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Dan Brown's big hits

10 Ratings: 1.9
The DaVinci Code and Angels and Demons

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Tags: Books, Fiction, Dan Brown, Da Vinci Code, Angels And Demons
1 review about Dan Brown's big hits

Great action, but please, people, they are FICTION

  • May 26, 2009
  • by
Rating:
+4
I am not a fan of Tom Hanks.  Never have been.  Still, he does a remarkably good job in both of these films.  Of course, all he has to do is basically look like he knows what's going on and mouth science goobeldy gook.  Still, he is effective, and that is what an actor is supposed to be.  Both of his leading ladies are lovely and seem capable of showing an array of emotions.  Again, what actresses are supposed to do.  So, both films are great action films that have great special effects, wonderful action and an exciting and pseudo intellectual story line.  Notice that I said pseudo intellectual.  Brown is NOT writing history.  He is writing fiction.  Brown has taken some historical conjectures, some pseudo scientific speculation, some folklore and some pure fiction and combined them into exciting fiction, but it is fiction.  I have met at least a dozen people who are convinced that both novels are true.  Please.  If they were even clost to true, there would be no Catholic Church.  In fact there would be no churches following Jesus at all.  I have done some serious historical research, in addition to following up on some pretty serious folk tales, but there is no proof of any of Brown's conjectures.  In fact, The Illuminatus Trilogy, which is designed to be a satire of the conspiracy theory of history (among other things) has more real history than Brown's books.  As a movie, both are great films and should be watched in the same vein as "Back to the Future".  As history, both are pure bunk, although certainly fun to imagine.  Much like the Cthulhu mythos.  I have yet to meet ANYONE who thinks that R'Lyeh is for real, yet there is historical evidence that COULD (please notice emphasis) support Lovecraft.  Go see both films, enjoy them and be excited by the action.  Please, though, DO NOT believe them or take them for fact.

