Monday, June 02, 2008

Movie Review - The Golden Compass

The wife and I finally canceled Netflix but not without checking out Rambo and the Golden Compass. Rambo, or course kicks ass. I think every time a fight scene happens in that movie you should hear Drowning Pools "Let the Bodies Hit the Floor" because that's pretty much how it goes. Rambo kills everybody, saves the girl and her douche bag husband, and I won't totally ruin the end for you but needless to say it concludes the series.

Now, on to the Golden Compass. We had never heard of it until we saw a preview for it, but all the buzz surrounding it about how it was anti-religion, and no one needed to see it ever, and I got countless e-mails saying we needed to protest the further publication of the books and protest the movie. It of course didn't do very well at the box office, but after watching it I really don't see the problem. I got less religious feelings out of it than I did The Matrix, and my friends thought I was crazy for saying that one was somewhat religious.

My basic rundown of the movie is that its based on the premise that there are different worlds and different dimensions. In our world (and yes, they do mention our world) we wear our souls on the inside. In this world, they wear it on the outside and most of them are in the form of animals. They are referred to as demons, but they spell it Dæmon so you can take that however you want. Anyway, society is basically run by a controlling government called the Magisterium. I guess the intent was to make them look like organized religion because they do look a little like clergymen, but realistically I just got that they were a controlling government extremist group that doesn't want people to think for themselves. According to the Wikipedia link there, the Magisterium is a Roman Catholic Group that interprets the word of God. Anyway, Daniel Craigs character works for the college which apparently has all knowledge in this particular dimension. The college and the Magisterium seem to be at odds a lot because the college teaches free though, and the Magisterium of course only wants people to think one way. Craig has found a way in to another dimension and the Magisterium is trying to make sure he can't prove it by trying to kill him. So he leaves on his excursion to "the north" to prove the existence of it. Enter the tall and strangely curvy Nicole Kidman. You know she's evil (and wickedly hot) from the time she gets on screen, but she takes Craigs niece, and the star of our controversial movie, as her friend for the summer. She's supposedly going to take her to the north where the talking bears are and a quick visit to see her uncle. Sounds cool right? What elementary school aged kids wouldn't want to go see talking bears? Hell, I'd go right now if I knew that polar bears talked and wore armor. Anyway, her character is given a Golden Compass by one of the professors at the college and is told to keep it a secret. Supposedly it tells the truth to someone who can read it, and she can magically read it while no one else can. Anyway, the compass doesn't actually navigate anywhere, it just tells her the truth. Neat thing to have really, but the Magisterium is out to kill her, her uncle, and a band of random flying witches led by the ever so hot Eva Green. I'm sure I've left out something, but the movie is kindof random and you really have to see it to understand half of what I've written. I'm not encouraging you to see it if you have religious obligations not to, but realistically, if the Catholic Church didn't review it and say it was evil, I can't imagine it being that bad. Realistically, they just deemed Sex in the City morally offensive. I thought the concept of that movie would be too...but for entirely different reasons.

So anyway, if you liked Lord of the Rings, Narnia, and some other sci-fi and fantasy movies I don't think you'll have a problem with this one. Not nearly enough sword fighting for me, but the talking bears were kinda cool.