babble home
rabble.ca - news for the rest of us
today's active topics


Post New Topic  Post A Reply
FAQ | Forum Home
  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» babble   » right brain babble   » culture   » Da Vince Code disappoints critics

Email this thread to someone!    
Author Topic: Da Vince Code disappoints critics
Jimmy Brogan
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3290

posted 17 May 2006 01:32 PM      Profile for Jimmy Brogan   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
After a months long build-up of hype the producers of The Da Vince Code have finally screened the film for critics. The film hadn't even been screened for test audiences that are used to tweak a film before release. This has led many to speculate the film is a dog.

At the screening today in Cannes, in front of about 1000 critics, the film's conclusion was met not with applause but cat-calls and the European booo - whistles.

Variety calls it stodgy and grim

quote:

By TODD MCCARTHY

A pulpy page-turner in its original incarnation as a huge international bestseller has become a stodgy, grim thing in the exceedingly literal-minded film version of "The Da Vinci Code." Tackling head-on novelist Dan Brown's controversy-stirring thriller hinging on a subversively revisionist view of Jesus Christ's life, director Ron Howard and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman have conspired to drain any sense of fun out of the melodrama, leaving expectant audiences with an oppressively talky film that isn't exactly dull, but comes as close to it as one could imagine with such provocative material; result is perhaps the best thing the project's critics could have hoped for. Enormous public anticipation worldwide will result in explosive B.O. at the start in near-simultaneous release in most international territories, beginning May 17 in some countries -- day-and-date with the official Cannes opening-night preem -- and May 19 in the U.S. and elsewhere.


So far a miserable 18% on the Tomatometer

[ 19 May 2006: Message edited by: Jimmy Brogan ]


From: The right choice - Iggy Thumbscrews for Liberal leader | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
eau
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 10058

posted 17 May 2006 02:26 PM      Profile for eau        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I loved the book, it was a great read, but sometimes you just can't make a movie out of a great book because the screen is too small and a couple of hours too short. When the topic surrounds Da Vinci and whether Christ was divine , the topic is likely even too big for Hollywood.

[ 17 May 2006: Message edited by: eau ]


From: BC | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
Grizzled Wolf
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 12285

posted 17 May 2006 04:50 PM      Profile for Grizzled Wolf     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I found the book to be overly simplistic, and the plot lines were soooo obvious. My wife referred to it as "Foucault's Pendulum Lite" - a great way to summarise it.
From: Wherever they send me - currently lovely Edmonton | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 19 May 2006 08:58 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Holy, did the movie ever get trashed this morning on CBC radio's Metro Morning here in Toronto. He was saying that the female lead's role throughout the movie was basically to say, "What do you mean?" and then to regurgitate all the lectures that Hanks and other male leads in the movie were saying. The book was better than that. He said it was just about impossible to sit through because it was pretty much just a bunch of ponderous lectures. And by the time the action scene happened (and he said the action scene could only be called that in the very loosest sense), you're so confused and bored that you don't know what on earth is happening or why. And apparently the "twist" at the end was "apparent from the ten minute mark".

That's too bad - I did enjoy the book. It was total pulp fiction, but I couldn't put it down. Guess I should save my money when it comes to the movie. Sounds like it's not even worth a rental.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Sanityatlast
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 12414

posted 19 May 2006 10:57 AM      Profile for Sanityatlast        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Grizzled Wolf:
I found the book to be overly simplistic, and the plot lines were soooo obvious. My wife referred to it as "Foucault's Pendulum Lite" - a great way to summarise it.

Excellent review. Complex caracters are a thing of the past in most literature. They are dumbed down to non-animated cartoon characters.


From: Alberta | Registered: Apr 2006  |  IP: Logged
Steve Tree
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 12554

posted 19 May 2006 02:48 PM      Profile for Steve Tree     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I should state up front that I haven't read the book, but I have discussed it in some length with people who have, and the sense that I've gotten from those who have is that it's a kind of a styllistic cross-breed of historical fiction and comic books for adults who read.

Given that it seems to get by more on the strength of the subject material than the carefully wrought characters, and imagery, it seems like it's pretty much doomed to be a mediocre movie. (Movies being, at least in the Hollywood sense, essentially a visual format, and not really conducive to direct, historical analysis.) Particularly given the religious opposition that this movie is sure to receive, I'm kind of surprised that they made it in the first place.


