The casting, most of the performances but especially the girl who played Lyra and Ian McKellen as the voice of Iorek Byrnison, the art direction, Nicole Kidman's outfits, Daniel Craig being hot, and the scene in which Lyra meets the other bear king: GOOD!

The script, the direction, the pacing, the tension, the overall concept, the length (too short), the sense it made (very little), the jaw-droppingly inappropriate ending, and the daemons (except in long shots): BAD!

I wonder what people who hadn't read the book made of the movie, because it seemed almost entirely incoherent. If I hadn't already known, I would have had no idea who half the characters were, why anyone was doing anything, or why any of it mattered.

A nine-year-old boy I know, who did not like it and hadn't read the books, had a most perceptive comment: "You never worried about the main characters, because every time they needed help, someone just showed up and gave it to them." Very true!

As all the connecting material that explains who people are and why they're doing what they're doing and how they got there was cut, the following characters show up completely out of the blue to rescue Lyra and deliver exposition: the Gyptians, Iorek Byrnison, Lee Scoresby, and Sarafina Pekkala. By the end of the movie, we know who Iorek is and what motivates him, but the others are still great big mysteries and walking plot devices.

The movie mainly consists of incomprehensible infodumps alternating with uninspired action sequences. The more people explain, the less we understand. The writer and director ought to have taken a lesson in show don't tell.

It was an extremely bad idea to have almost the first sentence spoken be narrative explaining that daemons are people's souls, as anyone arriving late or still getting into the mood will miss it. Animating the daemons was also a bad idea. They look fake. Pan's voice is way too young and timid-sounding. The early scene in which a man is shot and lies dying, with his ferret daemon trying to comfort him, was cut; it really would have helped establish what daemons are and how important the relationship is. I guess it was deemed too dark, like when we realize that severing the bond between human and daemon kills them both. This was also cut, also to the detriment of the entire movie.

The only scene which really captures the book is the one in which Lyra meets Ragnar, the bear king; it's gorgeous and eerie and tense, and seems to have come from a different movie entirely.

Lyra is spectacular, and most of the acting and casting is excellent, but they can't save the movie from its BAD script and direction.

about that inappropriate ending... )
Tags:
The casting, most of the performances but especially the girl who played Lyra and Ian McKellen as the voice of Iorek Byrnison, the art direction, Nicole Kidman's outfits, Daniel Craig being hot, and the scene in which Lyra meets the other bear king: GOOD!

The script, the direction, the pacing, the tension, the overall concept, the length (too short), the sense it made (very little), the jaw-droppingly inappropriate ending, and the daemons (except in long shots): BAD!

I wonder what people who hadn't read the book made of the movie, because it seemed almost entirely incoherent. If I hadn't already known, I would have had no idea who half the characters were, why anyone was doing anything, or why any of it mattered.

A nine-year-old boy I know, who did not like it and hadn't read the books, had a most perceptive comment: "You never worried about the main characters, because every time they needed help, someone just showed up and gave it to them." Very true!

As all the connecting material that explains who people are and why they're doing what they're doing and how they got there was cut, the following characters show up completely out of the blue to rescue Lyra and deliver exposition: the Gyptians, Iorek Byrnison, Lee Scoresby, and Sarafina Pekkala. By the end of the movie, we know who Iorek is and what motivates him, but the others are still great big mysteries and walking plot devices.

The movie mainly consists of incomprehensible infodumps alternating with uninspired action sequences. The more people explain, the less we understand. The writer and director ought to have taken a lesson in show don't tell.

It was an extremely bad idea to have almost the first sentence spoken be narrative explaining that daemons are people's souls, as anyone arriving late or still getting into the mood will miss it. Animating the daemons was also a bad idea. They look fake. Pan's voice is way too young and timid-sounding. The early scene in which a man is shot and lies dying, with his ferret daemon trying to comfort him, was cut; it really would have helped establish what daemons are and how important the relationship is. I guess it was deemed too dark, like when we realize that severing the bond between human and daemon kills them both. This was also cut, also to the detriment of the entire movie.

The only scene which really captures the book is the one in which Lyra meets Ragnar, the bear king; it's gorgeous and eerie and tense, and seems to have come from a different movie entirely.

Lyra is spectacular, and most of the acting and casting is excellent, but they can't save the movie from its BAD script and direction.

about that inappropriate ending... )
.

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