In September, I suggested that the new movie The Golden Compass might be worth a see based on the adventureful book by Philip Pullman, which I'd just finished. I would now like to retract that recommendation, and replace it with a new one: avoid The Golden Compass movie at all costs.
It was poorly written, poorly directed, poorly acted, and poorly edited. The dialogue was fluffy and cheesy and delivered with little authenticity. The cutting of the scenes almost made you wonder if they'd randomized their order and lost a bunch of footage along the way. The story barely made any sense to me and I just finished the book a few months ago - I pity anyone who came in off the street wondering what it was about, even with the artificial backstory narrative at the beginning. The action scenes were boring and confusing. And so on.
The one redeeming quality was the computer-generated graphics work that brought the characters` "daemons" - animal manifestations of one's soul that travel alongside - to life. It was integrated very smoothly into the action and some of the detail and nuance was excellent.
But that was not enough to save this sinking ship - The Golden Compass is an unfortunate mangling of a perfectly good story, and a total bomb of a movie.