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 The Golden Coimpass
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n/a
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959 Posts

Posted - Dec 11 2007 :  2:32:49 PM  Show Profile Send n/a a Private Message
Below, you will find Archbishop Chaput's review of the Golden
Compass, which review appears in the current issue of the Denver
Catholic Register:

"Archbishop's Column, Denver Catholic Register

December 12, 2007

Sympathy for the devil: thoughts on `The Golden Compass'

When the first Harry Potter movie arrived in theaters several years
ago, many Catholic families had divided views about the film. Some
enjoyed it as an innocent and intriguing fantasy. Others avoided it
because of its emphasis on magic. But the screen adaptation of
Philip Pullman's book, "The Golden Compass," which opened in Denver
on Dec. 7, will likely produce far more agreement. No matter how one
looks at it, "The Golden Compass" is a bad film. There's just no
nicer way to say it.

I saw it at an 8:30 evening showing on Dec. 8. The theater was
largely deserted. That may be a trend. While "The Golden Compass,"
released by New Line Cinema, ranked No. 1 in box office revenues on
its opening weekend, it took in only a modest $26.1 million. The
three "Ring Trilogy" movies grossed between $47 and $72 million on
their respective opening weekends, and "The Chronicles of Narnia" had
opening revenues of more than $65 million. In fact, secular critics
have been less than kind to the movie, and for good reason. It's
long, complicated, and despite a very gifted supporting cast and
wonderful special effects, the story is finally lifeless. Much of
the movie takes place in the polar north, and the iciness of the
setting is a perfect metaphor for the chilly, sterile spirit at the
heart of the story. Anyone expecting a playful children's fantasy
would do well to look elsewhere. There is nothing remotely "playful"
about this movie.

As many readers will already know, Philip Pullman is an atheist,
and "The Golden Compass" - the first book in his trilogy "His Dark
Materials" - is a calculated counter-story to Christian-based
fantasies like "The Lord of the Rings" and "Narnia." "The Golden
Compass" takes place in a parallel world similar to earth, but
dominated by a sinister quasi-religious authority known as the
Magisterium. This powerful elite seeks to "protect" people - for
their own good - by shielding them from scientific knowledge,
represented by the movie's mysterious cosmic dust and a truth-telling
piece of technology called an "alethiometer" (or golden compass).
More specifically, the Magisterium abducts young children and
literally kills their souls, thereby extinguishing the spirit of free
thought and inquiry.

The aggressively anti-religious, anti-Christian undercurrent in "The
Golden Compass" is unmistakable and at times undisguised. The wicked
Mrs. Coulter alludes approvingly to a fictional version of the
doctrine of Original Sin. When a warrior Ice Bear - one of the heroes
of the story - breaks into the local Magisterium headquarters to take
back the armor stolen from him, the exterior walls of the evil
building are covered with Eastern Christian icons. And for Catholics
in our own world, of course, "Magisterium" refers to the teaching
authority of the Church - hardly a literary coincidence. The idea
that any Christian film critics could overlook or downplay these
negative elements, as some have seemed to do, is simply baffling.

Strangest of all - and in striking contrast to the Harry Potter and
Narnia stories - is the absence of joy or any real laughter in the
movie. The talented child actress who plays the film's leading role
is hobbled by a character that is uniformly unpleasant, rebellious,
belligerent and humorless; the kind of young person described by one
of my parent friends as needing a "long time-out."

Obviously, parents are the primary teachers of their children. They
need to use their own best judgment about whether a film is suitable
for their families. But I'll certainly be encouraging my own friends
to put their Christmas cash to better use. In fact, maybe the most
cynical and insulting thing about "The Golden Compass" is that its
makers would offer this cold, angry, anti-religious fable as "holiday
fare" in the midst of a season built around the birth of Jesus
Christ. That's certainly worth a letter to the people at New Line
Cinema. With two more books in the Pullman trilogy as possible
sequels, it might be helpful if they heard from all of us."

That's the review.
Grace

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Antonio A
Maryhead



826 Posts

Posted - Dec 11 2007 :  2:47:43 PM  Show Profile Send Antonio A a Private Message
Grace,

"In fact, maybe the most cynical and insulting thing about "The Golden Compass" is that its
makers would offer this cold, angry, anti-religious fable as "holiday fare" in the midst of a season built around the birth of Jesus Christ."

Perhaps the Archbishop should be reviewing movies for the USCCB, since their reviewers blew it big time.

Antonio A. Obregón

Edited by - Antonio A on Dec 11 2007 2:48:10 PM
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n/a
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959 Posts

Posted - Dec 11 2007 :  2:56:33 PM  Show Profile Send n/a a Private Message
I agree Antonio I am a big fan of Archbishop Chaput.

