typhaerion
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The Golden Compass - Movie Warning

Sun Dec 09, 2007 6:41 am

I was so frustrated this evening after visiting the movie theater that I had to warn people. I will write no spoilers here so anyone can read this.

As some background, I am a big fan of the novels. Also, I don't buy into the church controversy, I am from a Christian background and after only having read the books I didn't see what all the fuss was about.

That being said, after having see the movie I now see where it is coming from.

Please, if you love a good story, do not watch the movie The Golden Compass before reading the books. The movie is not true to the original story and is pretty disjointed in comparison. In my sole opinion, the movie was not done very well. The graphics were great and the acting was good, but the book did well without being illustrated and in my opinion the story was more important than the pictures and they screwed it up. It reminded me of Star Wars Episode 1 a bit, where the graphics were phenomenal, but the story line left a bit to be desired and had some parts that didn't make sense.

So, if you like pretty pictures, go ahead and see the movie, but if you like a good story better than flashy art, read the book first and wait for the movie to come out on DVD.

If you have seen the movie I would love to know what you thought of it, I would be even more thrilled to hear what you think if you have both seen the movie and read the books, though I think we may have spoiler issues if we go into too much detail.
For some, the sky is the limit. For us, it is only the beginning... -- Jack Hunt
 
Mir
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RE: The Golden Compass - Movie Warning

Sun Dec 09, 2007 7:47 am

I've read two of the books - I hope it's safe for me to see the movie without having read the third.

-Mir
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jafa39
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RE: The Golden Compass - Movie Warning

Sun Dec 09, 2007 7:49 am

My son said the same thing about the Lord of the Rings trilogy....but I couldn't read the books....waaay too boring, the films were great though.

Each to his own eh bro?  Smile
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freckles
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RE: The Golden Compass - Movie Warning

Sun Dec 09, 2007 9:45 am

To be fair, I completely disagree in every way.

Firstly, who cares if you are a Christian, stop putting your hand up - there are underlying themes of a religious style, but the film does not portray these themes as hard core church controversy, it just doesn't. It could well be Congress for Mr Joe Bloggs.

The graphics are superb, yes, the acting is superb, yes, the portrayal of the original book is flaky, yes, but what do you expect of a Hollywood interpretation? It should have been called Northern Lights, but guess what changed that?

The book itself, I have to say is mediocre, and I think that the filmmakers did an excellent job of transforming it into a Hollywood epic for the whole family to enjoy. It was clear, exciting and filled with suspense, and you do get the very basic plot foundations, which is what is most important, especially as it leads on to the sequels.

It was a great effort at frankly an average book, but the comments about religion are absurd, the story is portrayed very well, and it is a fantastic film for all the family to go and see.

In fact, I recommend that you do.

Whats more, the score is superb, and a joy to listen to incidentally within the film.

Morgan
 
JGPH1A
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RE: The Golden Compass - Movie Warning

Sun Dec 09, 2007 10:01 am

I'm looking forward to seeing the movie - the books were good but a little flaky, especially the middle one (was that the one with the wheeled animals in it - what the hell was that all about ?) - I want to reread Northern Lights to see how the movie differs.

Re Lord of the Rings, I loved Peter Jackson's interpretation of the books. The books are very hard going in places, but he managed to convey the weight of the text without filming every line, and that took some rare skill. I think JRR Tolkien would have been very pleased with the result (with perhaps one or two reservations about some omitted characters).
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wingnut767
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RE: The Golden Compass - Movie Warning

Sun Dec 09, 2007 2:34 pm



Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 4):
I think JRR Tolkien would have been very pleased with the result (with perhaps one or two reservations about some omitted characters).

He did do a great job. The only problem I had was weaving Arwen Evenstar into the movie more than she was to cover a demographic. Liv Tyler is nice but it was Glorfindel At the Fords to help Frodo.
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Klaus
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RE: The Golden Compass - Movie Warning

Sun Dec 09, 2007 2:43 pm



Quoting Wingnut767 (Reply 5):
He did do a great job. The only problem I had was weaving Arwen Evenstar into the movie more than she was to cover a demographic. Liv Tyler is nice but it was Glorfindel At the Fords to help Frodo.

Sure. But I would say that this particular change made by Frances Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Peter Jackson makes a lot more sense than the haphazardly tacked-on storyline with Arwen in the books. That always looked weird and unfinished to me, even when I first read the books an age and a half ago.

The movie changes in that regard make it an organic part of the story which makes much more sense in my view. Tolkien always knew that he had his limitations as a writer and never claimed perfection for his work. I don't think it's an accident that two female writers rounded out an aspect of the story which he obviously had his troubles with. He'd probably appreciated the change himself.
 
JGPH1A
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RE: The Golden Compass - Movie Warning

Sun Dec 09, 2007 2:44 pm



Quoting Wingnut767 (Reply 5):
The only problem I had was weaving Arwen Evenstar into the movie more than she was to cover a demographic. Liv Tyler is nice but it was Glorfindel At the Fords to help Frodo.

For purists I guess this one was a sticking point, but making more play out of Strider's romantic interest (which after all is canonical, even if only in the appendices) helps not only to round out his character (it gives him a dilemma to resolve and a sacrifice to make), and makes more poignant the fate of the Elves and their final journey into the west. It worked for me. As for who helped Frodo at the ford, from a storytelling point of view, to have stuck with the text would have introduced a new character who would promptly disappear again - it was clever to use the incident to introduce Arwen instead. Yes it was to introduce some kind of romantic interest, but they did it smoothly, cleverly and with total respect for the spirit of the book.

P.S. I'm NOT a Tolkien purist, nor am I particularly knowledgeable about the books - I enjoy them, and have read both the Hobbit and LOTR a couple of times (the second time for LOTR I admit was to coincide with the release of the movies) - but having re-read the book, I can see the huge problems that Jackson would have encountered in translating them to film - I think he did a sublime job, for me the LOTR trilogy stands as a benchmark in film-making that it will be hard to top.
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777236ER
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RE: The Golden Compass - Movie Warning

Sun Dec 09, 2007 3:02 pm

The film is terrible. It's obvious that the movie studio is worried about the religious backlash, so edited away all of the interesting themes in the books. The Magisterium isn't the Catholic Church, and all of the anti-religious tones in the book are missing. The book is clearly and unequivocally anti-religious, the movie is bland. Every single metaphysical point is labouriously explained, I'm not sure God is mentioned once, the themes behind the daemons are never touched upon; the thing is a huge disappointment.

