed to intelligent people) who are agnostic, and I think this merely stems from the fact that as people are exposed to more and more conflicting view points, they find it difficult to hold on to their own identity and beliefs. I've met quite a few proffessors and such of many different fields (actual intelligent people) who are very strong in whatever faith they happen to hold, which for some of them, yes, was aetheism. An increase in education does not equal a decrease in belief, unless that belief was never personally held to begin with, merely indoctrinated.
On politics: Politics is the antithesis of everything good and I believe it will be responsible for the collapse of society.


So, what with one thing and another, one of the very things that makes the golden compass a good book is rather unpopular over here. You have to be pretty damn subtle to get across any religious satire, and it has to be specifialy aimed at Fundamentalists, or be shallow humor, like jokes about the pope's hat, which arent very funny anyway. Or be in a venue where you know that people will be pissed off anyway, so you can do whatever you please, like South Park. and even then, they get sued by the catholic league. (admittedly they caught the most flak for the Bloody Mary episode, and that was kind of excessively offensive, and with no real point or message. Great Queen Spider in RHCL, now, that was good satire)It is true that it's hard impossibleto do religious sattire without offending anyone. So, you have two choices: Don't do religious sattire, or stop caring whether anyone is offended. Obviously mediums like South Park chose the latter, and good for them(though I personally think they take it to an unecessary extreme). You'll never get through life without offending someone, because people are odd and will get offended at the silliest things. I understand the books, and to a lesser extent the movie, take a jab at organized religion. I don't know if I personally agree with that, I take more issue with organized religion that wields real political power(see: the entire history of the catholic church). Still, I'm interested to see the movie and perhaps read the book, all the more so because of the controversy.

Closet_Skeleton
2007-12-13, 01:25 PM
It is true that it's hard impossibleto do religious sattire without offending anyone. So, you have two choices: Don't do religious sattire, or stop caring whether anyone is offended.

But His Dark Materials is not satire.

This is obvious since.

1. His Dark Materials is not funny.

2. His Dark Materials does not use wit to make people have to think about its message. It unfolds as a narrative and does not hide facts by only infering them.

3. His Dark Materials' primary purpose is not to be politcally subversive.

Prophaniti
2007-12-13, 01:35 PM
Sorry, I wasn't referring to the movie/book, since I haven't seen it, just to religious sattire in general as a reply to Hyreal's comments.

DeathQuaker
2007-12-15, 09:07 AM
Saw the movie first (liked it without knowledge of the book); now I've finished the book so I figure I'd comment. This is all my opinion of course, responding to yours, and we may just disagree.


It was the pacing, the introduction of the plot, and the instant reveal of everything.

There were some pacing/editing issues with the movie (observed before having read the book), and they were poor in indicating the passage of time in certain places..... however, I do feel they gave important plot aspects the time they needed to be established.


They just dropped every weird oddity and plot aspect on you in one go, and because of that the plot, characters and setting just seem corny and stupid

I think I disagree with that. There is less subtlety in the movie in some places, but in the book Pullman also beats you over the head with certain ideas that only require a few descriptive passages or less (e.g., how painful it is to be without your daemon; I think your average reader of this kind of story can figure out it would be painful to be without your soul).

I also thought the movie did well to not reveal the intentions of the Magisterium and the Oblation Board right away, which was an important part of building tension in the film.

It's interesting because the movie doesn't also explicitly explain why the children are important--yet. It's implied, but actually doesn't "drop on your" head.... which I can only hope means it will add shock value and further revelations to what I imagine will be the starting act in the next movie (which was the end of the first book).



The first scene of the book was of the utmost importaince. It introduces the mysteries that will bug you for the rest of the way. by the end of the first chapter, where's what you know:

The first scene in the book is like, what, the second or third in the movie? And where in a text setting you have the opportunity to provide lengthy verbal explanations, in a film that gets very boring, very quickly. The added scene at the beginning of the movie shows Lyra's character and motivations very effectively, without providing the laundry list of her exploits at Jordan that Pullman later provides in the book.

And when the scene with the demonstration occurs, it shows everything important that the scene in the book shows as well, with (I think) the mention of the child the only exception. Can't judge why they did that until they make the rest of the films, really.


