Friday, 11 December 2015

Mockingjay Part 1 and The Golden Compass - reviews

I've just re-read Northern Lights (aka The Golden Compass) and remembered how much I enjoy that book. Gosh darn, it's a good book.

I had always avoided the movie because I'd heard it wasn't good, but a friend said eh, it's not BAD, it's WATCHABLE ... so I went in.

And she's right.

There's a lot of Big Ideas in the book that don't make it into the movie which is fine as far as it goes, but it means the story in the movie isn't really served and it all feels a bit rushed and muddled.

It's well-cast, though, especially Nicole Kidman as the very chilling Mrs Coulter. Though I do think that Daniel Craig is a bit mis-cast as Lord Asriel - I feel like he's not imposing enough. Dakota Blue Richards is great as Lyra, too.

But the story ... I do have high hopes for the upcoming TV series.

As for Mockingjay Part 1 ... I think it suffered from the same issue. The story isn't served - this time by splitting the last book into two movies. Mockingjay Part 1 feels like a lot of unnecessary standing about waiting for things to happen. Presumably those Things will Happen in Mockingjay Part 2 (which I haven't seen yet.)

Mockingjay Part 1 was fine, but it felt a bit like filler, which is a shame after Catching Fire was so good.

On to the next, though!


  1. I quite liked Mockingjay Part 1 in spite of how much standing around there was. I think it would have made way more sense to keep it as one movie instead of breaking it out into two -- really don't think there's enough material for two films. Still, though, there were some genuinely lovely moments in it. Natalie Dormer! Was so good!

    I was sad they didn't keep making movies in the Golden Compass series. The first one wasn't incredible, but I had hopes that they'd improve as they went along. And Sam Elliott and Dakota Blue Richards I thought were both absolutely wonderful.

  2. Jenny: I felt it was spread too thin, though I understand part 2 is very good. Yes Natalie Dormer is great! Sam Elliot and Dakota Blue Richards were very well-cast. I have high hopes for the TV series though!