The Golden Compass Movie Review Part 2

The Golden Compass has created a ginormous controversy over the blogosphere and opinions have been all over the board. My initial short post back in October started getting daily hits when it turned up on Goggle. Therefore, I owe it to my readers to find out first hand why this movie is causing such a stir. Please understand, I haven’t read the books so this review is based solely on the movies content.

I tried to find a friend and fellow blogger who would be interested in taking a reviewers look at the movie. Even those with open schedules, weren’t interested in spending money on a film with such bad word of mouth. My DH wasn’t interested in spending more than the cost of one matinée ticket, so I set off to see this flick alone.

United Artists reserved two of its larger theaters for opening day, obviously expecting a crowd. There were only 13 in my theater at the 1:40 showing. Happily, there weren’t any children in the audience since this is not an appropriate movie for children due to its dark and violent content. It is definitely for an older audience of 13 and up.

I found the movie rather dull and even though there are some incredible aerial shots and imagery, the characters didn’t draw me in nor did they engage me. The only likable characters were Ulrich the bear and Sam Elliott’s character. I won’t spoil what little plot this movie has, even though you can find out all about it online.

I also didn’t see any correlation between any of the characters and God or Jesus. This isn’t so much an anti-Christian movie as a pro Pagan. Daemons (pronounce Demon), witches and magic all promote paganism. The Catholic influence is minor and I didn’t even find it anti-Catholic.

The most disturbing part about the movie was each child’s daemon. Here is a quote from The Golden Compass Official website: “In Lyra’s world, a person’s soul lives on the outside of the body, in the form of a daemon –an animal spirit that accompanies them through life.

A child’s daemon can change shape assuming all the forms that a child’s potential inspires; but as a person ages, their daemon gradually settles into one form according to their character and nature.”

BTW – if you go to their site, you can take a survey to discover what animal your own personal daemon is.

Attempting to compare this movie to the Chronicles of Narnia movie is like comparing a ’72 Pinto to a ’08 Jag. There is no competition. Narnia is a 10 and I would be hard pressed to give this a 5. It’s just not that good, aside from the obvious Pagan slant. The ending is inconclusive, leaving questions unanswered. However, even that is not enough to get me to see part 2 of this ho-hum series.

Derogatory, hateful and argumentative posts will be deleted.

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12 thoughts on “The Golden Compass Movie Review Part 2

  1. I am not an activist really, and I just hate it when Christians all get together to say that something is EVIL. I cringe at this and often demand proof of what they are saying. Many times I have gotten the response “Well my pastor said…” or “well I read it on a forwarded email from this lady who goes to church…” I cringe again. But this time my boy Noah made me cringe. “Mommy, should we go see Golden Compass? I heard it is a movie that makes you hate God.” We had just seen the movie clip at a theatre and it looked really exciting. “Nothing and no one can MAKE you hate God, sweetie. But I don’t know. I will think about it.” So I did what I suggest every single one of you do. I went to the WEB, I can’t personally interview the author Philip Pullman, and I researched and researched both Christian and secular views on the topic. Then I went to the Golden Compass movie website and pretended I was my boy fooling around. Here is MY conclusion. STAY AWAY FROM THIS MOVIE! Philip Pullman says he is an agnostic not an atheist, but says that if there is a God and he is anything like the God Christianity paints, he must be rebelled against. He hates C.S. Lewis’ Narnia. There are a lot of parallels in this movie and the Chronicles of Narnia except that “The Authority” – Aslan’s parallel or God is a force that is evil and must be warred against. Pullman backs up his stance against the God of Christianity by referring to all the heinous acts done in history in God’s name. He also says that if Christians today had their way all the homosexuals would be hanged. Lyra the girl in the movie is like Lucy in Narnia and the journey is filled with lots of adventures, but the aim is not to save Narnia from the Great Witch. It is to save children from the power of the church. Yikes. The icing on the cake of Noah won’t see this one was when I went to the Movie’s website. In the movie every person has a daemon, pronounced demon. It is an animal that represents their soul, the completion of them. Some secular proponents of the movie said this was just like a guardian angel. What is wrong with that, right? Well then why call it a DAEMON? So I go to the site and if you click on Daemons you can find out what your own demon is – what animal – just by “looking into your heart and answering 20 questions.” Yikes. I am not a theologian. I am not an activist. I am a mother who loves Jesus and can see that this movie is a way to get kids mixing up terms and therefore mixing up right and wrong. I could just hear Noah who has a great imagination say, “Mom, do you think my demon is protecting me?” “What?” I would say. “I mean my angel.” You get my point. Hopefully. Nothing can make us hate God. Nothing. But some things can definitely influence us to THINK differently about the God of all GOODNESS and righteousness. We won’t be seeing this movie. Now or on DVD. I encourage you to research it yourself and make your own decision. Thanks for letting me rant!

