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Dragonlover
28-12-2007, 20:43
.. and really wish I'd put a poker through my eyes first.

It was terrible. They revealed way too much too soon, stuffed up the order that things happen in, and didn't even finish off the bloody book. I've already had my rant with the missus, but figured I'd post this just in case anyone else was thinking of seeing it.

Dragonlover

The pestilent 1
28-12-2007, 21:00
From what I've been told, it's a complete travesty.
Not that I ever intended to see it, but I was atleast originally intending to give the books a crack (Notsomuch now)

Dragonlover
28-12-2007, 21:18
I seriously recommend the books. The reason the film is a travesty is because it's screwed up the books so much.

Dragonlover

New Cult King
28-12-2007, 22:06
I haven't read the books. How do you think it would appeal to a newcomer?

Crube
28-12-2007, 22:10
Hmmm. My grandson loved the film...

Maybe that's part of the problem... kids wil love it, those who are more discerning...

Icarus
28-12-2007, 22:27
I thought it was ok, but the main problem with it was they glossed over so much and left out a lot of the nice characterful little bits, so it basically leapt from crucial scene to crucial scene, leaving out the flavour. Well, that and they left out the all-important ending!


I haven't read the books. How do you think it would appeal to a newcomer?

I would recommend reading the books first, its really worth it.

Irisado
28-12-2007, 22:35
I read the first book before going to see the film, and I really enjoyed it. I also, however, enjoyed the film. I thought it was very well acted, and the battle scene in particular was very well done, since I liked the way that the daemons exploded in a shower of flame, and there was no blood and guts.

My only criticism was that it was all too fast! I felt like they just needed to take things more slowly, and go into more depth with some of the characters.

Stella Cadente
28-12-2007, 22:42
I never read the books.......mainly cus I've never heard of them or seen them or anything, but I thought the film was rather good myself, did seem a wee bit fast, but fine nonetheless

Icarus
28-12-2007, 22:44
Stella Cadente: Have you heard of 'Northern Lights'? Thats the proper name of the book, Golden Compass was just the name they gave it in the US for some random reason :p

Stella Cadente
28-12-2007, 22:50
Stella Cadente: Have you heard of 'Northern Lights'? Thats the proper name of the book, Golden Compass was just the name they gave it in the US for some random reason :p
still never heard of it, I spend too much time reading history books to read novels

der_lex
28-12-2007, 23:18
I haven't read the books. How do you think it would appeal to a newcomer?

I haven't read the books, and I quite liked the movie. It owes a lot to its amazing cast, though.

I completely sympathise with Dragonlover, though, it's extremely frustrating when a movie isn't a faithful adaptation of a book you love. I absolutely hated Troy and Stardust for that reason.

athamas
29-12-2007, 00:26
the reason they had the ending how they did was to make it flow better into the next film...


or that s what some pr person would say...


its more likely that they wanted the film to have a happy ending rather than lyra's friend being killed of even though she said she would protect him... and by her own father non the less

which would make the film a bit unhappy, and thus not get any good reviews atall [remember everything in the us needs to have a happy ending!]

Cade
29-12-2007, 00:57
EVERY fantasy book adaptation will suffer these days because of the huge success of LOTR and Hairy Ballbag.

Every fantasy film is now trying to compete with Tolkein and Rowling and will fail utterly.

The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe was the first to fail.
Golden Compass is the second to fail.

Norminator
29-12-2007, 01:11
I personally thought it wasn't too bad. Sure, it wasn't as good as the book, but I didn't really expect it to be - His Dark Materials is such a fantastic series that I can't envisage a film ever living up to them.

I really liked the panserbjørne and the daemons, and for one of the first times in a film adaptation the characters were played very closely to how I imagined them.

One criticism I would have, however, is the 'dumbing down' of the whole religious message. In the book it is implicitly implied that the Magisterium = the Catholic church (it mentions some link with the papacy), but in the film it was more made out as a Nazi like organisation (the guards reminded me of Stormtroopers), no doubt so that they didn't have mass opposition in America, which is a shame.

