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TGR, Gutenberg, Rubric

March 2015



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TGR, Gutenberg, Rubric

I contributed $16 of the $77million

Yep. I could hardly wait to see The DaVinci Code this weekend. Sent DD and her friend to watch Stick It Sunday at noon, and DW and I caught the bargain ($7 per ticket plus $1 per ticket electronic machine charge) matinee. Remarkably, I only had to leave the theater once for a potty break, so I missed a few minutes when they were arriving at the old man's house, about half-way through. Not bad for 2 1/2 hours in the theater.

Now here's the critique: It's a fun movie with enough interesting background that you could watch the movie with the sound turned off and enjoy it completely. This movie showed, among other things, that special effects don't all have to be explosions. I really liked how historic events kind of faded in over the historic settings while they were visiting them, and Langdon's slide presentation during his lecture is one that I'd like to have on my computer. I didn't even mind the various enhancements that they did to Leonardo's "The Last Supper" though I felt they missed a lot of the nuances in the Louvre in order to up the rush they were in to keep from getting caught.

I wasn't as impressed with Ian McKellen's (Sir Leigh Teabring) performance as I was prepared for after hearing how he stole the show. It was good, but not particularly outstanding. All the characters were played pretty much on a par. Tom Hanks was a little stilted at times, especially when he was delivering such melodramatic lines as "This could destroy the church." My experience with people of faith (no matter what the faith is) is that they are capable of ignoring any amount of evidence to the contrary, no matter how compelling. The movie is certainly no threat to any religion on this planet.

Audrey Tautou was pleasant. It was good that they actually cast a French actress in the role. She leant some amount of credibility to the part. I'm always a fan of Jean Reno, but even his performance seemed flat as the script attempted to enhance his part in the conspiracy beyond the realm of what it was in the book. It actually left out some of his handiest bits of detective work. Alfred Molina was a believable bishop, though the survival of such a bloodthirsty subcult (not Opus Dei, but the inner council) is quite contradictory to the character of the sects within the church that they supposedly represent. Paul Bettany as the albino monk Silas was frightening. That is an image that will prevent me from letting my 13-year-old daughter watch the movie.

It's a B movie. A good bit of escapism, just like the book. Frankly, I felt "Angels and Demons," Brown's book immediately preceding this one, was better-written and more original. But, having read all four of Brown's novels, it is hard to imagine a new work by him that exposes anything new or original. He has his one plot, and you can just substitute the names and some pretty creative settings into it to imagine what the next one will be like.

See the movie. It's artwork and imagery are worth the price of a wide-screen viewing. But don't expect your faith to be shaken or to experience any great revelations. It's a fun suspense story, even when you know the ending.


My mother has made the same point about Brown's books. I'll never forget right after I read the Da Vinci Code, Mom was reading Digital Fortress. She was explaining this one scene to me, and it was literally, "The Langdon-type guy did this. Then the Smith (what she called Fache)-type guy did this. Oh, and then the Sophie of the book did this."

It was so funny.

He is very formulaic, but still manages to keep it entertaining. Angels and Demons was probably the best of the four, though.