  2. Hi ya, Jan. I so agree with your message about comments not being hateful. It makes my heart sad to think a Believer would verbally attack another Believer and I’m sure it grieves the Holy Spirit.I believe Robbie has a very levelheaded explanation about this movie.From my understanding, the movie, is “watered down” in a sense compared to the books, so, my concern as a mom is that it will “lure in” unsuspecting children to read the book series. My son (in Kindergarten) just brought home a Scholastic paper that has the books for sale. In fact, Chuck Colson’s Breakpoint ministry has a good article out about Scholastic’s involvement with the movie. I have the link on my first post, “What Compass Are You Following”. I do take offense that Philip Pullman says he wrote the books to “undermine the basis of Christian belief”. Obviously, nobody can kill God. (That’s what he said his books are about.) That is an insane concept. What God did do is lay down His life for mankind at the cross to save us. Then He rose up again from the dead victorious. (I know you know this, but I’m restating it to make myself clear about my beliefs.) My thoughts are this movie, or really the books, will plant seeds of doubt in people’s minds about God’s goodness or even if there is a God. It is also making good out to be evil and evil good.The parallel that the church is evil that Mr. Pullman is trying to portray is also offensive to me. Are there corrupt systems of belief out there claiming to know Christ? Yes, I believe that. Have people done horrible things in the name of God? Yes, I believe that too. But to lump everyone in together who believes in God, Yahweh, is wrong. My heart breaks for those who do not know the peace, love, and security that a personal relationship with Jesus Christ brings. He is my everything and I am so glad that I am a sinner who is saved by His grace.And yes, I will agree that the concept of this animal spirit or daemon that children can create is playing with fire. Kids are so curious by nature and it could lead them astray.So to say the least, I am a bit weary on this subject, especially the turn it has taken as far as people’s emotions and feelings.I will state I am not against fantasy in general. I love to read and write fiction stories. I love Narnia and Lord of the Rings. My teen is a big fantasy reader.So, what do we do with all this?Pray and pray some more. My heart is that as each of us speaks, that we would do it in the love of Christ and not let our emotions lead us. Thanks you for allowing me to share my opinion and for your thoughts my friend. God bless.In Jesus’ love,Susan

  3. Me again! Thanks for your review, Jan. YAY – it is a boring movie! The Denver Post gave it a C-! Susan, I love your bottom line – let’s pray! Amen and amen.

  4. I agree that the world lumps all people who claim Christ together, and (for good or bad) we are not all unified. History is full of ‘Holy Wars’, in all religious gatherings. I may not agree with Pullman’s conclusions, but I can see why he would feel disenfranchised by Christianity.I am exactly with Robbie, go research it for yourself, and don’t let opinions cloud your judgment of it. You can go to a library or a bookstore, and read it for free. Comparing the actual words to the Bible will be the best test.Where your treasure is, there is your heart also. We can speak loudest when we withhold our money. Hollywood will stop filming the rest of the series if it flops.If this is of God, we cannot stop it. If it is not of God, it will fail on its own. The poor reviews say more to me than the “I heard…” comments ever could.