I'm looking forward to the subtle knife, I'd be interested to see how spectres are handled.

The Judge
29-12-2007, 01:18
Ba! I read the books around eight years ago so I could barely remember them, and I think the film was awesome!

Probably not for the right reasons though. It's not an award-winning, move me to tears and philosophical thought kind of film, it's just entertainment. Armoured bears!

Chaos and Evil
29-12-2007, 01:56
It happened so quickly, so could someone reiterate what happened at the climax of the bear fight for me, I want to check if I'm remembering what I saw correctly...

der_lex
29-12-2007, 02:25
Iorek uses the last of his strength to land a solid blow, and knocks Ragnar's jaw clean off. Then he finishes him.

Kiro
29-12-2007, 03:14
Hmmm, not looking good....this is one of the few 'family-friendly' films that's actually managed to capture my attention for a long time.

Icarus
29-12-2007, 03:19
its more likely that they wanted the film to have a happy ending rather than

which would make the film a bit unhappy, and thus not get any good reviews atall [remember everything in the us needs to have a happy ending!]

I agree thats probably why they did it, but thats complete BS. The original ending is an exceptionally good ending. Happy ever after endings are BAD endings.

Adept
29-12-2007, 04:16
Wah wah wah! It's not like the books so I don't like it!

Seriously, get over it.

A film should be judged purely on it's own merits, not on how well or how faithfully it follows the book.

matthewmw64
29-12-2007, 08:09
What amuses me is how they've made it impossible to do the last book (at least) any Justce.

Considering they kill god and all. Don't forget the very, very specific War against heaven

Stella Cadente
29-12-2007, 10:37
Wah wah wah! It's not like the books so I don't like it!

Seriously, get over it.

A film should be judged purely on it's own merits, not on how well or how faithfully it follows the book.
very true...........too bad it'll never happen

firestorm40k
29-12-2007, 11:47
I was atleast originally intending to give the books a crack (Notsomuch now)

You must read the books, they are superb.


One criticism I would have, however, is the 'dumbing down' of the whole religious message. In the book it is implicitly implied that the Magisterium = the Catholic church (it mentions some link with the papacy), but in the film it was more made out as a Nazi like organisation (the guards reminded me of Stormtroopers), no doubt so that they didn't have mass opposition in America, which is a shame.

Well, it failed; people stayed away from it in droves Stateside, it is considered one of the years worst flops there (although it's done okay internationally). The thing is, inspite the makers trying to soften the anti-Christianity side of the books, everyone aware of them still knows that they're essentially secular parables that call for Heteronomy from religion, not control by a distant figure.


Ba! I read the books around eight years ago so I could barely remember them, and I think the film was awesome!

Probably not for the right reasons though. It's not an award-winning, move me to tears and philosophical thought kind of film, it's just entertainment. Armoured bears!

The Armoured fighting Bears were the one thing I thought could survive any dumbing down/screwing up of the book & story, but I've seen a clip of this scene, and it looked like they've done a truly, truly execrably awful job on the CGI. Thus destroying any motivation I felt for seeing the film.


Wah wah wah! It's not like the books so I don't like it!

Seriously, get over it.

A film should be judged purely on it's own merits, not on how well or how faithfully it follows the book.

True, but it's important to stay faithful to the themes/ideas/atmosphere/whatever of the book's story and characters. LotR successfully did this, because it left out some characters from the books, or amalagamated scenes/dialogue.

The first two Harry Potter books failed because they slavishly tried to put in every single piece of detail from the books ('look! it's a load of ghosts floating around the dinner hall, which does nothing to the story and really slows the film down, and if you've read the books you don't need to see them anyway!'); hence I enjoyed the books infinitely more than I did the first films (ofcourse, things picked up with Azkhaban with Alfonso Quaron directing, who was allowed to pick out themes he liked rather than being forced to stay tram-like to everything in the book).

Dragonlover
29-12-2007, 12:08
Wah wah wah! It's not like the books so I don't like it!

Seriously, get over it.

