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A Rare Movie Review — Why Now?
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A Rare Movie Review

I don’t go to theaters anymore because the “megaplex” has become more of a large living room with a big screen television than a real theater, and the popcorn isn’t real. I long for the days of my youth when the theater was huge and the ingredients in the popcorn bucket were butter, popcorn, butter, and salt with extra butter available on request.

When listening to the BBC coverage of the Cannes Film Festival last night I was intrigued by the coverage of Opie Taylor’s new film, The DaVinci Code. While unable to go into detail because of a non-disclosure agreement, Vincent Dowd felt the film “verges on the mediocre”, but didn’t quite make it.

Obviously our own entertainment reporter, Mustang Bobby, scanned the initial reviews in The DaVinci Hose and finds that the movie is panning out, not a good thing.

Caroline Briggs in her formal BBC review essentially says it has all of the vices and none of the virtues of the novel.

The consensus seems to be that the villains are the best part of the movie.


1 norbizness { 05.17.06 at 3:23 pm }

Well, Ron Howard is a shitty, shitty filmmaker. So middlebrow and bland it makes your teeth hurt.

2 Bryan { 05.17.06 at 3:44 pm }

It isn’t exactly a surprise that a movie from a book written by an amazingly dull person [from British coverage of the recent trial] brought to the screen by Opie Taylor/Richie Cunningham starring Forrest Gump wouldn’t exactly be a barn burner.

If they had given the film to Ridley Scott and given the lead to Alan Rickman it might have been worth the ticket.

3 Steve Bates { 05.17.06 at 3:54 pm }

Somebody please tell Stella. Otherwise, I’m destined to see the movie.

I just finished the book; it is not as bad as I had feared, and no worse than a dozen other similar adventure novels… episodic, not very multithreaded and mostly devoid of character development, but plot-driven to provide some satisfaction. The only thing different in this book is the frequency of digressions into obscure historical or historical-fictional oddities, and I cannot imaging how they’re going to do that in a movie without boring an audience. Unlike a novel, a film has about 100-120 minutes to make its point; long explanations do not help meet that deadline, and movies that extend it do so at risk of their box-office numbers.

4 Steve Bates { 05.17.06 at 3:57 pm }

Oops. Make that “imagine.” I guess I have “imaging” on the brain for some reason.

BTW, I concur wholeheartedly. Truth in advertising compels me to label my snack “butter with popcorn.”

5 Bryan { 05.17.06 at 4:23 pm }

Apparently this “magnum opie” is two and a half hours, 150 minutes, with the digressions introduced as flashbacks, oh, and one of the many problems that albinos have is extremely poor vision cause by the lack of iris color with its tie to focusing and light control.

6 oldwhitelady { 05.17.06 at 10:41 pm }

Then why are all those nuts in arms about it? I might go see it, just to go. Maybe I can get a good nap.

7 Bryan { 05.17.06 at 11:19 pm }

OWL, because some people are so thin-skinned they don’t see that taking notice of fiction increases its importance. If they had ignored the book, it would probably have faded into history.

This was the second book about this, as we learned from the copyright infringement case in Britain, but no one noticed the first book making the same claims.

8 Steve Bates { 05.18.06 at 12:20 am }

The specifics of the myth recounted in the novel may be true or they may be nonsense; I doubt there’s really any way of knowing, in the real world rather than in the world the novel constructs.

But Brown gets one thing right: if there were surviving independent documentation of the real history of Jesus, the more fanatical among Christians (including but certainly not limited to the more aggressive sects within the Catholic church) would go to any lengths to suppress it. I haven’t personally met anyone who murdered on behalf of their religious beliefs, but I have met people who insist on full control of the world’s knowledge of figures and events described in the various versions of the Christian bible, people with zero tolerance for any deviation from their version of the myth. Brown’s fanatics may not be modeled on specific real people, but they are plausible to me.

At this point, I hereby invoke the Terry Pratchett quote in your site’s masthead.

9 Bryan { 05.18.06 at 1:05 am }

Steve, I personally know about a half dozen Gospels that didn’t make the cut for the canon. There are all kinds of theories about the people who wrote the various books.

There is plenty of documentation to start a conspiracy, but if you really believe, why would you care?

Oh, yes, we have more than enough examples of religious extremists in the world to make that part of his story real and contemporary. A Muslim lawyer just opened fire in a Turkish court this week because the court insists on separation of religion and state, which is why that quote is there on the sidebar.

10 Len Cleavelin { 05.18.06 at 7:07 am }

brought to the screen by Opie Taylor/Richie Cunningham…

Or, as Eddie Murphy dubbed him (when Howard guest hosted SNL during Murphy’s stint with the Not Ready For Prime Time Players):