Free speech is at a point where movies about great books have to be dumbed down to prevent a backlash from religious zealots hell-bent on forcing their bigoted view of the world on everyone else. There are boycots of Harry Potter, there are even boycots of this film despite the massive attempts made to ignore the anti-religious sentiment in the books. The nonsense surrounding this film proves Pullman's point.
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Mortyman
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RE: The Golden Compass - Movie Warning

Sun Dec 09, 2007 3:33 pm

On a different note...

The actors were never in Norway, but alot of the backround is shot in Norway...


Here is the famous " Bryggen " landmark in Bergen, Norway






Svalbard:


 
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RayChuang
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RE: The Golden Compass - Movie Warning

Sun Dec 09, 2007 3:49 pm



Quoting 777236ER (Reply 8):
The film is terrible. It's obvious that the movie studio is worried about the religious backlash, so edited away all of the interesting themes in the books. The Magisterium isn't the Catholic Church, and all of the anti-religious tones in the book are missing. The book is clearly and unequivocally anti-religious, the movie is bland. Every single metaphysical point is labouriously explained, I'm not sure God is mentioned once, the themes behind the daemons are never touched upon; the thing is a huge disappointment.

What will hurt this movie are two problems: 1) they cut out too many of the themes from the original novel and 2) everybody knows about Philip Pullman's very blatant atheism, and that won't work here in the USA, especially with the strong Evangelical movement and the powerful Mormon church. The Lord of the Rings movie did very well because Tolkien wrote the original novel to still confirm with his devout Catholic beliefs (if you look at the concept of angelic beings from his work they closely match that of general Catholic beliefs on the hierarchy of angels).
 
AirTranTUS
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RE: The Golden Compass - Movie Warning

Sun Dec 09, 2007 3:54 pm



Quoting 777236ER (Reply 8):
Free speech is at a point where movies about great books have to be dumbed down to prevent a backlash from religious zealots hell-bent on forcing their bigoted view of the world on everyone else.

Have to? Not even close. No one forced them to change it, they did it themselves.
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JGPH1A
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RE: The Golden Compass - Movie Warning

Sun Dec 09, 2007 4:00 pm



Quoting AirTranTUS (Reply 11):
Have to? Not even close. No one forced them to change it, they did it themselves.

And that is the saddest thing of all. The idea that a beloved book should have to be reduced to a shadow of its own meaning to pander to fanatics is distressing. If this was done off the studio's own bat for a fear of some potential backlash that is even more pathetic. If they have to do that, then at least produce a watered-down (US) version and a real (Rest-of-world) version - why spoil it for the whole world just to please a small minority in one country ?
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dl021
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RE: The Golden Compass - Movie Warning

Sun Dec 09, 2007 4:07 pm



Quoting RayChuang (Reply 10):
everybody knows about Philip Pullman's very blatant atheism, and that won't work here in the USA, especially with the strong Evangelical movement and the powerful Mormon church.

The "powerful Mormon church"? Guys...seriously...this whole thing where people equate organized religion (of which I'm not really a fan in many cases...and that's cross-denominations and theologies) to a grand conspiracy which runs this country reminds me of the people who think that the Rothschilds, Rockefellers, Windsors, the Mormon leader and the Pope run the world in some chamber deep within the walls of the Vatican. It can start to border on fetish conspiracy junkiness, and it distracts from real conversation.

The books were clearly atheist in tone and content, and were written with the intent of offering a different fantasy book perhaps in the authors mind to counter authors like Lewis and Tolkien. The Christmas month release of the book could be interpreted as counter Christmas programming if one were truly given to conspiracy theories.

Plus...everyone knows the Jews run Hollywood...and they're not atheists, are they? I read that in the National Enquirerer so it must be true!

Quoting AirTranTUS (Reply 11):
Quoting 777236ER (Reply 8):
Free speech is at a point where movies about great books have to be dumbed down to prevent a backlash from religious zealots hell-bent on forcing their bigoted view of the world on everyone else.

Why do people equate market capitalism with censorship?
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mbmbos
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RE: The Golden Compass - Movie Warning

Sun Dec 09, 2007 4:08 pm



Quoting AirTranTUS (Reply 11):
No one forced them to change it, they did it themselves.

Did you not read what 777236ER said? He said "...dumbed down to a prevent backlash..."

I think he's made himself very clear. And I agree with his statements. If the movie hadn't been dumbed down, we would have had sanctimonious people from the Catholic church and other churches in a state of outrage, organizing boycotts, condemning Hollywood, etc.
 
mt99
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RE: The Golden Compass - Movie Warning

Sun Dec 09, 2007 4:10 pm

The movie is very mediocre. The ending sucks. Acting is first rate thought. Dakota Blue reminds me of a young Tilda Swinton.

From the movie, i can tell that he book is way more interesting and i am curious to read it. Remember - this is a movie BASED on a book. It is not the movie OF a book. I do believe that screenwriter should mold the original story to make a movie. After all - film and books are completely different mediums and as such a photocopy of each other is seldom good.

Look at Alfonso Cuaron's Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkeban. Good book, excellent movie. He changed things around for the best.
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JGPH1A
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RE: The Golden Compass - Movie Warning

Sun Dec 09, 2007 4:11 pm



Quoting DL021 (Reply 13):
Why do people equate market capitalism with censorship?

Is it not censorship when powerful minority interests exert pressure for certain statements not to be made ? It certainly is interference with freedom of expression, albeit through financial rather than judicial sanction. It certainly sucks just as much.
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dl021
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RE: The Golden Compass - Movie Warning

Sun Dec 09, 2007 4:41 pm

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 16):
Is it not censorship when powerful minority interests exert pressure for certain statements not to be made ? It certainly is interference with freedom of expression, albeit through financial rather than judicial sanction. It certainly sucks just as much.

I would say that depends on the definition of censorship people have in their head. Too often people equate government censorship with private censorship. If a private individual or entity decides to or to not publicize or disseminate information then that is their right in my country. If the government decides to prevent a private individual or entity from speaking or demonstrating then that is censorship and the only question is whether it's with due process or not.

