Friday, November 30, 2007

The Golden Compass

I went to the premiere for The Golden Compass and the director, Chris Weitz, was there to make opening comments about his new film. He said it took 3 years in the making and it was very expensive to make.

I think this film kicks Narnia's ass. This was still a film geared towards pre-teen children, but it was much more violent and had better action than The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.

The movie is basically the anti-Narnia. There are many worlds out there other than ours. In some worlds, the souls live within people. In other worlds, like the one in which The Golden Compass takes place, the souls live side by side next to people and the souls, called Daemons, take the form of animals. In other worlds, people do not have souls at all.

The star of the story is this 12 year old girl, Lyra. She's very headstrong, smart, and stubborn. She lives with her uncle and 007 agent, Daniel Craig. Pretty soon, Nicole Kidman comes to take Lyra on a journey to see the giant polar bear king. Lyra soon discovers that Nicole Kidman isn't as nice a woman as she first made herself out to be. Nicole seems to work for a church-like organization that wants to rule the world and tries to stop people from thinking freely. They don't want people to question its authority and its teachings.

Children's daemons keep transforming into different animals depending on their mood and/or situation while adult's daemons stay the same once they mature. Perhaps, this is a way to show that children's minds are more maleable and can be influenced whereas adults are more set in their ways. Children's personalities can be molded and are still developing.

Lyra then gets The Golden Compass, a device that helps her find out the truth in any situation. The church like organization are getting children to brain wash them. Lyra gets help from gypsy-like people called the Gyptians. She also meets some old guy with an airship like the ones found in the Final Fantasy video game series. She forms a strong friendship with a giant white polar bear. These polar bears have the voices of the Wizards from The Lord of the Rings, Gandalf and Saruman.

This movie had great special effects that surpassed Narnia and Harry Potter. I just wish it wasn't full of kids. I don't like kid movies. If it was a fantasy movie geared more towards adults, it would be kick-ass.

The fight scene between the polar bears was great. I liked how Gandalf the polar bear slashed Saruman the polar bear's throat at the end. People in the audience started cheering like they were in the Roman Coliseum watching gladiators slaughter each other.

The movie seems like it will follow the book series just like the Narnia movies followed the books. So, expect to see more of these films in the future.

The big mystery is what "Dust" is. It seems to be some elemental particles that evince the existence of parallel universes. The church-like organization is hell-bent on trying to stifle this research, because they do not want people questioning the church's teachings.

Although I did not like the kiddiness of the movie, I liked the story overall. It's important to teach kids to seek the truth instead of blindly following what they're told without question.

My rating: B, 81.

The Highs: Beautiful special effects, great scenery, epic storyline, important lessons about learning about the truth instead of blindly following an institution's teachings.

The Lows: Too Kiddy for adults; cheesy animal daemon souls everywhere.

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