Last Friday night, we went to see The Golden Compass, adaptation of Pullman's Northern Lights. It's a book I'd started reading, then stopped as I was enjoying it but had many other books on the go at the same time and wanted to watch the film fresh--I find that if I've recently read a book, I watch the film in "compare" mode, and I've long held that films should be different from the book, else what's the actual point, films are a different medium and thus require different narrative devices to get the same characters and plot across. But in this case, I think my holding off was a waste of time. Jennie reviewed it Saturday, and while I'm not going to review it myself, this review from absinthecity pretty much says what I would:
What this film is, is a series of 'set pieces' taken from the book - the fight scenes, the escape scenes, the meeting scenes - all stuck together with very little in the form of narrative 'glue'. As you'd imagine they are beautifully rendered, with some genuinely well-advised use of CGI, and the acting is first class. But the emotional element...was almost completely absent.I'll now be putting the trilogy back on the pile, and if they do make films two and three, I'll likely go see, but not because I expect it to be any good. But just to, y'know, take in the scenery. Especially the Eva Miles shaped bits. As for protestations that the boycott worked? Bollox, it's failed at the box office because it's crap, not because the Catholic League decided to not like it.