The Golden Compass
Year:
2007
Country:
USA, UK
Genre:
Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Family
IMDB rating:
6.1
Director:
Chris Weitz
Nicole Kidman as Mrs. Coulter
Daniel Craig as Lord Asriel
Ben Walker as Roger
Freddie Highmore as Pantalaimon
Ian McKellen as Iorek Byrnison
Eva Green as Serafina Pekkala
Jim Carter as John Faa
Tom Courtenay as Farder Coram
Ian McShane as Ragnar Sturlusson
Sam Elliott as Lee Scoresby
Christopher Lee as First High Councilor
Edward de Souza as Second High Councilor
Storyline: It was no ordinary life for a young girl: living among scholars in the hallowed halls of Jordan College and tearing unsupervised through Oxford's motley streets on mad quests for adventure. But Lyra's greatest adventure would begin closer to home, the day she heard hushed talk of an extraordinary particle. Microscopic in size, the magical dust- discovered in the vast Arctic expanse of the North -was rumored to possess profound properties that could unite whole universes. But there were those who feared the particle and would stop at nothing to destroy it. Catapulted into the heart of a terrible struggle, Lyra was forced to seek aid from clans, 'gyptians, and formidable armored bears. And as she journeyed into unbelievable danger, she had not the faintest clue that she alone was destined to win, or to lose, this more-than-mortal battle...
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File Size 702 Mb
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Reviews
I, for one, loathed it
An unmitigated disaster. It's a charmless Lord of the Rings cash-in. I believe that the producers had a lot to do with its failure. New Line Cinema desperately wanted a new fantasy franchise, and I imagine they demanded that this one come in under two hours so they could have more showtimes. The film is nothing but exposition and plot, moving breathlessly between locales and introducing scads of characters for whom I couldn't give a rat's ass. We're never allowed to know any of these people, not even the protagonist, a precocious preteen played by Dakota Blue Richards. Things happen so quickly and dialogue is delivered so rapidly, I felt like I was watching Speed Racer. I've heard the novel is actually quite good. I imagine it's better than this, but I was rather annoyed at one major conceit of Philip Pullman's universe: every human being on his alternate Earth has a spirit animal, called a daemon, that follows them around. This idea allows the filmmakers, at any rate, to be lazy. When they want to tell us a character is bad, their daemon is a snake or a beetle, or a filthy monkey. When they're good, they make them something noble, like a bird or a tiger or something. This is just really bad storytelling. The film, of course, ends with plot strings showing, letting us know that there will be sequels. Even though the film has already tanked, they'll probably make them anyway. I certainly won't be in attendance. You shouldn't make the initial mistake of seeing this one.
2007-12-10
descent enough
I waited to watch this movie until it was released on DVD. I was sadly disappointed. However, the movie was good. I felt that with all the hype of it being the next big trilogy, it was a let down. They left then ending open so that another could be created to follow the trilogy of books, but now there's news that they might not be making it. I felt that my time spent watching it and getting intrigued by it was a complete waste at that point. I felt that the beginning started off descent, but then they just kept ramming details that you need to know right after another without really elaborating or allowing for enough time to lapse between them to be ready for the next wave of information. After watching this very well graphicized movie, I was still tired from trying to take in all the information. You get in about 1 minute the history of the little girl and all this other history follows right after it. By the time you really start to understand what is happening, the movie has ended and you're left with questions that may or may not get answered in the movies. So, I guess for the author of the books this can be good for sales, but I like to watch and so does most of the general public. I do recommend this film for children who like a movie with animals and some humor, but without the sequels I feel this movie was a waste otherwise.
2008-06-12
Had to turn it off!
I could not be bothered to watch this. Not sure what was going on. Could not care one bit for the characters. TOTALLY BORED! This is only the second movie in my life i have turned off before the end. The other is Relic! Boy that sucked! I am a huge fan of fantasy. I love Star Wars, LOTR, Narnia, D&D (not the movie!) but this left me cold.