  5. I might also add that Lyra’s daemon is named Pan, who is a real demon spirit today. This is a very dangerous correlation. Pan is the demon of seduction, charged with enticing virgins. This is very troubling. I would hate for children to stumble into the occult because of this seemingly innocuous movie.There is a lot of spiritual warfare going on about this movie. I can understand why.My advice is to be loving and caring in explaining why you aren’t going to see it, but stay informed and don’t judge others who go see it.It does appear that the movie is the watered down version of the book.

  6. Thanks for taking the time to go see this movie, Jan (alone!). I’ve seen a few things around the blogosphere, and it’s definitely not a movie I would take young children to. However, it’s good to be informed so that when the topic comes up in conversation, we can direct it toward Christ. Have a blessed weekend!

  7. Hi Jan!I would have gladly gone to see the movie with you like we discussed if I weren’t already planning on seeing it with Benny next week. It’s possible that there were few people at the theater during your time slot because it was a week day and people were still at work while their kids were still in school. Not much happens for the working class until after 5 p.m. Us “at home” types have a little more freedom than that. The film opened yesterday and grossed 8.8 million dollars across the U.S., so I think the debate raging around the movie made more people want to go see it. I’m sure the numbers will go up even more after the weekend crowds.I wholeheartedly agree that this isn’t even close to being a Narnia-ish movie. It wasn’t meant to be. Neither is it meant to be an anti-Narnia movie. Either way, I hope no one under 13 goes to see this movie. It’s not appropriate for children. As for Scholastic’s involvement with it, that’s disappointing at the least. I’m glad we had a really good conversation about all of this over the phone last night. I appreciate you going to see it and judging for yourself instead of taking mine or anyone else’s word for it. I’m o.k. with you not liking it and telling everyone what you thought, and I’m glad you are also letting me decide for myself. Even if we come out on the other side of this and we do not agree, (and that’s a possibility), I’m glad to know we are still friends and love each other. Thank you for listening to me as I listened to you and thank you for validating me having my own opinion without insulting me as a fellow believer. I caught Susan’s point and I’m sooo not going there. It was o.k. for someone to insult me , but not for me to defend myself or retaliate – which I should NEVER have done. I see that now. My mistake. Anyway, debate or not, it’s like you said last night…This is not going away anytime soon. It’s a bestselling trilogy and only the first one is out. Last summer was the summer of sequels, and they weren’t based on award winning books. If the movie companies can crank out sequels for less interesting storylines with much less press than this one, no matter how many believers boycott the films, they’ll keep coming. Especially since the Christian community is divided in the debate. (Big Surprise) Harry Potter proved that one, not that I thought that storyline was less interesting – because I don’t. So Jan, kudos to you for knowing the difference between disagreeing with another believer and loving them anyway, and judging/condemning another believer for disagreeing with you. I hope all of this new traffic to your blog is here to stay and permanently increases your readership. Love you friend!

  8. Hi Jan, The review I saw, suggested this movie wasn’t as anti God as what the rest in the series will be…so ..my advice would be, don’t get children started with it.Thanks for going to view it (alone), for writing your thoughts and allowing others to express their opinion. fondly, Deena

  9. Thank you all for your comments. I agree with Deena that the first one is going be milder to get everyone used to it. Pullman knows what he is doing. While the books have always been out there, the movie will have more impact due to its visual appeal and short term time investment.

  10. I would have gone had I been in town, but I’m glad now that I didn’t waste my money.I don’t feel any need to see it in order to form my own opinion. That’s why the Bible encourages us to heed wise counsel. Thank you for sharing your godly counsel.I had heard that witches have “familiars”. The animal that contains part of their spirit, or something like that. The thing you are referring to, I think.So, basically, it sounds like even though this movie may not be bashing Christianity, it is definitly promoting another religion.

The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time. - Psalm 34:19

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