Random Nonsense

The Golden Compass- a review.
harkovast at 6:55AM, July 9, 2009
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(This review contains a LOT of bad language, you have been warned.)
I liked the harry potter movies. There, I said it!
So I have nothing against childrens books being adapted to movies, or movies aimed at children.

Also, quite clearly I am into fantasy stuff, and other worlds etc (since that is basically what Harkovast is all about).

The Golden Compass is set in a world where peoples souls appear outside their bodies as animals called demons. Now that is a pretty awesome concept, right? Pretty freakin strange. If you demon dies, you die and vice versa. The world has talking polar bears (not humanoid ones, just literal talking polar bears) and an evil religious group who want to control the world.
All sounds cool so far.

So there is no reason on paper as to why I would hate this film…

EXCEPT IT WAS SHIT!

What the hell was going on?

They spent the entire movie harking on and on about bloody dust.

WHAT THE HELL IS DUST?
What does it do?
Why is it important? Other then the fact that every character mentions it every 5 minutes.

Some religious guys in the film say “Dust is heresy!”
Heresy against what? What religion are they meant to be? Which part of their religion does dust contradict? Does their bible just happen to have a passage about floaty CGI golden particles and how they dont exist?
I've watched the whole movie, and I STILL dont know what dust is.

Here is a list of what I know about Dust-
It comes from another dimension.
It attaches to people's deamons.
Religious people dont like it.
It is yellow.

Thats it! Literally, that is all I know! Why does it matter? Why should I care about it? Why do some people want to deny it? No one ever says!
You could stick any technobabble word in place of dust and it makes as much sense.
“I believe chronotised quantums are attaching to peoples demons!”
“But chronotised quantums are heresy!”
It is no more and no less bull shit that way then it is in the movie.

I wait the whole bastard film for the big reveal of what this fucking interdimensional crap was, and what do we finally learn about it? Sweet FA!

Daniel Craig is in the movie….a bit.
He is in it at the start.
Then we get a cut scene later on of him being captured by evil eskimo native types.(who we can tell are bad because they aren't white. No really, We never see a good one of them and the heroes are all mighty whiteys who dole out a bit of uncomfortible colonial justice on the forces of dark(skinned)ness)

Now you might think I went off on a tangent there without finishing telling you what the hell happened with Daniel Craig, but you would be wrong. I had finished.
That is it.
Despite spending the entire movie looking for him, they never find him. His fate is never resolved.
Keep in mind this guy had top billing on the movie posters. Talk about a bait and switch!
“Oh yeah! Daniel Craig is in our movie….momentarily…”

As I mentioned before, the bad guys religion, or indeed their organisation, is never explained beyond having a silly name (Noblas…I cant believe they made the nob gag so easy even I cant bring myself to do it!)

Q-What do the bad guys want in this film?

A-To seperate children from their demons.

Q-Why do they want this? Especially since in this world a demon is your soul and you die without it? And all the bad guys quite openly have demons of their own and dont indicate that this is a bad thing at all?

A-No fucking clue!

I literally have no idea why the bad guys want to do this!
It is the equivilant of a plan to chop off all the childrens legs so no children have legs…..no actually it is more stupid then that. YOu can live without legs! Considering the bad guys already run the world, I dont see why they feel the need to try and kill off random children with ass backwards stupid experiments!
I guess the plot just told them too!
this movie is meant to be an attack on organised religion. Now whether you agree with organised religion or not is beside the point here.
If you are going to attack something, attack it for what it actually is.
Like if I was to complain about george bush and I start saying he made orphans eat puppies, my attack has no wieght and no value because obviously that is just bullshit.
This show appears to suggest that Religions randomly accuse any new learning of being heresy and try to do random and moronic experiments on kids that mostly just make them die.
THAT IS NOT WHAT RELIGION DOES!!! Thats not what anyone does! Thats just fucking stupid!

If a guy wants to have a go at religion in his movie, fair enough, but at least go to the trouble of making attacks that make sense! If the message was that the religion controls people, fiar enough. If the message was that religions stick to doctrines over evidence, fair enough. I dont necessarily agree or disagree with those arguements, but they at least make some logical sense.
This movie feels like it was written by a person who feels religion is bad, but doesn't entirely know what religion is.