A film should be judged purely on it's own merits, not on how well or how faithfully it follows the book.

Ok then, on it's own merits it is:

The plot jumped around far too quickly for it to be followed properly in places, the way it ended meant it went out on a whimper not a bang, and rather than letting the audience work out what was going on they practically beat them round the face with the plot and subplots every five minutes.

Dragonlover

Icarus
29-12-2007, 12:11
Wah wah wah! It's not like the books so I don't like it!

Seriously, get over it.

A film should be judged purely on it's own merits, not on how well or how faithfully it follows the book.

Really worthwhile comment, especially since nobody said that :p

Like Firestorm40k said, transferring from book to screen is a balance between getting things just like the book and making a good movie. The movie needs to be good in its own right, but whilst it can't be a direct copy it should keep the general theme and spirit of the book. To my mind this film failed to do either properly. It was an ok movie, but it just felt too hastily put together, there's nothing between the key scenes to flesh it out. It's also dumbed down a lot of ideas from the book, which is a shame because they are very good ones. Basically if they had stayed closer to the spirit of the book it would have been a more enjoyable movie for fans of the book and newcomers alike IMO.

The pestilent 1
29-12-2007, 12:33
, no doubt so that they didn't have mass opposition in America, which is a shame.

Lawl, that worked out well then :p

Chaos and Evil
29-12-2007, 12:53
Iorek uses the last of his strength to land a solid blow, and knocks Ragnar's jaw clean off. Then he finishes him.

Thought so. Can't say I expected that in a kids' movie.

ichani
29-12-2007, 14:38
I read the books but luckily it was quite a few years ago so i was able to see past most of the massacring of the book's plot as i couldnt remember most of it.

i enjoyed the film but i was sure it didnt end there, and apparently i was right. i must have blinked at the end of the bear fight as i wasnt sure what happened intil i asked my friend.

what i want to see is Robert Jordan's wheel of time series in a film form, so little actually happens in them they could be the first book-film title that doesnt miss out any of the books plot-lines!

Adept
29-12-2007, 17:07
what i want to see is Robert Jordan's wheel of time series in a film form, so little actually happens in them they could be the first book-film title that doesnt miss out any of the books plot-lines!

Mate, just switch on the fashion channel!

'And this glorious piece is constructed from two parts, a bodice of cleverly fashioned silk threads intertwined with satin, and framed with pearls...'

Norminator
29-12-2007, 19:31
What amuses me is how they've made it impossible to do the last book (at least) any Justce.

Considering they kill god and all. Don't forget the very, very specific War against heaven

I really, really hope they don't cut that. I am being optimistic and hoping that they are trying to avoid insult against Catholicism rather than Christianity at a whole, but am not holding out too much hope.


Well, it failed; people stayed away from it in droves Stateside, it is considered one of the years worst flops there (although it's done okay internationally). The thing is, inspite the makers trying to soften the anti-Christianity side of the books, everyone aware of them still knows that they're essentially secular parables that call for Heteronomy from religion, not control by a distant figure.

*sigh* What is it about religious people of any denomination that means they can't accept even the slightest twist on their beliefs?

I saw the Daily Mail, in their 'comical' predictions for 2008, predicting that 'militant athiest' Philip Pullman and Richard Dawkins will write a book about the evil of Christianity. It's such a shame that he is portrayed in a negative light; anyone who reads the book will see that it is not so much anti-religious but anti-dogma and oppressive organised religion. But of course, that's not particularly sensational for the media, is it :rolleyes:


The Armoured fighting Bears were the one thing I thought could survive any dumbing down/screwing up of the book & story, but I've seen a clip of this scene, and it looked like they've done a truly, truly execrably awful job on the CGI. Thus destroying any motivation I felt for seeing the film.

Really? I thought they looked pretty impressive myself.



True, but it's important to stay faithful to the themes/ideas/atmosphere/whatever of the book's story and characters. LotR successfully did this, because it left out some characters from the books, or amalagamated scenes/dialogue.

