Da Vinci Code on film

nikolai

First Post
I enjoyed watching this. It's been slated by the critics, I think for three reasons:

(1) Because it's the definitive example of Holywood trying to cash in on a big-name property.
(2) For being dull (lots of watching people solve puzzles).
(3) For having no character development, and being a bit melodramatic.

It's perfectly true that there are lots of very talented people attached to this film, and that they're all working well below their ability, presumably for the money. You do get the sense that their time would be better spent doing something more highbrow. (I was stuck by just how amazing Paul Bettany would have been as Elric, and also by the tragedy that thanks to this film he's out of contention for the role.)

But I enjoyed it. Perhaps you can complain about the shallowness of the characters if you only watch stuff like A Beautiful Mind and Brokeback Mountain, and were expecting something similar, but I've willingly gone into the cinema to watch stuff like Van Helsing and Stealth. I suppose some people would have found the puzzle solving dull, but I enjoyed the way the special effects montages were used to liven things up. They were certainly cleverer and more interesting than the puzzles.

So I liked it. I'll certainly watch it again when it's released on DVD. I think what I liked the most was that it was different. I've seen so many cookie-cutter action films and thrillers, they all sort of blur together. At least this was trying to do its own thing.
 

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Jdvn1

Hanging in there. Better than the alternative.
Ebert said it was a good movie and that the book sucked.

I watched the movie (kind of by accident) yesterday and thought it was pretty bad. I didn't read the book, so I was judging the movie on its own.

I thought the main characters weren't believable ("Hi! I'm your friend now! Let's go on an adventure!"), many of the side actors were over-acted ("I've been your friend for decades, but I'm afraid of you now because of something I saw on TV"), the history factually incorrect in some parts, and many of the lines and plot twists were predictable.

In short, if the movie is better than the book like Ebert claimed it was, then I'm shocked at the book. Either way, I'm not reading it.
 

Insight

Adventurer
Thanks for a thread that's actually ABOUT the movie. Please don't let this thread devolve into a religious discussion and get locked.
 


Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
I saw it today, and enjoyed it a lot. It's not an academy award winning film or anything, but well worth seeing. Some good action scenes (I loved the backwards chase in the Smart Car). Some good acting from the lead characters. Some good suspenseful moments. And I really liked the music. Overall a fun, pleasant film.
 

Hypersmurf

Moderatarrrrh...
nikolai said:
(I was stuck by just how amazing Paul Bettany would have been as Elric, and also by the tragedy that thanks to this film he's out of contention for the role.)

A couple of years ago, in one of those perennial "Who would you cast in the Dragonlance movie?" threads, someone proposed Paul Bettany for Raistlin.

My jaw dropped - I hadn't been that 'struck' by one of those proposals for a long time.

(That said, I recently saw a page where someone was putting actors to Song of Ice and Fire roles. Many of them strike a chord :) )

-Hyp.
 

Taelorn76

First Post
Saw the movie last night. I an enjoyed it. There were some parts that were a little slow, but over all the movie was well done. Paul Bettany was great as Silas.
I would give it 4 stars out of 5
 

Richards

Legend
I haven't read the book, and wasn't particularly anxious to go see the movie, but my wife wanted to see it (she's read the book twice), and since she asks to go see so few movies, we went. It was okay, but I felt my 2 hours and 40 minutes could have been better spent doing something else.

My big problems with the movie were
some rather predictable "plot twists" (I knew Magneto's butler was up to no good from the first I spotted him, for instance, and that the French chick was the direct descendant they were all looking for) and a completely unbelievable start: the French chick's grandfather gets shot by the albino monk, and has the presence of mind - not to mention the time - to figure out several anagrams in his head, write them all out so they only fluoresce under ultraviolet light, leave clues at several different paintings, scramble up the Fibonacci sequence combo to the bank vault, strip himself naked, paint a circle on the floor and a pentagram on his chest in his own blood, and only then allow himself to die. All of that would probably have taken me several hours to figure out and implement, even without the bullet hole in my torso! (I guess he must have put all of his points into Constitution - but then how was his Intelligence high enough to figure out all those anagrams in his head while dying? :))

I also didn't like all the times we see some conspirator or other talking to somebody on the phone and have no idea who they're talking to. Yeah, I know they wanted to keep the suspense, but I found it nearly impossible to keep track of the various factions and what was going on. It also seemed like the identity of "the Teacher" was not only contrived, but decided upon right then at that time in the film, just so it would be a surprise - I'm still not convinced of the Teacher's motivations, and they seem to contradict his earlier behavior in the film.

All in all, I think I liked National Treasure much better, despite generally preferring Tom Hanks over Nicholas Cage.

Johnathan
 
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Klaus

First Post
Hypersmurf said:
A couple of years ago, in one of those perennial "Who would you cast in the Dragonlance movie?" threads, someone proposed Paul Bettany for Raistlin.

