Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Golden Compass (Review)

Maybe this is what people who didn't read the LOTR books felt like while watching. The names of places, people, ect all sound very similar and it felt like there were some in there that were never first explained. This is a problem inherent in creating a fantasy world like this.

Other than that the whole thing is just very bland. The stakes are barely established and the main plot point in this area (played by Daniel Craig) is barely in the film anyway. The actual stakes of the whole series aren't revealed till the final act of the film just before is a visually uninteresting battle. If you've got a PG-13 rating anyway make a decently violent battle, and even thought it's set at night light it better. This looks like a 70m film for the most part instead of something that was at least twice that - they spent way too much on talent that didn't really show up.

Sam Elliot is the only decent name in the cast that acquits himself well. Most of the actors don't seem to know what is going on (Craig, Eva Green) likely because they have little to do and then there are Simon McBurney & Nicole Kidman who play so far over the top its laughable.

Director Chris Weitz for his part does almost everything wrong. It feels like he sat down to watch a hand full of fantasy epics and tried to copy them...badly. The editing is poor, this film has no consistent flow, and everything about that final fight is terrible. The sneak I was at last Saturday was 85% full and 5 or so people clapped at the end before realizing no one else was gonna join them and promptly stopped.

Kinda feel sad for New Line, the attached trailers looked pretty "bomb-y." The new Will Farrell flick Semi-Pro steps too far into the the dumb zone and another ghastly fantasy Inkheart. This is not good news for a studio having one of the worst years for both money and quality I've ever seen (Love in the Time of Cholera, Shoot 'em Up, Rush Hour 3, Rendition, Mr. Woodcock, Martian Child, The Number 23, El Cantante, Code Name: The Cleaner and now this).



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