Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
The Golden Compass (2007)
Good acting and special effects. Poor storytelling
I have not read the book so I can't comment on how close the movie follows it. However, as a movie, it is so poorly edited to be barely comprehensible. The whole movie seems like every other scene has been cut out. Characters and situations are not explained, relationships are not developed, and the plot is left with gaping holes. Fans of the book will, no doubt, be able to fill in the details. For the rest of us, I would not bother. This is a shame because the acting is good and well-cast. The special effects are equally impressive. If the movie had lasted another hour, it probably would have been terrific. Hopefully, a director's cut will be released some day that redeems this travesty.
The Monster of Phantom Lake (2006)
Great campy fun!
This is an independent movie filmed in Minnesota. It's a fun take-off of 1950's B-grade monster movies and was deliberately campy fun. Filmed on a budget of probably about $8.00 (and most of that was likely gas money), it satirizes the stilted dialog, cheesy special effects, and hokey plots that have made 1950's era monster movies timeless guilty pleasures. It even has some appropriately corny music added. Shot in black and white, the entire film takes place in the woods near a lake, and starts with some workers illegally dumping "atomic waste". Predictably, some highly implausible biological responses result. Equally predictable, are the set of teenage victims who first discover the "monster". Fortunately, the unflappable Professor Jackson is on the spot with his not-so-secretly adoring graduate student assistant. Needless to say, it was a hoot. After the movie, some of the cast was in the lounge to mingle with the audience and to sell the DVD and posters. (The poster was free with the purchase of a $10 DVD and yes I bought it.)
Almost as much fun, were the 1950's newsreel clips shown before the movie, as was the custom then. They showed, in order, newsreel footage of violence in the Middle East, a grim old couple celebrating their 75th wedding anniversary, and a knife-throwing Mom using her kids in her hobby. All-in-all, it was a fun movie that I highly recommend.