Monday, February 22, 2010

unruly review: the golden compass


Light on the gold, heavy on the a$$.

The book? Awesome! Inspiring! Brilliant! Colorful! Rich! Maybe it's not the most inspiring prose every typed, but it draws the reader in and builds a solid, intriguing world.

The movie? Annoying, boring, lifeless, bland, ridiculous. At the climax, Dr. Krog looked at me and said, "I'M BORED."

Do you know how hard it is to bore Dr. Krog? He has to listen to me yap all the time, and play Go Fish with the Biscuit all the time. Heck, he even read her the entire book of Pocahontas tonight, something I have not yet managed to do without going into TL;DR mode.

It was like Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy all over again, but without the delightfully droll voice of Alan Rickman.

It's about this little girl named Lyra.


She has a daemon, which is pronounced "demon", but it's not a demon, it's her soul, and his name is Pantywaist or something, and he's often a ferret. Then her uncle who's actually her father gives some old dude a fancy pocketwatch, and when the mean lady that's actually her mother shows up with a mustard-colored monkey, the old dude gives Lyra the pocketwatch. But it's not a pocketwatch, see, it's an alethiometer, which helps you read the truth which lots of little pictures and glittery special effects.

Got that?

No?

ME NEITHER.

And many things in the movie are desperately unoriginal. Like...


The Great Hall in the "college" where Lyra was raised.

I started whistling the Harry Potter theme music for that one.

I'm not a very good whistler.

Moving on.

You may also recognize...


Seriously, guys. Not every magical city looks like steampunk England ate Florence during a sunset.

And there are zeppelins, you know. Loads of zeppelins.

But the best part is the panserbjorns. The armored bears. I was so excited to finally see Iorek Byrnison made flesh.


Oh, Golden Compass.

Or, as we now call it, Moldy Sucka$$.

Those three hours are gone from my life forever, all because I thought, "Hey, Dr. Krog would love this book, but he's too busy working, teaching kids to choke each other, writing a book, being an awesome father and husband, and watching South Park reruns to really enjoy it. I know-- I'll rent the movie!"

More foolish words were never spoken.

Except maybe for that time when I said, "Hey, let's go see Van Helsing!"

Or, "Hey, this recipe for pork chops and cabbage in Real Simple looks tasty!"

Or possibly, "I'll surprise Dr. Krog with a new cat!"

I may need to attempt to be less impulsive.

Thank you, Moldy Sucka$$, for a proper chastening.

In conclusions, READ. THE. BOOK. BURN. THE. MOVIE.

10 comments:

Jess @ Frugal with a Flourish said...

Lol! Love the icanhazcheeseburger reference!

charissimo said...

As usual, in total agreement.

Ericka said...

You could have saved yourself the rental fee and had our copy which we paid $2 for and felt like it was not worth it. I get so frustrated at movies like this (and spend too much energy trying to figure out where it went bad, Budget? Director?, too many cooks in the kitchen?) which is why I usually say you can only have one, the movie or the book.

BTW- you have a typo in your first paragraph :)

leigh said...

You should totally write movie reviews as a profession. That was spot on!

Delilah S. Dawson said...

Well, it was a Netflix choice, so I'll be shoving it angrily in the mailbox shortly.

Ericka, first paragraph of this review, or of the short story, or a book, or something even more important? Egads!

And also, I do wonder where they went wrong. You know they spent a bajillion dollars on it. Test audiences should have been throwing tomatoes.

Ericka said...

This review "the most inspiring prose every typed". Only meant to give you a heads up, not stress you.

And I am seriously tempted to lay the blame for Golden Compass at the feet of the writer/director Chris Weitz. He may have had passion about the project but I think the scope of the project was beyond him although I can't say that I have seen "The Nutty Professor II" which he also wrote the screenplay for.

Liam said...

Amen. When I read the book I got a teensy bit obsessive. And then the movie came out.
My family hated me for how much I ranted.

Serial Mommy said...

I have to totally agree, I LOVED the book and HATED the movie. I only rented it so the kids could see it. What I saw of it told me not to waste my time watching the rest of it.

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Spotted Sparrow said...

I couldn't agree more. That movie sucked major ass. The book has been one of my favorites since I was a kid.