My jaw dropped - I hadn't been that 'struck' by one of those proposals for a long time.

(That said, I recently saw a page where someone was putting actors to Song of Ice and Fire roles. Many of them strike a chord :) )

-Hyp.
If Paul Bettany plays Raistlin, y'think he could pump up and also play Caramon? Or should we get Christian Bale to pull a Machinist/Batman Bagins?
 

satori01

First Post
I never read the Da Vinci Code, but I did read Angels and Demons.

I can not say I like Dan Brown as a writer. I give him high marks for the creative use of Art History and Religous Conspiracy history, but I find him disapointing as a wordsmith. Brown's writting does not sing to me, I find his use of language dull. However his books are easy to read, and many people who in general do not like reading, like his books because they are facile.

In regards to the movie, I find Ron Howard to be the Dan Brown of the screen. Beyond Apollo 13, and maybe Cocoon, I can not say I have loved any of Howard's films. His films are not bad, but neither are they really inovative or that engaging. Ultimately, Da Vinci code as a movie did not work for me, because it was not suspenseful, I never felt the character were in real danger, and I did not buy the introduction between Sophie and Langdon.
Moreover some of the visual techniques that Howard uses gives away the story. The emphasizing of the Pyramids in the Louvre, the very explict showing of the Opus Dei Button on Reno's lapel, gave away huge sections of the plot. I also did not find the phantasmigorical visualizing scenes to be effective at depicting thought.

Couple those aspects with the predictableness of Dan Brown's writting, (likable and effective, strong territary characters always turn out to be manical, insane, but good intentioned madman villians), and your have a mystery/suspense movie that is neither
mysterious or suspensful.
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
Wow. This movie did GREAT this weekend. 13th biggest opening weekend ever, beating out all three Lord of the Rings movies, and making $77,000,000 for the opening weekend.
 

KenM

Banned
Banned
I just got back from seeing it. I thought it was decent. Not great thou. I have not read the book. IMO it could have used some kind of action closer to the end of the film. I also thought that Hanks' character
Should have go right to the US embassy once he found the tracking device in his pocket and through the cops off. I am glad thet they did not do the standard hollywood end of having Hanks and the girl hook up at the end.
 

paradox42

First Post
Mistwell said:
Wow. This movie did GREAT this weekend. 13th biggest opening weekend ever, beating out all three Lord of the Rings movies, and making $77,000,000 for the opening weekend.
Just goes to show the adage about no publicity being bad publicity is true. :)

I saw it today myself. IMO it didn't suck, even though there were some significant plot holes and less-than-believable character moments. But it presented the ideas in an interesting way, and I must admit I felt a tingle of vicarious excitement when they first got into the secret library of records. It was worth a matinee showing.

Now, next weekend will come the movie that's hopefully worth full price! X3, here you come...
 

Cthulhudrew

First Post
nikolai said:
(I was stuck by just how amazing Paul Bettany would have been as Elric, and also by the tragedy that thanks to this film he's out of contention for the role.)

Why would he be out of contention for the role?
 

Jdvn1

Hanging in there. Better than the alternative.
Mistwell said:
Some good action scenes (I loved the backwards chase in the Smart Car).
I didn't see any justification for being such a good driver. I thought it was a silly scene.
 

Jdvn1

Hanging in there. Better than the alternative.
Richards said:
All of that would probably have taken me several hours to figure out and implement, even without the bullet hole in my torso! (I guess he must have put all of his points into Constitution - but then how was his Intelligence high enough to figure out all those anagrams in his head while dying? :))
While I also think it was silly, I'm pretty sure the shot wasn't fatal. I thought he killed himself because he just betrayed his god, but before that he just left clues for a master-puzzle-solver to figure out. Since he was a great puzzle guy himself, he probably didn't have to think so much about the puzzles. And the bank vault combination was likely done previously.

The Teacher, and the cop, could have implemented whatever plans they had laid out much better than they had actually done. I thought they were poorly done.
 

Jdvn1

Hanging in there. Better than the alternative.
satori01 said:
Moreover some of [Ron Howard's] visual techniques that Howard uses gives away the story.
I think Howard tries to be a mis-en-scene director, but he's clearly not.
 

Starman

First Post
Cthulhudrew said:
Why would he be out of contention for the role?

Fairly well-known actor taking another role as an albino, especially another one that isn't, uh, very nice? Yeah, probably not.
 

Cthulhudrew

First Post
Starman said:
Fairly well-known actor taking another role as an albino, especially another one that isn't, uh, very nice? Yeah, probably not.

*shrug*

I don't know- all kinds of actors play the same roles constantly. Aside from his turn in Psycho, I can't think of any role that Vince Vaughn has played that hasn't been loud, sarcastic humor guy. Harrison Ford's roles lately have all been pretty much the same.

I wouldn't rule it out. Then again, the odds of an Elric movie getting made seem to be pretty slim. The rights have, as I understand it, been passed around for ages now.
 


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