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May 26, 2009
Yeah, I really enjoyed "Angels & Demons" (the book, not the awful film), but people take his stuff way too seriously. It's basically an Indiana Jones meets MacGyver, which is a heck of alot of fun, but there's probably more to be learned from those two than from the films based on his books. I'll stick with Michael Crichton for my "pseudo intellectual" sci-fi, adventure, philosophical explorations. :)
May 26, 2009
Crichton at least uses real science and then projects into the future as to what may happen. Some of his stuff, though, like the dinosaur cloning, is actually something that we really could do within the next couple of years. Not that I think it's a good idea. Many authors use either established fact or widely accepted folk tales as a basis for their fiction. It just scares me that people believe Brown's writing is fact.
May 26, 2009
It's sad, really. His stuff is entertainment, which is another way of saying mental junkfood. It may stimulate some thought, but anything provocative in his works is absolutely erroneous in reference to historical accuracy. If people aren't willing to educate themselves when they're confronted with fiction that ties into facts (or more accurately speculation) about history, then this country is in serious trouble.
May 26, 2009
I have to agree. You know, I love to believe in Cthulhu while I'm reading Lovecraft. In fact, it makes the story so much more effective if I believe it. Once I'm done, though, rational thought comes back. I guess our modern educational system no longer teaches people what "willing suspension of disbelief" really means.
May 26, 2009
If its a conspiracy theory of any kind people will buy it as fact and if you try to point out that its merely meant as entertainment then you are part of the cover up.
May 26, 2009
Well, I'd love to believe that once there were Hobbits, but when I put the Tolkien down, reality sets back in. Escapism is a wonderful respite from the toils of reality, but life will never get easier for any one if we continue to shelter ourselves with lies and fantasies rather than attempting to improve our actual existence. Take Dan Brown's novels for example. "The Da Vinci Code" got everyone all riled up as to whether Jesus was of divine origin or not... the real question is, what does it matter? We shouldn't continue to waste more of our resources and precious time debating a man who's been dead for two thousand years (well, a little less), that is if he even existed at all. What we should be discussing is why do we, and I mean the human race in general, feel the need to seek moral guidance from an exteranl source rather than studying our own emotional responses and examining our own beliefs. Instead, we allow this cult of personality to enslave our free wills as religious icons, celebrities, and politicians sway our opinions and alter our perception of truth.
May 26, 2009
My God, Man. You would have been burned at the stake 200 years ago. I agree with you, but as has been pointed out by much better minds than mine, a person can be intelligent, but people in the mass are stupid and will follow anyone or anything that promises them a "better life". Look at Nazi Germany. The Germans are known for their pragmatism, yet Hitler had the vast majority following him. Religion makes life more acceptable since no matter how bad things are now, they will get better after we die. That's how religion controls you. Believe as we teach or you will have a lousy life AND a lousy after life. It has worked at least for all of recorded history, long before Jesus was born.
May 26, 2009
If he was "born". There's considerable evidence that points to the possibility that Jesus, as we view him, never existed... that he's in fact a composite of numerous historical and mythological figures that we have embraced in a vain attempt in comforting ourselves and seeking guidance from without instead of searching within.
May 26, 2009
Very true. However, even if that were absolutely true and proven, do you think it would matter to those who have already given themselves over to organized religion? I doubt it.
May 26, 2009
You'll never get any real argument from me although as always I'm tempted to play Devil's advocate and point out how important little details can be to the faith of people of certain religious convictions. Recall THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST for instance how offended people got at the mere insinuation that Christ might have been tempted and Not submitted one final time? And its certainly not limited to Xianity. I'm on the verge of reviewing a Bollywood movie that's an historical piece and even though in its opening prologue it states that much of what its going to show is conjecture, it still managed to stir up a lot of hostility from both Hindus and Muslims.
May 26, 2009
Probably not, but I take comfort in knowing that there are those of us, who acknowledge that just because an institution that holds great influence over the massses cannot control those of us who see through their distortions.
May 26, 2009
At the risk of sounding ridiculous, amen Count.
May 26, 2009
Karen, anything that upsets their apple cart is something that offends them Count, there are damned few people who actually think about the foundation of their lives. After all, that's what religious leaders and our government are for, to do our thinking for us.
May 26, 2009
And don't forget subjugating those of us who don't agree with their ideals (or as I read it, scripture).
May 26, 2009
I'm happy to let them do it too as long as they keep out of my way. That might sound a bit contradictory but it isn't really. I have no problem anymore being hypocritical most of the time. I'm willing to let people think I believe what they do until it becomes important for them to know otherwise.
May 26, 2009
No, not really contradictory. There are many stories of slaves being "freed" after the Civil War and feeling lost and adrift, so I suppose that there's definitely a truth to the whole "happiness in bondage" theory. For some comfort can come in any guise, including the violation of free will.
May 26, 2009
Not happines in bondage. I've learned not to sweat the small stuff. I'll do what I want and think what I want right up to the point where someone actually tries to stop me. That's the point when I become involved. And so far no one has actually tried to force me.
May 26, 2009
There is something in what you say, Count. "Daddy religion (or government) knows what is best for you. It's the lifelong urge to return to childhood when things were simple. Oh, don't ever mention the slave freed thing to a member of the NAACP. They WILL crucify you for that
May 26, 2009
Response to Queenie: Well, can you blame them? Your bite's worse than your bark and that's saying something, I'm sure. Heck, I wouldn't want to get on your bad side and I fear neither pain or death.
May 26, 2009
Crucifixion, that might be interesting. Are we talking a cross or a tree, because the tree's coarse bark would be rather unpleasant. Anyhow, I'm not saying that I buy into it, just that I've heard a lot of people who swear that it's true. of course, those same people also believe that ignorance is bliss, so what do they know?
May 26, 2009
Count, you are wise beyond your years. Karen is not someone to piss off. As for crucifixion, personally, I"d rather be in Philadelphia.
May 27, 2009
Bear that in mind at all times. I have become smarter over the years and I don't waste my energy. I pick my fights for a time when they really need to be fought. Arguing can be fun among friends but it serves no useful purpse among people who have no intention of changing their minds. But when it comes time, I'm going to be there.
May 27, 2009
Karen, I love to debate with you, not because we agree, but because you don't take offense when we disagree. That is a very rare quality, and I respect it a lot.
May 27, 2009
Wow!! I just got an email from my publisher. My book is going to be listed on Amazon. How cool is that? Sorry. I had to share the good news.
May 27, 2009
Thanks Uke, that's quite a compliment and I feel that way about you and the Count as well.
May 27, 2009
It was meant to be a compliment. I learn from you as I've learned from the Count as well. Maybe not so much facts, but I learn what I really think, and that's even more important. I appreciate that
 
