The DaVinci Code
There's no rock on earth big enough that anyone could claim to not, at the least, have heard of The DaVinci Code. Dan Brown's blockbuster book is the world's best selling book after the bible, and I daresay that more people have probably read it from end to end; this both serves and hinders the movie. You see, when a movie has as much buzz around it at the time of release, critics - already leaning toward the negative - tend to skew their reviews in the negative, perhaps reviewing the movie based on expectations rather than reality. On the other hand, having many people who have read the book means, in all likelihood, that they will not only go to see it, but have an understanding of what is going on in the first place. The movie is a little fast paced in explanation, I feel, for someone who has not read it (though perhaps those who have will argue the opposite), and I got the feeling that someone approaching the movie without the background would not necessarily appreciate the subtleties that made the book so endearing. In this regard, I tend to agree with Ron Howard, who in the face of criticism from Cannes, said, "This sounds a little 'hucksterish', but people really respond to the movie better the second time than they do the first time."
I'm not implying that you shouldn't see the movie without having read the book - au contraire, mes amis - just that, as always, the book does a better job explaining than the movie. This is not startling Hollywood news, in fact it's about the oldest and most well-accepted fact in the industry. And so it does not imply the movie is not good or true to the book. It not only sticks quite close to the book (many critics, of course, argue too close), but manages to take a few poetic touches as well. That Saunier's yard is, for example, filled with roses was a very small and admittedly unimportant touch, but something I appreciated. And one of the few somethings I can share without spoiling anything.
In short, the movie itself is fairly well done; it has a certain art to it. The mystery is engrossing, but I worry that it lacks the impact of the book. Comparisons aside, however, I think that someone going and paying attention will quite appreciate the mystery and thrills involved. This is not a movie where you want to go and be thinking about all the stuff you have to get done next week. I'm not implying it's brainy, just that - and perhaps this is my only real complaint when you boil it down - the movie does not do a good enough job of really pulling you in and it may take a little effort on the part of the audience. Otherwise, the direction is artfully done (thank you, Ron Howard), the acting is excellent (particularly Sir Ian McKellan, but I have yet to see him not deserving of his honorific), and I have a soft spot for Audrey Tautou (plus a fair amount of respect for Tom Hanks), so there you have it. Incidentally, if you have not seen Amelie, I highly recommend it when you're in the mood for something different. Audrey Tautou at her finest and in quite a different role. So, in Roman numerals, perhaps there is no V for The DaVinci Code, but I'd not hesititate to give it a III.V. In any case, it is perhaps fitting that "V" is supposedly the symbol for the sacred female... which is how I'm going to finally justify the title of this blog.
First of all, nobody I have talked to has seen this movie. This disturbing fact is shocking to me for many reasons, here are a few:
1) The trailer = awesomeness. If you remember my post from some time ago, this passes all the trailer tests. That means you should see it. That's all. Go watch the trailer yourself here.
2) Natalie Portman. Enough said.
3) Wachowski Brothers. You may know them as the creators of The Matrix. Not good at making sequels, but I think they're due another chance on a new movie given how incredible the original Matrix was.
4) My personal recommendation. The movie may upset you, it may make you feel uneasy, but isn't that better than going to a movie and being bored after? I would go see it again, so you should see it once at least.
5) The Title. It takes guts to name your movie with a title that harkens back to the days of Dial M for Murder and Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. Though I guess we had Attack of the Clones recently, so maybe we're seeing a resurgence of poor titling.
Now I don't mean to say you should see this movie because the rest are not so great. Rather, that I am shocked that so few have seen this movie given the utter lack of competition. And the fact that it is in second run means that you definitely should catch it on the cheap. Oh, and I missed Failure to Launch, which, really... a woman so sadistic that she plays with mens' feelings, gets them to fall for her, or at least get attached enough to move out, and then dumps them? The movie should've taken place 32 years prior, starred Sarah Jessica Parker's parents, and been called Failure to Abort.
Anyway, I have a life to lead (believe it or not) and you have a few movies to see, so I shant keep you. As always, thanks for listening, let me know what you think of either movie or even if I'm wrong about some of my judgements on my "Must Miss List".