Its sad that so many people are going to miss the delightful Golden Compass movie. One of the big things that the Magesterium in the movie wants to do is to stop free thinkers and to stop people making decisions on their own......sounds familiar.
Armoured bears, grand adventures to save some friends, truth-telling compasses, great CG- all add up to make a great movie.
I intentionally did not re-read the Golden Compass before seeing this movie. I have read it twice in the past but dont have it memorized like I do with Harry Potter. I remembered the basic storyline but not all the tiny details. I was impressed that they caputred the essence of the story as well as they did.
I am not a big fan of Nicole Kidman. They could have easily picked another actress and I would have been ok. All the other actors were great, including the gorgeous Eva Green as Serefina Pekaala.
Please, give the movie a chance. It is a great story.