However many feel that private individuals or entities should be required to act as public entities and be held as such. They believe that their rights supercede those of others and if they want to know something they should be allowed to know it even if it's private. It's the source of much controversy here, and hypocrisy. The same people who want abortion records held still want the gun purchasing records opened, and vice versa. We've got football fans making Freedom of Information Act requests for phone records on their teams coach so they can embarrass and oust him. There are those who believe that we should not adopt societal standards for comportment and behaviour, and others who feel that the standards encoded are too lax.

The censorship exercised by a private entity over the content of anything it produces out is a matter for that company and it's consumers as long as no one's rights are being violated. No one has the right to legally demand that a film producer make a movie a certain way (the old blue laws have consistently been shot down in the court system)....although they have certainly attempted to disprove that. The distribution of films can certainly be a matter of public argument, but the companies have the right to make decisions based on economics. Whether they're correct or not is a matter of opinion and results, but that's a different discussion.

Does that long assed post make sense to you? I'd like to think I was clear in my clarification, because you're correct in your definition of censorship...it doesn't have to come from government. It's just that many people think that private entities should NOT be able to self-censor.

[Edited 2007-12-09 08:47:12]
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JGPH1A
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RE: The Golden Compass - Movie Warning

Sun Dec 09, 2007 5:02 pm



Quoting DL021 (Reply 17):
The censorship exercised by a private entity over the content of anything it produces out is a matter for that company and it's consumers as long as no one's rights are being violated.

But we have here to consider the source of the pressure for "self"-censorship. If this was simply an editorial decision on the part of the producers/director of the picture, purely for the artistic integrity of the work, you're right, there is no argument to be made - it is entirely their artistic/editorial choice. But the choice was imposed upon them by external organisation by mean of a real or implied threat. The choice to cave in to this real or implied threat is the studio's to make, but it still amounts to censorship. One party does not wish the general public to be exposed to certain view points and exerts pressure to ensure that the publishing party does not do so. That is censorship. It is not about anyone's right to SEE said material, in fact it's not really about anyone's rights at all, it is about integrity and freedom from religious persecution (because that is what this amounts to). But the ones really at fault here are the studio for caving in in so craven a manner.

Quoting DL021 (Reply 17):
The distribution of films can certainly be a matter of public argument, but the companies have the right to make decisions based on economics. Whether they're correct or not is a matter of opinion and results, but that's a different discussion.

I disagree - that is entirely the discussion we are having here - the decision to "self"-censor was a weak and gutless one - if the work can stand on it's own merits, it should be published as is and allowed to stand or fall. How else is the kind of market power these religious organisations wield to be challenged and overcome ?

Quoting DL021 (Reply 17):
It's just that many people think that private entities should NOT be able to self-censor.

If the "self"-censorship is for the reasons I've given, ie. artistic integrity or editiorialisation, fair enough they have that right. But to cave into fanaticism is the worst possible cowardice.
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777236ER
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RE: The Golden Compass - Movie Warning

Sun Dec 09, 2007 5:03 pm



Quoting RayChuang (Reply 10):
2) everybody knows about Philip Pullman's very blatant atheism, and that won't work here in the USA, especially with the strong Evangelical movement and the powerful Mormon church.

The Church doesn't trust cinema-goers so they have to boycot even ridiculously dumbed-down films like this one?

Quoting AirTranTUS (Reply 11):
Have to? Not even close. No one forced them to change it, they did it themselves.

Yes, have to, to prevent a backlash. Read what I wrote. There are already boycots of this film, imagine the response had the film been true to the book. The book is one of the greatest children's books ever, yet a true film adaption of the book would cause outcry and boycot in the US. Might as well go the whole hog and start book-burning.

Quoting DL021 (Reply 13):

Why do people equate market capitalism with censorship?

Market capitalism? Boycoting a film because you think it espouses an evil atheist anti-Christian message isn't capitalism, it's closed-minded, religious zealotry that belongs in the Middle Ages. Should Hemmingway have dumbed-down his books because of the 'market capitalism' of the Nazi majority in Germany? Don't be so ridiculous.
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RSWA330
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RE: The Golden Compass - Movie Warning

Sun Dec 09, 2007 5:42 pm



Quoting 777236ER (Reply 8):
The film is terrible. It's obvious that the movie studio is worried about the religious backlash, so edited away all of the interesting themes in the books. The Magisterium isn't the Catholic Church, and all of the anti-religious tones in the book are missing. The book is clearly and unequivocally anti-religious, the movie is bland. Every single metaphysical point is labouriously explained, I'm not sure God is mentioned once, the themes behind the daemons are never touched upon; the thing is a huge disappointment.

Free speech is at a point where movies about great books have to be dumbed down to prevent a backlash from religious zealots hell-bent on forcing their bigoted view of the world on everyone else. There are boycots of Harry Potter, there are even boycots of this film despite the massive attempts made to ignore the anti-religious sentiment in the books. The nonsense surrounding this film proves Pullman's point.

The makers of the film could have put what ever they wanted to in the film. It has nothing to do with Christian zealouts oppressing their right to free speech. You are right though that many Christians would backlash against the movie (many already have). Like it or not, over 80% of the people in the U.S. claim to be Christians. We make up a very large customer base and the movie's primary goal is to make money. They do this by appealing to a wide array of customers. To make the movie as anti-religious as the book would have been suicide because it would have immediately turned off a HUGE percentage of the potential customer base. I love how you claim we Christians are "forcing our bigoted view on the world", yet you sit here and complain that the movie should have disregarded the beliefs of 80% of Americans simply to accurately portray the book.

Also, we "bigoted" Christians have the same rights you do. If we want to boycott the movie, that is our business and not your's. That being said, I could care less about the anti-religious undertone of the movie. It is just a movie after all.
 
JGPH1A
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RE: The Golden Compass - Movie Warning

Sun Dec 09, 2007 5:48 pm



Quoting RSWA330 (Reply 20):
If we want to boycott the movie, that is our business and not your's.

The curious thing is though, why should Christians feel so insecure about their faith that they have to boycott a Hollywood movie that disagrees with it ? Surely a good Christian has such faith that nothing could cause one to deviate from it, no matter how intelligently or alluringly presented. Surely the sheep who might be lured from the fold by such heinous atheism would be lost anyway, because of their lack of faith ? No loss then, you would think.

