by INLANDER STAFF & r & & r & THE GOLDEN COMPASS & r & If it weren't for the wondrous visuals on display in this first film installment of the His Dark Materials trilogy, this would only merit a "wait for the DVD" rating. The too-confounding story traces the adventures of young Lyra (Dakota Blue Richards), the only person who can read the title Compass. She and her shape-shifting daemon must go up against the evils of Mrs. Coulter (Nicole Kidman) and get a giant ice bear (voice of Ian McKellen) on her side, as she searches for a way to travel between worlds. More is coming in two planned sequels. (ES) Rated PG-13
The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.