Please don't think i am stupid for not understanding it, i just couldn't be bothered to understand it.

The movie was like a poor pantomime, and a clumsy one at that. Poor acting, type-casting by the bucket load, and a terrible script.

Shockingly bad.
2009-03-12
is there anything more annoying than a fantasy film starring kids and talking animals?
Is there anything more annoying than a fantasy film starring kids and talking animals? I don't think so. This movie was pretty lame and I'm surprised that some dumb clerical guys wanted to start a boycott of this movie. Maybe the books were more critical about religion and the church, but nothing of that seems to have find it's way into this movie. First, I hate cute children in leading roles. Second, I hate talking animals in leading roles. Third I hate it when top talent like Kidman and Craig is only there for a few minutes. The screenplay was a mess. Lame, uninteresting, without any suspense and worst, without any sense of wonder regarding the fantasy environment. This movie is the perfect example of too much money going into the visual effects (which were very good) and too less money going into a coherent and plausible screenplay. Even Kidman, Craig and Eva Green leave no lasting impression. The only highlight is a very fine turn by the always reliable Sam Elliott. And the most annoying part is the end. That's it? Talking for the last five minutes about all the things they have to do in the next movie? Are you kidding? This is no total disaster, but if they might move on with a second movie, which is pretty unlikely regarding the box office, don't count on me.
2009-02-01
A real let down
Having seen the Golden Compass I can honestly say Im hoping they don't make a follow up.

The story was truncated beyond the necessity involved in translating a book to film, the intricacies of the characters (especially Lyra) were swept over with a series of single scene expositions, that despite the talents of all the actors involved failed to accurately portray their persona's or motivations.

Whether or not you agree with Pullmans subtext in the book or not, the film failed miserably to deliver any semblance of the authors story.

On the plus side the Daemons and other effects were expertly achieved, fantastically voiced. The actors did their best with what came across as a disjointed, amateurish script. Key plot hocks were evaded, key sub text elements were missing and the directors clear priority of not offending any member of a dogmatic organised religion shone through the entire production.

In a few words: Great actors and effects in an unworthy script that was neither a faithful production of Pullmans work nor anything other than a flawed attempt to achieve box office takings.
2007-12-06
Not worth your time
It's a misconception by Hollywood types that a big-budget fantasy movie with a lot of special effects, etc., will automatically attract a large audience. After all, that were what the Lord of the Ring and Horry Potter series did. Truth is, special effect can only keep the audience's attention for 10 minutes. To keep their attention for 90 minutes, there has to be a coherent story.

This movie suffers what 90% of today's Hollywood movies do: Poor writing. Dialogs are devoid of any subtlety. There's no proper set up or anticipation. It's just lazy writing. Perhaps those who are intimately familiar with the original book, who already know the set up, would have a slightly more enjoyable experience watching this movie. But then again, judging by its quality, either the book itself isn't that great anyway or the movie completely failed to reflect the glory of the original. Either way, it's a failure.
2007-12-05
Undecided... the jury is still out on this one.
Some great scenes, some fascinating artwork, and, although in rather short supply, some enchanting acting performances such as from Eva Green who portrayed a witch, or from Sam Elliot who was superb, or from young Dakota Blue Richards who was indeed good, and Nicole Kidman, who always is impressive though this time maybe was not at her best.

I enjoyed the film, yes, but... something was missing and I just can not put my finger on it. The film seems to rush through the story, not flow with the story. The end comes to soon, and yet no conclusions are drawn so that a sequel will obviously follow. However, whether I would bother watching it when it does come, I really am not sure.

A nice little film... but by no means brilliant.
2008-05-15
very complex and Dull!
It gets 1 for the visuals alone. Yes it looks pretty but pretty alone isn't enough to carry a story this complicated.