Once, just once, it would be nice for the intellectual and the logical to win out over the blind and unreasoned. Just once  Yeah sure
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777236ER
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RE: The Golden Compass - Movie Warning

Sun Dec 09, 2007 5:52 pm



Quoting RSWA330 (Reply 20):
I love how you claim we Christians are "forcing our bigoted view on the world", yet you sit here and complain that the movie should have disregarded the beliefs of 80% of Americans simply to accurately portray the book.

Don't be ridiculous, do think the Passion of the Christ should have been dumbed-down to pander to atheist sensitivities?

Quoting RSWA330 (Reply 20):
If we want to boycott the movie, that is our business and not your's. That being said, I could care less about the anti-religious undertone of the movie. It is just a movie after all.

So you accept that it's laughable to boycot films. Tell that to the Christian groups boycoting the film.
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Halcyon
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RE: The Golden Compass - Movie Warning

Sun Dec 09, 2007 6:49 pm

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 21):

I read the books in 6th-7th grade, a year after I read Tolkien. I loved them, and found that theme with God being a "lie" to be interesting. They're some of my favorite books of all time, and I am hoping to see the film.

As you know, I'm religious. So please don't paint us all as "blind and unreasoned," because some of us are able to separate ourselves from our religion and enjoy some great storytelling. I may not agree with people, but I'm always willing to listen as long as it's not some BS about chemtrails.

Peace?

EDIT: And Eva Green is hot.  Wow!

[Edited 2007-12-09 10:50:12]
 
wingnut767
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RE: The Golden Compass - Movie Warning

Sun Dec 09, 2007 7:00 pm



Quoting Klaus (Reply 6):
The movie changes in that regard make it an organic part of the story which makes much more sense in my view. Tolkien always knew that he had his limitations as a writer and never claimed perfection for his work. I don't think it's an accident that two female writers rounded out an aspect of the story which he obviously had his troubles with. He'd probably appreciated the change himself.

I agree. I had read the trilogy, silmarillion and the hobbit around 8 to 10 times in my early days. I still have one shelf in my library dedicated to al of my old Tolkien books. I did love the movies and think they did a great job and that part was just one small point in a great series of movies. I wish they would make the Silmarillion.
Yakum purkan min shmaya
 
JGPH1A
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RE: The Golden Compass - Movie Warning

Sun Dec 09, 2007 7:04 pm



Quoting Halcyon (Reply 23):
As you know, I'm religious. So please don't paint us all as "blind and unreasoned," because some of us are able to separate ourselves from our religion and enjoy some great storytelling.

This is exactly my point.Your statement demonstrates that it is perfectly possible to have strong religious faith and yet not be blind or unreasoned. You are prepared to accept and even enjoy something that contradicts your faith without feeling threatened by it. That's great. Why is that hard for others who share your faith to do as well ? I think it comes down not to the individuals of faith, but those who govern the power structures that minister to that faith, who profit from the influence they have and who do not want such influence to be diminished in any way, even by an alternate truth. Maybe it's my Quaker ancestry talking, but true faith doesn't need a church to minister to it - it is perfectly possible to have a meaningful relationship with God without a minister and his barn-like warehouse-church and his 10% off the top. Thank you for demonstrating that religion and a lively enquiring mind are not completely incompatible.
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freckles
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RE: The Golden Compass - Movie Warning

Sun Dec 09, 2007 7:08 pm



Quoting 777236ER (Reply 8):

Then again, you complain about everything don't you.

Morgan
 
OceansWorld
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RE: The Golden Compass - Movie Warning

Sun Dec 09, 2007 7:15 pm

Quoting Typhaerion (Thread starter):
Please, if you love a good story, do not watch the movie The Golden Compass before reading the books.

In general I prefer to do it the other way around because otherwise I'll see the gaps in the movie. And seeing a film first doesn't stop me from reading a book if I find the topic/story interesting.

Quoting Typhaerion (Thread starter):
The movie is not true to the original story and is pretty disjointed in comparison.

That's nothing new under the sun. I can tell you that the first two movies of the "Bourne" trilogy are so far away from their respective book (I haven't read the third yet) that I wonder how on earth can they pretend to be based on Robert Ludlum's books. Same goes for "Seabiscuit". Or how about "Contact" ?

I'll see The Golden Compass and read the book afterwards.

[Edited 2007-12-09 11:18:14]
 
Klaus
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RE: The Golden Compass - Movie Warning

Sun Dec 09, 2007 7:18 pm



Quoting Wingnut767 (Reply 24):
I had read the trilogy, silmarillion and the hobbit around 8 to 10 times in my early days.

Okay, I certainly can't compete with that... Big grin

Quoting Wingnut767 (Reply 24):
I did love the movies and think they did a great job and that part was just one small point in a great series of movies.

Yeah, the movies weren't perfect either, but still far better than anybody had a right to hope for.

Quoting Wingnut767 (Reply 24):
I wish they would make the Silmarillion.

Now there's a challenge for an adventurous filmmaker...!  mischievous 
 
777236ER
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RE: The Golden Compass - Movie Warning

Sun Dec 09, 2007 7:26 pm



Quoting Freckles (Reply 26):
Then again, you complain about everything don't you.

Oh dear. Let's look at your post then.

Quoting Freckles (Reply 3):
The book itself, I have to say is mediocre

Then I doubt you've read it or understood it. The book regularly features in lists of greatest books of all time.

Quoting Freckles (Reply 3):
The graphics are superb

No they're not. They look like they're CGI. The 'wow' fights are good in the way that the 'wow' fights in Transformers were good, they add nothing to the narative.

Quoting Freckles (Reply 3):
the acting is superb

No it's not. Some of the actors are there simply because they are stars. Lord Asriel turns up and disappears for most of it, Non of the actors have any drama about them, save the girl you don't care about any of them.

Quoting Freckles (Reply 3):
what do you expect of a Hollywood interpretation

Because it's from Hollywood doesn't excuse poor narative.

Quoting Freckles (Reply 3):
It was clear, exciting and filled with suspense, and you do get the very basic plot foundations, which is what is most important, especially as it leads on to the sequels.

Wrong. It's not exciting, it's not filled with suspense. It plods through the book and ignores the big themes. Making films isn't about setting up sequals!
Your bone's got a little machine
 
Halcyon
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RE: The Golden Compass - Movie Warning

Sun Dec 09, 2007 7:28 pm



Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 25):

Well I'm glad that there are people like us, who can read things contradictory to what we believe and still appreciate them. I saw a FB group that was boycotting the film because the person who wrote the book was atheist. I really think that Pullman, if upset at all, would me most upset to find religious people reading it and enjoying it, without falling into atheism.