The main villian, Mrs Coulter, is quite cool in and of herself. But she also fails to make any sense. The bad guys are an evil oppressive religious organisation, yet their top agent dresses in a gold dress like a hollywood star from the 1940's! Oh yeah, hollywood glamour, thats what I think of when I think of oppressive religions, the Taliban were well known for their starlets!
And what happens to this evil villianess? How does she meet her end?
She doesn't.
She just wanders off.
No, I am not exaggerating.
She just walks off at the end.

BULLSHIT!!!!
THIS IS COMPLETE BULLSHIT!

Even The mighty morphin' Power Fucking Rangers manage to remember to blow up the bad guy at the end of the fucking episode!

This is donkey diahorrea! This is a camel enima!

So you might be wondering by now-
“If Daniel Craig doesn't get resolved, and the villain is not resolved…how does the movie end?”

Answer? Abruptly.

The characters are talking and then the credits roll.
No resolution.
No climactic end bit.
Just credits as the heroes go off into the distance.
Nothing is resolved, nothing is explained.
Everything is bullshit!

The only resolution we get is with a subplot about the talking polar bear wanting to regain his kingdom.
Well, I say a subplot, becuase it is more like the movie just goes on hold while a new and entirely unrelated story about polars bears plays out.
Is the polar bear king reclaiming his throne in anyway important to ANYTHING else in the movie?
Nope.
Does a bear army show up for the final battle?
Does it fuck.
The whole thing is a total waste of time.
But at least the bad guy gets killed and it resolves which makes it a hundred times better then the main plot!

This movie is dreadful.
It sets out an interesting premise and a seemingly exciting world but then seems incapable of telling a story that is either interesting or exciting in anyway.
Fuck this movie, fuck polar bears, fuck Daniel Craig and fuck dust!
I hope who ever directed this train wreck takes the magical golden compass and shoves it straight up their ass. maybe then its magical powers can show them the way back to film school to learn how to make a fucking movie!!!

So to sum up, this movie left me a little dissapointed.

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
Amelius at 12:38PM, July 9, 2009
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That, was a brilliant rant, and I tip my hat to you sir! I laughed so hard at a lot of this!

All I heard about it was it was a bloated, over-done piece of Hollywood fluff that tries it's darnedest to be the atheist answer to Narnia. Of course, they overlooked one critical point: The books that C.O.N. was based on were actually good, or at the very least beloved by the fantasy crowd for many years (heh, I'm a fair bit religious and even I can admit that the book “The Last Battle” was a little uncomfortably preachy though!) I can't stand something being a soapbox for the creator's opinion, ‘cuz that overrides everything else to preach at you. It’s like they forget that the thing is supposed to be entertaining us! Even if I did agree with his points, having it shoved in my face is annoying!

The author of the series it's based on (His Dark Materials. Seriously.) is in my “world's biggest a-holes” list, but I'm a little amused that he named the villainess “Ms Coulter” (thinking of Ann Coulter maybe? She's in that list too!)
Just…everything the guy says is just so pretentious. He likes to think his opinion is 100% right. Yeah, organised religion has its dark sides, but that's because it's a HUMAN institution, and it's easy to pick out the corruption when it's all gathered together, not so much when it's spread out. Atrocities have been committed against mankind in the name of science as well, but we don't blame science itself!(okay maybe some folks do, but we try our best to ignore them! ;))

But I now know never to trust Roger Ebert's film reviews ever again after reading his quote on TGC being:
Ebert
“a darker, deeper fantasy epic than the Rings trilogy, The Chronicles of Narnia or the Potter films…”
Holy crap Ebert, were you high when you watched this movie, or has watching so many bad movies over the years lowered your standards?!
hmm, I wonder if there's a Rifftrax for this movie…*checks* Bummer, no dice!







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harkovast at 2:12PM, July 9, 2009
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I think ebert liked the Patriot, so he invalidated his opinion in my view years ago.

Looking at the Dark Material books, the attack on religion goes from overt and unsubtle to down right moronic.
In book two they find that angels run everything and god is an old has been….


If you can meet god and his angels….doesn't that makes the religion TRUE???

They go on a mission then to kill god. If you are trying to kill god, you are not an atheist!
And even if you do kill god, how would that help?
The evil religious organisation would just carry on as before!!

The solution is dogmatic religious authorities is enlightenment and progress and freedom of ideas etc.
In summation, you dont beat the Taliban by finding Allah and killing him!

The Last Battle is a pretty good counter point, though the Last Battle (heavy handed and anvilicious as that was! Believe me, that book pissed me off) at least stayed consistant and on message. His Dork Monkey-Business degenerates into complete and utter bollocks.

If you liked this comedy review, I will have to write a few more…
Any suggestions? (please note, other then Batman:TAS I only do reviews of things I hate!)

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
Ironscarf at 2:42PM, July 9, 2009
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I certainly enjoyed that review even though I haven't seen that film The Golden Compass and now feel less than inclined to do so.I don't really get to see any new films these days, so more reviews in a similar vein would allow me to discuss new movies with say, my work colleagues at the water cooler. I'd probably end up being known as ‘the guy who hates everything’ but thats better than ‘the guy who misses everything’, I think.

Also, I'd need to slate that series ‘Lost’ at the same water cooler, but I can't bring myself to watch enough of it to generate a comprehensive slagging off, so if you've seen it…..
 
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Amelius at 4:16PM, July 9, 2009
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Haha! His Dork Monkey-Business! I like that title ^_^

Good point too about them going off to kill God if he doesn't exist!
Plus the way he rails on Lewis all the time really upset me. Tolkien was doing the same thing in his books, he just hid it a little better. But he later bemoaned having made the orcs into “irreconcilable” beings! (that struck me as pretty funny)
I bet if Pullman started ripping into Tolkien, he'd be find himself in a world of hurt…mostly in the form of cosplaying hobbits and wizards rioting on his lawn!

Somebody actually suggested that Christians would enjoy reading his books, nay, SHOULD read TGC and the other Dork Monkey-Business books because it would make them “open minded”. Yeah, just like reading an anti-Semitic manifesto like “The Elders of Zion” will make Jewish people feel more open minded? I don't know who the brilliant mind is that thinks people should enjoy reading something that is deliberately insulting and bigoted toward their beliefs! (particularly if it's not even well-written!) I've actually enjoyed a few things with a slight non-religious message in it, but once they started getting too “preachy” I stopped being interested. Not because I'm close minded, but because they were beginning to be! Some people just can't live and let live…

Haha, I don't even know where to start suggesting other awful movies though, but whatever you come up with I bet it'll be entertaining!

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harkovast at 6:24PM, July 9, 2009
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Harkovast is pretty neutral on religion is general.
Pretty much every race gets a religion and they are all wildly varied and odd.
Though the Speaker is clearly a zealot and a baddie, so far we've had a Nun and two priestess' and a Shaman helping out the good guys, and all the main good guys have some sort of religious persuasion, so I think the balance is okay
It is not really that religion is good or bad in the story, but just a fact of life in the Harkovast world. As things progress in the story we will see lots of good and bad things being done in the names of various religions.
Also Harkovast religions are more like far eastern or classical religions, which are not exclusive. By that I mean people in one Harkovast religion may not worship other peoples gods and will probably think them inferior to their own, but are open to the idea that they exist and that their are other pantheons that they dont know about.
Though Harkovast does have moral that the audience will hopefully take away from it, the religions are more designed as an aspect of the world building and of the interesting cultures, rather then as any statement on the real world, they there will no doubt be morals the audience will take away from the way the Harkovast people apply their various religions to do good or bad.

Remember, if you see a movie you hate, come and let me know and I'll beat the crap out of it for you (assuming I dont like it either!)




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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
Amelius at 7:14PM, July 9, 2009
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Hehe, don't worry Hark, I think your comic is doing a fine job in that area. It's good to develop the cultures of the characters in a world like so, and sometimes religion is a part of the details. I've never felt that you were being either preachy or condescending at any time, if it's any consolation! In fact that's one of the reasons I like your comic so much, it's a realistic view of how even the real world works without being bias toward any one side. Things can be good or they can be bad, it depends on what direction the people (or non-people!) take it in! Sometimes people can be civilised in their religion, sometimes it makes them act xenophobic and intolerant. I really like how you have examples of both and you didn't sink to the level of making “straw man” characters, either! :)
Seriously. You're awesome.

It's good to have a moral too though, haha! (and morels too, they're pretty good with butter, and I usually hate mushrooms!)

Hmm…bad movie…how about any of the newer Star Wars? Those were pretty bad! I liked the old trilogy but even those are ripe for picking on!
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harkovast at 4:44AM, July 10, 2009
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I considered the new star wars, but they have been battered so badly on the internet that I wonder how much more there is to say?
Still…they are tempting targets.

Actually, the movie I want to hammer next is one that I think most people actually liked…Last of the Mohecans!
Well I didn't like it, and the world must learn why!

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
RED_NED at 6:46AM, July 10, 2009
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Haha, you loved this film, admit it!

Yeah this film spiralled down the toilet faster than a ten ton turd. The book is better, but that's not saying much is it?

The book started out so well too! The daemon concept is fucking awesome, i thought it was gonna be one of the best books i'd read. Then the whole ‘plot’ thing had to rear its ugly face, god damn it! in fact thats the moral GOD damn it. I think god must have abused the author when he was young or something, it's rather uncomfortable how much this guy hates religion.

The cowboy guy is one of the coolest characters though. Gotta admit that.

Also huge polar bears knocking seven bells out of each other SHOULD be awesome. Sadly it didnt really translate to the screen… or the book.

Oh and you don't wanna know about fucking dust. If this film gave you the matrix option where you could take the blue pill to carry on or the red pill to stop reading, I would take a cyanide pill.

my summation: Golden CompARSE
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Wordweaver_three at 3:15PM, July 10, 2009
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I avoided The Golden Compass because I was well aware of it's anti-religious overtone. I avoid anything that has any form of intolerance, whether they be books, movies, or art and weather the intolerance be towards religion, race, or belief. I find watching an anti-religious movie to be as uncomfortable as watching a Klan rally. Bigotry is bigotry, regardless what mask it wears. I was raised to respect other people and their opinions, even if I thought they were wrong. Most of all I was taught to respect other peoples religious views, regardless of how much they differed from my own. This includes Atheism, cuz guess what? It's a religion too. (If you've ever had one try to “convert” you, then you know what I mean)

With regards to The Last Battle. You have to remember that The Chronicles of Narnia was a retelling of the New Testament in a way that children could relate to. The Bible is pretty much preachy by design, no part of it more so then the book of Revelation, which is the part that The Last Battle was based on. Sorta hard to gloss over the Antichrist and the destruction of the world.
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harkovast at 5:06PM, July 10, 2009
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I understand what the last battle was trying to do bit it was so heavy handed, and at times so childishly written, that I was hugely disapointed.
I mean it starts out interesting with the fake Aslan and stuff but then when the world starts ending and all the animals are getting judged, it just becomes a nonsense.
I felt the analogy was becoming a blunt instrument with which the author was intent on clubbing me to death!

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
confusedsoul at 1:31PM, July 11, 2009
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I actually like the books, not becasue of the atheist undertones and the like, but because I read them all in a half term break on the sofa, which was comfortable and enjoyable to read.

To clarify a few points, the daemons aren't the persons soul. They're more like a mirror aspect of it, born at the same time and existing like a physical appearance of a persons personality.

The Dust everybody is getting so worked up about is some kind of matter in the universe that clings to people once they hit puberty. I think all living things are made up of it, it's been a while since i read the book. The religious people don't like it because, as its related to puberty, it's like “Sin”. It does other things too, and it's related to the alethiometre (not the fuggin' “Golden Compass”, how stupid did they think the children were not to be able to say alethiometre? It's not hard).

Seperating children from the daemons is an experiment to prevent dust taking hold of them. Theres more to it than that, but it was the first book and that was a long time ago.

I didn't want to see this movie mainly because I'm too old, I hate Daniel Craig and Nicole Kidman in anything they're in and because I can see a lot of the scenes being toned down.

In the fight between the polar bears, did one of them get his jaw slashed off and his throat torn out?
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harkovast at 3:04PM, July 11, 2009
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Confused Soul so it is a movie where I have to have already read the book to understand what is going on?
That sounds like a serious turkey to me!

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
confusedsoul at 5:21AM, July 12, 2009
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It is geared towards the books audience. Its probably like most kids films, where the people watching are expected to be long time fans.
Why does that never work for game movies? They never pander to the audience.
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D_Dude at 6:59AM, Nov. 26, 2009
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I have to say that I quite enjoyed the book series as well, and I was optimistic about the movie.
Then I watched it…


I liked the special effects and that's about it. It was especially bad when they swapped around two key aspects of the story. (The bear palace and the Bolvangar)
FEAR THE BADGER!
It's not overkill if you don't hit him.
Sir! We are surrounded! … Good. Then we can charge in EVERY direction.
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harkovast at 7:25AM, Nov. 26, 2009
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D_Dude okay credit where it is due, some of the special effects and visuals were really really good.
The demon animals looked very good and convincing.

But being pretty does not make up for such shody film making!

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
Kroatz at 4:45PM, March 3, 2010
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Dude… they had an armored polar bear!

The golden compass was awesum… totally. I really want a marsupilami bound to me by dust…

Oh and dust, that's the stuff that appears when you don't clean your house for a week… Durr…
Comidion.deviantart.com
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harkovast at 5:02AM, March 4, 2010
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One squirt of Mr Muscle and a rub down with a cloth and all the dust that binds their world together would be gone and they would all die….

Damn I need to go buy cleaning products!

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
EssayBee at 10:28AM, March 4, 2010
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First things first, despite Pullman being an atheist, the books are agnostic. There is a good side to “holy” things in the books (Dust is pretty much like The Force in Star Wars, in my opinion–and the way the dead ultimately dissolve back into the energy of the universe is pretty much what happens to Yoda and Obi-Wan), but it's the tyrannical nature of the prevailing god powers (and the institution of the Church on Lyra's earth) that is wicked.

I guess I should say that I'm a Christian (of course, I'm also Protestant, so Lyra's world where the Reformation apparently never happened may be part of the reason I don't find it all that offensive), but I still found the premise of the series compelling–it's a complete paradigm shift from what we take as truth in terms of good and evil. Still, at it's core, it's basic premise of good (enlightenment, knowledge, tolerance) and evil (ignorance, fear, quest for power) is true to the core values of most religions. However, it's the religious institutions and leadership that–to this day–seek to impose their values on others and curb knowledge. (Please note that the institutions and leadership I speak of are in the minority, but they are a very vocal–both with Bible thumping and suicide bombing–and politically active minority.) If you look through history at the way religious leaders have stood in the way of intellectual progress and the motivations for doing so (it might erode the religious leaders' grips over the masses), it's hard to argue against Pullman's basic complaints of religion. Still, everything “evil” that religious institutions have done have really been because of our human shortcomings and not because of an evil God. Even the “evil” God in the books turns out to be a frail old man who's kept alive solely to further the ambitions and agendas of those in power, so you could take that as symbolic for all of the misdeeds done in God's name. People love to wave God's name around as a means to “justify” their hatred of others (and to go to war and to kill), thereby turning God's true good nature to dust.

But all of that is irrelevant to the movie. As Harkovast said, the movie is riddled with holes and totally unfulfilling because it is incomplete. They cut the cliffhanger ending of the book out so that the movie has a more upbeat and happy ending, but it leaves many questions unanswered. (Of course, the cliffhanger ending leaves a ton of questions too, but at least you know there's supposed to be more. As it is, instead of ending with a bang and audiences saying, “Whoa! What happens next?” it goes out with a whimper and audiences saying, “Huh? Is that it? That was such a let down!” )

To bring Ebert back into the mix, what he said was dead-on for the books, but the movie comes across as just another generic fantasy. I think a large part of it feeling so watered down was because the filmmakers took an obviously controversial subject (the religion aspect) and neutered it to avoid angering folks. Basically, they assumed the role of the Church and ripped the soul out of the story, and we filmgoers were left with an empty husk. (And for naught, since there were still boycotts of the movie.)

Oh, and to bring up The Last Battle, I think Aslan pretty much summed up good and evil there when he said that all evil done in Aslan's name was really done in Tosh's name (I think that was the name of the false god) and all good deeds done in Tosh's name were really done in Aslan's name. Basically, that's what his Dark Materials boils down to–evil is evil, even if it's done in God's name, and good is good, even if it's considered heresy by the Church.
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harkovast at 12:14PM, March 4, 2010
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I am sure the book answers lots of questions I might have had and might have made far more sense.
But thats the thing, I didn't read the book, I jsut watched the movie.
If you cnat understand the movie without referancing the books, then they shouldn't have made a movie at all.

Funny thing, the tried to avoid offending people by making the religious themes more vague…and thus offended me with their shitty movie!

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EssayBee at 12:26PM, March 4, 2010
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harkovast
I am sure the book answers lots of questions I might have had and might have made far more sense.
But thats the thing, I didn't read the book, I jsut watched the movie.
If you cnat understand the movie without referancing the books, then they shouldn't have made a movie at all.

Funny thing, the tried to avoid offending people by making the religious themes more vague…and thus offended me with their shitty movie!
Exactly.

If they would've had the balls to give it the real ending and set up a sequel, the holes would be forgivable since TGC is the first part of a trilogy. But since they tried to make it “self-contained,” it fails as a movie.

Like you, I want a movie that feels complete. Sure, the book will almost always be better, but it's up to the filmmakers to make a good movie. That's why I dislike the first two Harry Potter movies. Sure, they probably contain the most from the books, but they feel like a laundry list where Columbus and co. just ticked off the things that happened in the books instead of developing any of them (and the movies feel rushed because of it). From the third movie onward the movies get better, in my opinion, because, even though they cut lots more out, they did so to spend more time developing the important plotlines, thus making a stronger and better developed narrative for the movies.
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harkovast at 11:23AM, March 6, 2010
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I think too many movies are based on other things these days.
They are all based on books, tv shows, remakes of old movies, sequals to remakes of requals or some other bullshit.
Why cant we just make movies that are intended to be movies anymore? That were written especially to work in that genre?

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Kroatz at 6:10AM, March 7, 2010
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Wouldn't you like a Harkovast movie?
I know I'd like a No Heroes movie, or a No Heroes game!

Comidion.deviantart.com
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harkovast at 9:24AM, March 7, 2010
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Hahah! I appreciate that shameless plug! Nicely done!

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Kroatz at 2:46PM, March 7, 2010
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Learned from the best!
Comidion.deviantart.com
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Genejoke at 9:58AM, June 5, 2010
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Essaybee said

First things first, despite Pullman being an atheist, the books are agnostic. 

Uh huh, I haven't read them but, agnostic means

Someone
1 : a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (as God) is unknown and probably unknowable; broadly : one who is not committed to believing in either the existence or the nonexistence of God or a god
2 : a person unwilling to commit to an opinion about something

Well if the books go as far as saying there is a god and angels then they prove there is a god and therefore aren't agnostic nor atheist but just anti christian or catholic whatever.


The film itself is pretty poor though.
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harkovast at 11:12AM, June 5, 2010
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The Golden-BUM-pass.
(See what I did there?)

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
Genejoke at 6:16AM, June 6, 2010
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harkovast
The Golden-BUM-pass.
(See what I did there?)

so is it a gay movie?
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
dwrean at 10:55PM, Dec. 11, 2010
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joined: 6-15-2010
a long long time ago in a galaxy we are currently in, i began to read the golden compass as a english class assighnment thing and not being able to finish it. i really wanted to read more. i mean, kids with their own demons and a secret plot concerning some strange stuff called dust. sounded like it was getting good. so, i went to see the movie. the best thing that came out of that was the polar bear catching the tongue of the evil king bear, along with half of his face. yay violence.
oh yeah, hai essaybee, hope fusion isnt killin you!
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM

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