Okay..., we saw the "sneak preview" of The Golden Compass last night, the movie adaption of Philip Pullman's novel Northern Lights. Heres the author's take
on his experience.* spoilers ahead * (of course!)
We saw the movie in Camarillo, California and the theater was full. Many viewers were having a really good time. There weren't any dedicated protesters and no voice of dissent was heard before, during or after the movie. It's not a standard, stupid kid movie. The kids were doing things. It wasn't all cute frenzy stuff.
The story is definitely streamlined from the novel but they got in many of the pertinent scenes; I especially liked the proverbial, crumbling ice bridge scene. But..., my family (who have not read the book) were able to follow the narrative even though I thought it moved at a breath-taking pace. They understood the concept of external, visible souls. For myself, it was the sort of fantastical movie with wondrous occurences that I appreciate in a motion picture.
I was a bit surprised that the movie ended in the second-to-last chapter. But..., my family (who have not read the book) appreciated the reasonably "up" ending after learning the actions of Lyra's parents.
Nicole Kidman finally has a role suited to her. She often looks mean and in this movie she can really stretch her dramatic chops to "psycho bitch."
Daniel Craig did a good job. My son thought, "Good Bond movie but then in Casino Royale Bond was a son-of-a-bitch."
The polar bear could have been almost any graduate of the Royal Academy. Honestly, I can't tell the difference between the voices of Patrick Steward, Peter Woodward, Nicol Williamson or Ian McKlellen (who played Iorek Byrnison the armored bear....
Dakota Blue Richards also did a good job considering this is her first job (and it's carrying a motion picture).
Sam Elliot gets to play... Sam Elliot.
Supporting actor Ben Walker (Roger) and Charlie Rowe (Billy Costa) definitely held their own as Lyra's friends given their screen time. Very charismatic players all.
My wife's convinced that Hattie Morahan (Sister Clara) stole the movie as the "Mr Bumble of Oliver Twist." Her small, subtle part provided quite a juxtaposition between her and the children.
My son observed, "In a book, when they tell you where you need to go, the book can tell you what the hell that place is. But in the movie, you don't have that opportunity. I found myself getting confused ... about wherever they needed to go." But the "Jackson approach" of showing the map and having the characters pointing at it help some.
I think what some people take too personally
is the criticism that those in power become corrupted by it. Even those who've thrown down the tyranny that became before it. The moral should be: tyranny by anybody over anybody is the crime--not that this, particular group has it in for that particular group.~ ~ ~
Here's a professional review
of the movie.