I have to say that I love books that are enjoyable in more than one dimension, and HDM is a good example. I might also add that I don't like "supercenter churches," where people go in, try not to fall asleep during the sermon, and come out thinking "Glad that's over, now I'm pure for another week." The best congregation that I've attended has been in a house with ten people, all very intelligent and knowledgeable, and we actually studied the Bible, looked at multiple interpretations of each part, and also looked at the whole thing as a logical progression of thought.

Since then, I've never felt the same about sitting in the audience being spoonfed material by someone I don't quite know, without having time to check what's being said. Am I being cynical? I don't know, but I think that exploring the Bible in a deeper way helps to remind you to love everyone. It also helps builds your faith, if you're scared that atheism might jump out and smack you.  eyepopping 

Sometimes I think that christians should spend more time discussing things in houses than installing new sound systems and projectors...maybe I'm part of a dying breed.
 
JGPH1A
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RE: The Golden Compass - Movie Warning

Sun Dec 09, 2007 7:55 pm



Quoting Halcyon (Reply 30):
Am I being cynical?

No, you're giving yourself due credit for the brains you were born with. Everyone owes it to themselves to consider very deeply the things they believe in, and take the time to study those aspects of belief that interest them most. That kind of commitment deserves respect.

Quoting Halcyon (Reply 30):
Sometimes I think that christians should spend more time discussing things in houses than installing new sound systems and projectors...maybe I'm part of a dying breed.

That was how the early Church operated - small meetings, in people's houses, discussing in depth the message they had heard and its meaning. Although I'm not a believer in anything that requires pure faith, intellectually it seems clear to me that for faith to have any meaning, it has to be personal; keeping faith personal and relevant does not require large audiences or propaganda messages, it is an internal commitment you make that you reinforce by sharing with others who hold similar beliefs. It cannot be imposed from outside.
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Halcyon
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RE: The Golden Compass - Movie Warning

Sun Dec 09, 2007 9:59 pm



Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 31):



Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 31):
hat was how the early Church operated - small meetings, in people's houses, discussing in depth the message they had heard and its meaning

I certainly pegged you wrong! I didn't know that supreme overlords were allowed to be benevolent.

In all seriousness, I also think that worship like that is truer to the spirit of the Bible. This form of worship, is, in my opinion, a good answer to the complaint about organized religion. When I go to a small group like that, we are able to study the Bible more, show greater seriousness (No babbling in tongues, shouting, seeming fringe-like....that helps no one.) in what we do, and be much more rational.

Having a better understanding of the Bible from outside of a cloister also helps prevent the "Shove-it-down-the-throat-of-the-Non-Believers-Itis." As an example, I used to be a cashier in a store. Some customers grew to know me by name, and I enjoyed that. There was one family who recently moved to the town to take over the helm of one of the churches. Every time they would come in, they'd be friendly and talk to me by name. Although I liked that, they also never failed to ask me if I'd "Found Jesus." Although I consistently told them about the small group I attended, they always pretended to forget, and once went so far as to say "But would you like to go to a real Church with a nice building?"

Materialism can be disgusting, but when mixed with religion it's absolutely abominable. Not only does it blind people and make them more "jingoistic" (In relation to religion.), but it also deviates from the message of love and creates burgeoning "superpowers" that are about traditions and being "part of the club." That type of group is never a good environment for growing and learning.

My two cents.
 
JGPH1A
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RE: The Golden Compass - Movie Warning

Sun Dec 09, 2007 10:14 pm



Quoting Halcyon (Reply 32):
I certainly pegged you wrong! I didn't know that supreme overlords were allowed to be benevolent.

We're not - you just got lucky. My smiting robes are at the cleaners, and I can't find the key to the thunderbolt locker  grumpy 

Quoting Halcyon (Reply 32):
No babbling in tongues, shouting, seeming fringe-like....that helps no one

What ? Next you'll be telling me you don't wave snakes around and inflict stigmata on each other ? How is that fun ?  Smile

I couldn't agree more with what you said though - materialism is clearly the curse of organised religion, the power and the trappings become more important than the message, which is (in the case of Christianity) really quite an uplifting one - Love Thy Neighbour (although in the case of the guy in Dallas, not all of them at once ! Naughty man.)
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dl021
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RE: The Golden Compass - Movie Warning

Sun Dec 09, 2007 10:29 pm



Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 18):
How else is the kind of market power these religious organisations wield to be challenged and overcome ?

Who says it should be overcome? If the public wants something badly enough market capitalists will deliver it one way or another.

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 18):
I disagree - that is entirely the discussion we are having here - the decision to "self"-censor was a weak and gutless one - if the work can stand on it's own merits, it should be published as is and allowed to stand or fall.

OK...well then let's do that. You feel that way, but the people making the movie are responsible to their investors for millions upon millions of dollars. It's not just about how they feel. It's about providing a return for the money. If someone really wanted to make that book accurately into a movie there'd be a significantly smaller audience and the budget would have been more limited.

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 18):
But to cave into fanaticism is the worst possible cowardice.

Dude...that's not fanaticism. No one was driving human bombs into the studio gates, nor was that anywhere near likely. Now...try to name a teddy bear Yehovah in Brooklyn....well, actually you'll be ok there too. Stop overreacting and referring to people who are not fanatics as such. I think that the living definitions we have for fanatics all over the world shows the difference. WHen you use such terms you simply serve to polarize the issue and cause people to get defensive when it's not really necessary. If an entire category of people said they didn't want to see that movie as such, and their numbers were enough to make the calculus work against profitability then to fling the studio at a windmill is irresponsible. Cowardice is to not try at all.

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 18):
But the choice was imposed upon them by external organisation by mean of a real or implied threat.

Such as the means utilized by Jesse Jackson when he blackmails corporations? Or the means utilized by the transport unions when they walk out of control towers and jam up the Seine? Economics runs the world. Sanctions are a peaceful means of coercion that beats the hell out of the means utilized by the real fanatics of the world.