May 26, 2009
It was that whole "Bay of Pigs" thing.
May 26, 2009
From what I remember she HAD drawn that weird conclusion from a scene in which Nixon is getting some thinly veiled threats from some of his Cuban mobster buddies in the form of "the same thing could happen to you" vein.
May 26, 2009
Now perhaps if she had reached the conclusion that Johnson was behind it? Hmmm. Oh, read The Illuminatus Trilogy and you will discover who REALLY shot Kennedy.
May 26, 2009
Actually, it has to do with Nixon's threat to the CIA that the Watergate break-in could open up "the whole Bay of Pigs thing". There has been much speculation as to what Nixon was actually referring to. You can start at the Haldeman wikipedia entry for more information.
May 26, 2009
That's the reality of the Nixon theory, this was just a stupid kid misinterpreting what she had seen. Personally I think it was Audie Murphy.=)
May 26, 2009
Speaking of the Kennedy assassination, I heard a really interesting conspiracy theory a few years back. Someone told me that they believed that Kennedy was behind his own assassination as a way to gain sympathy in support for the Democratic Party. I suppose there's some merit to it, when you think about the way that the media will so quickly take an attractive public figure and turn them into a martyr when they die (everyone from Marilyn Monroe to Heath Ledger).
May 26, 2009
Have you seen the movie "Bubba Ho-Tep"? If not, then please go find it. That explains the Kennedy assassination better than anyone else, including the Warren Commission.
May 26, 2009
lol! Love BUBBA-HO-TEP. But I sincerely doubt as much of a Kennedy Democrat as I am that he was that self-sacrificing. That's Mahatma material as far as I'm concerned. And it didn't really work, in fact it had the opposite effect. He was a lot smarter than plotting to leave Johnson in power.
May 26, 2009
Agreed, but Gandhi would never have mislead anyone, would he? Uh oh, now you've got my inner cynic focused on one of my role models. Queenie, you're subversive! :)
May 26, 2009
Count, that is the ultimate "JFK brought it on himself" theory, I guess. There is no shortage of hokum surrounding this defining moment in American history. If you want some good information, I would suggest starting with Sylvia Meagher's Accessories After the Fact.
May 26, 2009
Karen, didn't you know that Bubba is fact? It makes as much sense as Brown. Bush's genius was having Cheney as his vice. NO ONE, anywhere, wanted Cheney for president. Count, Karen is intelligent and will challenge you a whole bunch if you let her.
May 26, 2009
Pec, good point. There are some decent "theories" concerning JFK. Please, though, don't waste your time with the Warren Commission.
May 26, 2009
I think Papa Bush is the one who picked Cheney as his son's veep and for exactly that reason too! I never did trust PapaBush because of that whole CIA thing--now THAT goes against my religion.
May 26, 2009
Politicians are politicians. In order to reach congress, or the senate, or any of the higher elected offices, you need money. To get money, you have to sell your integrity. Any senator or congressperson has already sold every ounce of personal integrity he or she ever possessed. There is no such thing as an honest politician
May 26, 2009
But the CIA is so much more than merely a corrupt politician.
May 26, 2009
Ukedude makes a good point. Why trust politicians at all? If you're looking for answers to the world's problems, look no further than yourself. And there is such a thing as an honest politican. He's the one who admits that he lies.
May 26, 2009
When was the last time that happened? It sure wasn't Bush, or Cheney, or Pelosi or Reid, or ...... I could go on forever
May 27, 2009
Its not the person, its the power. We can't be so stupid as to elect only the corrupt every single time. That would defeat some mathematical or statistical law, I'm fairly certain of that. So I suspect they start out (at least some them) uncorrupted and the power corrupts them as it inevitibly must. I'm a cynic, but less than you.
May 27, 2009
Actually, as Ambrose Bierce once said, you will never go broke betting on the stupidity of the American people. Yes, I am a cynic. I have yet to find a politician that I trust, and I haven't for the last 50 years. The only one I almost trusted was Reagan, and he changed 180 degrees after he was shot. Ever notice that?
May 27, 2009
I think Reagan acted the part of the President fairly well. I think that at least the latter part of his second term he was severely debilitated by his Alzheimer's but that it left him with the ability to take direction and to act a part and that's exactly what he did. I often wonder if Nancy Reagan wasn't really our first woman President. You must remember here that you have a Kennedy Democrat, I'm not gonna exactly be in love with Ronnie.
May 27, 2009
Very likely. Reagan had some wonderful ideas (and some dumb ones) but once he was shot, he stopped with his own ideas. It scared him. Not that I blame him.
 
