Truth be told, I didn't know what the hell The Golden Compass was. I knew that there were books. I knew that Christians were pissed about it for some reason.
I totally didn't expect this type of movie- going experience. I'm glad I walked in not knowing anything about the movie. What I got was a brand new story, intriguing plot, interesting characters and BEAUTY. This movie was extremely beautiful. I haven't really been overwhelmingly impressed with movie aesthetics since Star Wars Episode I & II. (Shut up! I don't want to hear it!) I'm not sure if the design was steam-punk but it looked like it and I loved all of it. Everyone knows how crazy I am about costuming. The wardrobe in this movie was phenomenal. Nicole Kidman stole every scene. For some reason or another, she annoyed me for a few years. She's been stepping up her game for the past few years. (...cause if she didn't Angelina Jolie would have been equally perfect in this movie.) Daniel Craig was nothing more than eye candy. I think he said about two words and got beat up. He might have gotten naked... or I could have been undressing him with my eyes. Dunno... I forget.
The story was equally fascinating. I was told that The Magisterium is actually called The Church in the books. The story is about a parallel universe where people are accompanied by their power animal or "dæmon." Wikipedia says that the soul actually resides outside of the body and takes the form of an animal. It's a lot of hippie, philosophical stuff but I really liked it. The soul/dust/animal thing is a thought-provoking concept and was well thought out. I can tell that great thought was put into this story. The movie didn't feel overly rushed or dumbed down. I'm glad that "Magisterium" was used instead of "Church". I think the author's/story's dislike for the Church would have taken away from how beautiful the story and the movie is.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have witnessed great movie direction. *applauds!*