No Country for Golden Compass Ending Removers for Commercial Appeal Raising Purposes

rich media

I woke up Friday morning at 8:30 AM, hit up some class and then left a review session early to bolt out to the first Golden Compass showing of the day. I know the reviews were mediocre, except Roger Ebert’s review, (thumbs up / down dude) which on top of being a 100 / 100 hailed it as the next great fantasy trilogy.


So… I was disappointed, to say the least. I honestly wish the movie was an hour longer, which is a weird thing to say about a movie I was disappointed with. They cut out the climactic ending of the first book and I simply couldn’t understand why. It’s a great ending, an ending that ties up some loose ends while creating new ones leading into a great sequel, an ending that is visually fantastic, an ending that made the rest of the story sit just right, as a great ending should. I racked my brain; maybe they didn’t finish the special effects in time for the release date? No, that’s ridiculous. Even if they had to get a sweat shop of animators hopped up on crack to keep them awake for a month straight, the studio would figure out a way to get it done. What could it be? Thankfully I have someone to blame for my angst. Tonight I glanced over at an Entertainment Weekly that was open to an article about said film. It told a tale of a young director named Chris Weitz who had lost his way. Apparently he was having a mental breakdown during the filming of About a Boy. He decided with his next project he’d go big, so he headed to the North Pole for a spirit journey or some shit and wrote the film adaptation of The Golden Compass by hand because a boat short circuited his laptop when he plugged it in. Touching story and all (a single tear drips down my left cheek as I type), with one tiny problem: You’re script kinda sucked the life out of one of my favorite books of all time. When they originally announced this movie the script was by Tom Stoppard, known to me as the scribe of such films as Shakespeare in Love and Brazil, but known to more cultured folks as a serious big hitter in the literary world. Apparently his script was rejected because it had long wordy chats about philosophy and tangent universes and such, my favorite parts from the book. Good old Chris went on his spirit journey and wrote the simplified version the studio wanted. The worst part is I might have liked his iteration had the ending not been cut, which brings me to the little paragraph in the EW article that peaked my interest. The studio cut the ending because they wanted it to end upbeat instead of on a down note. Instead of having Lord Asriel kill Lyra’s friend and cut into a tangent universe on a mission to kill God in a spectacular of visual effects as the universe rips apart with dust, the movie just ends with Lyra flying away with Roger. God forbid the studio could have any clues that these movies are really about a man’s attempt at killing God and the girl who partakes in original sin when it all goes down. New Line: shame on you. I can only hope the DVD will have the extended edition with some more exposition and the original ending. Please, pretty please.

All that being said, all the animals were great, the special effects were really top notch. The acting jobs were great, including the animals. They all reflected the facial features and motions of their respective humans. And damn, those polar bears can fight. Even after writing this frustrated rant I do want to see it again… whatever that means. Let me know what you guys think, I’m interested.

– Rich

Published in: on December 10, 2007 at 12:44 am  Comments (3)  
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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Well I think the reason they left out the end you were speaking of (havent read the books) was because they movie is meant to bring in money not to piss people off about the anit-christian theme. So they toned it down to get a wider audience.

  2. I just saw golden compass for a second time and instead of watching it with a critical eye just watched for enjoyment. I also didn’t spend the last half hour waiting for an ending that never came. I loved it, truly loved it. I urge all you out there to see it because I’m dying for a sequel. In fact I urge all you out there to buy tickets to golden compass and sneak into whatever movie you were planning to see because if new line doesn’t make their money back the trilogy will never get finished.

  3. very interesting.
    i’m adding in RSS Reader

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