The DaVinci Stuff
I can be a real snob (read as bitch). Especially when it comes to movies. I like the fact that I have discerning tastes when it comes to the picture shows, and a lot of times, if I’m feeling particularly snobby (bitchy) when asked if I have seen such and such a movie, I will answer “I only see good movies.” in a very superior tone. A lot of times this happens with Bart cause Bart is like a movie prostitute- he will watch damn near anything. I can say this because I know Bart doesn’t read the website cause he spends all his time over at Myspace, which is another reason I am better than Bart. There are many. But that bit about me only seeing good movies isn’t true, strictly speaking, because I like a lot of bad movies. Notably horror stuff, like Re-Animator and Ghost Ship, and I’ll fight you to the death over Ghost Ship because that movie rocks. In fact, I think I’ll watch it today. It’s got Gabriel Byrne, man! He rocks and I wish I could draw three dots in a triangle because it’s quicker than typing out, ‘therefore’ the movie does by extention.
So, you would thing, given my arbitrary justification for watching the not-popularly-good movies, that I’d say The DaVinci Code has to be a frigging amazing movie. And it should be, by all means- Tom Hanks, Alfred Molina, Jean Reno, Ian McKellen- those are great actors who I each love and respect individually. Then there’s Ron Howard, the man who has directed Backdraft, Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, WILLOW man! I mean, what more could you ask for? Well for starters you could ask for NOT the dude who wrote Batman & Robin and Batman Forever. I mean, hey, I liked I, Robot, The Client, but Akiva Goldsmith’s batting average for his adaptations, could use a little bit of help.
Adaptations are hard to do. A lot of people get work retooling the scripts for really popular books and turning them into really popular movies. Unfortunately the one dude that comes to mind other than Akiva Goldsmith is Steve Kloves and I hate that mofo. But if you look at Goldsmith’s credits, it’s actually like some sort of strange Grisham/Goldsmith juicing scandal, it’s either out of the park, or the Mighty Casey. I think it’s got everything to do with the source. Not every book has awesome dialogue, not every author is Elmore Leonard- who, okay there Scott Frank’s job is to reign the dialogue in just a little, turns vulgarity into poetry.
So, my biggest issue with The DaVinci Code is this- Dan Brown can’t write good screen dialogue to save his life. Akiva Goldsmith’s job is to turn all the passable conversations in the novel into something watchable on screen- this did not happen. What ends up happening is Tom Hanks ends up with the worst character in the film. The Protagonist sucks, except for the last five minutes when he changes clothes and Hanks looks totally hot, but otherwise, yeah. Maybe you can blame the actors or the director, but it’s gotta be on the page. That’s my number one rule, and it’s not like oh yeah, you know Tom Hanks can’t act. There are also some plotting issues with the first Act, but it could be that I was distracted by the holy GOD horrible music. As I watched the title sequence I sort of liked the tension, but who the hell did the final mix on this movie? It was like a Snidley Whiplash melodrama. Something Ron Howard should have caught in the final product, and I will directly blame him for. The supporting cast is great- McKellan rocks it as Teabing, who is the most interesting character in the book and so it easily made the transition to the screen. Jean Reno did a good job, I ended up like Fache a little more with Jean Reno’s face on him. Fred, well I was a little sad to hear who he got cast as when that news broke, and thusly he was just fun to look at during his scenes. Paul Bettany knocked Silas out of the park, just amazing, again the fervor of that character very apparent in the source and made it into the movie. And Bettany can act his skinny ass off.
So for all that, and because I’m giving it a curve because of the cast, I give The DaVinci Code a C+. Watchable on USA some Sunday afternoon. I did however get used to the Tom Hanks hair-helmet before everything was said and done, it looks better when it’s all falling into his face and all.