Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Da Vinci Code--it's a dud say critics

Heh heh heh

The Da Vinci Code movie is a dud according to critics. While they say the movie did soften some of the anti-Catholic aspects, it lacked suspense.

From the Globe and Mail:

Critical consensus seemed to coalesce even before the credits finished rolling. Journalists quickly agreed the film was a dud, that it had neither the interactive code-breaking fun of Dan Brown's book nor the deft hand that a director more versed in thrillers might have brought.

"They didn't break the code, they dumped the code," quipped Stephen Schaefer of The Boston Herald. Chris Craps, with Belgium's Telenet NV, called the lack of preview and screenings for news media, "a kind of hoax. They don't show it to anybody, and now you see why."

Also from the Globe and Mail:

There was blood in the water by the Palais tonight, and it didn't belong to Jesus Christ. After the 8:30 showing of The Da Vinci Code, which was the world's first screening of the film for the “public” (that is, people who are not studio functionaries and yes men), critics from around the world tore into Ron Howard's hugely anticipated (or maybe just hugely hyped) adaptation of Dan Brown's potboiler.

“It's a complete mess,” declared one Belgian journalist, a fellow by the name of Chris Craps who apparently apologizes for his name whenever he meets someone who speaks English.


It's true, reading The Da Vinci Code and watching the film adaptation is like the difference between experiential education and lectures: even when the lecturers are Ian McKellan and Tom Hanks, all of that ancient history and code minutiae does tend to get boring. But in retrospect, with so many theories and threads of history to plow through, how could any screenwriter have felt they might have captured the thrill of the book? I'm afraid to say that, when the big reveal about one of the characters comes near the end, the audience was actually hooting in derision. Yikes.

From Reuters:

CANNES, France (Reuters) - Critics panned "The Da Vinci Code" on Wednesday ahead of the world premiere of the year's most eagerly awaited movie.

Opening the annual Cannes film festival, Ron Howard's adaptation of the Dan Brown bestseller was described variously as "grim", "unwieldy" and "plodding".


Barbara Nicolosi has a lot more over at Church of the Masses. In fact, just go to the main page of her blog and scroll around for all kinds of interesting DVC stuff.

She also posts a piece from Zenit by a spokesman for Opus Dei in response to some comments DVC Director Ron Howard made:

On Thursday the Italian press published interviews with Ron Howard, director of "The Da Vinci Code" film. In statements attributed to him, Howard said that "to deny the right to see the film is a fascist act," and also "to tell someone not to go see the film is an act of militancy and militancy generates hatred and violence." The Opus Dei is mentioned several times in these interviews. The phrases seem to refer to recent statements by Church authorities.

I would ask Ron Howard to keep calm and express himself with respect.

It is not wise to lose sight of the reality of the situation: This film is offensive to Christians. Howard represents the aggressor, and Catholics are victims of an offense. The one offended cannot have his last right taken away, which is to express his point of view. It is not the statements of ecclesiastics or the respectful request of Opus Dei -- to include a notice at the beginning of the film that it is a work of fiction -- which generates violence. It is rather the odious, false and unjust portrayals that fuel hatred.

In his statements, Howard also repeats that it is simply a film, an invented story, and that it must not be taken too seriously. But it is not possible to deny the importance of the movies and literature. Fiction influences our way of seeing the world, especially among young people. It is not right not to take it seriously. Artistic creativity certainly needs a climate of freedom, but freedom cannot be separated from responsibility.

Imagine a film that says that Sony was behind the attacks on the Twin Towers, which it promoted because it wanted to destabilize the United States. Or a novel that reveals that Sony paid the gunman who shot the Pope in St. Peter's Square in 1981, because it was opposed to the Holy Father's moral leadership. They are only invented stories. I imagine that Sony, a respectable and serious company, would not be happy to see itself portrayed in this way on the screens, and that it would not be satisfied with an answer such as "Don't worry, it's only fiction, it mustn't be taken too seriously, freedom of expression is sacred."

In any case, those who have taken part in the film's project have no reason to be concerned. Christians will not react with hatred and violence, but with respect and charity, without insults or threats. They can continue to calculate tranquilly the money they will make on the film, because the freedom of financial profit seems to be in fact the only sacred freedom, the only one exempt from all responsibility. They will probably make a lot of money, but they are paying a high price by deteriorating their prestige and reputation.

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