The witches were cool. The final battle was pretty awesome – even the Gyptians. Seeing gold dust instead of blood…it kind of made me cheer every time someone hit the floor 'cause of all the shiny lights >__< Umm, yeah, bloodthirsty much?
I didn't think they would show Iorek winning the fight by knocking the jaw clean off, BUT THEY DID. Yay!
I wish there had been more showing rather than telling - the dialogue sometimes seems superfluous or it could have made more sense if it weren't explained but just shown through actions.
At the same time, the images of the aliethiometer - wish they *were* pointed out each time the device was used.
The golden monkey was a creepy ugly monkey o__O Wish they'd kept him pretty >__> He’d seem less like a caricature and more like Mrs. Coulter…
Pan and Lyra - not as much of a relationship between them as I wanted...as least not enough actual discussion besides bits and pieces here and there. Well, here's hoping we get more in future.
I guess they're going for a surprise when it comes to Asriel since we don't see him ruthless at all...though I admit the ending of the first book had me going WTF when Asriel turns evil and Mrs. Coulter gets back with him *shudder*
The reason I liked the first book and was willing to buy the second, was because of the politics and issues with the Church - it resonated with me deeply in high school. Removing it so completely did make the movie loose dimensionality…
Lyra Silvertongue - how often do we have a heroine who can lie so well :D WOOT. I kinda want to see a crossover with one of the other big series (Narnia or HP) simply to see how the heroes of those worlds react to her, haha
Lee was awesome - he definitely made things more fun.
The movie wasn't really 'epic' in the way Narnia and HP are - the huge number of displays of magic and fighting - daemons and witches and alternate!technology aren't something novel and wondrous in that world - they're just a part of life. So we don't have scenes like Harry discovering the delights of flying brooms or the Pevensies meeting the badgers.
What we do have is Mrs. Coulter saying "You mustn't deny me this little thing, you really mustn't" while just looking so calm and sweet and...evil underneath *shudder* It's more subtle and real in a way and Nicole Kidman really captured the unbalanced nature of Mrs. Coulter and her potential for evil in the human sense.
Book 1 has always felt like a primer to me - introducing the characters first and ending with the reveal of Lord Asriel's real intentions and the true start of the journey where Lyra travels to the other world. Where we realize that in some ways Mrs. Coulter is almost the lesser of two evils because even she didn’t sacrifice her child in Book 1 like Asriel almost did.
Still, Book 2 is where it all really begins. Book 2 is where we meet Will *__*
His Dark Materials is very much a trilogy - unlike the Chronicles of Narnia where there are peeps who've read the first book or have never really completed the series, or the traditionalist tale of HP where the basic premise (Harry -good, Voldie- evil) is explained almost immediately, we need to get half way through His Dark Materials before we truly get how things are. The traveling between worlds, the various instruments (the compass, the knife etc.) - unlike the other series' which each installment can be very self contained, HDM is a package deal.
Which is why I feel sort of incomplete with The Golden Compass. The lack of actual politics of the Church, the shocking - and depressing - orginal ending in the book did define the book in a way and set it apart from the typical fantasy stories written before.
If I were to show the movie to others in future, I'd probably want to wait until all three movies are out. Since there’s no way to continue without dealing with the religious and political issues of the series point blank.
Phillip Pullman has a gift for writing – personally, reading his words felt far more enthralling than reading those of JKR or CSL – however, when transforming a book into a movie, the author’s writing usually gets lost in the translation. We hope that at the very least the ideas behind the story, the essence remains, because no matter what the experience from the movie will be very different from the literature. They’re different expressions of art, words and life.
Basically: acting was great, as was the CGI effects and the individual characterizations- better than Narnia in fact and pwning HP. However, I think it was the script/screenplay that left me wanting and in that Narnia flowed better.
It seems like Chris Weitz will *not* be writing the script for movie 2 which should mean he can focus more on the directing and leave the script to someone else to really pour over. Hopefully, that should lead up to a brilliant sequel.
And unlike Narnia and Harry Potter, The Subtle Knife far exceeds it's predecessor in awesomeness. I just hope audiences give the series a chance :(