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PHOTOGRAPHY

THE DA VINCI CODE

DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 149 minutes, 10 featurettes, previews

STUDIO: Columbia/ Imagine Entertainment/ SPHE

RELEASE DATE: 11-14-1006

THE DA VINCI CODE in an engaging and intelligent thriller. The three best things about the movie are the cast, locations, and Hans Zimmer's score. The ideas discussed within also make you think. THE DA VINCI CODE is a novel (by Dan Brown) that sold millions of copies and it made over $700 million at the box office worldwide. THE DA VINCI CODE deals with a American college professor, Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks), who is drawn into a murder mystery revolving around a secret that has been protected since the death of Christ by the Priory of Sion. Along for the journey is Sophie Nevue (Audrey Tatou). Both of them must avoid the police led by Captain Fache (Jean Reno) and a muderous Opus Dei monk, Silas (Paul Bettany). Can they find help with the mystery in Sir Teabing (Ian McKellan)? If you haven't read the book and haven't seen the film, I better stop now and not spoil you with any more details.

THE DA VINCI CODE uses Holy Grail lore and other debateable info to make a very compelling work of fiction. Some of the theories put across in this film are very believeable to me.  The supporting cast from Jean Reno to Paul Bettany really shine in this film while THE DA VINCI CODE also shows how symbols change over the centuries as new people adopt them.. Also Hanks and Tautou are great too.  The film had me sold with Jean Reno and Audrey Tautou being in it.  Ron Howard does a good directing job, but the actors and music outshine him. I like some of the changes that were made for the film version (I loved the book and the other Langdon novel). So it is a fantastic adaptation. I wonder what the extended versions out on DVD overseas will include sine the extended cut is around 20 minutes longer. Don't forget the other Robert Langdon adventure, ANGELS & DEMONS, will go into production soon.

VIDEO: 2.40:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)

The transfer is sofft and muddy at times. Hopefully, the transfer will look better when the extended version is released.

AUDIO: English, French, Spanish 5.1 Doly Digital Surround, English 2.0 DS

Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

Dialogue and the music score come in very sharply. The sound mix doesn't disappoint and it better than the video.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

11 behind-the-scenes featurettes (in 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen) are on disc 2-

FIRST DAY ON THE SET WITH RON HOWARD- Hiis first day which is at the Louvre.

A DISCUSSION WITH DAN BROWN- Dan talks about the book, the film, and mentions he's working on a new Langdon novel set in the US.

A PORTRAIT OF LANGDON- casting Tom Hanks as Langdon

WHO IS SOPHIE NEVEU- the casting of Sophie and how Audrey got the part, bits of ther audition (without audio are included).

UNUSUAL SUSPECTS- the casting of the supporting characters- all of Ron's first choices, Reno was the one Dan Brown and Ron Howard had in mind for Fache.

MAGICAL PLACES- The experience of shooting in the Louvre and Paris and in the United Kingdom, and the challenges with each location (they had to shoot inside another church when they couldn't shoot inside Westminster Abbey).

CLOSE UP ON MONA LISA- talk and appreciation for the Mona Lisa painting

FILMMAKER'S JOURNEY PART 1- how Ron came to do the film and a behind-the-scenes look at making it.

FILMAKER'S JOURNEY PART 2- cast and crew reflect on how it is to work with Ron and his work methods. Ron says the film is an unusual thriller.

THE CODES OF THE DA VINCI CODE- It points out the codes hidden in the film.

THE MUSIC OF THE DA VINCI CODE- 3 minute fluff piece on Hans Zimmer's score

PREVIEWS (on disc 1): CASINO ROYALE, CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER, GHOST RIDER, SPIDER-MAN 3, THE HOLIDAY, OPEN SEASON, CLICK, ALL THE KING'S MEN, TALLADEGA NIGHTS, SEINFELD SEASON 7, BLU RAY trailer, THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS, and THE GRIDIRON GANG

FINAL ANALYSIS: THE DA VINCI CODE DVD is a mixed bag. If you enjoy the film, you might just want to own the film now, but the extended version is coming one day to DVD.

RELATED DVD Reviews:

Films starring Jean Reno-

THE CRIMSON RIVERS 2- http://enterline2.tripod.com/crimsonrivers2.html

THE EMPIRE OF THE WOLVES- http://enterline2.tripod.com/empire_of_the_wolves.html

THE PINK PANTHER- http://enterline2.tripod.com/pinkpanther2006.html

this review is (c)11-28-2006 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission (except for excerpts and a link to the review). Look for additional content at http://enterlinemedia.livejournal.com and send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com