The Golden Compass, or how not to adapt a good book

How not to adapt a good bookJust for once, I’m grateful for the fact that the morons of the Catholic League and other so-called Christians managed to keep people away from the movie. Not because it contains atheist elements – that wouldn’t be a problem – but because it sucks. Had any of their supporters gone to see it, it might have killed off their last remaining brain cells. All three of them.

I mean, Jesus! It really, really SUCKS! What are they trying to do, permanently kill off the fantasy genre? Actually, come to think of it, that seems to be the general plan. Eragon, Narnia, Stardust, this one… these movies are so bad they make the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy look good!

I’m too tired to go into all the details, but…

  • Having a coherent plot would help. There’s this book you could borrow some ideas from. It’s called Northern Lights.
  • Actors would also be an idea. Well, there’s Daniel “Evil Bond” Craig, and Nicole “Just As Bad As Michelle Pfeiffer in Stardust” Kidman, and Christopher “I ONLY HAVE TWO LINES IN THE ENTIRE MOVIE” Lee, but… actually let’s do this the simple way:
  1. Nicole Kidman – fine actress, terrible performance.
  2. Daniel Craig – he’s just scary.
  3. Dakota Blue Richards – uhhh… acting classes, please?
  4. Ben Walker – whoever you are, please go away.
  5. Ian McKellen – just because he played Gandalf doesn’t mean you have to cast him in every bloody fantasy movie you make! Just hearing his voice drives me insane by now.
  6. Eva Green – uhh… I’m sure she could act, in a better movie.
  7. Sam Elliott – a joy to watch, even in movies like Ghost Rider and this one; I wonder what would happen if he actually had a well-written part.
  8. Christopher Lee – HE ONLY HAD TWO FUCKING LINES!
  9. The rest – mostly generic.
  • The CGI. Why did this movie cost 180 million dollars? It looked like shit.
  • Apparently ice bears don’t bleed. Even if you rip off their jaws.
  • The music was BORING. But then, so was the movie. It didn’t even manage to rip off Pirates of the Caribbean.
  • But worst of all: the writing. How in Dog’s name did they manage to take a well-written, complex book and turn it into… this? There were bits of dialogue so bad that I literally groaned. It’s more or less on the level of Aragorn Eragon. Characters show up out of nowhere, deliver some entirely random bit of exposition, and then go away. No detail. No personality. No nothing. It’s not like a good story needs people in it, right? Unless, that is, you think American Pie is a good story. Oh, wait…
  • And let me point out that I wanted to like this. I really did. I was even prepared to live with them taking out the religious aspects of the original, if only they delivered the story properly. But this wasn’t just a terrible adaptation, it was a terrible movie.

Why why why why why does this kind of shit have to keep happening? The original books are wonderful. They’re not just amazingly deep on a philosophical level, they’re also fun and imaginative and dark and mesmerizing. And exciting! Ever heard of that word, Mr. Weitz? But no, we can’t have that, can we now? What we need is another boring, bland, amateurish and utterly forgettable piece of tripe that manages to put another nail into the coffin of fantasy films. Thank you so much for this load of crap.

Do read the books. They are very, very good – despite this movie.