May 26, 2009
Its sad that people are ready to believe anything they see on film if it is presented with a straight enough face. And even sadder that they frequently can't even follow the narrative that is actually being presented and come up with their own version of what they just saw. For instance one woman wrote a letter to the St Pete Times after her daughter had seen Oliver Stone's NIXON. She was furious at Stone because her teenaged daughter had come home and told her that Nixon had been in on the plot to kill JFK!!! I've seen that movie dozens of times and I can't imagine where that kid got that idea from.
May 26, 2009
Actually, the whole Cthulhu thing makes so much more sense scientifically than what Brown writes, although there is something a bit peculiar about the whole Merovingian thing and the crusade to slaughter the Cathars. Still, it should be obvious that, for a time, the church WAS science during the dark ages. Oh well, people will believe what people will believe.
May 26, 2009
And Astrology was Astronomy etc. The Church went to great pains to make certain it WAS science. It still tries to do that from time to time.
May 26, 2009
I am not Catholic, and I freely admit that the Catholic church has had its share of corruption both today and in the past. However, that same church has also been the protector of science and truth as well. Any organization that exists for nearly 1500 years is going to have its ups and downs.
May 26, 2009
In this particular case I probably shouldn't have capitalized church since I was referring more to the influence of religion in general and our country specifically.
May 26, 2009
I don't want to start anything, but to me, the main function of organized religion is to control its subjects in all ways. Any "science" or knowledge that tries to free people from such control is going to be attacked by organized religion. Still, religion has served a wonderful function in certain times, and will undoubtedly be remembered as the main reason why people just didn't slaughter each other.
May 26, 2009
And in some cases, why they did slaughter each other. But I realize that it serves a definite purpose--you have to have some sort of orderly code or you're gonna have one big very ugly meess. That's why I doubt you'll ever convert me to worshipping Chaos. =)
May 26, 2009
This really is that endless debate about faith and fear. If you'll permit the boxing allegory; in the right corner we have organized religion using false hopes and fear tactics to control the general population; in the left corner we have science coming to dash our false hopes to bits while liberating us from the enforced dogma of religion. Hmmm, independent spirituality anyone?
May 26, 2009
Not chaos, Karen, Eris. Chaos is simply a "tool". Pure order is not what we want, unless we're Nazis. Pure chaos is not what we want, unless we as a people are ready for ABSOLUTE freedom (and we aren't). So, the answer is half way between, which is what Discordianism is all about. Oh yeah, don't forget that Discordian is either a joke disguised as a religion or a religion disguised as a joke. Your choice.
May 26, 2009
Count, there is no such thing as independent spirituality anymore. Everyone has to fit into a neat little box. I'm an agnostic, which only means that I don't think God can be understood or interpreted. It does NOT mean that I don't believe in God. You have no idea how often I am reviled for not believing when I say I'm an agnostic. Agnostic means "I do not know".
May 26, 2009
Oh! Then you've got yourself a convert because that is a very rational concept.
May 26, 2009
That's what is so scary. It's all recorded in pseudo ritualistic language, though, because that's what people expect of a religion (or is it a joke?) I laugh with Discordianism, and then I have to stop and think. Hey, have you ever stopped to think.........and then not gotten restarted?
May 26, 2009
Well, i refer to myself as a "spiritual atheist" because I don't believe in the deities found in any popular mythology, but I do believe in a higher power, but that that higher power is not an external source rather a mindset or state of consciousness that allows us to glimpse universal truths for brief moments of clarity amidst the perceived chaos around us. Which brings me to another thing... chaos is a perspective. In essence, due to the fact that we live in a universe of ulimited possiblities (though that's hard to comprehend for us mere humans with our fears of insignificance), anything is possible and is possible at any time and in any place. What we perceive to be chaos is just the general order of things, only it's beyond our comprehension because of our limited sight.
May 26, 2009
Happens all the time. Sometimes I even have to pull out the jumper cables.
May 26, 2009
Hmmmm. Does that work, Karen? I usually have to sleep to reprogram. Count, please be careful what you say. Eris is listening, and she does take offense. You have to remember that goddesses have incredibly long menstration. She has had PMS for at least the last 5,000 years. Be very gentle when you talk about chaos.
May 26, 2009
Gentle, moi? Clearly, you have forgotten the very essence of being a critic. Besides, Hecate, Ishtar, and Kali will watch over me. :)
May 26, 2009
Hecate, Ishtar and Kali all have tea with Eris once a week. Remember, goddesses all have long menstrual periods, so they all could explode at any given time. As for Eris, look around you. Isn't there more chaos and confusion than anything else? Doesn't that prove, logically, that Eris is more powerful than any of the other gods and goddesses?
May 26, 2009
Not so much. Name any symptom of chaos and I will find the hidden order beneath the illusion. How's that for Dan Brown? Ah, here's that quote I was looking for:
"In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order."
–Carl Jung
May 26, 2009
Or the other way around Count.
May 26, 2009
and then we will find the chaos under the order. Are you familiar with Heissenberg's uncertainty principle?
May 26, 2009
Never, I wouldn't look for chaos in order. That would be too easy. Just point the way to Wall Street!
May 26, 2009
Thanks, Count. I had a good laugh. You are correct. Still, whether I REALLY believe in Celtic magic, I still "knock wood". Whether I really believe in Eris or not, I will NOT purposely piss her off. Strange things happen to those who piss off Eris
May 27, 2009
Strange things happen those who piss off Queenie too. :)
May 27, 2009
=)
 
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