Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The Golden Compass - A Prediction

According to boxofficemojo.com, Magorium moved down from number 10 to number 12 in receipts last weekend, and it's only 3 weeks into its release. Unfortunately, I doubt that anyone will figure out that the reason it is so boring is that a fantasy world where there is no God is inherently boring and unsatisfying. Because the Golden Compass (like the Polar Express and so many others) suffers from the same defect, I will go out on a limb and predict that, after a reasonably strong start, it will not break any records. Dust worship (which is apparently the "theology" of the Golden Compass) is just not very credible or very interesting, no matter how much computerized gimcrackery you surround it with.

Before Christ, the best of the pagan world was languishing in jaded boredom, for all its extravagant tales of couplings between humans and the gods who appeared to them as beasts, and of sea monsters, nymphs, fauns, satyrs, and other "magical" stuff, until the astounding truth that the universe was made by a loving God, lost in sin, and personally rescued by its creator in a mysterious and awesome act of sacrifice burst upon it. All the real adventure stories, all the real romances, and all the real dramas, are based on this truth--that heaven and earth are engaged in an epic struggle with eternal consequences, that heaven has already won, but that each person alive is still free to choose which side to join, and everything hangs on that choice. Once you reject that truth, what could possibly be very interesting?

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