1 lyra is deceitfull

This is extremely well established from the get-go, just through the dialogue with Lyra and how she is portrayed. No, no one shoves the fact down your throat through dialogue, but it isn't necessary. It's plain for all to see.



2 Asriel is a little scary

Also pretty damn clear from the get-go. The conversation he has with her during the poison scene and then afterward strongly establishes him as a charismatic and fearsome person.



3 Dust is an elementary particle that is attacted to humans, particularly adult humans, children less so. There is mention of the term "severed"

This is touched on, though yes, it is less emphasized. They do reveal later in the movie that the experiments on the children has to do with dust.

You accuse the movie of dropping all important plot points on people's heads, and this is evidence that it actually does the opposite. It's withholding certain information to make the tension longer, or so it seems to me. Again, can't judge their decision to do this until I see how they address the issue in the subsequent films, should they be made.


4 Humans have Daemons in this world

That's the very first thing mentioned in the movie, either right before or right after Dust is explained.



5 there's something called the magesterium, which is vaugely religious, and seems to have alot of clout politicaly

Also established pretty damn strongly within the first 15 minutes of the film.



6 there is mention of other worlds, creating a nice bit of irony, as Asriel seems to have taken a picture of this other world. we obviously know about this, because we're in one, looking at these people.

This is also mentioned at the very beginning of the movie, in the introductory talk about Dust and Daemons, is later reemphasized when Asriel gives his talk; this part of the scene is no different in movie or book.


7 the word Panserbjorne(?) is mentioned

They call them "Ice Bears" in the film, but they are also mentioned at the very beginning and then during the Asriel scene.


8 a man named Grumen is dead, apparently

Can't remember what happened about this in the movie... and don't remember it being that important in the book, either, except to show the dangers of the situation, which was done well enough otherwise in either medium.



then, the whole rest of the book is devoted to illuminating these mysteries. you find yourself looking ahead to try to figure out where this is heading. When you find new things out, it's a shock. In the movie, they beat you over the head with the plot, put in alot of weird pointless cutscenes to what the villians are doing.

Except that they maintained the mystery of who Mrs. Coulter is and Lord Asriel in relation to Lyra longer, dropping the information at a much more dramatic moment, and the whole importance of the children is revealed actually more slowly and tensely than in the book.

Mind you, I see why the book established information the way it did and the movie likewise; again, books have the luxury of providing exposition, whereas films have to show, not tell. The book certainly provides a lot more information (as books are wont to do) and provides us a much deeper look into the world as only a book can.

The film eliminates extraneous information, but still maintains suspense where necessary. And I'll note I felt the suspense because I HADN'T read the book first.... it could be that if you've read the book then seen the movie, you miss the movie's subtleties because you already pretty much know what's going to happen.


The whole thing was rushed, and with only a few minor tweaks to timing and a few cut/added lines, it would have been a decent adaptation. If they had added another 15 the movie would have been much improved.

This is possible, but personally I think long drawn out movies are a bore; if you want lengthy exposition, read. If you want action and dialogue, watch a film. I accept when I see a story adapted from a book to a movie, I'm going to lose depth of explanation but will gain visual power and character dynamics. It seems to me that the film did this just fine.

And I know I've already said this, but how well they set things up in this film also need to played against how elements of the story are addressed in the future film adaptations of the 2nd and 3rd books. Then it'll be easier to look back and see if what was important was established in the best way possible.

psychoduck14
2007-12-15, 09:33 AM
bible-thumping USofA


whats funny is the good old USofA aint to into bible thumpin anymore, and those who still are seem to be to...well they just listen to there pastors to tell them which movies to see and which ones to hate on...BAHHUMBUG!

Bookman
2007-12-15, 09:49 AM
[In regards to Grumman]
Can't remember what happened about this in the movie... and don't remember it being that important in the book, either, except to show the dangers of the situation, which was done well enough otherwise in either medium.



