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The Golden Compass (2007)
Impressed and Very Satisfied
I am about 2 thirds of the way through the book when I decided to go to the limited engagement sneak preview of The Golden Compass. I feel that the film exceeded my expectations regardless of the structure change made by the film adaptation.
The story was changed moderately, but not too much to take away from the mood of the book, and was in no way detrimental to the flow of the story. Otherwise, this movie was a roller-coaster ride from beginning to end! The effects exceeded my expectations. The flow of the daemons in the film was almost completely convincing, however there were times when the speech of the animals had that typical "computer animated falseness" that you see in the cg cartoons. Other than some minor CG blemishes, the realism is some of the most convincing I have seen! The polar bear is completely lifelike and the animal morphing I felt was simply spectacular.
The flow of the film is very fast, which is a negative and a positive. While it really leaves us guessing or feeling unfulfilled in some of the crucial story elements, it also sets the pace for an exhilarating fast-paced adventure story that keeps you on the edge! The broad range of characters prevents the film from truly developing the characters that we really WANT to know. Since the book is a 3 part series, hopefully these characters will develop further in the next 2 films.
I must say that there were several parts in this film that surprised me, considering this is marketed as a family film. This is a dark film. This could frighten some small kids. I feel this film definitely belongs in the pg-13 rating, and might even be a bit much for a 13 year old for the more sheltering type parents. Not only can it be conceived as very violent, there are some very adult themes that could be considered questionable.
Overall, this is a film I would like to see again, and I am DYING to see the next film in the series. I walked out of this film excited, satisfied and wanting more. Might want to leave the young ones at home, but you won't regretting fighting for front row seats on a Friday night for this flick.