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His dark Materials, Dreadfully Poor Casting and Tone


Filming fantasy novels is tough, because most are rather stupid.

The casting director for HBO's latest attempt at GoT success has truly flopped. The Golden Compass? Oh gawd, please. When a series attempts at drama, the story has to be compelling. This one isn't. Hiding a big conspiracy and making the kid be a kid is just dumb. Don't assume I've read anything. It's a safe bet for modern society. If you want me to empathize, you need larger stars and better actors. Else, explain, use those words and add some interesting dialog said by actors as Fantasy Archetype.

Dumbledore was immediately a force. As was that brilliant cast for the entire Potter. That would be a great mini-series showing every nuance.

But a dumb story of external soul-animals and killer helmeted polar bears starts at a handicap. Adding a headmaster that's a bad Shawshank's Morgan Freeman, a poor man's Legolas or Aragorn in the barely-extra-as-quality star dynamic in the Uncle and a Mother who is better suited playing an alcoholic extra in Pretty Little Lies, deadens the impact of any story. You needed larger than life. The 2007 movie w/ Kidman had it; she's so beautiful you know something wrong. But that adaptation attempt was over constrained by the film length (even as three movies as planned). Peter Jackson's model destroys the genre he resurrected.

Yes, the CGI is great and HBO spares no expense. Pay for some MOVIE STARS?!? Not sure why a manly man has a female soul cougar, but there's much to psychoanalyze in the script and actors. It's as if Sean Penn was asked to play every role, Method Baby have a backstory, cause the story Of HIS DARK INTENSIONS, oops, MATERIALS, itself is just dumb. Should we ever explore DARK in fantasy?

He's just one bonehead idea -- We'll give the girl a truth detector and then not tell her how to use it? That's neither academia nor reasonable. We'll kidnap kids for a grand plot, but they are just cherubs faces w/o any context. Who are they and why should I care? Cause bot people take offense? Who are they? If the world is being kept safe by boiling a few kids for DUST, so be it? You need to add some Hunger Games oppression and love for the underdog. Seems like they live on boats cause they like that life? As gypsies they probably pimp their children anyway.

A child raised in a college who doesn't enjoy reading, ants to be told stories as cover for mischief. Here you have a spoiled little girl, a bunch of cloistered men and a hero who can't hold the scene. They all disappear into the set dressing. I was left wondering more about the rope used as a banister, a practical solution to termites, rather then caring why the steampunk balloons or sunken buildings fit into any plot. The opening scene where the man answers the door in chest deep water was the start of direction that loves visuals and has no idea how to instruct real actors to tell a story. Yet, this probably outright failed at casting. Like adding Eric Stoltz to any movie rather than Brad Pitt or Sean Connery.

The whole seems like so much dated sophistry and none in a cool way. Think a "Wrinkle in Time" or "Oz, the Great and Powerful" as entertainment level. Any Tim Burton movie w/o Depp and Tim Burton.

It could only be worse if they broke into song. Trust me, that's coming.



Message Replies:
Rarely do these cable / streaming shows -- Fredrick Rourk (posted: 11/5/2019) 
Agree -- Greg (posted: 11/6/2019) 
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