I haven't seen the movie but I thought I'd excise this one quote. Since you haven't read the other two books this is a fine assumption. But actually in the series there IS an importance behind this. In Book 2 and Book 3 there's more to the story. But I'm not going to spoil it for you :wink: :smile:

EvilElitest
2007-12-15, 09:57 AM
Oh noes! It wasn't 100% accurate to the source material! You mean to tell me there are things in a novel that just don't work in a movie? That's crazy!

There is a difference between Not 100% accurate and WTF? What hte hell is this?

I haven't seen golden compass, but i certainly do know that when you make a movie of a book you have two good options, and one back option
1. Try to make the movie as close to the book as possble while making the movie enjoyable. Example, God Father
2. Take the basic plot, and avert it with you own indivsual ideas/plot. Master and commander.

3. Try and fail to do ether, example harry potter 1-2
from,
EE

kukn
2007-12-15, 10:15 AM
Read the books a couple of years back. Just seen the film.

Despite all the negative reviews, I found th film to be pretty good. Very faithful to the book, relative to other transitions.

Pros:
- Dakota Blue Richards - seriously, every moment when Lyra was on screen was great. Strong, gritty character (true to book), great acting imho, also very good looking and very apt for the role
- Daniel Craig - just felt right for Lord Asriel
- Nicole Kidman - not all that brilliant imho, but Mrs. Coulter is too interesting a character to make good (in the first book at least, until she messes up)
- the daemons, esp. Pan (graphics, acting and voice)
- Lee Scoresby
- armoured polar bears graphics
- Roger, Billy Costa, the begging scene with the children - best scene in the movie imho, loved it
- ripped off jaw in polar bear fight
- Serafina Pekkala - sexeh :smallbiggrin:

Cons:
- steampunk aspects? - can't remember them in the books, seemed a bit pointless really
- alethiometer - totally wasted, impossible to tell what Lyra was choosing and why, the few blurred visions never actually showed whatever Lyra read out of it, biggest disappointement of the film
- a bit too much melodrama in some scenes
- Iorek? - dunno, he didn's seem half as strong a character as in the book
- chopped off ending - a pity, but understandable

All in all a 7/10 from me.

edit: make that a 7++/10. Thanks to the brilliant Dakota Blue Richards.

DeathQuaker
2007-12-16, 11:19 AM
I haven't seen the movie but I thought I'd excise this one quote. Since you haven't read the other two books this is a fine assumption. But actually in the series there IS an importance behind this. In Book 2 and Book 3 there's more to the story. But I'm not going to spoil it for you :wink: :smile:

Okay, that makes sense. But I can see why for the movie they might have dropped the point, for bringing it up in later movies closer to the time when the knowledge becomes significant (so people who haven't watched the first movie in a couple years are watching the second and wondering if they missed something).

Sir_Norbert
2007-12-16, 02:43 PM
That's what I thought too. And largely I agree with kukn's review, except I think it's worth at least an 8.

I think the steampunk aspect is faithful to the series, though this becomes more evident in the third book.

I definitely agree about the alethiometer, there was no sense in the film that she struggles to learn how to use it, nothing about how she eventually masters reading it, nothing about what the symbols mean. Except at one point we're treated to a very exact description of the hourglass symbol. With nothing to relate any of what is said to anything else in the film. I think the way all this was handled was definitely the film's weakest point.

The truncated ending was probably also because they're not guaranteeing that they will convert the entire trilogy.

Charles Phipps
2007-12-17, 09:01 PM
I just got back from The Golden Compass today and thought I'd throw my thoughts the way of this group. I actually enjoyed the story a great deal. I confess that I didn't recognize Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig until the very end. It rather hurt the story and I think they should have just stuck with less recognizable stars and saved themselves some of the astronomical $250 million dollar budget of this thing. Seriously, when you make a movie that costs that much, you really need to start considering feeding a small 3rd World Nation instead.

I'd like to say that it was worth the price tag but given each Lord of the Rings film and Star Wars film was worth only $100 million dollars, I've got to wonder where the Hell all of the money went since it doesn't really seem to be that extravagent of a movie. There's some attractive bits here and there but it seems like you could have probably made this same movie without some of the CGI shots on a television budget.

