Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Review : The Golden Compass

The Golden Compass : Based on the well known novel 'Nothern Lights' by acclaimed writer Philip Pullman. The story is set in a parallel world, young Lyra Belacqua journeys to the far North to save her best friend and other kidnapped children from terrible experiments by a mysterious organisation.

Now it's interesting to mention that this film is based off a book, with a different title and yet has no recollection or reference to the writer's efforts at all. I mean for instance, the writer Philip Pullman isn't even acknowledged on the advertising for this film. If you look at posters you don't see 'based on the best selling novel by Philip Pullman' anywhere. I see that as being deceitful

The film is flooded with an all star cast and wondrous production values to add to the hollywood propriety of it in order to entice a viewer into watching it, i.e. making the film income a profit to make up for the big budget spendings. It's how all the films are done. Sometimes, the films income in the movie box office is a larger income and sometimes a movie makes less. Golden Compass's budget was around $180 million and made a profit of £7,243, 984 in it's opening weekend in the UK, and turned a gross profit of $70,083,519 in the US. So it did about average in terms of bringing the money it.

If I had to sum up this film in one word it's 'commercial' this film is just 'commercial' and plays on the strengths of Hollywood glamouring a book up and taking the words of a page and alternating the story in the script, and putting the words from script to screen. There isn't much story in this film at all. Not really. It was incredibly boring and detracted my interest because I didn't feel challenged watching this.

I clearly identify that this film looks good on the screen, has an all star cast of good actors. But it doesn't excite me. 

I do understand that this is supposed to be an action packed fantasy based on the first book in Philip Pullman's best-selling trilogy but I actually wonder what effect this might have to young children who see it and enjoy it, not being to aware of things such as production values and CGI Effects and just being amazed by what they are seeing on screen. That to me is what's interesting how everyone seems to have different views.

For instance in this you have  Animals and Children are in constant peril, and young kids will be upset by the threatened separation between the animals (daemons) and their humans. There are also many tense, violent scenes (chases; fierce, growling animals; shooting), as well as a fairly graphic battle between two enormous polar bears (one knocks the other's jaw off). 

And there's a major clash between children and adult troops that includes guns, arrows, swords, clubs, chains, hooks, and explosions. The main character is a 12-year-old girl who rises a rebellion against evil forces to save her friends. 

The film is heavy on plot. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, however with so much to cover, the editing between scenes can be quick, choppy and the digital effects uneven. The most wonderful and cunning "effect" in the film is Lyra. A 12-year-old girl surrounded by digitized creatures, spires, and sailing ships, Lyra is a singular delight for me when viewing this and probably one of few good things I liked about the film, at once curious and stubborn, thoughtful and impetuous. Though she faces a series of daunting challenges that take her far from home, she remains brave, moral-minded, and smart. A girl much like the little girls who might be watching her on screen.

Overall, I would probably leave this one up to you. Is it worth watching? I won't stop you if you want to give this film a try. Just don't go in with high expectations, because you may be disappointed. 6/10.

NEXT: Horrible Bosses


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