The first two Harry Potter books failed because they slavishly tried to put in every single piece of detail from the books ('look! it's a load of ghosts floating around the dinner hall, which does nothing to the story and really slows the film down, and if you've read the books you don't need to see them anyway!'); hence I enjoyed the books infinitely more than I did the first films (ofcourse, things picked up with Azkhaban with Alfonso Quaron directing, who was allowed to pick out themes he liked rather than being forced to stay tram-like to everything in the book).

I'd agree with you totally there. LotR suceeded so brilliantly because Peter Jackson managed to do an 'edited highlights' of the books without missing out anything more important nor cramming in as much as he could. In contrast, I felt that the Harry Potter films, albeit improving as of late, were complete train wrecks of films - I was incredibly disappointed by them, especially as you note the first two.

floyd pinkerton
29-12-2007, 19:38
well, I went to see it and i was a teeny bit let down. Having read the books, it simply doesn't compare

meh, I'm still interested in any sequales though

athamas
29-12-2007, 20:42
but you have to remember... when has a film ever really been as good as the books it was based upon...

Icarus
29-12-2007, 22:06
... the Prestige?

and er.... Watership Down.

thats all i got. Not many :p

Marsekay
29-12-2007, 22:18
EVERY fantasy book adaptation will suffer these days because of the huge success of LOTR and Hairy Ballbag.

Every fantasy film is now trying to compete with Tolkein and Rowling and will fail utterly.

The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe was the first to fail.
Golden Compass is the second to fail.

you forgot star was on dragons, ERAGON.....

Cade
29-12-2007, 22:27
but you have to remember... when has a film ever really been as good as the books it was based upon...

Bourne Trilogy.

Blade Runner.

2001.

Clockwork Orange.

Master and Commander.


you forgot star was on dragons, ERAGON.....

Erawhat?

der_lex
29-12-2007, 23:11
you forgot star was on dragons, ERAGON.....

I haven't seen it, but it's impossible that that movie is any worse than the books. Paolini makes Dan Brown look like a decent writer, for crying out loud.

polymphus
30-12-2007, 04:24
Paolini makes Dan Brown look like a decent writer, for crying out loud.

If I weren't too lazy, I would totally sig that.

As well as the too rushed side of the Golden Compass, it seems to me that they've blown their budget on big name actors and then given then very little to do. It's been a long time since I've read the books, but isn't the Northern Lights Ms Coulter's big book? Where she appears the most? So they hire Nicole Kidman for the job. Not cheap I'd imagine, but it's a pivotal role, so they give it to a good actress. She then gets about fifteen minutes of screen-time. Lord Asriel doesn't really turn up much at all, and so they hire Daniel Craig and stick him all over the promotional material.

Budget thus blown, they hire the cheapest CGI people they can, remove anything controversial from the book (attention advertising folks, in today's world, controversy is goooooood), sit down, and watch the money fail to flow in.

Dragonlover
30-12-2007, 07:39
Yeah, we were meant to have her being deliciously evil in Bolvangar, but they barely showed the place. Mind you, she is relatively pivotal in the third book as well, so maybe she'll get more screen time then.

Dragonlover

Wintermute
30-12-2007, 08:31
Can we restrict the debate to reviewing the film and how it compares with the original novel and leave the comments discussing religion to P&R please?

Wintermute
The WarSeer Inquisition

RobC
30-12-2007, 13:25
Which is actually why I refuse to read them on principle.That's a shame. They're very good books.

Go on, be a devil, attempt to read something you might disagree with.

As for the film... my memory of the original novel was a little hazy, but I agree with those who mentioned it being too jumpy, trying too hard to explain everything to the ultimate expense of railroading the audience, and the ending was anticlimactic. I didn't mind the CGI, but I thought some of the dialogue was shocking.

god octo
30-12-2007, 16:37
I have to admit, I did go into the cinema with the expectation of the film being awful (I saw the trailer, and it made me angry...) an it lived up to all my expectations.

