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Sunday, December 02, 2007


Mark Brumley

Sounds pretty much like the book.

Nick Milne

I should add the usual disclaimer that there may be other things too subtle for me to have detected or too obvious for me to have felt worth mentioning.

Also (and here's another potential spoiler):

Though not necessarily religious or spiritual, the question of kingship comes up during the fight between the two bears mentioned above. One is a tyrant who stole the bear kingdom's throne; the other is the noble and true heir who was subsequently exiled. Naturally the good bear wins, his just kingship is affirmed, and his wrath is great and terrible--all of which is excellent stuff for any film, but strangely out-of-place in this one, which goes to such lengths to assail all forms of authority.

I expect he'll have declared a sort of talking-bear republic by the time the third film concludes. Anything less would be inconsistent with the trilogy's dominant themes.

Ed Peters

Why the "spoiler" warning? How does one "spoil" a movie like Compass?

Nick Milne

By giving away plot elements that are not immediately known at first, the revelation of which are intended to have some effect when accomplished.

For instance, those waiting in line to see The Empire Strikes Back for the first time might not be well-disposed to someone shouting out the great secret of Luke Skywalker's parentage as they come out of the previous showing. Similarly, a good deal of the fun of The Usual Suspects could be lost if you knew going in who Keyser Soze really was.

The warnings are included for the benefit of those who wish to enjoy the film as a narrative without having its surprises blown beforehand.


Rosebud's a sled!!!



Ed Peters

Nick. I know what a spoiler is. I was trying to....oh, never mind. :)

Sandra Miesel

Despite all the prattle about the Republic of Heaven, the bears still have a king and the witches have queens at the conclusion of His Dark Materials.

Thanks for enduring it, Nick

Last night I watched the old Tyrone Power swashbuckler CAPTAIN FROM CASTILE in which the Inquisition had been edited out of the picture and replaced by a lay-led bureau of heresy hunters--comparable revisionism to THE GOLDEN COMPASS. Not only was nothing bad said about the Church but the Catholic faith was taken seriously, as one wouldn't see in movies today. But I regret to say that CAPTAIN FROM CASTILE didn't live up to my 50-year memories of it and is rather stodgy.

Mark Brumley

It will be interesting to see if the second and third books get made into movies--let's hope they don't--how "God" is handled. It won't do to try to pull a STAR TREK V. In the final version of that film, an alien pretends to be God but his exposure as a fraud doesn't not tell one way or the other against the idea of God or against the God of the Bible. On the other hand, the whole point of HDM is that the being Christians (and Jews) think is God really isn't God, but an impostor. And the whole story of the Fall is actually a grand scam against humanity. You would have to gut the storyline of HDM in order to eliminate the anti-theistic, anti-Christian elements. That seems unlikely to happen and even if it did, the films would still be problematic because they would be commercials for the books.

Ed Peters

I have no sympathy for folks watching Tyrone Power flicks. The nicest thing I can say about them is, well, at least it wasn't Eroll Flynn.


"Children's daemons can change shape (the protagonist's switches between a cat, a bird, and other types of animals as the forms become tactically useful), but adults' can not. This is dimly connected to both the dust and the Fall, but in ways never even slightly explained."

Because Original Sin kicks in at puberty! And that's what locks a daemon into its shape!

Well, it was explained quite clearly in the book. . . (I only got through the first one.)

Carl Olson


Samuel Shellabarger! I read three or four of his historical novels in when I was high school. And really enjoyed them. However, I don't remember enough to know how accurate or well-researched they are...

Nick Milne

Nick. I know what a spoiler is. I was trying to....oh, never mind. :)

I beg your pardon, sir; where I come from, though, we take canon lawyers at their word :0

Brian Schuettler

But I regret to say that CAPTAIN FROM CASTILE didn't live up to my 50-year memories of it and is rather stodgy.
Sandra, I have the same experience. I see an old movie from childhood that I somehow remembered as being really terrific and then I say to that it??? Especially Power and Flynn.

Carl Olson

I see an old movie from childhood that I somehow remembered as being really terrific and then I say to that it???

For me that would be Karate Kid...

Sandra Miesel

But THIEF OF BAGDAD, THE SEARCHERS,and STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN were even better to adult eyes.

Brian Schuettler

John Ford's the Searchers with is one of my favorites.

Ed Peters

A lot of our disappointment with old movies is not the higher standards of today (ha!) but rather, our greater maturity.


Pooh! The 1938 'Adventures of Robin Hood' with Flynn and de Havilland is still one of the greatest films ever, as are Flynn's "Capt Blood' and 'The Seahawk'. It's sad his life was so troubled, but back in the day, his movies were a joy and still fun to watch!

Chris R.

Totally agree about Robin Hood, Capt. Blood and Seahawk. Also Ty Power and Zorro. Better than any of the remakes.

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