From the depths of the DVD player came

Elizabeth The Golden Age.

It’s the 16th century. Queen Elizabeth I isn’t married; Mary Queen of Scots is involved in a plot against her; and the Spanish decide to go on a large-scale package tour of England. Never fear. Sir Walter Raleigh is there to be the Queen’s virtual boyfriend and see off the Spanish; and Sir Francis Walsingham is busy thwarting plots against her.

Prettily shot Hollywood version of English history. Well, almost the Holly­wood version. In that, Elizabeth would’ve swung across to the Spanish flagship, the Santo Bistec y Patatas Fritas, dispatched the Duke of Parmalat, and left a box of Milk Tray on the King of Spain’s pillow along with lip­stick marks on his cheek.

The Golden Compass.

Now I understand the comments about The Golden Compass. No, not the hysterical bollocks spouted by the Catholic church, but the comments about the film itself. If you haven’t read at least the first book, much of the film isn’t going to make much sense, which makes the whole thing dis­satis­fying. I knew things weren’t going to go well when the film started by trying to motivate Lyra’s presence in the Tiring Room beyond her natural curiosity.

The threat of sequels is implied, but isn’t going to do anyone any favours. [21.08.14. I think the threat of sequels diminished because of the financial crisis. At least one good thing came from economic disaster.]

Read the books; don’t worry about the film.


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