Catholic Family Vignettes

A collage of literary snapshots from the life of a large traditional Catholic family


December 10, 2007

‘Nuff said.

The following reviews would leave one to wonder if USCCB film reviewers, Harry Forbes and John Mulderig, actually saw the same movie (BTW, check out what the American Papist has to say!):

The worst crime of a film like this is that not only is it retarded, it expects its audience to be retarded as well.

Walter Chaw
Film Freak Central

The Golden Compass ultimately fails as a film in its broad strokes and inadequate scene development.

Deborah Day
Premiere Magazine

There may be box-office gold from The Golden Compass, but panning for it while viewing is a real day at the mine.

David Elliott
San Diego Union-Tribune

A mishmash of half-baked ideas, loud special-effects and disjointed imagery.

Adam Graham
Detroit News

A movie with characters constantly explaining arcane concepts and only rarely doing anything about them.

Josh Bell
Las Vegas Weekly

This series has promise, but The Golden Compass is a letdown.

Bill Clark

Hampered by its fealty to the book and its madly rushed pace.

Manohla Dargis
New York Times

Golden Compass lacks any real fantastic flair. It is a decent enough feature, but is short of that spell-binding quality that will allow audiences to embrace it.

Bob Bloom
Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)

Almost nothing remains at the end – not a glimmer of mystical inquisition, not a teasing loose-end of space-time speculation – to lure a Pullmanite towards a sequel.

Ethan Alter
Film Journal International

And my personal favorite:

Why is it so joyless?

Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post

Well, Lisa, to answer your question: When you blatantly attempt to destroy “the Authority”, to undermine His Church and to seduce His children, you can pretty much count on an absence of joy. Eliminate the source of all true joy and there is simply nothing left.

And here is the rest of it.

The facts of life…

Overheard by Mr. Tom while at the zoo petting barn:

Charlotte (innocently): Where do the goats lay their eggs?

Gareth (indignant): Charlotte! Goats do not lay eggs…they are born already hatched!

Charlotte (angrily): Yes, they do Gareth! I know they do!

I’m glad we have that straight.
Though I must say, this cardboard cut-out does seem to give credence to Charlottes’s assertion.

(I think it’s supposed to be a snowball…could be an egg…who knows?)

You call this fun?!

I love the Columbus Zoo.

Last Christmas, my dear Grandmother gave the family an annual membership. A very practical gift, since a day’s admission for a family this size costs more than a yearly membership.

Last year, we were delighted to discover that the zoo is open after hours throughout the holiday season. Wild Lights at the Columbus Zoo offers visitors the opportunity to stroll through the park (which is beautifully lit by more than three million lights) and observe the nocturnal activities of the many animals. Vendors selling Bavarian roasted pecans and almonds, hot wassail and cocoa, ice skating and a visit with St. Nick enhance the festive spirit. We attended Wild Lights last year, and the children have been clamoring to go ever since.

So we took them on Saturday night. We invited our dear friend, Tom, to join us. True, the sky was a bit misty and it was very dark and very cold, but hey–that’s part of the fun!

As we approached the park, the traffic was insane! Apparently, our good idea appealed to most of Columbus as well. Parking the car, it was apparent that it was no longer just cold, it was freezing. And it was not just a bit misty, it was raining.

We stood in line. For a very long time. Getting wetter and wetter.

Mr. Tom, with his wry sense of humor says “Oh…I see. This is how you punish the children when they misbehave. You take them to the zoo in the dark and get them very wet and very cold.”

Ha ha.

Once inside the park, things improved. The children were enchanted by the lights, though the crowds were significantly larger than last year.

The good: the beautiful lights, the petting barn, the model trains.

The bad: too much traffic, a large group of obnoxious teenagers, and four little boys who simply couldn’t stop making snowballs and pelting each other.

Oh yeah…we lost Maximilian. My sweet boy is a non-stop “lagger”. He simply will not stay with the group. This is not the first time Max has been “left behind.” He was quickly found by his dad (at the model train station), but not before his panicky mom had alerted park security.

It is a testimony to the hardiness of the children that they do, indeed, call this fun!

Blog at

Up ↑