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    • CommentAuthorSovawanea
    • CommentTimeAug 1st 2007
     
    Anyone else read the His Dark Materials Trilogy by Stephenson?

    The first one is coming out in movie form this December. I'm not entirely sure I agree with casting, since it has Nicole Kidman. Tilda Swinton somewhat reprising her role from the Chronicles of Narnia would have been a much better choice. It will be exciting to see what they do with the material. The books are much weightier and far more radical towards Christianity than Narnia.
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      CommentAuthorSpencer
    • CommentTimeAug 1st 2007
     
    By Pullman you mean?

    I now have zero hope for any book-based movies. I don't care how truthful they remain to the book, I just want a good movie.

    I didn't like His Dark Materials triology. I read the first two and then half of the third. Everything was so obviously tacked on, as if the author was pulling stuff out of his ass as he wrote. I prefer books by authors who have planned the plot(s). They usually end up making more sense and flow naturally.

    Another example of a forced story: the Dark Tower series. Didn't Stephen King himself say that he never really knew how the story was going to end until he got there? Ugh.

    But back to His Dark Materials. Before I read the first book, I was told by a friend that the triology really isn't that offensive to Christianity or religion. I've read the same opinion on message boards. These people are naive. His Dark Materials takes a harsh stance against God and organized religion. Pullman basically says that God doesn't even know what the hell is going on with humans.
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      CommentAuthortallman
    • CommentTimeAug 2nd 2007
     
    I've never read His Dark Materials, but I saw the preview for THe Dark is Rising (I think), and it looks pretty stupid. To me, at least, but I accept the fact that marketing often sucks for this type of thing. Supposedly there were a few children's book adaptation movies last year that were horribly marketed and made them seem like Narnia when they really weren't.

    I agree that series with a plan are generally much better though. Dark Tower was so annoying in that respect. Plus, he wrote himself into the story, which is just weird (though I have to admit, those scenes were actually very entertaining). At least he admits he had no plan. This is part of the reason I really liked the Harry Potter series - it was clear that Rowling had a plan for the series.

    And Potter's adaptations have been getting better too. Well, the third through fifth movies were all a lot better than the first two. Part of that is that those books were better than the first two, but still, the filmmaking is definitely better.

    ~tallman
    • CommentAuthorSovawanea
    • CommentTimeAug 2nd 2007
     
    Ah, yes it is Pullman. I shouldn't make posts before going to work as my brain is not fully functional that early in the morning.

    I don't think it's my favorite of all time, but I did like the trilogy. I wasn't really bothered by the blasphemy aspects, since I'm not really religious. If I understood particle physics more, I might have been more upset by the leaps of artistic license taken. As it was, he does sort of wrap up all the elements in the end. I left the novels feeling not so much frustrated by the lack of a plan or poor flow, but with a feeling that it was all a bit too pat. And while through the middle the tone was grim, desperate and cynical towards faith...it actually ended up kind of smarmy, in a more broadly mystical way.

    I ended up caring about what happened to most of the characters and while many were sort of one-dimensional, several developed in not conventionally expected ways. For children's lit, I think it was pretty well done.

    I haven't seen anything about The Dark is Rising and I don't know what book it is based on. It does seem like we are in a glut of fantasy and children's lit being adapted to the big screen. For every Stardust there will probably more than the fair share of movies just as bad or worse as The Last Mimzy. I think if Hollywood wants to make certain types of movies in cycles, I prefer this particular one to a straight Romantic Comedy or Action cycle.
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      CommentAuthorSpencer
    • CommentTimeAug 2nd 2007
     
    The Dark is Rising is a separate series of books by Susan Cooper. I hate the Dark Is Rising series 100 times more than His Dark Materials trilogy. The characters in Cooper's books make almost no choices of their own. It's all deus ex machina. Everything just falls into place. Boooooring.

    But, she incorporates lots of old myths from the British Isles. Those parts are the most interesting but don't make me like the overall story any more.
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      CommentAuthorfoucault
    • CommentTimeAug 8th 2007
     
    I remember reading the Dark is Rising series when I was much younger, but never being able to find the last book and finish it. I enjoyed that it incorporated old British myths, at least to the extent that I understood that then, but I don't remember it well enough to comment on the plot structure or character motivations (or lack thereof).

    It's a series I always wanted to go back and reread, but haven't for a couple of reasons. a) I could never think of who the author was, or what the series was called, making it rather difficult to find, b) I was about 10 or 11 when I read it, so I always had this feeling that it was aimed at more of a preteen audience, and would ultimately be a disappointing reread.