I'm not a fan of His Dark Materials like my friend who insisted I go see it. Thus, I went in with only a vague idea of the world's mythology. I have both positive and negative things to say about seeing it without familiarity with the original work. On the positive side, I was still able to make sense of the basic cosmology. On the negative sense, I'm absolutely sure that huge bits were cut out of this storyline that would have made it seem a great deal more interesting and entertaining. In fact, the only reason that I was able to understand it is because I'm pretty acquainted with D&D and was able to grasp the concept in relative terms. "Oh, Daemons are these peoples Magician's Familiars. One dies, the other dies. Fine, gotcha." I'm fairly sure that my parents and niece were completely lost.

I also was sure that Hollywood was dancing around what would have made the story a lot more understandable. For example, it took a bit to pick up on the fact that the Magisterium was the Catholic Church/Church of England. It's been a while since the Catholic Church was able to dictate policy in the world so I was wondering who the Hell these people were. Once I figured out that Lord Azrael was supposed to be Galileo and we were doing a thinly veiled retelling of his persecution it was much easier to get around. Instead, I was wondering where the Magisterium was the World Government/The High Council of wizards or what.

It's a radical statement by Lord Azrael when he says "In these other worlds there are worlds where there is no Church and No God!"

But if you haven't even explained Authority=God then I have no idea what the HELL Daniel Craig talking about when he mentions "And in these other worlds there are worlds where there is no Magisterium and no Authority!" If you're worried about the implications of a line, remove the line rather than just change the names and remove all context to them.

This movie is different from the Harry Potter films they're so trying to emanate in that I'm fairly sure that the directors had no sense of wonder at the material. The settings clearly have a bit of majesty in them but we lack the sweeping vistas and utter weird of the implied fantasy of other worlds that would have made this work. Even in "Rise of the Cybermen" you had HUNDREDS of zeppelins and airships flying around to accent the alienness of the world. Giving the Gypies (I'm sorry, Gyptians) all dirty clothes and bows doesn't make them exactly reak of a new culture either.

Bizarrely, they actually treat a Polar Bear Kingdom with complete straight deadpan seriousness.

Overall, I'm not entirely displeased with the movie. The lead child-actress acts the Hell out of the part despite the fact that everyone else is sleepwalking through their roles except for Nicole Kidman and Craig. I couldn't understand a word of what the damn girl was saying half-the-time but that's my fault for being unable to pierce her accent rather than any fault of her acting.

Nicole Kidman absolutely slinks through the role and manags to turn Mrs. Coulter, a name with the perfect Conservative connotations in our world, into something imminently watchable for Dads and Uncles like myself bringing their children/nieces to the location. Really, she plays such a charismatic young woman with a depth of love for our protagionist that its difficult really to hate her despite the fact she's engaging in inhuman and evil experiments for the Magisterium.

Again, they really needed to better show the authority of the Magisterium because in today's modern world there's a slight level of disbelief that the Catholic Church can build secret laboratories in the middle of Norway with hordes of Russian Cossack soldiers to experiment on children to remove their souls. Hell, even the GOP would have a little trouble pulling that one off.

Really, this movie needed an extra thirty minutes or even an hour to fully be developed since you had Christopher Lee and Derek Jacobi on the cast just to walk on and say a bit of plot exposition. When you have Christopher Lee YOU DAMN WELL BETTER USE HIM. It was really like watching money burn at times.

Daniel Craig, however, did manage to do a nice job in his role but I think that he played the role too angrilly. This is a character that should have been portrayed with the lovable eccentric uncle vibe rather than the hardass religious rebel he's treated as. The surprise revelation about him at the end only makes him come off as a hypocritical jackass for stringing along the protagionist as long as he has. His "niece" in this case.

Still, if you have children, they probably will enjoy it. I hope they make another one so they can try again.

TheEmerged
2007-12-17, 10:47 PM
/humor on
So, to sum up

1> The fans of the series itself are miffed at the end of the movie
2> The fans of the ideology of the series are miffed that they "nerfed" it
3> The fans of the OTHER ideology are still miffed the movie was even made...

So, if everyone is miffed, does that mean the movie was balanced?
/humor off

It's a riff on that joke about how you know your game is balanced when all the classes are complaining equally...

