NOTE to LiveJournal readers: You best click through to WordPress for my movie reviews, because when I talk about spoilers they will show invisibly on wordpress, but not on livejournal.

Anyway, I just watched The Golden Compass with Carolyn last week, and we both really enjoyed it. It was like another Harry Potter, but with less magic. She had read all the books, whereas I would not have even known this was based on a book had I seen it in 2007.

We both took a break 5 minutes before the movie was over (accidental bad timing), and commented on how much we were enjoying it. Then, we finished the last 5 minutes of the movie, and Carolyn was irked and mad. Apparently, a lot of the ending of 1st book was filmed, but the scenes deleted, to be moved to the 2nd movie. So people expecting a complete adaptation of the 1st book missed the entire ending section, but that’s the cost of going into a movie with high expectations: You’re let down. (Read on for more.)

The omitted ending also made the movie more Hollywood-esque, since I accidentally read what happens in the deleted scenes. Basically, [highlight] the boy Roger is killed. It actually makes business sense to move it to the 2nd movie, so that those who see the first movie leave feeling good, and still want to see the 2nd movie. It also sort of makes continuity sense as well, as the main conflict was resolved, and the deleted ending proably serves as better motivation to hate the bad guys in the 2nd movie, than as a sad ending to the first movie. And since movies take so long to come out, it will be easier to remember that we are all mad because the child was killed.

Some have complained about them explaining things up front rather than having you discover them as you read the book, however even the explanations in the movie were not adequate for me (and I’d had the book explained to me conversationally a month ago). I still had to ask Carolyn to explain things about 10 times in the first 20 minutes, so if anything, I think they could have actually explained things more. But this was because it was also a book — anytime you do a book movie, some people who read the book will be annoyed, and some people who didn’t wont get it. Like all book->movie movies, it’s either going to be 3-4 hours long, or it’s going to be rushed. That’s why the Harry Potter fan edits where they re-inserted all the deleted scenes were SOOO much better than the theatrical releases. And considernig an hour was ripped out of THIS movie, I would really like to see a scene-released fan edit that re-inserts this missing hour. I’m positive it would be an even better movie.

Another review, much better than mine.

Mood: catching up
Music: Aqua Teen Hunger Force – Bonus Features