Saturday, December 29, 2007

On Holiday Films and Other Things

Yesterday, Danny and I went to see the film, The Golden Compass. The reviews were mixed and there were some accusations of anti Catholic material in the film, but we decided to see it anyway. I'm so glad we did. As you can see from the pictures I've included in tonights blog, the film is visually stunning. The story is compelling, the main character of Lyra is as plucky a little heroine as Oz's Dorothy ever was, and frankly when the film ended I was disappointed since I was ready to journey a bit longer with Lyra and her allies to find out just what the mysterious "dust" really did and if her uncle really had found a gate between worlds.

As far as accusations of anti Catholic material goes, I suppose if one really stretched a point, maybe, one could make a comparison between the rigid adherence towards established doctrine and stamping out of independent thinking of the Magisterium in the story and the Catholic church of the good old Inquisition era...but really one would have to stretch the point so thin as to make it flatter than a proverbial pancake. The Magesterium could also be a metaphor for the Soviets or Big Brother, Emperor Palpatine's corrupt Senate, Hitler's Nazis or any governing body that wants to reduce the general population to zoned out, puppet-like rule followers "for their own good". I don't think the Pope will need to lose any sleep over the Magesterium.

I wonder if those complaining also complained about the Harry Potter films promoting the Dark Arts?

Indeed, the themes in this movie should appeal to many, Here's a few examples: seeking truth, loyalty to family and friends, not giving up in the face of obstacles, facing and surmounting personal fears, helping those who need help even if they are virtual strangers, rejecting false values, promoting individual thinking.

About the only problem I had with this film was the voice of Lyra's warrior bear friend. His voice is the same voice as Gandalf in the Tolkien trilogy. Bugged me, even if Ian McKellan does have a great theatrical British actor's voice. Not a polar bear's voice though, as I imagined it. I might have liked Sean Connery for example. But, that's a small point. I didn't like Nichole Kidman as Mrs Colter. But then, I never like her in anything. She just annoys me somehow. She acted her vileness's part well enough and we're not really supposed to like her character anyway, so I guess that's okay.

Anyway, if you liked films such as The Wizard of Oz, Pan's Labyrinth, Harry Potter, Stardust, The Lord of the Rings check out The Golden Compass. I think you'll like it.

Aside from going to the film, Danny and I went to Best Buy and got me a photo printer so I can print out some of the 900 or so pictures from Amy's wedding...and of baby Alex. We also took a little side trip up to the pet cemetery where three of my beloved dogs and my mother's dog are buried. I hadn't been back to check their graves for a year at least. It was time. Tomorrow, maybe a Universal visit. If my back feels better. (I twisted lifting some very heavy packing boxes of books and pulled some muscles two days ago.)

Can't believe Christmas and 2007 are almost past. TTFN

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