Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Da Vinci Debate

The Da Vinci Code, one of the most anticipated films in recent years, opens this weekend to erratic buzz and a backlash from zealots.

We've chuckled at Tom Hanks' unusual haircut, and debated whether Harrison Ford may have been better in the lead role. But the outcry that is occurring worldwide about this movie is absurd. Consider these over-the-top reactions (most of which was reported at AOL's Movie News):

In Thailand on Wednesday, a police-run censorship board overturned an earlier decision to cut the last 10 minutes of the film, but insisted the distributor add disclaimers stating it was fiction.

In Ireland, volunteers plan to distribute free copies of a special edition of The Irish Catholic newspaper outside cinemas showing The Da Vinci Code over the weekend.

The Vatican has called for a boycott of the picture.

The Indian government said it would show the movie to Christian groups before clearing it for release.

In the mainly Catholic Philippines the censors have given it an "adult only" rating.

Talking heads are popping up almost hourly on Fox News, CNN, MSNBC and the morning network shows, and using the opportunity to discourage people from seeing the movie.

I read and enjoyed the book, and I am eager to see the film regardless of the reviews. More interesting to me is the outcry that seems to be occurring over a work of fiction. (Maybe.)


Ian C. said...

I'm one of the few (apparently) who didn't read the book, so I'm intrigued by the movie, and planned to check it out this weekend.

However, the bad reviews it's been getting so far (though I haven't seen what my favorite critics - Ebert, Hunter, Dargis - think yet) are giving me pause.

Off Route 75 said...

I actually really enjoyed the book. Unless the movie is something I don't anticipate, I'll probably enjoy it. I think it's fiction, but I'm pretty sure Ron Howard was the director...not Lucifer. Besides, I like the Robert Langdon character.

I heard there's going to be a new Dan Brown book coming out with Langdon called "The Solomon Key," but I'm not sure if that's set in stone.

Read "Holy Blood, Holy Grail" for more information on the "Grail Bloodline."

Hoyt said...

I loved the book, and I don't often read fiction. And I doubt that the movie will offer me a more entertaining experience.

I like Tom Hanks, but this should have been Harrison Ford's movie. I would also have loved to see Anthony Hopkins as Teabing, but Ian McKellen is a great choice.

By the way, Tom Hanks' casting in this movie reminds me of his role in The Bonfire of The Vanities over a decade ago. Having read that book, I have always thought that Jeff Daniels would have offered a much better Sherman than Hanks. Of course, Bonfire didn't perform well at the box office. Heck, I would have preferred Daniels over Hanks in Da Vinci Code!

Cara said...

Loved the book! Also loved Angels & Demons by Dan Brown (read them both a few summers ago during my "employment hiatus"). It is "primarily" fiction. Religious freaks need to get over it.

7tenths said...

I actually only recently read the book, fearing that after watching the movie I'd lose all hopes in ever reading it; it was brilliant! Thing is, the damn thing probably won't air here for a bit & when it does will probably be cut up like a steak! DVD it is!

Regarding Tom Hanks' haircut-I thought I was the only one with issues about it! I mean it really makes him look.. stupid! I mean literally, like the guy wants to go pick up girls or something! Me and my friends tried thinking up better replacements, while one insists it should've been Jeff Goldblum (obviously a girl!), I say Kevin Spacey would've made a great Robert Langdon! My number 2 was Micheal Douglas..

jedi jawa said...

Whoever played Robert Langdon he had to be able to do action and Michael Douglas just seems too old while Kevin Spacey seems too young. Harrison Ford is on the cusp but he already plays Jack Ryan in the Tom Clancy movies and I'm guessing that they signed Hanks on with a clause that he will be available/committed to make movies of some of Brown's other books (most of which have Langdon in them).

I read the book and have been gleefully anticipating the uproar because I remember all of the fuss that was made over "The Last Temptation of Christ". Jesus! (literally) I hope that the movie is good but I honestly thought that the interesting thing about Brown's books are the ideas and not so much the framework that led from one event to another. Hence, it could just be another cheesy action film with some snazzy/controversial ideas. I'll still see it though.

I've read that Brown's next book will continue his exploration of secret societies/organizations and will be about the Freemasons.