More seriously, in its second week it got beaten by a movie... about singing Chipmunks. Which admittedly premeried this week but still.

Charles Phipps
2007-12-17, 10:52 PM
More seriously, in its second week it got beaten by a movie... about singing Chipmunks. Which admittedly premeried this week but still.

Really, the biggest problem is that its a bad movie.

And Alvin and the Chipmunks are a Christmas tradition!

captain_decadence
2007-12-17, 11:08 PM
The book draws phrases from and makes obvious refererences to, specifically, the Catholic Church (e.g., "Magisterium" refers to the Church's auhtority). Catholics are Christians, but there are also certain types of Protestant Christians who'd love nothing more than to see the Catholic Church criticized, so this is a case where you can't really lump the two together.

About 25% of Americans are Catholic as of 2001 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_the_United_States) (numbers probably haven't changed that significantly since).

And last I checked, the Vatican was not located in the United States. So watering down the movie to please the Catholics wasn't for the benefit of a certain group of Americans only.

Oh, also, just because 80% of Americans say they're Christian on a census doesn't mean each and every one are Bible-thumpers. It's a pretty diverse group of people, and often one end of the spectrum is at odds with the other.

All of your points are valid and true but you misinterpreted what the other poster was talking about. He was replying to this:


Are you serious? Christians no longer make up the majority of the US populace, heck, I'd say there are probably more people who are anti-Christian then there are who are Christian.

which is so patently untrue that it's kinda funny. There are way way way way way more Christians than there are "Anti-Christians" in the United States. Whatever an anti-Christian is. I mean, does that mean non-Christians or people who actively work against Christians?

Charles Phipps
2007-12-17, 11:21 PM
which is so patently untrue that it's kinda funny. There are way way way way way more Christians than there are "Anti-Christians" in the United States. Whatever an anti-Christian is. I mean, does that mean non-Christians or people who actively work against Christians?

People would be surprised but what qualifies as a Christian tends to vary tremendously between sects. I tend to disregard a tremendous amount of "Christians" from MY faith for what I think as intolerance. They tend to, appropriately, exclude me for the same reasons.

Kronk
2007-12-18, 03:03 PM
I'm a Christian and have followed a lot of the so called controversy regarding The Golden Compass. I've even been to a couple of churches that have warned all their members about supporting Mr. Pullman at the movies. I think this is a bunch of sound and fury signifying nothing.

I have a pretty good library of sci-fi and fantasy books and lo and behold, His Dark Materials was in my stack of books I've bought but not read yet. I spent a few evenings and polished it off rather quickly. I enjoyed the books and plan to see the movie on the cheap. There are a few potshots taken at Christianity, but anyone weak enough to let it challenge their faith needs some intervention quick. Some of the questions raised would make a good Bible study.

I am disappointed that the movie ends on a positive note. The emotional ending in the book would have made a great impact on the viewers and increased the chance of a sequel, IMHO.

K

mregecko
2007-12-18, 03:25 PM
My problem with the books was they lack any ACTUAL arguments against Christianity... It just villifies and demonizes the "Magisterium" and everyone hops on board with Lord Asriel because killing "The Authority" is so obviously the right thing to do...

But why?

I mean, if you're going to be rampantly anti-Christian, at least have some thoughtful arguments behind it.

BRC
2007-12-18, 03:30 PM
It just villifies and demonizes the "Magisterium" and everyone hops on board with Lord Asriel because killing "The Authority" is so obviously the right thing to do...
.
Because The Revolution Will Not Be Villified (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheRevolutionWillNotBeVilified)

Indon
2007-12-18, 03:35 PM
My problem with the books was they lack any ACTUAL arguments against Christianity... It just villifies and demonizes the "Magisterium" and everyone hops on board with Lord Asriel because killing "The Authority" is so obviously the right thing to do...

But why?

I mean, if you're going to be rampantly anti-Christian, at least have some thoughtful arguments behind it.

Well, the Magisterium is clearly depicted as evil in the movie because:

They're trying to take away kids' daemons, which are explicitly stated to be their souls earlier in the movie

Though it does feel somewhat gratuitous in that respect.