It really disturbs me that many people fear Americans and Christians and evangelicals more than they do the real terrorists in the world. I'm barely a Christian according to the more hard core religious, but I respect their rights to act as they please. I guess the proper answer is to boycott the movie entirely for being screwed up.

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 18):
One party does not wish the general public to be exposed to certain view points and exerts pressure to ensure that the publishing party does not do so. That is censorship. It is not about anyone's right to SEE said material, in fact it's not really about anyone's rights at all, it is about integrity and freedom from religious persecution (because that is what this amounts to). But the ones really at fault here are the studio for caving in in so craven a manner.

OK...then that's an opinion that you should do something about if it offends you that they caved. But then are you offended when they make other adjustments to films to satisfy other groups?

Quoting 777236ER (Reply 19):
Market capitalism? Boycoting a film because you think it espouses an evil atheist anti-Christian message isn't capitalism, it's closed-minded, religious zealotry that belongs in the Middle Ages

Holy cow...there you go again. Middle-Ages type zealotry is being displayed in plenty of places, but not here. The people who bitched about this movie used peaceful means. Your hysterical response to that is what' really disturbing. Why aren't you this pissed when the Sudanese threaten a teacher for allowing the children to name a teddy bear? They're the closed minded fanatics.

Quoting 777236ER (Reply 19):
Should Hemmingway have dumbed-down his books because of the 'market capitalism' of the Nazi majority in Germany? Don't be so ridiculous.

Hemingway (one m, BTW) had no real reason to do so, since he was writing in spite of the Nazis and even spent a good chunk of WWII in uniform as a combat correspondent. Or on the bridge of his own subchaser/boozeyacht. His primary audience wasn't Nazi Germany, so your example doesn't really apply here. But nice try equating the Nazis to the Christians.

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 21):
The curious thing is though, why should Christians feel so insecure about their faith that they have to boycott a Hollywood movie that disagrees with it ?

Why should I feel strongly enough about Mel Gibsons actions and voiced feelings that I won't watch his movies? It may be that if they feel the insult strongly enough then perhaps it doesn't make sense to support it. The book was written to make the Catholic church look very bad, and to make God big lie. Why give that cause money?

Quoting Halcyon (Reply 23):
Eva Green is hot.

I have zero idea what that has to do with this thread (unless she's in the movie) but I agree one thousand percent.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 28):
Quoting Wingnut767 (Reply 24):
I did love the movies and think they did a great job and that part was just one small point in a great series of movies.

Yeah, the movies weren't perfect either, but still far better than anybody had a right to hope for.

Agreed.....Peter Jackson did a spectacular job on the films and the casting was excellent as well as the adaptation. Not perfect, but what is.....besides you!!!  Wink

Quoting 777236ER (Reply 29):
Quoting Freckles (Reply 3):
It was clear, exciting and filled with suspense, and you do get the very basic plot foundations, which is what is most important, especially as it leads on to the sequels.

Wrong. It's not exciting, it's not filled with suspense. It plods through the book and ignores the big themes. Making films isn't about setting up sequals!

And that's the beauty of showbiz....one mans canoe is another mans yacht....or is that about women? Or cars? Hmmmm

must be why they make so many of them in such variety.
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Halcyon
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RE: The Golden Compass - Movie Warning

Sun Dec 09, 2007 10:34 pm



Quoting DL021 (Reply 34):

I have zero idea what that has to do with this thread (unless she's in the movie) but I agree one thousand percent.

She is in the movie as a witch in hot clothes. I know because I've seen the commercials and have them on my computer. Let us join together in our good taste.  highfive 
 
JGPH1A
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RE: The Golden Compass - Movie Warning

Sun Dec 09, 2007 10:41 pm



Quoting DL021 (Reply 34):
If an entire category of people said they didn't want to see that movie as such, and their numbers were enough to make the calculus work against profitability then to fling the studio at a windmill is irresponsible. Cowardice is to not try at all.

It's not an entire category of people saying it. It is one or two powerful and influential church leaders using their influence to generate a populist movement - it's sickening. Can't these people let their flocks think for themselves ? What are they so afraid of ? That someone might actually have an independent neuron fire and lead them to doubt the all-seeing wisdom of the Church ? It's sad when people let their church do their thinking for them.

Quoting DL021 (Reply 34):
Why should I feel strongly enough about Mel Gibsons actions and voiced feelings that I won't watch his movies? It may be that if they feel the insult strongly enough then perhaps it doesn't make sense to support it. The book was written to make the Catholic church look very bad, and to make God big lie. Why give that cause money?

Mel Gibson is a bad example - he's made movies that offend absolutely everyone - everyone he didn't piss off with Braveheart and that monumental work of Goebbelsesque propaganda, The Patriort, he mopped up with the Passion of the Christ.

The trilogy in question, His Dark Materials was written to expound a particular viewpoint. If the studio that turned it into a movie had any last shred of artistic integrity (which, apparently, they don't) they would have made it in the spirit of the intention of the author, not just use his name to sell a cheapened, worthless pastiche of his work. Certainly you can't force people to go watch a movie they disagree with, but at least have the integrity not to make it at all, or not to release it in the US, or whatever - but stick to your guns, at least. It is the moral cowardice on both sides that is so sickening here.
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Klaus
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RE: The Golden Compass - Movie Warning

Sun Dec 09, 2007 10:53 pm



Quoting DL021 (Reply 34):
Agreed.....Peter Jackson did a spectacular job on the films and the casting was excellent as well as the adaptation. Not perfect, but what is.....besides you!!!

If I had any interest in that kind of adulation, I would not bother with arguments. I would just get a dog.
 
dl021
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RE: The Golden Compass - Movie Warning

Sun Dec 09, 2007 11:17 pm



Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 36):
Mel Gibson is a bad example - he's made movies that offend absolutely everyone - everyone he didn't piss off with Braveheart and that monumental work of Goebbelsesque propaganda, The Patriort, he mopped up with the Passion of the Christ.

Well, it could legitimately be argued that he was increasing his stature with every film until he decided to expose his evident true feelings with that rant at the Sherriffs deputy in LA. Braveheart was extremely popular....the Patriot was not as succesful but still did ok....and The Passion was incredible in it's wide appeal and the acting/directing/cinematography. You may not have liked them, but they struck a chord with millions. People didn't like The Passion before it was made, and the individuals who tried to sway the filmmaker used the same tactics that the Golden Compass detractors did, succeeding in making Gibson put his money where his mouth was and employ the intellectual courage to put his work up on the screen the way he saw it. And it was a pretty violent and bloody era, and they did crucify Jews, and the historical/biblical records do say that the events happened in that manner.