As Mentioned, the truly evil Ms. Coulter was more of an overacting wimp than someone you could actually despise. The actress playing Lyra moved from posh cockney to cockney and back again with a worrying ease (though, to be truthful, I did occasionally see why she got the part-sometimes she was Lyra and not some posh cockney) Roger looked like a little pig and the story leapt madly from major point to major point, in seemingly a random order. Eva was one of the only characters I thought nailed it, then again the script meant that all she had to do really was swan around and look pretty.

Overall, from me, a 5 out of 10. It could have been worse.

firestorm40k
30-12-2007, 16:38
but you have to remember... when has a film ever really been as good as the books it was based upon...


Bourne Trilogy.

Blade Runner.

2001.

Clockwork Orange.

Master and Commander.

Actually, you could argue they improve in someway upon their source material in some cases, or at least have a greater impact than the books did in others.

Reabe
30-12-2007, 17:07
.. and really wish I'd put a poker through my eyes first.

It was terrible. They revealed way too much too soon, stuffed up the order that things happen in, and didn't even finish off the bloody book. I've already had my rant with the missus, but figured I'd post this just in case anyone else was thinking of seeing it.

Dragonlover

If what everyone else is saying in this thread is true, then the storyline has change quite a bit. Read the book, anyway, as the movie was changed on purpose in order to allow as many people as possible to go and see it and not offend anyone.

Icarus
30-12-2007, 17:53
If what everyone else is saying in this thread is true, then the storyline has change quite a bit. Read the book, anyway, as the movie was changed on purpose in order to allow as many people as possible to go and see it and not offend anyone.

I dont think they actually changed anything apart from the Church bit. But they cut out chunks of the story like a mad surgeon on acid.

Huw_Dawson
30-12-2007, 19:32
I haven't gone to see it. Why? I don't want to fund butchery of good books for the sake of the classic "Offended party".

The next book, The Subtle Knife is a preclude to The Amber Spyglass, which is possibly the most nihilistic book you can find outside the realm of Dan Brown and Richard Dawkins. Ambe Spylass is quite possibly my most favoured book in the entire literary spectrum. It has a climatic war against God and Heaven, dead people, souls, masses of characters. But of course, there is a flaw.

Its going to be a Hollywood film.

So they are going to lop the following:
1) The entire religious theme.
2) The real relevence of the daemons and the spectres.
3) The love of Lyra and *cannot remember name*

Basically, the Amber Spyglass will be made in three steps.
1) Find as many "big" actors as possible. At this point, consult endless comitees about how they should make the book "safe".
2) Decide the entire thing isn't going to work.
3) Make a documentary about penguins and make millions.

Alternatively, exchange 2 and 3 with:
2) Endless script rewriting.
3) Film released. It is a 200 minute long fight between a couple of people.

The spectres would have to be removed because they are too scary for 8 year olds.
The angels would have to be removed because they are too symbolic of the christian faith.
The entire thing to do with Lyra going into hell to save everyone would be replaced with them teleporting to some random place and saving kittens.

Hollywood has recently been feeling the ripple effects of the new "religion is bad" wave that seems to be sweeping the globe at the moment. They simply could not do the book justice.

- Huw

EDIT: I'll bet £10 that they will conveniently relate it to the War on Terrorism. It wouldn't be the first time Hollywood has been leant on for propaganda purposes...

Gekiganger
30-12-2007, 22:26
I (thankgod) decided not to go on the morning of the planned day. Thought it would ruin how I imagined the characters (as most other things have). I'm glad now having read parts of this thread.

Marsekay
01-01-2008, 00:41
i thought this film was pants. i had no idea what was going on. i hate talking animals they are the cheapest idea ever.

RobC
01-01-2008, 12:35
i thought this film was pants. i had no idea what was going on. i hate talking animals they are the cheapest idea ever.I take it you've not read the book, then?

SV_Harlequin
01-01-2008, 13:21
I take it you've not read the book, then?
Talking Daemons was a letdown in the book aswell. It would have been better if they communicated non verbally. But then these are Children's books afterall which no one seems to have mentioned.

