At the last minute, I found out about a preview screening of The Golden Compass and I braved the snow to see it. Well, it wasn't actually snowing anymore, but at least there was some snow on the ground. Look, it was a grand expedition, okay?
So! I got to see it a week early. That's interesting, isn't it? Sure it is!
And how is it? Well . . . I didn't like it very much, actually. The world is complex enough that there has to be an awful lot of exposition to set things up, and that doesn't leave a lot of room for the story. As a result, there's a stretch where there are several action scenes in a row that are only split up by CGI establishing shots. So I found the whole thing somewhat dissatisfying.
However, it does feature Sam Elliott as an airship captain, and I enjoyed him much better than Robert DeNiro's airship pirate in Stardust. And I certainly found things to enjoy, like the presence of the word "orphink". Of course, the main reason I liked that is that it made me think about the Robin Williams Popeye movie, which I recognize is not for everyone.