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HTF BluRay Review: The Golden Compass

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Sam Posten, Apr 28, 2008.

  1. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    [​IMG]
     
  2. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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  3. Eric F

    Eric F Well-Known Member

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    Sam, thanks for the review. With a recent firmware update the PS3 is now able to decode DTS-HR and MA internally, so most Blu-Ray owners will be able to take advantage of DTS-MA tracks.
     
  4. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Well-Known Member

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    Anything about the so-called international version? Or is that just a figment of our imagination?
     
  5. Sam Davatchi

    Sam Davatchi Well-Known Member

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    Just saw this on BD few days ago and I enjoyed it a lot. I enjoyed it more than Narnia and I’m more interested to see the rest of this trilogy. About the controversy, I understand that people could get mad, I completely see it in the movie and that’s why I enjoyed it more than Narnia! [​IMG]

    I also enjoyed a lot the extras. I like extras like these where you can sit back and watch them from start to end like a movie, where they tell a story. I hate extras where you have to click a thousand times!
     
  6. Dave H

    Dave H Well-Known Member

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  7. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    This is of course how I viewed it. However just about every OTHER BD deck out there is incapable of doing this, including my own Panasonic, and configuring the PS3 to make sure you have the PCM/bitstream flag set right is not trivial and something many people, including your intrepid reviewer, got wrong the first few times they tried.

    Regarding the comparison to Narnia I really don't know what to say without starting a post that could be book lenght exhaustive, so the following should be considered an overly simplistic wrap up of how I feel on it: I have read both Narnia and LOTR straight through multiple times and even took a university class with a famed Tolkien Scholar (Dean Rutledge of GWU) that compared and contrasted the two styles. One thing that was critical to this comparison is that Lewis clearly embraced allegory and Tolkien vehemently rejected it. While I havent read the books that this film is based on I think that adding how it handles allegorical stances on modern religion and politics could be quite interesting when viewed against the poles of Lewis and Tolkien as a backdrop... I think Pullman found it FUN to poke and prod and tweak the nose of Christianity with this work but I havent really analyzed how serious about it he really is and I certainly wouldnt get all worked up over it if he was seriously making some kind of blatant message in all if it. It's a book, it's designed from the start to make us think, and you as a reader are free to agree or disagree after all.
     
  8. CoreyII

    CoreyII Well-Known Member

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    Good Review Sam, very informative, thank you very much.

    I thought Sam's review might prompt me to give this film a second chance, but I'll be skipping the Golden Compass altogether. I saw this film in the theaters and found it to be jumbled mess and Sam's review only re-confirmed my feelings towards this film.

    I found The Golden Compass to be one of the worst films of the year and it shouldn't have won over the Transformers for the best visual effects Oscar.
     
  9. Sam Davatchi

    Sam Davatchi Well-Known Member

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    No, I liked the story, the idea. The oppressive force who wants to keep the people from the truth.
     
  10. Lance Rumbolt

    Lance Rumbolt Well-Known Member

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    Sam, Try reading the book you will love it if you thought this was good. The film is a major disappointment I hated it, don't get me wrong it looks lovely but the choices that were made to bring it to the big screen are horrendous really really bad choices. The film is a real dumbed down version with events placed in different orders and chracters with the life sucked ot of them. Really read the books they are so much better.
     
  11. Eric F

    Eric F Well-Known Member

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    Well, considering PS3s make up the majority of Blu-Ray players by far, and it's no harder to get DTS-MA output than True-HD output to work (which has been around since the beginning). Yes, a little confusing at first, but once you figure out how to get the information at the top of the screen, you can't go wrong.
     
  12. Travis Brashear

    Travis Brashear Well-Known Member

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    I rather enjoyed the film (will be reading the books after finishing the HARRY POTTER series--I'm on ORDER OF THE PHOENIX now--and the Narnia series), in no small part, like Sam, because of its ideas (the reverse of CHRONICLES OF NARIA, of which I enjoyed everything but its core ideas). So much of it was spot on--casting, effects, photography--that its only real sin (a substantial one, I'll grant) was the spastic, shoddy editing. I drool at the thought of a director's cut...
     
