I gave in and went and saw The Golden Compass. I had pretty much decided that I was not going to bother, but when our local (i.e. not a chain or mega theatre) theatre decided to show it over the weekend I gave in to support local business and arts. In retrospect, I wish I had given them my $4 as a donation and spent the evening elsewhere. The Golden Compass film was terrible and butchered the book. I also left flabbergasted at why anyone would be so terrible upset with the movie. 
A while ago another blogger I read (and unfortunately cannot remember) posted about the film adaptations of books, and how – and this was specifically with the movie industry that has cropped up entirely dedicated to Jane Austen – the adaptation also includes the director’s, screen writer’s, actor’s, etc. interpretation. Thus, any adaptation you see has the possibility of being very different from your own or the author’s interpretation. (Which I suppose makes one wonder what Jane Austen would think about all of the films representing her novels?) Admittedly, some of my favorite film adaptations have very interesting interpretations such as Akira Kurosawa’s Ran an adaptation of Shakespeare’s King Lear.
Regardless, the movie was disappointing and I now have new reservations to see any more film adaptations of books I have enjoyed. Granted, the dæmons were lovely and it is always intriguing to see the visual or landscape representations. The film though quite distanced itself from the plot and made the film feel very cut up. A good number of the scenes also seemed directly pulled from Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. To cap it off, the song played over the credits was performed by one of my favorite artists (Kate Bush) and it was fairly terrible too.
 I realize that people are “concerned” that the movie will lead to the book being read. However, if I had never read the book and only seen the movie I would have to conclude that the book was rubbish and would not bother.