Quick hit: first three movies

I’m in San Diego for most of this week, which means massive amounts of movie and television watching with my aunt. We tried to see three yesterday but the paper lied to us about the time the first one was playing, so we had to be satisfied with just two.

The Golden Compass: I liked it. I don’t know what my brother’s problem is. I mean, yes, there’s a fairly key plot point left out from the beginning, which may make the other two a little tricky. But given the box office response to the first, it’s entirely possible there won’t be more movies. I’m also confused by the fact that the credits list this film as being based upon the book Northern Lights, rather than the book The Golden Compass. (Is it me?) I expected the book to get movie-friendly-ized, as so often happens, but to base it on a different book? That so closely resembles that other book? Wicked confused.

The Kite Runner: Very close to the book, which is fantastic. Generally well-done and sad and beautiful. Also if you’re one of those people who forgets books after you read them (aside from a vague sense of this was a good book) you should wait a bit after reading it to see this movie. Then the ending will be a surprise, as it was to me. (I’m one of those people, for the record.)

The Savages: Quite good. Depressing, which shouldn’t be surprising if you read anything about the movie. And if you have a loved one suffering from dementia this might be a little tough to watch in parts. But it also has funny moments, and touching moments, and they don’t kill the dog. I’m sorry if that’s a spoiler for anyone, but I personally feel that movies (coughIAmLegendcough) should come with some kind of a warning if they’re going to kill off a dog. I just can’t handle that shit.

I’ve also been watching the triumphant return of American Gladiators to television. You laugh, but I friggin love this show. I loved it growing up and I love it now. I think my favorite gladiator is Hellga, but she mostly gets to stand around and be the big last person on the Gauntlet. Titan is a close second just because he has that weird Ken doll head. But the real question: how many of the gladiators are gay? I think Crush totally might be. Also Titan. Did I not mention the weird Ken doll head?


6 Responses to Quick hit: first three movies

  1. alden says:

    northern lights was the original title, used in the book’s british release.

    also, the movie is still bad. me and everyone else can’t be wrong!

  2. anon says:

    you’re quoted on Quench. congrats!

  3. pandanose says:

    Ah, yes, I forgot that sometimes books have different names in different places. Silly foreigners!

    Regardless, the “me and everyone else” argument holds little water. Dare I mention a little film called Cable Guy?

  4. alden says:

    no. the fact that some good movies do poorly at the box office is a pretty meaningless argument, particularly since golden compass had the hell marketed out of it. this wasn’t some little gem that got lost between the cracks- it’s a flick that had tv ads running around the clock, as well as a juicy faux ‘scandal’ to get people excited.

    but the thing just doesn’t deliver. every scene feels like it’s 45 seconds long, and stuffed full with breathless explanations about what’s going on. everything is explained to the audience; we’re never allowed to figure out anything for ourselves.

    of course, lyra figures out everything, with no information at all. i’ll save the ‘spoilers’ but every few minutes she just figures out a major plot point with no (or almost no) prompting. the book just has too many plot points to squeeze into a film. by cramming them all in, the thing just feels like it’s on fastforward until the end, where key points are just cut off. i’m pretty forgiving of most movies- but this is the most annoying one i saw in a theater in 2007.

    at least it’s getting people to read the books! so i guess it can’t be all negatives. but that’s the only thing i like about it.

  5. linaria says:

    ah. hm. I’ve been trying to decide whether to see it or not, and I think I may, just because of the controversy. I *loved* The Golden Compass but seriously disliked the sequels. He introduced a totally amazing girl character—- and then proceeded to undermine her so much that by the end of The Amber Spyglass she’s nothing but a sidekick. Perhaps they’ll do a better job on the movies but I doubt it.

  6. pandanose says:

    The controversy (faux or not) is clearly based on the books, not this adaptation, because the atheism is toned down considerably. No spoilers about Amber Spyglass, please! I’m only halfway through it…

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