Edit: As for the 'anti-christian' sentiment, I'm pretty sure whatever along those lines that existed in the book was quite cleanly whitewashed; the Magisterium may be religious, but they are no more the catholic church than the Evil Church in any number of animes and video games (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/GodIsEvil).

TheEmerged
2007-12-18, 07:51 PM
RE: Christians are/aren't the majority.... It's interesting, given the circles I run around in, to see both sides of this. Each side seems to think the other is taking over :smallbiggrin:

JadedDM
2007-12-18, 10:20 PM
Well, the Magisterium is clearly depicted as evil in the movie because:

They're trying to take away kids' daemons, which are explicitly stated to be their souls earlier in the movie

Though it does feel somewhat gratuitous in that respect.

It was left out of the movie, but the reason they were cutting away kids daemons was because they believed that Dust was the physical manifestation of Original Sin, and so that by cutting away their daemons, they were keeping the kids innocent (since Dust is only attracted to people who have hit puberty). I believe this was meant as a bit of a reference to how some early Christians would castrate young boys to prevent them from ever experiencing temptations 'of the flesh.'

VENNDOR
2007-12-19, 01:41 AM
The second biggest problem I had with the movie is that It incriminates the Magesterium, not the church, wheras in the books the Magesterium is expressly stated as being a part of the Roman Catholic church. The biggest problem is that they made it painfully sappy. They made it so that the master didn't poison Asriel and that Iorek was exiled because he was defeated. God forbid a main character should be a murderer or even a potential murderer.

VENNDOR
2007-12-19, 01:43 AM
It was left out of the movie, but the reason they were cutting away kids daemons was because they believed that Dust was the physical manifestation of Original Sin, and so that by cutting away their daemons, they were keeping the kids innocent (since Dust is only attracted to people who have hit puberty). I believe this was meant as a bit of a reference to how some early Christians would castrate young boys to prevent them from ever experiencing temptations 'of the flesh.'

The book itself makes a direct correlation between severing and castration

reorith
2007-12-19, 02:23 AM
my biggest problem with the movie
polars bears throwing punches? come on! an alcoholic polar bear mechanic that forged his own armour from fallen meteorites is okay, but when he threw that punch, the movie lost all of its credibility and my disbelief could no longer be suspended.that being said, i think i may have missed the point.

JadedDM
2007-12-19, 08:22 AM
The book itself makes a direct correlation between severing and castration

Oh, did it? That must be where I heard it. It's admittedly been awhile since I read it. I loaned out my copy and haven't received it back yet.

DeathQuaker
2007-12-20, 10:24 AM
All of your points are valid and true but you misinterpreted what the other poster was talking about. He was replying to this:


I am aware of what he was replying to, but he was responding to an (incorrect) generalization with another broad generalization which wasn't useful to the discussion. I was trying to tie that back into the general conversation, which was talking about "Christians" in general being offended and/or targeted by the film, which is not the case.

Just because I quote someone (so my post doesn't seem completely out of nowhere) doesn't mean I'm not responding to the whole conversation at large. But will try to make a better effort at communicating this in the future.

This was a direct reply to you, but others may take the relevant parts of the message and apply it to the whole of the conversation. Thank you. :smalltongue:


The second biggest problem I had with the movie is that It incriminates the Magesterium, not the church, wheras in the books the Magesterium is expressly stated as being a part of the Roman Catholic church.

(This is a direct response to you :smalltongue:) In our world, "Magisterium" is a term meaning "Authority of the Catholic Church." A Catholic viewer would know what exactly the filmmakers are referring to by calling the origanization "the Magisterium" even if they don't explicitly reference the Church.

In a way, by not directly referencing the Church, it meant that unaware non-Catholics didn't get the reference, but the people being "targeted" or referenced by the text still get the message just fine.

sune
2008-01-16, 03:54 PM
[QUOTE=skreweded;3635521]Well, I read the books loved them (though i am a sap for anything that ends sad) and when i heard there was a movie, thought "hmm. it will suck hardcore. Gonna see it anyway." And so it came to be. Tomorrow, if all goes well, i will be watching it, despite knowing it will suck. Wish me luck.

i hated the ending of the third book, it was sooooo depressing!!!!