From: Montréal, at the moment... | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged
Steve Tree
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 12554

posted 19 May 2006 02:50 PM      Profile for Steve Tree     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Then again - maybe it will turn out like Bowling for Columbine - not really a surprise to anyone who pays attention to these things, but a revelation to people who get all their information from TV news?
From: Montréal, at the moment... | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged
bittersweet
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2474

posted 19 May 2006 07:03 PM      Profile for bittersweet     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
You know, if it weren't for the book's italics, I just wouldn't have known when or what to feel. The double irony is that the book is about breaking a code, yet Brown never writes a sentence that isn't completely on-the-nose, which makes italics even more superfluous.

Mr. Howard is the perfect point 'n shoot, on-the-nose director to visually adapt italics: you can rely on him to zoom in on actors' faces, just so you know when and what to feel. And with portentous music cues, just in case. And if all else fails, everyone will know what's going to happen, and when and what to feel anyway, because they've already read the italics.

Since the book is 90% exposition, the adaptation would have to invent a lot of action. If it doesn't, it'll be people blabbing (mainly the guy at the gal), and having blabby flashbacks...in the Louvre, in a Smart Car, in a bank, in the back of the bank's truck, in a mansion, in a plane, in an abbey, etc. Bloody hell!


From: land of the midnight lotus | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Sanityatlast
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 12414

posted 19 May 2006 07:37 PM      Profile for Sanityatlast        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
This isn't to knock Tom Hanks who is a good actor but I prefer a story like this put to film with unknown actors. Otherwise it's 'Tom Hanks' and how he matches the character I read.

This is one reason I often enjoy foreign films. The actors are often new to me and not carrying some image from a previous role.


From: Alberta | Registered: Apr 2006  |  IP: Logged
RookieActivist
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4089

posted 23 May 2006 02:42 PM      Profile for RookieActivist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I've downloaded the movie but I'm not sure I even want to watch it now.
From: me to you | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Scout
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1595

posted 23 May 2006 05:52 PM      Profile for Scout     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I have to say I could see beyond the Tom Hankness of Tom Hanks. He looked different to me. I guess it was the fact that he hadn't starved himself for this role. I almost wondered if they had slightly altered his features, cause I can't quite figure out what was different. I haven't read the book so I didn't have anything in mind for the character yet.

As a summer blockbuster goes, well it was better than Mission Impossible III but I think Pirates of the Caribbean II will kick it's ass. I don't feel as disappointed as I did after War of the World - that just peeved me!


From: Toronto, ON Canada | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Stargazer
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 6061

posted 23 May 2006 05:53 PM      Profile for Stargazer     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
As a summer blockbuster goes, well it was better than Mission Impossible III but I think Pirates of the Caribbean II will kick it's ass.

Hahahaha. I have a hard time viewing Tom Hanks in this role but someone just told me I should go see it.

Hey Scout! There really is no Pirate II coming out is there? Say it isn't so...


From: Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist. | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Yst
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 9749

posted 23 May 2006 06:15 PM      Profile for Yst     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
So it seems the movie is every bit as mediocre as the book. This parody trailer, on the other hand is sheer brilliance.
From: State of Genderfuck | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
Scout
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1595

posted 23 May 2006 07:26 PM      Profile for Scout     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Davey Jones coming your way Stargazer! The previews are awesome.
From: Toronto, ON Canada | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
skeptikool
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 11389

posted 23 May 2006 07:31 PM      Profile for skeptikool        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Enjoyed the book. Looking forward to the movie.
From: Delta BC | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
siren
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 7470

posted 23 May 2006 07:57 PM      Profile for siren     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Yst:
So it seems the movie is every bit as mediocre as the book. This parody trailer, on the other hand is sheer brilliance.

Hah! That was pretty darn funny. And having to read the translation made it a book-iness experience. "Harry Potter for adults."

Really though -- I like Tom Hanks hair styled this way. Still laughed at all the hair jokes though. . .


From: Of course we could have world peace! But where would be the profit in that? | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
Brian White
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 8013

posted 23 May 2006 10:03 PM      Profile for Brian White   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I went to the movie because my girlfriend and my feminist friend wanted to go.
And I really enjoyed it and thought that for the less paper friendly (like me) it got the religous and feminist point over way way way better than the book ever could.
The churches have been anti woman for a very long time. I read somewhere that the plague spread across europe because women were afraid to keep a cat in their houses!
Better rats in the house than the old float test if someone accuses u of being a witch!
It is no wondor the mainstream media tried to trash it!
Basically the movie made the point strongly that the major churches have been almost exclusively controled by despotic men for the last 2000 years. And they have suppressed several gospels which might have showed a normal healthy family oriented male was the one preaching the message of love thy neighbour (with his wife as an equal at his side).

