Saturday, December 08, 2007

The Golden Compass Movie

I received a mystery gift in the mail? It is an amazing little notebook, but I do not know who sent it.

SO. The Golden Compass was released yesterday. As dutiful nerds, we fooligans made the trip to go see. Of course, I must do my movie review of silliness.

Things I Did Not Like:


Bleh. I really do not like the pronunciation that they used for Lyra. I've always heard the constellation for which she is named pronounced "LEE-ra." I think it's a prettier name anyway, which is fun in a way that is contradictory to her warrior-like nature (especially as the film portrayed her). I also think it fits better with her last name, Belacqua. The two names flow more smoothly together, especially since they say both names more often than not.

Pantalaimon's Voice

It was annoying. That was really it. He just annoyed me.

Plot Arrangement

It bothered me that the usurping of the false bear king came before the rescue of the children from the Gobblers. I'm not sure why it did, as it worked perfectly well in the film, but it did bother me.

Lack of Gyptian Rituals and Cultural References

One thing that I really liked about the book was the Gyptian culture. Part gypsy, part nomad, part pirate... they are fascinating. Especially, their gathering rituals, which were not really presented at all during the film. Also, there wasn't really any mention at all of diet or gyptian behaviour. It would have been such a simple thing to add to the movie, especially because it was quite short, and it really would have added a lot to the movie's protrayal of the Gyptian people.

The Carriage

The image projector, I expected to be a bit steampunky and mystical. The alethiometer, I expected to be a bit mystical. The gyptian ships and Scoresby's flying contraption, I expected to be altered and more interesting looking. And these things were different from what we would typically think of, but they weren't extravagant and out of place. But Mrs. Coulter's ridiculous carriage in the dirty streets of London and looking NOTHING like any of the other vehicles in the movie bothered me immensely. I would not have minded an altered, motorized carriage, but the way it was altered was impractical and unnecessary and looked quite stupid in relation to its surroundings.

I hope that fucker was stolen and dismantled by dock workers or something.

The Exaggesterium

The Magisterium, in the book, was not a major antagonistic force. It was present, as it was the dominant group out of the collection that made up the government, but it was opressive. It wasn't demanding. It was just present. The major antagonistic force was the General Oblation Board and Coulter. The exaggeration of the Magisterium was an unnecessary tap into American dislike of controlling governments. It felt like a midrash (Coffey... why did you do this to me? XD) of the dictatorship of communist Russia. I rather liked the way the government in the book was not, in itself, horrible, but people in certain positions of power, who could control boards and aspects of the government, were the things that needed to be eradicated.

Also, making up a character to support the kind of insidious control is just stupid.

Too Much Dust

I found it a bit annoying that every time Lyra used the alethiometer, they had to do a Dust magic illustrative thing. Every time. Some of the time, I liked it, but at other times it was too much and distracting.


The movie went by INCREDIBLY FAST. It was very weird, considering how slow moving the book was. The book had a lot of waiting and a lot of explanation while traveling, but the movie never stopped to take a breath. It was a bit alarming.

Witches, What?

They rearranged the influence of the witches into some kind of weird Deus Ex Machina thing. They weren't really real characters, but like the eagles at the end of LotR. They mention them, and you might see one, but then they come and save everyone in the end.

Things I Did Like:



Mark Twain

Holy crap. Scoresby was pretty dang awesome in the book, BUT HE WAS PLAYED BY MARK TWAIN, I SWEAR. He made me so happy in my soul. Seriously. Every time he showed up to save the day, I was like MARK TWAIN HELL YEAH.


I was doubting the casting choice for Mrs. Coulter, as I have not particularly liked Nicole Kidman in other things, but she did spectacularly well. Seriously. I couldn't believe how awesome she was.

Bear Punch

Even though they changed Iofur's name to something else, he still fought Iorek and they actually showed Iorek tearing Iofur's jaw off. 8D FUCK YEAH HARDCORE.

Costume Design

Pretty fucking awesome. Especially the gyptians. I loved their clothing. 8D

.... yeah. Overall, pretty awesome times. 8D

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