Grace
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DeniseLawson
Moderator



USA
810 Posts

Posted - Dec 11 2007 :  4:04:28 PM  Show Profile Send DeniseLawson a Private Message
Very nicely stated by the Archbishop - not at all surprising. I particularly liked the following:

quote:
Obviously, parents are the primary teachers of their children. They need to use their own best judgment about whether a film is suitable for their families.


To me, that is the best way they could handle it - here's the information, you decide if it's right for you. Far more effective than outright banning it, which just encourages some to see it out of pure rebellion.

quote:
The idea that any Christian film critics could overlook or downplay these negative elements, as some have seemed to do, is simply baffling.


Well, the USCCB reviews seemed to overlook it. That is, of course, before they backpedaled faster than some of our Congressional reps in Washington.

Jesus meek and humble of heart, make my heart like yours.
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RayL
Mary's Servant



USA
233 Posts

Posted - Dec 11 2007 :  10:34:37 PM  Show Profile Send RayL a Private Message
The Catholic League was all over this, and produced a pamphlet outlining the hidden agenda - Sanitize the movie, so as to whet the kids appetite to read the very anti-Catholic book. The USCCB should fire their movie reviewer,who seems to have lost touch with who he works for.

This whole war against Christmas with "Holiday parties" and Holiday Trees and "Season's Greetings" and no manger scenes in city squares continues. And the Golden Compass is just the latest venue - Merry Atheism, and to all in the US, GOOD NIGHT !

No Mary, no Jesus. Know Mary, know Jesus.
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DeniseLawson
Moderator



USA
810 Posts

Posted - Dec 11 2007 :  11:37:05 PM  Show Profile Send DeniseLawson a Private Message
quote:
who seems to have lost touch with who he works for


Considering the liberal streak within the USCCB, I wonder just how out of touch he really is? I think this trend is there for a reason...this isn't the first time this has happened, and it will not likely be the last.

Jesus meek and humble of heart, make my heart like yours.
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Antonio A
Maryhead



826 Posts

Posted - Dec 11 2007 :  11:38:39 PM  Show Profile Send Antonio A a Private Message
Hi Ray,


"The Catholic League was all over this, and produced a pamphlet outlining the hidden agenda - Sanitize the movie, so as to whet the kids appetite to read the very anti-Catholic book. The USCCB should fire their movie reviewer, who seems to have lost touch with who he works for."

They had the opportunity to fire the reviewers and they didn't do it, If not now, when?

This whole war against Christmas with "Holiday parties" and Holiday Trees and "Season's Greetings" and no manger scenes in city squares continues. And the Golden Compass is just the latest venue - Merry Atheism, and to all in the US, GOOD NIGHT !

And now some folks are advocating that Santa lose his pounds because he is too fat and a bad example for children who should stay in shape!

Ray, I'm so glad to see you here in this forum.

Antonio A. Obregón
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DeniseLawson
Moderator



USA
810 Posts

Posted - Dec 12 2007 :  07:41:48 AM  Show Profile Send DeniseLawson a Private Message
quote:
And now some folks are advocating that Santa lose his pounds because he is too fat and a bad example for children who should stay in shape!


Santa is the least of the bad examples. With obesity rates being what they are today in the US, how many of those obese people are the parents? Also, when are we going to see the overhaul of programs like WIC for the poor so that they address the issue of needing far more fruits and vegetables in their diets than dairy products and meats? It's one thing to deliberately choose foods poor in nutritional value, it's another thing entirely to choose them because you can't afford fruits and vegetables, a problem for many of the poor in this country.

Jesus meek and humble of heart, make my heart like yours.
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RayL
Mary's Servant



USA
233 Posts

Posted - Dec 20 2007 :  6:39:20 PM  Show Profile Send RayL a Private Message
Thanks Antonio....There is so much Catholic stuff happening around the world, it's fun to have a place to come and comment on them.

I read that one of our greatest Saints, St. Thomas Aquinas, was rather large. I don't think that hurt him any in his salvation quest. Of course, everyone should try not to overeat, but it takes more to fill some up than others. There is some hormone that is deficient in some that tells the person when fullness occurs, at least according to what I read. And the cure for that is right around the corner.

I sent a letter to Archbishop Gomez here in San Antonio when the USCCB reviewer gave Harry Potter a thumbs up. Sorcery is condemned in the Bible, in both the Old and New Testaments, so I don't really see the benefit in teaching our kids that it's all just harmless fun for kids to try out, like Harry. My priest chastised me for it, because I identified myself as a member of "his" parish. I think the reviewer was wrong about Harry Potter, Brokeback Mountain, and now The Golden Compass. And still he remains on staff.


No Mary, no Jesus. Know Mary, know Jesus.
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