Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Yin and Yang

I saw a great movie (see below) and so it must follow that a pretty awful one must come next. The kids and I just watched The Golden Compass. Oy! First the good. It was a beautiful film, by which I mean that it had pretty settings, costumes and people, though the overall lighting and colour could have been better in a lot of scenes. In addition, it was well-acted, and I very much appreciated the lack of gore. That said, this is quite possibly the Worst Book to Film Translation Ever. I don't even know where to start. The whole thing felt choppy and rushed (probably because it was!) and so much was changed -- even the rival bear king's name! -- that it was ludicrous. Maybe it would have helped not to have read the book at all. Or maybe it would have made it more confusing. Not even the lovely Daniel Craig (what little there was of him) could redeem this story, which is sad, because it's a pretty compelling story in its book form. But during the film I just kept rolling my eyes and hoping it would end. When finally, mercifully, it did, it wasn't even in the right place. WTF?



radioactive girl said...

Is The Golden Compass the movie everyone was boycotting because of religious things? I think it is and if it is then I wanted to see it just because all my neighbors said that good people wouldn't go see it. Because I am defiant and apparently still about 12 years old. I never saw it because my laziness/business won out over my defiance.

Sorry it was not so good! I hate when you read a book and then see the movie and it just isn't right! It is early in the day so I can't think of the movie/book that happend with for me but I remember being upset.

Candace said...

Yes, it is. In the first book there's not much that I found to be anti-religion, and they toned it down even further for the movie (what little there was.) I think people have a prob with the church/govt types who are evil, but it's a lot tamer than the Inquisition ever was, so I don't see the issue.

The first book is worth the read. They get wierder and more surreal and less plot-tastic (^_^) as they go as they go (for me at least.) I had warning that the movie was not a hit with those who liked the book, so at least I didn't have high expectations! ^_^

radioactive girl said...

And my issue with the neighbors sending out emails etc. telling everyone that good people wouldn't go see the movie was that I don't think good people tell other people what to do. I see no problem seeing a movie that might show things I disagree with, that is sort of why I have my own brain and can think through what I see. Different opinions on things are ok.

We talked about it with the kids, and they understood our point of view on what everyone was saying but in the end we never actually saw the movie because we never had time. I think I remember hearing it wasn't an awesome movie and since we are so busy all the time I didn't make time. I'd still love to read the book though eventually! (hopefully soon!)

Candace said...

Yeah, that's weird. Good people wouldn't see it? Welcome to 1984, LOL! You didn't mis out on anything. I did find the book interesting, and I'm right with you on havinag a brain and being able to read things that don't fall in line with my beliefs and being able to enjoy them anyway. :)

Anonymous said...

I must be a terrible person because I saw it, and I kinda liked it. Then again, I haven't read the book. That might make a big difference.

Claire said...

I know what you mean, it was beautiful and I liked the girl that played Lyra, but...
And I had so been looking forward to it :(
I tagged you to write a six word memoir.

Candace said...

Kitkat - Ha! :) My 2 that hadn't read it liked it. The one that had and the one that had read about half did not.

Claire - Yeah, they got a great girl for Lyra. :) At least I had the benefit of knowing not to expect too much.

Six words. I don't think I can get any more poignant than the baby shoes one of Hemingway's.

ablondeblogger said...

I did a post warning others about the agenda behind the movie and was crucified (no pun intended) for it. Maybe the neighbor's just wanted people to be aware and weren't being judgemental? I can't speak for them, but that's how I felt.

I wasn't aware that the author said his goal was to "kill God" with his trilogy, that he hates Christians and Christianity, etc. until someone told me. So I just wanted to make others aware of that and if they still wanted to see it that was fine with me.

I did hear that the movie was toned down, but for me, I couldn't justify giving my money to someone who was so prejudiced. That's not to knock anyone here who feels otherwise. It's just my personal feelings on the movie.

Hi Candace, by the way, lol! Long time no see! It's been awhile since I've been able to get around to reading blogs.

egan said...

I miss you and Daniel. I haven't seen The Golden Compass, but maybe I shouldn't and just read the book.

radioactive girl said...

ablondeblogger-if they had approached it as you did, I would have had no problem, it was the way the emails said that no good people would go see it, and it is like child abuse to show it to children. That was the part that made me mad.

I see nothing wrong with you giving your opinion or trying to warn someone of something they may not know. I respect your opinion, because you did not state it as fact, but as your opinion. It is totally fine with me if people do things differently from me as long as they don't tell me I NEED to do it their way in order to be a good person. Does that make any sense?

Candace said...

Dawn - Hi! I haven't been making the circuit very well myself, lately. :-P Hmmm, I haven't read any interviews with Philip Pullman saying he hates Christians, but I've heard people saying they heard someone else say it. I suspect it's like the whole Harry Potter thing - everything twisted out of proportion because, frankly, it's more exciting that way. :-). I heard terrible things about how evil the Harry Potter books were, and then I actually read one for myself and just had to laugh. (I love the books.)

Pullman is a materialist atheist who writes stories and fairy tales. He says of his books: "As for the "Authority" business, I've always made it clear that theocracy - the political exercise of religious authority, which is what the Magisterium in the story embodies - is a special example of the regrettable tendency of humankind to believe in "one size fits all" answers: to cling to the extreme of dogmatic fundamentalism whether religious or not. In fact (and I've pointed this out too many times to go through it all again) the purest example of theocracy in the twentieth century was Soviet Russia."

That said, if someone was uncomfortable about reading them, I certainly wouldn't want to make them do so. But I'd also hope that they wouldn't propogate opinions about them that they hadn't formed from personal experience with them. :)

Efo - If you're gonna read the book and see the film, I'd suggest watching the film first so the book doesn't spoil it for you. And lets face it; you're never going to make it through the book anyway because it's fiction. ^_^

Tori - Yes, I think it's important to differentiate facts from opinions. :)

ablondeblogger said...

~radioactivegirl - I couldn't agree more! I wish more people were open-minded and tolerant like you (on both sides of this or any issue)

~Candace- Do you mean me? (about propogating opinions). Believe me, I did a lot of research into it before I wrote the post that I did and I wouldn't just spread rumors. Here's a link to snopes that confirms he said he wanted to "kill God" in an interview:

"Pullman has left little doubt about his books' intended thrust in discussions of his works, such as noting in a 2003 interview that 'My books are about killing God' and in a 2001 interview that he was 'trying to undermine the basis of Christian belief.'"

Sorry to take up all that comment room, but I wanted you to see that I wasn't just pulling that out of my ass. :) I'm not one to jump on any sort of bandwagon and talk about an issue without knowing the facts first.

Again, if anyone wants to see it knowing what it's about, that's fine. I just felt that people should be aware of the agenda behind it and be able to make up their own minds while being fully informed. Hence why I wrote the post that I mentioned.

Candace said...

No, not if you have personal knowledge of them from reading what the author has to say. :) I'm talking about people who hear something from someone (who maybe heard it from someone else) and run with that ball. :) I heard a lot of ridiculous stuff about the HP books, the DaVinci Code and the Pullman books that turned out to be completely untrue.

I believe the "killing God" comments have been taken out of context as Pullman doesn't actually believe in God. I did read a good interview with him here.

I'm not saying that anyone has to agree with him. I certainly don't share his world view, but I think a lot of things were taken out of context.