Friday, May 19, 2006

Da Vinci Code

The Da Vinci Code (Director: Ron Howard)

For now, I'll be back to an old-school style of review as I learn my way around New York (story coming later).

The routinely chart-topping bestseller from Dan Brown has what many bestsellers have, controversy--Everything from its content, which discusses the head religious figures in charge trying to destroy evidence that Jesus wasn't divine to the prose of it--book stiffs cringed at it, absolutely hated this book for the two-page chapters and descriptions and encyclopedic discussion of symbology and so on and so forth. For me, the book was a mere kick, a fun way to waste time for a day or so. The mystery lagged as red herrings dominated the book--but each red herring contained a different way of thinking in leading to the ultimate goal of the story--finding the Holy Grail. For its puzzle, The Da Vinci Code was fun as hell--clues containing multiple meanings and all fitting into a well-realized structure. Prose be damned.

The movie version comes in with a bit of baggage, as critics have already ravaged it for being dull and long. I would say that the movie version is absolutely, without a doubt, made for people who have read and liked the book. No other person coming into this movie will probably like it, at all. And the people out there who look for every minute detail from a book to appear in the movie will probably hate it, too. Yet, given those parameters, there will be a great many who love this film.

Is it long? Hell yes. Even the quick nature of the book led to a lot of lag time. Going to different countries, not finding anything, it lent itself to a start-stop nature. And here, when the film reaches its climax, it still has about thirty minutes left to wind down as Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) and Sophie Neveu (Audrey Tautou) search another red herring before the truth is revealed (my favorite part of the book, not being sarcastic, was the ending--as is with the movie).

So it's not the best of movies, and it really isn't a mindless time-waster, either. It's for a specific group. And if you like good acting--Ian McKellan (always good), Jean Reno, Paul Bettany, and especially, of course, Alfred Molina lend ample support. Hanks is OK--the script calls for some strange actions of character, and Tautou is OK too besides being insanely hot.

All for now. Will return later.

4 Comments:

At 5/19/2006 04:14:00 PM, Blogger Jonathan said...

Good to see you got back to the net so quickly. Hope everything is going well.

I guess I'm one of those book stiffs because, as I have stated on numerous posts, didn't care much for the book. Although all of the symbiology and the two page chapters didn't bother me that much; I just didn't like the way Brown writes. But I think there's a good story in there, and I'm curious as hell to see what Ron Howard and Akiva Goldsman did with it. So, I'll probably be checking it out; maybe I'll write something up coming from someone who didn't care for the novel.

 
At 5/20/2006 05:47:00 AM, Blogger Reel Fanatic said...

Interesting stuff ... I won't be going to see this one for various reasons, so I've been living vicariously through people's responses to it .. sounds like it does have some great performances, but poor Audrey Tautou just looks vaguely annoyed in all the press materials I've seen

 
At 5/20/2006 10:11:00 AM, Blogger Jonathan said...

Tautou probably picked the wrong film to make her big splash in Hollywood. With so much controversy (no matter how stupid you think that idea is, it's there) and focus on other things like Tom Hanks hair for instance, she's going to get lost in the shuffle. I'm not sure she's going to translate well to the American fans. And to be honest, it's probably because she's not that great of an actress. I've seen plenty of her films overseas, and while she is cute as hell, she really doesn't bring much to the table. Of course either does Cameron Diaz, but she seems to get by on her good looks pretty well, so who knows.

 
At 5/21/2006 04:32:00 PM, Blogger MaraJade said...

I enjoyed this movie, but hated the major change they made. I don't want to say where it was since that might give something away, but it really annoyed me and I basically threw my hands up in the theater and sat there with my mouth open for five minutes wondering why they have to change things all the time...

I loved Audrey in "Amelie". I haven't seen any of her other films, but I fell in love with her in that one. I hate French accents (being french I guess that might be a bit odd) and I'm not a big fan of the way the language sounds, yet I love listening to her talk. So go figure.

I think I actually want to see it again just to take it all in properly. i.e. without sixteen-year old girls sitting behind me giggling at anything semi-serious (so they did a LOT of giggling....)

 

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