Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Directing to form

From Daily Variety film critic 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.

Hollywood's most overrated director may be a nice guy, but his by-the-book filmmaking style has made for a pretty turgid resume. Why should "Da Vinci" be any different?

Of course all the uproar over the film's release from Catholics (and, for some reason, Muslims) ensures a bigger box office than the movie deserves.


  1. I just finally read this book a month or so ago, when the paperback came out. What is all the fuss about? First of all, it's rather poorly written (you can read my review of it in the archives at Second, from a Catholic standpoint, I did not find it offensive. It's fiction, people, and bad fiction at that. Why attract more attention to it. Third, Tom Hanks? I just don't see him as a suspense/action hero. He's still Kip (or was he Henry?) from "Bosom Buddies" in my mind. Fourth, I don't have the time or spending money to get out to the movies much. But IF I DID, I'd save my money and skip this (and, yes, Malcontent, I would happily boycott the Cruise snooze of M:I:3 just on principle, as well!) -- I'd take the $12 and go buy a REAL book. : )