We get the tiny explanation at the start which is practically useless. This film was made for those who have read the book, which I haven't. I found the film incredibly inaccessible to me.

It's too long winded, far too self important and self indulgent. It requires a narrator and I found myself getting bored after less than 30 minutes (less than 1/3 of the way through). The film didn't hold my attention very well (it'd struggle to find an audience amongst children, I'm unsure who the target demographic actually are) and I frequently found my attention waning.

I didn't care about any of the characters or the plot at all, the film was that interesting (ie:- not at all). I won't try to explain the plot (as I didn't really understand much of it) other than to say it seems to follow the voyage of a girl and people trying to discover a path from their realm into alternate realities & others trying to stop them doing that.

None of the characters were compelling enough to pique my interest, likewise the animal companions. They might be the "oh-ah" factor for kids but they had no substance and their shape changing abilities weren't explained, neither was why they were with the people they were with.

All the locations and characters seem to be very tenuously linked together and are very much a mish-mash of ideas that don't quite fit or work or ring true. The book itself must seem like someone took 10 different fantasy books, cut all the pages out, threw them in the air and picked random pages up and glued those together calling it their book. A hotch-potch. But botched.

I can see this boring most of the people who go to watch it with their expectations from the trailer being dashed. Parents taking kids might find they have to leave before 40 minutes have passed, they won't be able to pay attention to it.

Far too complex for it's own good. It's like trying to watch Dune for the 1st time or Blade Runner without the voice over for the 1st time. But not as interesting.

Wait for the DVD release. You won't get a refund if your kids are bored by the film at the cinema. I'd recommend Stardust. It's a better film & easier to watch.
2007-12-11
A Decent Adventure
The "Lord of the Rings", and "Harry Potter". These two movies are what "The Golden Compass" reminded me of. The Golden Compass is a fantasy adventure movie which does stand on its own with these two other movies. It features an array of decent actors, who both have ups and downs in the film.

The downside to the film is largely the beginning. It introduces the movie's concept of dust, something that is normal in everyday life for us, is in the film, a dimensional material. Therefore, the beginning is very confusing, and the story does not develop until well into twenty minutes of the film.

After the rocky start, the film is quite well done. The CG is exceptional, such as the polar bear fight. Another thing that drew me into the plot was the introduction of new characters along the way. The movie begins with the protagonist by herself, but as the story continues, she begins to incorporate new allies into her group. The introduction of characters made me want to keep watching.

There are decent fight scenes, a main one being the Polar Bear fight. The finishing blow was nicely executed. However, the ending fight scene of the movie left me disappointed. There was no organization, nothing that really drew me into the fight. With a brawl of over a hundred people, lacking variety of attacks and CG makes it dull and quite irritating.

Finally, if you like a movie that focuses more on adventure and development of characters, with a nice integration of CG, I suggest watching the film. It is a good one time movie, and hopefully a sequel is created. =]
2008-05-12
Not a bad movie - in fact, it was quite good.
Even though, as you might realize, many comments relate to this movie tend to point out a simple conclusion, that it is flopped.

However, I went to see this movie anyway. To be very honest, I actually think this movie was not as bad as many people out there describe.

The movie did give a huge amount of information in a very short period (1.5 hours) and this can be frustrated. Meanwhile, this movie also presented a high level of entertainment. The scenes were link to each other well enough that you wouldn't get confused. Everything that was necessarily to know in order to understand the story was mentioned clearly. The graphics and acting were also great that there is a very small chance that you would feel like you are watching a kid movie.

As a movie, explaining everything in the book is impossible, unless you want to make its length up to 12 hours. Also, as a movie, most importantly is to deliver the excitement to the audiences. The Golden Compass was a bit rush but because of that, you wouldn't feel bored watching this movie, since it doesn't go on and on to explain a background for like 10 minutes. I think the director made a very good adaptation of the original story. This movie is definitely a worth-watching movie for all age of people.
2008-01-15
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