Anyway the movie was packed, and the 8 was sold out before 7 30 and about a hundred people were still in the lineup for the last 40 seats in the 7 30 atabout 7 40.
A huge opening as far as I could see here in vic.
So the propaganda is not working so good.
brian


From: Victoria Bc | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
rasmus
malcontent
Babbler # 621

posted 25 May 2006 11:15 PM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Heaven Can Wait: Anthony Lane in The New Yorker

quote:
The task of the Bishop and his hit man is to thwart the unveiling of what Teabing modestly calls “the greatest secret in modern history,” so powerful that, “if revealed, it would devastate the very foundations of Christianity.” Later, realizing that this sounds a little meek and mild, he stretches it to “the greatest coverup in human history.” As a rule, you should beware of any movie in which characters utter lines of dialogue whose proper place is on the advertising poster. (Just imagine Sigourney Weaver, halfway through “Alien,” turning to John Hurt and explaining, “In space, no one can hear you scream.”) There is a nasty sense in “The Da Vinci Code” that, not unlike Langdon, we are being bullied into taking its pronouncements at face value. Such nagging has a double effect. First, any chance to enjoy the proceedings as hokum—as a whip-cracking quest along the lines of “Raiders of the Lost Ark”—is rapidly stifled and stilled. Second, one’s natural reaction to arm-twisters of any description is to wriggle free, turn around, and kick them in the pentacles. So here goes.

There has been much debate over Dan Brown’s novel ever since it was published, in 2003, but no question has been more contentious than this: if a person of sound mind begins reading the book at ten o’clock in the morning, at what time will he or she come to the realization that it is unmitigated junk? The answer, in my case, was 10:00.03, shortly after I read the opening sentence: “Renowned curator Jacques Saunière staggered through the vaulted archway of the museum’s Grand Gallery.” With that one word, “renowned,” Brown proves that he hails from the school of elbow-joggers—nervy, worrisome authors who can’t stop shoving us along with jabs of information and opinion that we don’t yet require. (Buried far below this tic is an author’s fear that his command of basic, unadorned English will not do the job; in the case of Brown, he’s right.) You could dismiss that first stumble as a blip, but consider this, discovered on a random skim through the book: “Prominent New York editor Jonas Faukman tugged nervously at his goatee.” What is more, he does so over “a half-eaten power lunch,” one of the saddest phrases I have ever heard.

Should we mind that forty million readers—or, to use the technical term, “lemmings”—have followed one another over the cliff of this long and laughable text? I am aware of the argument that, if a tale has enough grip, one can for a while forget, if not forgive, the crumbling coarseness of the style; otherwise, why would I still read “The Day of the Jackal” once a year? With “The Da Vinci Code,” there can be no such excuse. Even as you clear away the rubble of the prose, what shows through is the folly of the central conceit, and, worse still, the pride that the author seems to take in his theological presumption.



From: Fortune favours the bold | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
erroneousrebelrouser
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 12363

posted 28 May 2006 05:33 PM      Profile for erroneousrebelrouser   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
who said we don't have great posters here at Rabble/Babble? That was a great post. Damn the pissers and moaners.

I (like Michelle) liked the book better. I will just wait 'till it comes out on 'On Demand'..I'll attempt to sit through it. It's kind of likely that we wouldn't get what we want after reading the book; it's almost always that way. But I can't say it better than that post; or anything else...really.

I was going to add that by one of the directors being Ron Howard; yes he's a great guy; I don't think I've ever read one negative thing about him during his whole career and since the days of him as "opie" or later in "Happy Days." But with a book like that we would expect him to be dark, complicated, very imaginative and almost other worldly; and I just can't see Ron Howard being "heavy" about anything. He's just too...what's the adjective I'm looking for here...blaaaand? Bless his heart. I'll give him an "A" for effort, though. Some of us have the best intentions.


