The DaVinci Code (2006, Religious Conspiracy Thriller) – 6/10 movie review

Cast / crew
Director: Ron Howard
Writer (Screenplay): Akiva Goldsman
Writer (Original Novel): Dan Brown
Producer: Brian Grazer
Producer: Ron Howard
Producer: John Calley
Executive Producer: Dan Brown
Tom Hanks: Robert Langdon
Audrey Tautou: Sophie Neveu
Ian McKellen: Sir Leigh Teabing
Alfred Molina: Bishop Aringarosa
Jürgen Prochnow: Vernet
Paul Bettany: Silas
Jean Reno: Captain Fache
Dan Brown: Book Signing Party Guest

DaVinci Code, The (2006)

Harvard Symbologist and random-job-title-generator Robert Langdon is taken to the Louvre where he is asked to decipher a bizarre message left for him by the murdered curator.

6/10

Because we are so familiar with movie narrative technique, the movie doesn’t distract us as successfully as Dan Brown’s original novel and ends up being rather dull for a long time. Elements that worked fine on paper are weak on screen (a dying dude leaves the most complex and spread out message in history, the villain is transparent, chases seem out-of-place, the two-thousand-year-old secret is known by just about everyone). It still has a couple of powerful moments largely due to it’s gleefully contentious and genuinely thought-provoking plot and Hans Zimmer supplies some terrific music for a strong, contemplative epilogue. BBFC 12A was the wrong certificate; this is an adult film with consistently adult and challenging content.

This movie contains mild swear words and self-flagellation, execution by burning, strong violence, gory and extremely unpleasant scenes and male genitals of blinding light, non-sexual nudity.

 

Classified 12A by BBFC. Persons under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

Links

Angels & Demons (2009, Vatican Thriller) – 8/10 movie review

Cast / crew
Director: Ron Howard
Writer (Screenplay): David Koepp
Writer (Screenplay): Akiva Goldsman
Writer (Original Novel): Dan Brown
Producer: Brian Grazer
Producer: Ron Howard
Producer: John Calley
Executive Producer: Dan Brown
Tom Hanks: Robert Langdon
Ewan McGregor: Camerlengo
Ayelet Zurer: Vittoria Vetra
Stellan Skarsgård: Commander Richter
Pierfrancesco Favino: Inspector Olivetti
Nikolaj Lie Kaas: Assassin
Armin Mueller-Stahl: Cardinal Strauss

Angels & Demons (2009)

Symbologist and profession-title-creator-extraordinaire Robert Langdon is brought in by the Vatican when the preferiti – favourites to be elected as Pope – are kidnapped. Their execution is scheduled one every hour along with a single ambigram indicating the identity of the perpetrator: Illuminati.

8/10

Superbly directed, brilliantly photographed race-against-time thriller which successfully meshes misdirects and movie tropes with a sounds-intelligent and revealing backdrop of a centuries-old butting of heads between the Illuminati and The Vatican. Ron Howard keeps the gruesome demises fully intact for the UK home release and utilises some great effects to stage the action in the world-famous locations (the filmmakers didn’t shoot at The Vatican). It’s this meshing of thriller and unique visuals that helps make Angels & Demons unusual and interesting. The script does a good job of keeping the historical, religious and technical dialogue intelligible, gives Ewan MacGregor a good (but out-of-place) speech about religion waiting for science to catch up but occasionally feels like you can hear the nuts and bolts of plot propulsion. However, this is a good movie and good adaptation of the novel.

This movie contains mild swear words and gory and extremely unpleasant scenes, violence.

 

Classified 15 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over.

Links

The Simpsons Movie (2007, Animated Satire) – 1/10 movie review

Cast / crew
Producer: Matt Groening
Director: David Silverman
Dan Castellaneta: Homer, Grampa, Krusty, Groundskeeper Willie, Mayor Quimby, Sideshow Mel, Mr. Teeny, EPA Official, Itchy, Barney
Julie Kavner: Marge, Selma, Patty
Nancy Cartwright: Bart, Ralph, Todd, Nelson
Yeardley Smith: Lisa
Hank Azaria: Moe, Chief Wiggum, Cletus, Prof. Frink, Apu, Lou, Comic Book Guy, Sea Captain, Bumblee Man, Dr. Nick
Harry Shearer: Mr. Burns, Smithers, Ned Flanders, Rev. Lovejoy, Lenny, President Arnold Schwarzenegger, Principal Skinner, Kent Brockman, Dr. Hibbert, Otto
Pamela Hayden: Milhouse, Rod Flanders, Jimbo
Tress MacNeille: Medicine Woman, Mrs. Skinner, Cat Lady, Colin, Cookie Kwan
Albert Brooks: Russ Cargill
Philip Rosenthal: TV Dad
Joe Mantegna: Fat Tony
Tom Hanks:
Writer (Screenplay): James L. Brooks
Writer (Screenplay): Matt Groening
Writer (Screenplay): Alfred Jean
Writer (Screenplay): Ian Maxtone-Graham
Writer (Screenplay): George Meyer
Writer (Screenplay): David Mirkin
Writer (Screenplay): Mike Reiss
Writer (Screenplay): Mike Scully
Writer (Screenplay): Matt Selman
Writer (Screenplay): John Swartzwelder
Writer (Screenplay): Jon Vitti
Producer: James L. Brooks
Producer: Alfred Jean
Producer: Mike Scully
Producer: Richard Sakai
Sequence Director: Mike B. Anderson
Sequence Director: Lauren MacMullan
Sequence Director: Rich Moore
Sequence Director: Steven Dean Moore
Sequence Director: Gregg Vanzo

Simpsons Movie, The (2007)

Homer tips a silo full of pig and human poo into Springfield Lake and it proves the last straw for the American government and EPA who declare Springfield the most polluted city on earth and encase it in a giant dome.

1/10

Made several years after The Simpsons ran out of ideas, jokes and even vaguely competent writing and story-telling ability, this is an embarrassing (featuring the ever hilarious lynch mob, glassing, homosexual policemen, suicide and pig beastiality), unconvincing, boring and amazingly unfunny big-screen outing for the yellow ones. According to IMDb, it took 158 drafts to remove all the jokes. It culminates in the most horrifying word they could possibly utter: sequel.

This movie contains bad language, adult dialogue and violence, unpleasant scenes and non-sexual nudity.

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

The Terminal (2004, Movie) – 3/10 review

Director: Steven Spielberg
Writer (Screenplay): Sacha Gervasi
Writer (Screenplay): Jeff Nathanson
Writer (Screenplay): Andrew Niccol
Writer (Screenplay): Sacha Gervasi
Producer: Steven Spielberg
Tom Hanks: Viktor Navorski
Catherine Zeta-Jones: Amelia Warren
Stanley Tucci: Frank Dixon
Chi McBride: Mulroy
Diego Luna: Enrique Cruz

Terminal, The (2004)

Viktor Navorski is travelling to New York from Krakorzia but en route a coup in his country means that his passport and entry visa become invalid. Not able to fly home or enter the United States he is told that he must stay in the International Flight Lounge until the situation is resolved. To everyone’s surprise, instead of bolting for the door, he does exactly as he is told…

3/10

Unconvincing. And that’s being nice. Despite three credited screenwriters the script has not had its bugs ironed out and this undermines the ever-brilliant Tom Hanks and the super-slick Spielberg coating. The fact is, this is two-minute news fluff and is here horribly stretched to a lifeless two hours. It’s pretty safe to say that this mistaken mess will be Spielberg’s worst and most worthless ever film.

This movie contains adult references and mild sensuality.

Classified 12A by BBFC. Persons under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult.