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TOPIC: Golden Compass Part 2

Re: Golden Compass Part 2 15 Nov 2007 22:51 #16922

  • rufusjack
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Forgive me here, but no one has seen the movie right?

In general, the movie version is usually different than the book it is based on right?

The entity that gets killed in the third book is not "the" god but an angel being god?

All religious figures are pristine right?

The same studio that released Nativity Story, wants to put out a anti-christian movie?

My wife is going to see it next week. We have never gone to a screening before, soley so we can see if the pre-hype is warranted or not.

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Re: Golden Compass Part 2 16 Nov 2007 17:24 #16923

  • Cinemateer
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I think the point being made here is that seeing it supports the efforts of an atheist. Similar to buying a book about 9/11 written by Osama Bin Laden. It doesn't matter what the movie is about.
"In a place like this, the magic is all around you. The trick is to see it." -Martin Landau
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Re: Golden Compass Part 2 16 Nov 2007 19:12 #16924

  • BurneyFalls
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Glad your wife is attending a screening of GOLDEN COMPASS rufusjack. Let us know her take ASAP.

A couple things have come to my attention since I made my initial post on this movie.

I received the following email from one of my frequent customers. She is a local school teacher and a practicing Christian. Her husband is also well respected. She had written and requested I play GOLDEN COMPASS. I wrote her back and asked if she was sure. I said I had mixed feelings about it, and sent her the Snopes link.

The following is her reply. Her words and opinions on the books and the movie were encouraging.

"That was some interesting stuff I skimmed most of the snopes literature. I read the book to all three of my kids (ages 10,8,and 3) and will read the rest of the series to them because they find it interesting and fantastical. I am not interested in the author's religion or political intentions. He is a gifted author. There are more pressing societal cavities than a children's movie and many many more if we are scared of entertainment dictating our values based on another person's imagination and fantasy.

We love and support your theater, these challenges will continue. Our family supports your decisions and will keep coming back even if we have to watch this movie in [a nearby town]. Thanks for the extra information on this movie."

Secondly, I found out a good friend of mine read the book. She noticed the one-sheet in my theatre and said she would come up to watch the movie, as the book was very good. I mentioned the athiest author and theme and she said she did not get that out of the book at all.

I highly respect both of these people and their opinions. The fact that they have read the book and did not find it morally, ethically, or religiously inapporpriate has swung the pendelum, for me, at least, in favor of playing the movie.


[This message has been edited by BurneyFalls (edited November 16, 2007).]
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Re: Golden Compass Part 2 21 Nov 2007 06:49 #16925

  • Pieman
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I am currently reading the book. I have about 20-30 pages left and so far the worst thing in it is that a bear almost bites a mans head....its in his jaws, but he doesn't as the main character tells him not to...unless something dreadful happens in the last few pages, then I can't see the problem. The fact that the author is an athiest shouldn't matter.. it doesn't mean hes for the devil, it just means he doesn't believe that there is a God.. that doesn't automatically make him evil. I'd like to know who started the rumor that it was anti God..so far I haven't seen anything of the sort..I wonder if the original rumourist actually read it, Id say not...The darkest thing about the book is the fact that the series is called "His dark materials" Im really enjoying the book so far

[This message has been edited by Pieman (edited November 21, 2007).]

[This message has been edited by Pieman (edited November 21, 2007).]
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Re: Golden Compass Part 2 21 Nov 2007 12:42 #16926

  • lionheart
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Pieman says he would like to know who started the rumor that Golden Compass is anti-God.

Read the Snopes report at the following link:
http://www.snopes.com/politics/religion/compass.asp

It appears that the author himself is the one who "started the rumor". The Snopes references a 2003 interview with the Sydney Morning Herald where he states, "My books are about killing God".

According to other information posted on Snopes, the last book in the trilogy is where God is "killed". So, if the first book appears harmless, then perhaps that is by design, or perhaps the author was just trying to save the climax for the end of the trilogy.

Some might say that even killing God in a story is not so bad since it's all only fiction, fantasy, or make-believe. Well, the author has a right to express himself, whether it be fantasy or an evil plot to influence children, but it doesn't mean everyone has to like it. Even if the author has no intention of influencing children in any manner, it does not mean that he won't.
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Re: Golden Compass Part 2 21 Nov 2007 15:39 #16927

  • dsschoenborn
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My wife and our niece, who has read the book and is Lutheran while we are Catholic, just saw the film and neither could find anything offensive in the film against God or religion. Perhaps it is the authors goal to make these books anti God but the film was not in their opinion. I think a lot of people will choose not to see the film, or maybe exhibit it, because it will put money in the pocket of the author and they choose not to support him and his stated goals. But from their opinion, the film is not in itself going to make people choose the anti God path of the author nor did it express it or try and spread it. A good fantasy film is what they thought.
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Re: Golden Compass Part 2 21 Nov 2007 17:24 #16928

  • sheri6363
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Thanks for the info
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Re: Golden Compass Part 2 21 Nov 2007 17:32 #16929

  • tratcliff
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I just got back from a screening of Golden Compass.
I agree with the last post.
I found nothing in the movie offensive.
And he CGI is incredible.

I have not read the books, but others at the screening had, and they said the movie very much watered down the religious references. But even those people didn't think the movie was offensive.

The movie comes across as a dictorial power trying to further deepen its hold on the people and a rebellion beginning againt it.
If it hadn't been for this public controversy being stirred up, I would have never had any thoughts from the movie that the story had anything to do with God.

Overall I enjoyed the movie.
BUT it definitely deserves its PG-13 rating.
Don't let the previews fool you.
It will scare little kids with the violence.

I think the PG-13 rating should hopefully calm the storm a little, as people should think twice before taking their kids to a PG-13 movie, no matter what its about.

On a personal note, I think the whole controversy can have a silver lining if one looks for it.
It is a good opportunity for people ( esp teens ) to openly talk about religion in public.

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Re: Golden Compass Part 2 30 Nov 2007 17:33 #16930

  • RoxyVaudeville
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I just recieved this today from New Line Vice Pres/Eastern Division Manager Jonathan Beal

Movie Review

The Golden Compass

By Harry Forbes and John Mulderig
Catholic News Service

NEW YORK (CNS) -- Hollywood history is rife with examples of literary works that by dint of problematic sexual, violent or religious content have been softened to varying degrees to mollify public sensibilities.

So it appears to be with "The Golden Compass" (New Line) which, we'll say right at the start, is a lavish, well-acted and fast-paced adaptation of "Northern Lights," the original title of the first volume of Philip Pullman's much-awarded trilogy, "His Dark Materials," published in 1995.

The film has already caused some concern in Catholic circles because of the author's professed atheism, and the more overt issue of the novels' negative portrayal of his (very much fictionalized) church, a stand-in for all organized religion.

The good news is that the first book's explicit references to this church have been completely excised with only the term Magisterium retained. The choice is still a bit unfortunate, however, as the word refers so specifically to the church's teaching authority. Yet the film's only clue that the Magisterium is a religious body comes in the form of the icons which decorate one of their local headquarters.

Most moviegoers with no foreknowledge of the books or Pullman's personal belief system will scarcely be aware of religious connotations, and can approach the movie as a pure fantasy-adventure. This is not the blatant real-world anti-Catholicism of, say, the recent "Elizabeth: The Golden Age" or "The Da Vinci Code." Religious elements, as such, are practically nil.

The narrative itself charts the adventures of spunky 12-year-old Lyra (Dakota Blue Richards), an orphan who leaves Oxford's Jordan College, where she resides as a ward to become apprentice to a glamorous scholar known as Mrs. Coulter (Nicole Kidman).

She's allowed to leave, equipped with the titular compass -- a truth meter which Lyra is among the privileged few to know how to interpret. Once in Mrs. Coulter's care, Lyra begins to surmise that the woman's motives are far from pure, and she escapes.

Inspired by her Arctic-exploring-uncle Lord Asriel (Daniel Craig) -- who, to the consternation of the Magisterium, is about to make some discoveries about the mysterious substance called Dust -- Lyra journeys northward. She hopes to rescue her young friend Roger (Ben Walker), who has been kidnapped by the Magisterium.

Lyra picks up several useful allies along the way, including John Faa (Jim Carter), a piratelike seafarer of the wandering tribe called Gyptians, Texas aeronaut Lee Scoresby (Sam Elliott), and a great polar bear named Iorek Byrnison (voice of Ian McKellen).

Even if Pullman's fanciful universe has a patchwork feel, with elements culled from other fantasy-adventure stories -- most especially "The Chronicles of Narnia" (a work Pullman disdains) -- there's hardly a dull moment, and the effects are beautifully realized, including the anthropomorphized creatures like the polar bears whose climactic fight is superbly done.

Richards makes an appealingly no-nonsense heroine, and Kidman makes a glamorous and chilling villain. Christopher Lee, Tom Courtenay and Derek Jacobi round out a distinguished cast, with excellent voice work from McKellen and others (e.g. Kathy Bates, Kristin Scott Thomas, Ian McShane and Freddie Highmore).

Whatever author Pullman's putative motives in writing the story, writer-director Chris Weitz's film, taken purely on its own cinematic terms, can be viewed as an exciting adventure story with, at its core, a traditional struggle between good and evil, and a generalized rejection of authoritarianism.

To the extent, moreover, that Lyra and her allies are taking a stand on behalf of free will in opposition to the coercive force of the Magisterium, they are of course acting entirely in harmony with Catholic teaching. The heroism and self-sacrifice that they demonstrate provide appropriate moral lessons for viewers.

There is, admittedly, a spirit of rebellion and stark individualism pervading the story. Lyra is continually drawn to characters who reject authority in favor of doing as they please. Equally, only by defying the powers that be, can a scientist like Lord Asriel achieve progress. Pullman is perhaps drawing parallels to the Catholic Church's restrictive stance towards the early alchemists and, later, Galileo.

The script also makes use of some of the occult concepts found in the books, such as the diabolically named "daemons" -- animal companions to each person, identified as their human counterpart's visible soul.

Is Pullman trying to undermine anyone's belief in God? Leaving the books aside, and focusing on what has ended up on-screen, the script can reasonably be interpreted in the broadest sense as an appeal against the abuse of political power.

Will seeing this film inspire teens to read the books, which many have found problematic? Rather than banning the movie or books, parents might instead take the opportunity to talk through any thorny philosophical issues with their teens.

The religious themes of the later books may be more prominent in the follow-up films which Weitz has vowed will be less watered down. For now, this film -- altered, as it is, from its source material -- rates as intelligent and well-crafted entertainment.

The film contains intense but bloodless fantasy violence, anti-clerical subtext, standard genre occult elements, a character born out of wedlock and a whiskey-guzzling bear. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

- - -

Forbes is director and Mulderig is on the staff of the Office for Film & Broadcasting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. More reviews are available online at www.usccb.org/movies.

END
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Re: Golden Compass Part 2 30 Nov 2007 18:03 #16931

  • muviebuf
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The biggest problem this picture has is that it is made and released by New Line. Besides being one of the more difficult distributors to deal with they can't market their way out of a paper bag.

Yes... I know... New Line had Lord of the Rings ... but that was sold more by a fanatic fanboy base and Peter Jackson than by New Line. And many family oriented theatres that I know of (Roxy included) did almost nothing with any of the LOTR trilogy.

Look at New Line's track record over the past few years (particularly with supposedly family friendly book titles with built in audiences such as Hoot, How To Eat Fried Worms just to name a couple).. Other than Wedding Crashers and Hairspray their offerings have pretty much crashed and burned (Snakes on a Plane anyone?)

The other problem is that this picture stars Nicole Kidman - who boxoffice wise has become the female equivalent of Robin Williams in terms of audience avoidance.


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Re: Golden Compass Part 2 01 Dec 2007 01:52 #16932

  • BurneyFalls
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New Line has always been very cordial and easy for me to deal with. The Lord of the Rings movies were my second, third, and fifth highest grossing movies. Pulling off a good opening on The Golden Compass with all the negative publicity will be a monumental undertaking for them.
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Re: Golden Compass Part 2 03 Dec 2007 15:19 #16933

  • muviebuf
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Got to see this one over the weekend on the sneak.

1) The whole religion thing seemed to be a non-issue. It did not seem to impact the film one way or the other.

2) The film was at times a bit confusing and hard to follow. It dropped you into a world which had given names, places and references but often without any explanation or backstory as to who was who and what was going on. For those (like me) who had not read and were not familiar with the books it made for tougher going. The picture also seemed to have been heavily edited - which I felt contributed to the continuity jumps.

3) The biggest problem boxoffice wise is exactly who this film is going to appeal to.
It seemed to me to be too childish for the fanboy crowd and yet also seemed too adult for the Narnia crowd.
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Re: Golden Compass Part 2 08 Dec 2007 01:06 #16934

  • slapintheface
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BIG OPENING NUMBERS IN N&S CAROLINa
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Re: Golden Compass Part 2 10 Dec 2007 02:26 #16935

  • BurneyFalls
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So how's it doing at your place? Read on the internet that it underperformed. I did not open it. I got another phone call today about this movie. This one said that her preacher told them all about the film at church this morning and that not only is it anti-Christian, but it "teaches kids to be disrespectful to their parents and society". Geez Louise.
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Re: Golden Compass Part 2 10 Dec 2007 02:36 #16936

  • slapintheface
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funny the numbers down here were good for FRIDAY NUMBERS BUT SO SO rest of the weekend!
We are not playing it this is per rentrak.....
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