From: home sweet home | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged
Miia
recent-rabble-rouser
Babbler # 12656

posted 28 May 2006 05:52 PM      Profile for Miia     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
There is nothing like a good book but for a movie, DC was pretty good. I want to see it again.
From: Toronto | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged
unionist
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 11323

posted 28 May 2006 06:54 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by rasmus raven:
“Renowned curator Jacques Saunière staggered through the vaulted archway of the museum’s Grand Gallery.”

Two years ago, I opened this book and read the first two pages. I made it that far because I thought: "No; no; no; it can't be this bad." But it was. Grammatically and stylistically egregious, unintentionally hilarious, stupid.

It was the word "renowned" that got me first. I'm happy to see from the New Yorker that I was not alone. It took me two pages to realize that the first sentence was not part of a news blurb or obituary.

And somewhere on the first page was the word "someplace". I hesitate to use that in speech. But in prose? Lord.

My wife tells me the puzzles are pathetic; the anagrams anaerobic; and the sleuths slipshod. She says Myst is more elegant. She read the whole thing. Now you see why our partnership has survived for so many decades.

As for the movie - No Hanks.


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 8273

posted 28 May 2006 07:21 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Most of the mainline churches have denounced the book and the film. Some have even organized picketing of the movie, like here in Chicago. Responding to the attacks on his film, [Ron] Howard declared, "This is entertainment, not theology."

It may be, but it touches upon issues that the Catholic Church would rather remain closed to public discussion. The Da Vinci Code reveals to many Christians things that are not taught in Sunday School: that Christianity became the religion of the Roman Empire because of the political needs of the pagan emperor Constantine; that there were many Gospels that were not included in the Bible because they didn't serve the needs of the Church; that many of the early followers of Jesus considered him a prophet but not divine.

The book and movie make you think about religion, and that's not something that Christianity encourages. As one Catholic leader put it, "We are not in the democracy business.'
....
But it's the fanatics of the Opus Dei that have taken the lead in defending the Church and their order - a member of which is depicted as a killer in the movie - from The Da Vinci Code. Opus Dei has gone on something of a charm offensive trying to portray themselves as just everyday people.

Given that the order was founded by a Spanish priest loyal to fascist dictator Francisco Franco and home to some of the world's most unsavory political and military figures, this a bit of a stretch.

In a country where any critical discussion of religion is attacked without mercy, anything that opens up a critical discussion should be welcome. The Da Vinci Code book has done that, and hopefully the film will widen it.

When asked whether the film should have a disclaimer saying that it's fiction, [Ian] McKellen responded, "I've often thought that the Bible should have a disclaimer at the front saying, this is fiction." Source



From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
bittersweet
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2474

posted 28 May 2006 07:28 PM      Profile for bittersweet     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The Guardian

Peter Bradshaw:

quote:
"I was approached to join the Priory of Sion as an undergraduate at Cambridge. I was a naive, beardless youth reading for the Church, and an eminent literary scholar had invited me to tea in his rooms in Magdalene College. Pushing a subtly recessed mahogany panel, he opened a secret door and I was led, wonderingly, into the gigantic underground vault beneath that college, rarely, if ever, shown to outsiders. An inner chamber, lit by flickering candlelight, was thronged with sinister chanting figures in monkish robes, gathered round an enormous silver pentangle. I recognised former Cabinet minister Norman St John Stevas under one cowl. A female figure, the Prioress of Sion, sat enthroned above them. Suddenly, the chanting stopped, and there was a loud animal squealing as one monk dragged a terrified billy goat into the centre of the pentangle, its hooves skittering frantically on the marble floor. The Prioress drew back her hood and the face of Princess Margaret was revealed, contorted with livid emotion. She stood up, and produced a jewel-encrusted dagger. The floor was soon awash with blood as the Prioress slaughtered Norman St John Stevas in front of the poor animal - and the organisation arranged for a double to take his place.

Priapic dancing followed and then over coffee and petit-fours my host explained to me that in about 20 years' time, with their connivance, a novel describing the Priory's activities would appear, a novel of such deliberate and ineffable clunkiness that no one would believe it. Billions would be mesmerised. The plan was that a film would follow, which would be the same only more so, imitating the jaunty plonking rhythm of the book. It was to be sublimely implausible: the Priory's secret would be safe for another generation."



From: land of the midnight lotus | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged

All times are Pacific Time  

Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic    Move Topic    Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
Hop To:

Contact Us | rabble.ca | Policy Statement

Copyright 2001-2008 rabble.ca