RobC
01-01-2008, 13:42
Talking Daemons was a letdown in the book aswell. It would have been better if they communicated non verbally. But then these are Children's books afterall which no one seems to have mentioned.It's an utterly subjective point and not really one that can be debated over without reducing it to a like-it-or-not 'debate'. And I don't think it owes anything to the fact that the book was written for teenagers – talking animals happen in adult fiction and 'psychic' animals happen in teenage and children fiction.

And daemons aren't animals. I struggle to see why daemons talking is considered damaging to the story when every other aspect of their nature is accepted carte blanche.

The pestilent 1
01-01-2008, 14:48
And daemons aren't animals. I struggle to see why daemons talking is considered damaging to the story when every other aspect of their nature is accepted carte blanche.

Then why do they appear as animals?
Surely Evil person X is going to be more like the murder-death-kill-slashy-slashy insect of their deranged mind than a ferret?

And no, I'm not being sarcastic, I am curious.

RobC
01-01-2008, 15:10
Then why do they appear as animals?Having only read the first two books, and that with less than the usual level of attention (I read them as Christmas fodder rather than something to tease my brain), I'm probably not in a strong position to speculate as to why daemons look like animals. My only guess would be a combination of factors including:

drawing parallels with daemons and witches' familiars
the inability of the human mind to imagine anything truly original - even so-called fantastic creatures are usually chimeric hybrids or variations on a theme
an underlying analogy regarding the personality of the original. The children's daemons are able to change shape because their personalities are not fixed, unlike that of the adults. And through culture we associate certain kinds of animal with certain traits, hence the shapesBut again, that's all speculation from me and with an incomplete knowledge of the series and without a detailed reading of the books. I'm sure a true fan would be able to provide better answers.

Icarus
02-01-2008, 17:48
an underlying analogy regarding the personality of the original. The children's daemons are able to change shape because their personalities are not fixed, unlike that of the adults. And through culture we associate certain kinds of animal with certain traits, hence the shapes

Its mostly this I believe. Its been a while since I read the books, but i believe its mostly to do with animals representing you as a person, rather than the animals themselves. For instance, if you like dogs a lot, it wouldn't automatically mean that your daemon would be a dog. Your daemon would be a dog if you were the kind of person who easily takes orders. You might like dogs but be a very independent person, and so your daemon would be something like a cat. Basically the daemon is an outward projection of the soul, it is not just a "cool animal thing you have". They also don't have to be existing animals as such. IIRC, the form Lyra's daemon finally settles on is not an actual animal that exists, but more of a creative variant on an animal.

Jaspume
03-01-2008, 02:36
I saw the film on new years eve with my family. I read the books years back, and I couldn't remember much of the story, but I quite enjoyed it. The ending was a bit too open ended, they should've ended it with something decisive regardless of whether it's a part of a trilogy, and it felt less meaty than I imagined (meaning there was far less intermittent bits in it, discussions inbetween characters, and so on). But I didn't care, it was fairly entertaining and as for the CGI for the animals, I thought it was fairly good, and it was a lot more gory than I imagined.

To be honest, I expect it's much harder for them to live up to our expectations as we've seen the animals. CGI for aliens and stuff probably wouldn't be as criticised due to it's unfamiliarity. Still, it was good and I had no quarrel with it.

Honestly, the whole reason I opened this thread was to have a laugh. Why? Because I could tell there'd be some people who had apparently gone to a film they didn't expect to be directed at children. Come on people, it's by the people who made the chronicles of Narnia. It's not going to be a movie about some uber political message and sophisticated social observations from some stuck up nob from oxford. Or maybe you expected a brutal, gritty and depressing look on trench warfare in WWII or Dr.Wang Fi in the galaxy of Zwang, casting a new outlook on your views of war? Or perhaps a damning look on religion and the state of world affairs, casting doubt in believers hearts and revealing to the world a whole new heaven of possibility?

The books, although I can't remember much, may have some message and I do remember some sort of war in heaven and the angels in the last book. But for christs sake, books and films together, they're not aimed at you they're gunning for kids. Kids who will enjoy seeing polar bears beating the living daylights out of each other. Get over it.

