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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

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