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December 08, 2007

Saturday night at the movies

(Posted by John.)

So the girlfriend and I went to go see The Golden Compass tonight.  There's a bit of weird layering here, as my fears about The Golden Compass being made in to a movie was one of the reasons I started blogging almost exactly three years ago today.  Seriously.  (Yes, George Bush had just been re-elected, but what really made me want to spill pixels was fears of an emasculated film based on a children's book.  Priorities, people!)

And then there's the big move to Cogitamus, weirdly also happening at the same time.  Obviously, I'm excited to keep blogging with such quality writers, and immensely grateful to Ezra for the opportunity he's given me.  Not that you'll need it Ezra, but best of luck.

So there's a bunch of things going on. But let's get back to the movie. Happily, the fundamentalist rage didn't manage to ruin the movie. Sadly, the movie was still ruined.

I think Stephanie Zacharek more or less nailed the movie's flaws, and its few virtues, with her review. But I had a curious sensation watching this movie, trying to figure out where I'd last seen a movie which had such a dissonant mix of good actors and high production values on the one hand, but absolutely atrocious writing on the other.

Oh yeah...  The Chronicles of Riddick.   Except this time, Vin Diesel is a polar bear.

And if you haven't seen it, Riddick really is a weird movie. You've got Thandie Newton, Colm Feore, and Dame friggin' Judi Dench, but somehow they've all been transported to this alternate universe where they're delivering some of the worst dialogue ever, within a truly atrocious story.  But it's also got some of the most impressive and interesting use of CGI that I've seen in a film recently -- frankly, more in some ways than the Star Wars prequels.  But:  Dame friggin' Judi Dench.  Still, all in all, a forgettable film.

So let's just say that when I'm comparing it with Golden Compass, it's not a compliment.

December 8, 2007 | Permalink


Why have you consistently misspelled Dench?

Posted by: Marcin Tustin | Dec 8, 2007 11:26:43 PM

For the only reason I ever consistently misspell -- ignorance.

Correction forthcoming.

Posted by: John | Dec 8, 2007 11:51:05 PM

How does she like being referred to as the girlfriend?

Posted by: Just Karl | Dec 8, 2007 11:57:36 PM

"My" girlfriend implies posession which I don't claim.

"The" girlfriend implies she's the only one, which, for me, she is. So she's cool with it.

Posted by: John | Dec 9, 2007 12:09:41 AM

If you're looking for good movies this season be sure to see I'm Not There, Sweeney Todd, The Walker, Michael Clayton and There Will Be Blood

The Walker is the best movie about the BuschCo era to date. (Lions For Lambs, Redition, Redacted and Grace is Gone all stink on ice.)

Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Dec 9, 2007 12:43:04 AM

I had not read the books, and last night I saw The Golden Compass and it was an incredibly good movie. First, it is one of the most beautiful and lush films visually ever made. Second, the characters were developed extraordinarily well, via both scripting and acting. Third, there was no attempt to romanticize or minimize the impact of the violence and suppression at hand. And finally, Lyra has to be the best young girl adventurer character I have ever seen.

One of the people who accompanied me had read the books, and thought the movie more to his liking.

Posted by: El Cid | Dec 9, 2007 9:33:30 AM

"My" girlfriend implies posession which I don't claim.

"The" girlfriend implies she's the only one,

The implication of "my" is possession of a special relationship or commitment, not possession of the girl. While "the girlfriend" implies distance, as in the girlfriend of someone else. It's a short leap from saying "the girlfriend" to saying "the nag" or "the ball and chain."

Posted by: Just Karl | Dec 9, 2007 12:30:22 PM

I made the incredible mistake of seeing "Chronicles of Riddick" in the theatres, on opening night. In my defense, I was drunk. Sadly, I was not drunk enough to enjoy that piece of crap, and suspect that there may not have been enough alcohol in the world.

And yes, I'd really like to know what bet Judi Dench lost.

Posted by: Doctor Memory | Dec 9, 2007 2:39:51 PM

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