The Golden Compass...

I have not read the Philip Pullman novels as yet but am aware of their content, popularity and success worldwide. And I am all the more certain after having watched The Golden Compass that I will be reading these books in the not-too-distant future. That said, is it just me or was something missing from the movie?? There were a lot of interesting elements and individuals scattered throughout but the pieces just didn't add up to a enjoyable whole. For us newbies to the series, there was not enough explanation, description or backstory provided to help fill in the blanks of what was going on and why, nor were we given sufficient background on the characters for us to develop any real opinion of them. After checking out some reviews on the various blogs, I've discovered that although the movie was more or less true to the novel, some very important parts did deviate or were eliminated entirely and those changes were, apparently, not for the good. Unlike The Chronicles of Narnia, a movie which you can pretty much watch and enjoy  without having read the tale ahead of time, I felt somehow like I missed out on a lot of the intent and complexities of The Golden Compass that would have been best understood had I read the novel first.  In other words, if you plan on seeing it, wait till you read the book first.

That said, the trailer for The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, scheduled for release this summer, looked great!!! Ben Barnes, who looks adequately royal, plays Caspian. Why am I telling you that? Well, he was in Stardust  - alongside with Henry  "Charles Brandon from The Tudors" Cavill and Charlie "Giovanni Bruni from Casanova" Cox. *headdesk* How is it that I haven't seen this movie yet??? *fangirl whine*

In truth, the best part of the day was the fact that I called in sick from work so that I could go to see the movie in peace and quiet without the usual obnoxious crowd of new release attendees that flock to the cinemas on the weekend. Theatres should seriously consider marketing Monday matinees as "movies for the anti-social" cause there was at most a dozen people in the audience. It was fabulous...except for the fact that the air-conditioning was on. *looks outside* Yep, it's December, there is snow on the ground. Apparently, Rainbow Cinemas hasn't quite figured that out yet.
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Golden Compass
Yeah, I understand the plot of The Golden Compass is quite complex, complete with the character development that was not included in the film. I've read that there was just not enough time in the movie to include all the details, so I'm not going to see the film unless I read the book(s), which I just might do, now that I know more about it.

Like with Harry Potter - the movies can only cover a tiny amount of what's covered in the novels, and only hit on the main plot points. It's best to see some films after you've read the books.

I'm always surprised when I see movies of books I love and find them so accurate and in keeping with the spirit of the text. I Capture The Castle and The Age of Innocence fall into this category.
Re: Golden Compass
I've read that there was just not enough time in the movie to include all the details

In this specific case, I really don't think it is the fact that there was not enough time. From what I have read of the reviews of both the book and the movie, the movie edited out the majority of religious innuendos (or at least the anti-Christian themed ones) that could possibly be considered offensive and thus have a negative impact on the overall financial success (be it box office or marketing) of the film. In fact, from what I've heard, the movie also chose to omit several crucial elements of the first book and these omissions will apparently prove to be challenging obstacles to overcome and explain in the future if the movie should in fact garner a sequel (or two) as they no doubt hope it will.

It is a challenge for any book adaptation going to the big screen. I find the ones that are most successful tend to tweak the story by adapting it to the contemporary world and making it more compelling for a modern viewing audience. Sometimes it is for the better, sometimes it isn't. I just am not sure about this movie - from what I've read so far, it's seems like the movie completely missed the main point of the book - turning it into just another cliche, a happy children's action/adventure story complete with pretty scenery, cute little animals, state of the art computer graphics, all designed to look very nice on screen and be uber-successful at the box office. If that is the case, then it must be a letdown and an insult to the young audience who seem to enjoy and respect this book because it doesn't offer that standard, pretty, glossed over picture of life that is rehashed over and over again but provides a more realistic, bordering on bleak, image of the world and the people in it, one that the author clearly believes his readers are more than capable of recognizing and reflecting upon to form their own opinion. But as I stated, I can't say for sure how far the movie truly deviated until I have actually read the book. I'm only going on what I read in the news and the reviews.