  13. Yee-Ming

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    Sometimes, it strikes me that with complex books, better to watch the movie first, then read the book? I haven't read Northern Lights yet, but plan to shortly.

    I say this from my personal experience with Dune, which I watched in the cinemas before having read the book. It was incredibly bewildering, but still enjoyable as a spectacle. After reading the book, I could see why fans of the book were not enthused by the movie, and the necessary choices made to reduce its complexity down for a two-hour movie, but since I carried none of that knowledge, I was able to just appreciate the production values, special effects, and the stripped-down plot (even if confusing).

    Once I'd read the book, the spectacle still was not detracted from, even if I could now see the editorial problems.

    I suspect I will feel the same way with Golden Compass after reading the book: again it's a gorgeous film, the basic plot is all right, and knowing at least some of the controversy surrounding the books vide the Magisterium, I at least knew that had been diluted, but again since I haven't read the books, this did not detract significantly from my movie-watching experience.

    In contrast, with books I read first, and later watched the movie, the movie often suffers from the "this was left out, that was changed" mindset, even if on its own the movie looks great. One obvious example off the top of my head would be Starship Troopers.
     
  14. Lance Rumbolt

    Lance Rumbolt Well-Known Member

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    I tell you what, it's not so much that I'm a real fan of every little thing ending up on screen it's just that if your going to do it, do it right.

    Children of Men is one of my favourite books but it was also one of my favourite films of 2006. No if you've read that book you know that it is a completely different beast to the film but still just as valid, again with the third Harry Potter azkhaban, cracking film lot's of things missing from the book. the difference between these and the golden compass is that were done well.

    You mention the Magisterium that name isn't mentioned until right near the end of the book but in this film it is completely over used, just terrible terrible.

    I was gutted, I really wanted to like this film, I really did think it was a massive opportunity missed and I will completely pass on this Blu Ray.

    Oh and one more thing, don't even think about getting me started on how this mess ended..

    Cheers

    Lance.
     
  15. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Well-Known Member

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    I have it on rental from Blockbuster, but haven't watched it just yet. If the kids like it enough, I guess we'll probably buy it at some point though I get the feeling that it probably will fall short for my own enjoyment given what's been said about it so far.

    BTW, I did just watch The Prestige (also on BD rental from Blockbuster), which also got mixed reviews (but probably for different reasons), and I liked it more than I expected. Yeah, a bit more convoluted than ideal (and the 1st Act could probably be made easier to follow w/out losing any impact), but the more I think about it, the more I think I might want to own it on BD.

    _Man_
     
  16. Tino

    Tino Premium
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    ok.....how?[​IMG]
     
  17. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Well-Known Member

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    Not sure what you're actually asking Eric, but if you mean that you didn't know the PS3 can do DTS-HD/MA now (just like it could do Dolby TrueHD by decoding to MPCM for passing via HDMI), well, yeah, the latest software update (from a couple weeks ago) makes it possible now. [​IMG]

    _Man_
     
  18. Travis Brashear

    Travis Brashear Well-Known Member

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    I could be wrong but I think he may be asking how you enable DTS-HD/MA for any such encoded Blu-ray once you've made the software update...
     
  19. Tino

    Tino Premium
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    Bingo[​IMG]
     
  20. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Well-Known Member

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    Seems to work the same way as for Dolby TrueHD as far as I can tell though I can't confirm it since I don't have an HDMI prepro/receiver. If you know how to get Dolby TrueHD working on the PS3, I'd think it works the same for DTS-HD/MA.

    FWIW, I do see the variable bitrate showing for DTS-HD/MA tracks on my PS3's info display (instead of the 1.5Mbps DTS core).

    _Man_
     

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