An entertaining, if mediocre, comic book fantasy film featuring a blurred battle between good and evil.
Here’s a little more:
The special effects:
- Wonderful – realistic and awe-inspiring. The talking animals really looked like they were talking!
- I was engaged through most of this feature. At times the comic-book editing made the action feel stilted and the acting less than great. I didn’t feel, though, that the characters had much of a chance to develop.
- I haven’t read it (Northern Lights) but I’m sure I will.
- The talk is that the other books in Philip Pullmans’s His Dark Materials trilogy have a much more sinister anti-religion position. This one, though toned down from the books, (I’ve only heard that – not experienced it by reading the books just yet) still has an element of disdain for organized religion. It feels like "The Magesterium" wants to make everyone believe and act the way they want. Any who exercise free thinking and questions about what the Magesterium says is classified as an enemy. It feels like Pullman’s issue is with a "church" that would indoctrinate people, stifle any kind of questions and expect everyone to follow the "company policy" without question.
- Nicole Kidman as Marisa Coulter – wonderfully evil
- Simon McBurney as Fra Pavel - He’s really creepy and nasty
- Sam Elliot as Lee Scoresby – What’s not to love when Sam Elliot plays a cowboy
- Ian McKellan as Iorek Byrnison – At first I thought it was James Earl Jones. (I wonder what Nonso Anozie sounded like in this role?)
- Is it OK to question what the church says? What questions do you have about what the Church says?
- If it is OK – are there some questions that are appropriate and some that are out of bounds? Give some examples.
- Is there a danger in free-thinking? What do you think the danger is?
- What is there to learn from asking "out of bounds" faith questions?