Then again, I'm growing to suspect many of you like jumping on every light hearted film and ripping it to shreds just because of the absence of some 'hardcore' element from it. Most of the time on these movie threads, most films that would be perfectly fine for just a light viewing, something fun to watch are whined about, where as 'Insert name of obscure german film here' are supported, because they seem to think they should judge everything as if they should be attending an audience with Jesus himself. You're not being independent from the 'mindless masses', you're just being asses. I admit, this wasn't the best film thread to rant this on, because I myself saw a few bad points even for being a fairly 'fun' film, but the point still stands.

That's why I read these threads, for a laugh. It's a story where you know the ending: A whinefest.

At least this thread has some more light hearted posters, unlike past threads on more well known things....

Icarus
03-01-2008, 03:33
Some people were just disappointed with the film, Jaspurne, that's all. You've made more of a rant than most ;)

RobC
03-01-2008, 07:31
The books, although I can't remember much, may have some message and I do remember some sort of war in heaven and the angels in the last book. But for christs sake, books and films together, they're not aimed at you they're gunning for kids. Kids who will enjoy seeing polar bears beating the living daylights out of each other. Get over it.The book, which is aimed at teenagers rather than children, contains some heavy moral themes along with the nice fantasy touches. To suggest that these themes shouldn't be included because it's a film is completely missing the point, not to mention insulting all the people who read the book and hoped that the film would reflect it more accurately.

As to why you started the thread... that's trolling. Please don't do it again.

Jedi152
03-01-2008, 07:37
Stella Cadente: Have you heard of 'Northern Lights'? Thats the proper name of the book, Golden Compass was just the name they gave it in the US for some random reason :p
Actually the book was supposed to be called the Golden Compass - so that every book is named after an item. A mistake at the printing works led to the first book being named Northern Lights in the UK.


I haven't read the books. How do you think it would appeal to a newcomer?
My fiancée isn't a fan of fantasy or anything as a genre, but fell in love with these after reading them. As far as i can gather they are very easy to read.

Icarus
03-01-2008, 12:31
Actually the book was supposed to be called the Golden Compass - so that every book is named after an item. A mistake at the printing works led to the first book being named Northern Lights in the UK..

Really? Ok didn't know that, although it does make a kind of sense. Still, I think Northern Lights is a better tittle.

Jedi152
03-01-2008, 12:43
I might actually be wrong, i was sure i read it somewhere.

The official quote on his website:

Northern Lights was re-titled The Golden Compass for the American market. Why did this change come about? Do you have a title in mind when you start a story?

Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. The editor who made that change was also responsible for changing "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone", which made sense, into "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," which didn't. At the time, I didn't have enough clout to resist.

Looks like i was wrong.

Norminator
03-01-2008, 16:15
The reason they changed it was because Pullman originally wanted to call the entire series the Golden Compasses, as in the navigational instrument, instead of His Dark Materials. When he wrote to the American publishers and sent off his script they misunderstood and thought that he was referring to the alethiometer as a Golden Compass, and as wiki says, he didn't feel he had the clout to get them to change it.


The book, which is aimed at teenagers rather than children, contains some heavy moral themes along with the nice fantasy touches. To suggest that these themes shouldn't be included because it's a film is completely missing the point, not to mention insulting all the people who read the book and hoped that the film would reflect it more accurately.


I agree, the thing that made the books so great was that they could be enjoyed on several different levels. Kids could appreciate it as a basic fantasy action novel, whilst more advanced teenagers and adults could see the deeper religious allegories and the references to scientific concepts such as parallel universes.

Anyone read the book (not sure if this is the title) The Science Behind His Dark Materials? I flicked through it, whilst a lot was fairly straightforward it did serve to highlight some of the more ambiguous scientific reasoning behind the parallel universes and the like.

de Selby
03-01-2008, 16:29
Didn't particularly enjoy the books, though I read them all out of completist-ism. Quite enjoyed the film, which took up less of my time and was visually appealing. My recommendation: if your kids aren't hardcore Philip Pullman fans, take them.