A director friend of ours had tickets to a preview of the Golden Compass and invited Rob and me to a small screening. The production design on the show is gorgeous, with air ships that will make the most hardened steampunker swoon. The costumes are stunning throughout. The whole cast turns in really strong performances, particularly Dakota Blue, playing Lyra, who seems to spend most of the movie acting to CGI. I always believed that she was looking at something real.
The pacing is really atrocious and the movie skips from one action scene to the next. I do not remember the book feeling so full of lucky coincidences. This really felt like “And Lyra gets into trouble! Look! Someone saves her in the nick of time! And Lyra gets into trouble! Look! etc!!!”
I was sad. But I’ll still go see the second one, hoping that they get a handle on the pacing next time. It’s still worth seeing, mind you, because it is very, very pretty.
The rest of my complaints are spoilers.