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movie review by David Blackwell

113 minutes, PG-13
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1

STARRING Dakota Blue Richards (Lyra Belacqua) , Nicole Kidman (Marsia Coulter), Daniel Craig (Lord Asriel), Sam Elliot (Lee Scoresby), Eva Green (Serafina Pekkala), Ian McKellan (voice of Iorek Byrnison)
Written by Chris Weitz (screenplay), based on the novel Northern Lights by Phillip Pullman
DIRECTED by Chris Weitz

STUDIO: New line Cinema/ Ingenious Film Partners
Theatrical RELEASE DATE: 12-7-2007

PLOT SYNOPSIS: In a parallel universe, young Lyra Belacqua (of Jordan College in Oxford) journeys to the far North to save her best friend and other kidnapped children from terrible experiments by a sinister religious organization known as the Magesterium. She receives helps from a cowboy airman, gypsies, witches, and a talking armored Polar Bear. A truth telling instrument called The Golden Compass helps guide her journey.

ANALYSIS: THE GOLDEN COMPASS is a misfire. It has great casting, but character development is skipped over for the most part and voital scenes from the book are missing. The films feels extremely rushed. The plot isn't developed enough and people who haven't read the novel will feel confused. I loved the novel (known as THE GOLDEN COMPASS in the USA).

Then the movie ends at the wrong point. The studio wanted to end the film on an up note and that meant the downbeat climax was removed during editing. If the sequel (based on The subtle knife) gets made, the ending will be the start of the sequel). By doing that, the film adaptation of the first book ends weakly. THE GOLDEN COMPASS is a hollow viewing experience only held up by a greatly imagined world (enhanced by CGI) and fantastic casting (Derek Jacobi and Christopher Lee play small parts as council members of the Magesterium). I just hope an extended cut will appear on DVD and that it helps turn the film into a good adaptation instead of a mediocre one.

this movie review is (c)12-12-2007 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com  

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