The Catholic League thinks it's anti-Catholic. Admirers of Philip Pullman's 1995 His Dark Materials trilogy, of which The Golden Compass is the first part, think Chris Weitz's film guts the backbone of the book. Me, I just think it blows. What does it matter if you spend millions on a movie – love the talking, battling bears! – if the effects are cheesy, the story runs off on tangents and after watching the movie fail utterly to be the next Lord of the Rings, you just want to go home. One wag said Nicole Kidman looked like "a Botoxed Marilyn Monroe" playing Mrs. Coulter, the slinky villainess who does terrible things to children to separate them from their souls, which take the form of furry animals called daemons. Are you with me? Didn't think so. Anyway, Kidman was way nastier in Margot at the Wedding. She and co-star Daniel (007) Craig strike as many sexual sparks as they did in The Invasion, which was none. The studio is threatening two sequels. Please make them stop.
From The Archives Issue 1042: December 27, 2007