At least they didn't waterboard Jesus....then the ACLU would've been in their face.

Too bad he ended up proving how he really felt about Jews in the first place. I did find it funny that he screamed what I read between the lines (and hear outright) often about modern Israel. Actually, it's too bad he feels that way about Jews. He's entitled to his opinion, but I'm entitled to make sure I don't spend any more money on his films.....and it sucks because I liked them.

Quoting Halcyon (Reply 35):
She is in the movie as a witch in hot clothes. I know because I've seen the commercials and have them on my computer. Let us join together in our good taste.

Um....ok..but not in any sort of funny way.....er.....ew....


 Wink
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Halcyon
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RE: The Golden Compass - Movie Warning

Sun Dec 09, 2007 11:25 pm



Quoting DL021 (Reply 38):
Um....ok..but not in any sort of funny way.....er.....ew....

Damn, my lunch was a lot better going down than coming up.  Wink
 
freckles
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RE: The Golden Compass - Movie Warning

Sun Dec 09, 2007 11:32 pm



Quoting 777236ER (Reply 29):
Oh dear. Let's look at your post then.

Filled with praise for the film?

Quoting 777236ER (Reply 29):
Because it's from Hollywood doesn't excuse poor narative.

And you're complaining ramblings doesn't excuse poor spelling..

You're the resident complainer  Smile

And yes, I have read the book, its flaky, and that is my opinion.

Morgan
 
JGPH1A
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RE: The Golden Compass - Movie Warning

Sun Dec 09, 2007 11:33 pm



Quoting DL021 (Reply 38):
The Passion was incredible in it's wide appeal and the acting/directing/cinematography. You may not have liked them, but they struck a chord with millions. People didn't like The Passion before it was made, and the individuals who tried to sway the filmmaker used the same tactics that the Golden Compass detractors did, succeeding in making Gibson put his money where his mouth was and employ the intellectual courage to put his work up on the screen the way he saw it. And it was a pretty violent and bloody era, and they did crucify Jews, and the historical/biblical records do say that the events happened in that manner.

I was iffy about The Passion but only because it was by Mel Gibson, who is a renowned and world-class knob. I have since seen bits of it on TV (but with French subtitles, which always puts me off (I can read them but I spend all my time wondering how much of it they mis-translated) - it seems to be a very dark and violent film, almost a snuff-flick, the violent scenes are very in-your-face. You have to respect his guts in even making it and putting it out there, a movie entirely in languages nobody but a few scholars would understand, portraying with such frank brutality a story dear to the hearts of millions. One day I will watch it (I think I'll need to be in a particular dark place when I do). But he did show it, warts, spurting blood and all, and, miraculously, the walls of Christendom didn't crumble - same with "Da Vinci Code", and it would have been the same with "Northern Lights" too, if the studio would just grow a pair, and the churches would just shut up and let people make up their own minds.

Quoting DL021 (Reply 38):
At least they didn't waterboard Jesus....then the ACLU would've been in their face.

Hehe - sure, flagellation with sharp, nail-tipped whips is so much more humane ! No doubt above the door of the Victoria Fortress in Jerusalem they had a sign saying "Honor Bound To Defend Freedom" too (I'll get my asbestos coat)  Smile
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dl021
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RE: The Golden Compass - Movie Warning

Mon Dec 10, 2007 2:41 am



Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 41):
with French subtitles, which always puts me off (I can read them but I spend all my time wondering how much of it they mis-translated)

Same goes the opposite. You miss so much context with even the accurate subtitles, which are not the norm.

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 41):
he did show it, warts, spurting blood and all, and, miraculously, the walls of Christendom didn't crumble - same with "Da Vinci Code", and it would have been the same with "Northern Lights" too, if the studio would just grow a pair, and the churches would just shut up and let people make up their own minds.

That film played in churches across the United States.....the Pope saw it and said "it is how it was"....I don't know how much more religious confirmation it needed.

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 41):
No doubt above the door of the Victoria Fortress in Jerusalem they had a sign saying "Honor Bound To Defend Freedom" too (I'll get my asbestos coat)

I thought it was "abandon all hope ye who enter here" or is that your house?  duck   Wink
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RJdxer
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RE: The Golden Compass - Movie Warning

Mon Dec 10, 2007 5:26 am



Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 36):
Mel Gibson is a bad example - he's made movies that offend absolutely everyone - everyone he didn't piss off with Braveheart and that monumental work of Goebbelsesque propaganda, The Patriort, he mopped up with the Passion of the Christ.

Apocalypto mundo ipso facto!!! But even though he didn't make it, ya gotta love all that leather in the Mad Max movies!! BTW, The Patriort? Were you thinking of Patriots or taking a snort, or perhaps eating a tart? Damn it all to helllllll, now I'm hungry!

Quoting DL021 (Reply 42):
I thought it was "abandon all hope ye who enter here" or is that your house?

Yeeeeeeeeaaaahhhhh! That stung!  rotfl   rotfl   rotfl   rotfl 

Face it, have they made a Steven King novel into an acceptable movie yet? Save Jack's performance in "The Shining"? Or any Arthur Hailey novel? Not that they are on the same level. Producers and directors have to make sacrifices when the time comes to edit any film nowadays. It's especially true when based on books like the Lord of the Rings and The Golden Compass. There is just no way an audience is going to sit there for the length of time it would take to do the book justice and when was the last time you saw a movie with an intermission like "The Ten Commandments"?
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dl021
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RE: The Golden Compass - Movie Warning

Mon Dec 10, 2007 5:47 am



Quoting RJdxer (Reply 43):
Face it, have they made a Steven King novel into an acceptable movie yet?

Pet Sematary and The Stand were both pretty well done.

I'd say that alot of his stuff has been done fairly well. But then there's been some disasters too.
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JGPH1A
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RE: The Golden Compass - Movie Warning

Mon Dec 10, 2007 10:48 am



Quoting DL021 (Reply 42):
I thought it was "abandon all hope ye who enter here" or is that your house?



Quoting RJdxer (Reply 43):
Yeeeeeeeeaaaahhhhh! That stung!

