We went to see the film Golden Compass last night, and really enjoyed it. Generally speaking, Lyra's world was pretty close to the way I imagined it from reading the books. The alethiometer was beautifully designed, and the daemons worked well too, especially Pantalaimon and Hester. Also Nicole Kidman was very scary as Mrs Coulter (though her monkey daemon wasn't quite how I imagined him), Eva Green was excellent as Serafina Pekkala, and all the casting was rather inspired, I thought. The CGI was 99% convincing, apart from one aerial shot of London (slightly blurred, but I notice there is a Gherkin in Lyra's world too) and the fight scene between Iorek Byrnisson and Ragnar (not as much blood as one might have expected, but perhaps that's just as well in a children's film).
Apparently the Vatican has complained that the film is anti-Christian, but I say, if the Catholic Church recognises itself in the mirror held up to it by the Magisterium, maybe it should do something to clean up its image. Stop telling people what to think, and people like Philip Pullman will stop writing unflattering portraits of your religion. Note what a good press witches (nonconformists and freethinkers all) get from the book and the film. If Christianity had stuck to the radical message of Jesus instead of transmogrifying itself into the heir to the Roman Empire, then it wouldn't bear such a close resemblance to the Magisterium.
It is your values that count, not what you believe.