No it didn't - oh please, Dorothy Parker he ain't  Yeah sure. Although "Abandonate ogni speranza, voi ch'entrate" was on a sign above the door of my old Latin teacher's classroom in high school  Smile

Quoting DL021 (Reply 42):
That film played in churches across the United States.....the Pope saw it and said "it is how it was"....I don't know how much more religious confirmation it needed.

Which film ? The Passion ? Good - although how the Pope can say "it was how it was" is mystifying - he wasn't there, was he ? (Mind you, he could have been, he was pretty old). It's how the Church would maybe LIKE it to have been, since it was based on the Gospels (but lets not get into that, or else Falcon84 will ream me for hating religion again).
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RJdxer
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RE: The Golden Compass - Movie Warning

Mon Dec 10, 2007 11:44 am



Quoting DL021 (Reply 44):
Pet Sematary and The Stand were both pretty well done.

And that is why there are movie critics. I'd have to disagree, especially on the Stand and even more especially since it was made for TV. You just can't take books of that length and distill them down to 90-105 minutes without giving up something somewhere.

Quoting DL021 (Reply 44):
I'd say that alot of his stuff has been done fairly well.

I'd have to say after "The Shining", "Christine" was the closest adaptation they were able to make out of one of his books. Maybe "The Firestarter", but that was a disaster.

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 45):
No it didn't - oh please, Dorothy Parker he ain't

Note to self, make better use of "add smiles".  wink   rotfl   wave 
Warm winds blowing, heating blue skies, and a road that goes forever. I'm going to Texas!
 
typhaerion
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RE: The Golden Compass - Movie Warning

Mon Dec 10, 2007 4:26 pm

Okay, I am terribly sorry for starting this whole thing and taking this long to get back involved. I don't want to seem like a drive by poster, but my Sunday was a bit more hectic then usual and I didn't get a chance to get back to hear until now. I do want to address a lot of what was written so I will do so in order.

One note before I start: Holy crap did we cover a lot of topics  biggrin . You guys have been busy while I was out.

Quoting Jafa39 (Reply 2):
Each to his own eh bro?

Absolutely. I just wanted to pass along an opinion and hopefully drive a couple of people to read the books. I really enjoyed them.

Quoting Freckles (Reply 3):
Firstly, who cares if you are a Christian, stop putting your hand up

Morgan, I have to apologize. I was not intending to place myself apart from the pack. I had this image in my head of thirteen reply posts asking what my religious status was and I meant to stave off those questions. I recognize the controversy that is out there, and I didn't want it to cloud my post. Though it seems as if it did anyway. That is my fault and I am sorry.

Quoting Freckles (Reply 3):
but what do you expect of a Hollywood interpretation

I had to smile when I read this. I thought I had no expectations going into it, but I surprised my self by being really frustrated coming out. I guess I was hoping since I did not understand what the controversy was before hand, having only read the books, that they would be true to the books and keep the story the same. I was disappointed that they had changed so much. I guess it just goes to show you that they brain and the heart are really separate. What you know and what you hope are usually different.

Quoting Freckles (Reply 3):
It was clear, exciting and filled with suspense

I am glad you thought so. I saw the movie with someone who had no book experience, and I probably tainted him by reacting the way I did during the movie. But he thought it was clear as well when I would have swore that there was no way it could have been. And I guess my biggest problem with this was the ending. I wish they would have taken it to the end of the first book and not just to where they did. Personal preference only.

Quoting Freckles (Reply 3):
the score is superb

And here I have to wholeheartedly agree with you. I am sorry that we disagree on the quality of the books, but I respect your opinion. The pictures and sounds for the movies were very very well done.

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 21):
The curious thing is though, why should Christians feel so insecure about their faith that they have to boycott a Hollywood movie that disagrees with it

I don't think it stems from insecurity, but rather from a misguided sense of purity. They expect that your faith will be tested, but if they can help you avoid such pitfalls (e.g. with a well placed boycott) then they will. They want you to remain as pure as possible. I agree that people should be allowed to form their own opinion. IMHO, this is a work of fiction, just like the Da Vinci Code is, and therefore should not even cause controversy since it doesn't mean anything. There is no need to try to make truth out of it, it is just a story. Certainly the church did not boycott Star Wars because people "believed" in the force. I don't see how this should be any different.

Quoting OceansWorld (Reply 27):
In general I prefer to do it the other way around because otherwise I'll see the gaps in the movie. And seeing a film first doesn't stop me from reading a book if I find the topic/story interesting.

A very interesting perspective. I just wanted to make sure that even if the movie wasn't interesting for you, that you read the books because in my opinion they are much more interesting than the movie was.

Quoting Halcyon (Reply 32):
My two cents.

Very well put. thank you for all of your input in this thread. Worthy of RU status.

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 36):
It is the moral cowardice on both sides that is so sickening here.

I could not agree more.

Thanks to everyone who put replies. If you would like to talk more I promise to be more attentive to the topic I stated now that I am off of the crazy weekend.  Wink

Shawn
For some, the sky is the limit. For us, it is only the beginning... -- Jack Hunt
 
dl021
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RE: The Golden Compass - Movie Warning

Mon Dec 10, 2007 5:34 pm



Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 45):
No it didn't - oh please, Dorothy Parker he ain't

well, you may rest certain that I am no Dorothy......

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 45):
my old Latin teacher's classroom in high school

My HS latin teacher was Greek and she had a poster of the Parthenon and a sign stating that the Greeks taught the Romans everything useful they knew.

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 45):
Which film ? The Passion ? Good - although how the Pope can say "it was how it was" is mystifying - he wasn't there

How do you know?

 Wink

Quoting RJdxer (Reply 46):
I'd have to say after "The Shining", "Christine" was the closest adaptation they were able to make out of one of his books. Maybe "The Firestarter", but that was a disaster.

Christine was awesome. I was waiting outside the theater for my friends after the movie and I revved up my 1975 Delta 88 with the Holly 4bbl and 455 ratt and broken muffler.....people jumped every which way!
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JGPH1A
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RE: The Golden Compass - Movie Warning

Mon Dec 10, 2007 5:38 pm



Quoting DL021 (Reply 48):
well, you may rest certain that I am no Dorothy......

Maybe just a friend of Dorothy then  Smile

Quoting DL021 (Reply 48):

How do you know?

You question my infallibility ? Tsk tsk.
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